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Accelerating Instruction in Reading: Grades 9-12 - Center on ...

Accelerating Instruction in Reading: Grades 9-12 - Center on ...

Accelerating Instruction in Reading: Grades 9-12 - Center on

Curriculum and ong>Instructionong>ong>Acceleratong>inong>gong> ong>Instructionong> ong>inong> Readong>inong>g: ong>Gradesong> 9-ong>12ong>National High School ong>Centerong>Many high school students are below grade level ong>inong> readong>inong>g. While the extent of the problem depends on thestandard that is used, there is agreement that a substantial segment of high school students are behong>inong>d (Balfanz,McPartland, & Shaw, 2002). Students needong>inong>g readong>inong>g remediation are not evenly dispersed among schools andpopulation subgroups. High poverty schools have a higher rate of students who cannot read at the high schoollevel. In addition, specific groups of students have a higher occurrence of readong>inong>g deficiencies. For example,students with learnong>inong>g disabilities may enter high school readong>inong>g on an elementary level (Bremer, Clapper, &Deshler, 2002). The ong>inong>creased enrollment of English language learners has also contributed to a wider gap ong>inong>readong>inong>g achievement (Comprehensive School Reform Quality ong>Centerong>, 2005).All students can benefit from comprehensive ong>inong>terventions embeddong>inong>g literacy strategies ong>inong>to content areaclasses. High school students strugglong>inong>g with readong>inong>g need targeted supplemental ong>inong>terventions ong>inong> order to helpaccelerate their basic readong>inong>g levels (for examples, see What Works Clearong>inong>ghouse, n.d.). Often, students whohave difficulty readong>inong>g ong>inong> high school face struggles ong>inong> content-area courses that assume grade-level readong>inong>g(Bremer, Clapper, & Deshler, 2002). The texts with which students ong>inong>teract ong>inong> high school become longer andmore complex, and the specific disciplong>inong>ary skills required to ong>inong>teract with those texts become more demandong>inong>gong>inong> high school. At the same time, students’ readong>inong>g challenges also can accumulate as they progress, makong>inong>g thetask of identifyong>inong>g the specific nature of students’ difficulties and appropriate ong>inong>terventions more challengong>inong>g.A number of recent reports poong>inong>t to the challenges of advancong>inong>g adolescent literacy (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004;Carnegie Corporation, 2010; Graham & Perong>inong>, 2007). The followong>inong>g section highlights specific action prong>inong>ciples atthe state, district, and school levels and provides selected resources that ong>inong>clude strategies which might be usefulfor supportong>inong>g literacy ong>inong>struction ong>inong> high schools.Action Prong>inong>ciplesFor State1. Create a task force or statewide ong>inong>itiative focused on adolescent literacy that would ong>inong>clude representativesfrom various divisions of the state education agency (curriculum, teacher certification, assessment, highschool office staff, etc.), ong>inong>stitutes of higher education that have teacher pre-service traong>inong>ong>inong>g programs, districtstaff, and teachers (ong>inong>cludong>inong>g high school content area teachers).2. Design policy structures and supports to drive local implementation of district- and school-wide literacyplans.3. Consider embeddong>inong>g content area literacy strategies ong>inong>to the certification and recertification process for highschool teachers.4. Create a certification process for high school literacy coaches.For District and School1. Develop and support expertise ong>inong> content area literacy strategies.2. Screen all high school students for readong>inong>g achievement levels and provide appropriate ong>inong>terventions to helpthose several grade levels behong>inong>d.3. Provide ongoong>inong>g, job-embedded professional development on content area literacy strategies for all contentarea staff.4. Make ong>inong>structional and structural changes ong>inong> the high school that support ong>inong>terventions for strugglong>inong>g readersand literacy strategies (e.g. tiered ong>inong>terventions, extended learnong>inong>g time).5. Implement, with fidelity, readong>inong>g ong>inong>tervention programs for students who need additional support withreadong>inong>g.139

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