Overview of the STAR Initiative

The STAR initiative is a national professional development program focused on building the reading skills of intermediate level (GLE 4.0–8.9) adult learners. This evidence-based approach to reading instruction, launched in 2006 by the US Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), is supported by years of research in reading methodology which found that mid-level adult learners struggle with one or more reading components, or skill areas: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and/or comprehension. An evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI) approach requires teachers to use diagnostic assessments to identify their learners' individual strengths and weaknesses and target reading instruction accordingly.

Since OVAE launched the pilot in 2006, nineteen states have adopted this evidence-based approach. In Massachusetts, eighteen programs representing every region were selected, through an application process, to participate in the implementation of STAR during FY 2010 and FY 2011. In the funding cycle beginning in FY 2013, ESE/ACLS began to expand STAR to every pre-ASE classroom across the State.

During the FY2013–2017 funding cycle, all recipients of Community Adult Learning Center and Adult Basic Education Programs in Correctional Institutions grants with a Grade Level Equivalence (GLE) 4.0–8.9 class will participate, subject to annual appropriations, in the STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) initiative on a staggered schedule.

Learn about the Massachusetts STAR Team

Learn more about STAR from the following resources

FY17 STAR Training Dates

All STAR trainings take place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

   Location: Malden

  • STAR Institute I: September 29–30  (alternate dates October 13–14)
  • STAR Institute II: February 9–10 (alternate dates February 27–28)
  • STAR Institute III: April 24–25 (alternate dates April 27–28)

   Location: Worcester

  • STAR Institute I: January 31– February 1 (alternate dates February 2–3)
  • STAR Institute II: March 21–22 (alternate dates March 23–24)
  • STAR Institute III: May 9–10 (alternate dates May 11–12)

Registration is by invitation only. Contact Merilee Freeman, STAR State Coordinator, at mfreeman@qcc.mass.edu for more information.

PD Center: