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"NewLits.org is a wiki space created to collaboratively develop a rich range of specialist resources for middle school language arts/literacy educators (typically Grades 5 to 8). These resources focus variously and broadly on new literacies and digital technologies.
“'New literacies' in the sense used here are literacy practices mediated by digital technologies (e.g., blogging, gaming, social networking), or that are newly recognized as literacies due to their increased ubiquity as a practice (e.g., fanfiction writing, live action role-plays)" More...
Via Karen LaBonte
“Help!” is Poynter’s first app, its construction the work of a cross-departmental team drawn from Poynter.org staff and our online learning group at News University. It is available for $1.99 from the iTunes store. Think of it as a congenial writing coach for your pocket or purse." via @scmorgan
Via Karen LaBonte
What We Know About Adolescent Reading
Dr. Willard R. Daggett, International Center for Leadership in Education
Dr. Ted S. Hasselbring, Vanderbilt University
Reading proficiency has historically been valued as
fundamental enabling competency in public
education in the minds of parents, educators, and the general public. The study of reading instruction and
literacy has been exhaustive, so we will focus on a few broad themes that we have frequently observed in
the course of our research and during our school improvement efforts with some of America’s most
inspiring and promising high schools and middle schools.
The school improvement process approach that the International Center for Leadership in Education has
advocated and helped institute is based on three questions:
This first question is key to identifying the issues so we can build consensus around solutions.
The second question allows us to suggest a plan based on data, research-based models, and successful
This final question addresses solutions by looking at proven and reliable models.
1. Reading is
key enabler of learning for academic proficiency across all subject areas and
over all grades.
If students cannot read, they are hamstrung in all other academic areas, including
math and science. They cannot deal with advanced coursework or pursue lifelong learning. While
humans are “hard-wired” for oral language, reading must be taught and learned. And, the process
must continue into the middle grades, high school, and beyond.
Unfortunately, most reading instruction stops after the elementary grades, although reading
development is not complete. Of the more than 16,000 school districts in the United States, fewer
than one in five had high school reading specialists in 2003, according to Scholastic’s Quality
Education Data. Furthermore, only 58 reading coaches and 987 remedial reading teachers worked at
those same high schools in 2005-06, according to the Market Data Retrieval database of buyers at
The issue: Where can schools find the expertise, instructional time, and resources that many students
need to become proficient in reading, because the demands on reading ability increase as students
enter the secondary grades?
2. Reading requirements for the workplace are at a higher level than and different from the
requirements for higher education.
Studies by the International Center and other groups have
shown that employability and career success in an increasingly competitive global economy depend
on reading to a far greater extent than previously required. The ability to find, analyze, and synthesize
written information provides access to lifelong learning in a rapidly changing world. Other studies
show what many educators already know from experience -- both graduates and dropouts with poor
reading and literacy skills are statistically:
• less likely to find employment, even in low-paying jobs
• more likely to have jobs that do not pay well enough to allow the wage earner to support a family
• more likely to require public assistance
• more likely to serve time in a correctional facility.
People who cannot read with confidence and efficiency are socioeconomically at risk in most adult
roles as consumers, as citizens, and as parents — but especially as wage-earners in an increasingly
literate global economy. Reading and the ability to process documents and text in all forms allow for
the trainings and multiple re-trainings that today’s students will encounter in the workforce during
A. Literacy Development in Grades 4-12
1. Defining Adolescent Literacy
2. Text Demands
3. Literacy Across the Curriculum
4. Need for Intervention
B. Adolescent Literacy: The National Picture
1. National Data on Adolescent Literacy Development
2. National Policy Recommendations
3. Current National Initiatives
C. Adolescent Literacy in Kentucky
1. Kentucky CATS Data
2. Kentucky NAEP Results 2007
3. Kentucky ACT Data
4. Existing Strengths, Resources, and Initiatives
5. Existing Statutes and Regulations Regarding Literacy
6. Concerns and Challenges
D. Adolescent Literacy Instruction
1. 21st Century Skills
2. Content Literacy Instruction
E. Kentucky Adolescent Literacy Policy Recommendations
Recommendation 1: Statewide Coordination
Creating a state literacy office to coordinate efforts•
Training state-level literacy coaches to provide support to districts/schools•
Creating and sustaining capacity through literacy coaches and readingspecialists
Requiring school literacy plansRecommendation
2: Teacher Preparation/Certification
Provide adequate coursework in literacy and content literacy for secondarypre-service teachers and teachers pursuing advanced degrees
Adolescent Literacy Position Statement by Moore, Bean, Birdyshaw and Ryclik for International Reading Association at http://www.mssunana.com/uploads/5/8/3/4/5834463/position_statement.pdf