How Do We Address The Reading Crisis In America?
According to a recent report of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), there are over 33 million K--12 students reading at least two grades below level-over two thirds of all K--12 students in the United States. Given the research currently available in reading, brain based instruction, instructional leadership, and the change process, there's absolutely no excuse for at least 90 per cent of these students not reading on grade level.
The Literacy First Comprehensive Reading Reform Process, a comprehensive three-year reform process, was developed using exactly this scientifically based research. Two separate three-year studies consistently demonstrated that the Literacy First Process does close the reading gap of all subgroups including minority, special education and second language students; in fact, 85 per cent of all program students in grades K--12 are performing on grade level in phonological awareness and phonics as well.
These results have been accomplished through a two-pronged approach: Eight days of intensive professional development for teachers and administrators, and at least 22 days of on
site consultation to ensure the effective implementation of the professional development in each classroom with each student to ensure students learn the reading basics as identified by No Child Left Behind/Reading.
After one year of implementation at Sebring Middle School, for example, students showed 1.5 to 3.5 years' growth on the state criterion referenced reading assessment. Anne Lindsay, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, reports that this amazing growth is directly attributed to the Literacy First Process. An independent study done by the Southwestern Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) focused on 29 Literacy First schools in Oklahoma found they outperformed demographically matched schools on nationally normed assessments. In addition, the Literacy First schools also exceeded the state average score.
The NAEP data indicates there is a reading crisis in America. At present, many schools and districts are attempting a piecemeal approach. We must take a comprehensive approach that focuses on the application of the research in reading, instruction, leadership and the change process. For more information, call 1-888-303-3029 or visit www.literacyfirst.com.#