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Promoting Third Grade Reading Proficiency. National Governor’s Association Policy Institute May, 2012 Dorothy S. Strickland, Ph.D. Professor of Education Emerita Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Overview. Importance of a “good start” in literacy education
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Promoting Third Grade Reading Proficiency National Governor’s Association Policy Institute May, 2012 Dorothy S. Strickland, Ph.D. Professor of Education Emerita Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Overview • Importance of a “good start” in literacy education • Research evidence on -- providing a “good start” • Some Issues and Concerns
Increased recognition of -- The Importance of a Good Start • What it means to be literate has changed. • Expectations for student performance have increased. • Expectations for teacher performance have changed. • Accountability for student achievement is at the center of school reform. • The demographics of the student population have changed, There is increased concern for children considered to be “at risk” for failure.
Example: key research findings on The Home EnvironmentMeaningful DifferencesAverages for measures of parent and child language and test scores Families 13 Professional23 Working-class6 Welfare____ Measures and scores Parent Child Parent Child Parent Child Pretest score 41 31 14 IQ score at age 3 117 107 79 Recorded vocabulary size 2,176 1,116 1,498 749 974 525 Average utterances per hour 487 310 301 223 176 168 Average different words per hour 382 297 251 216 167 149 (Hart & Risley, 1995)
Example: Key research findings on The Achievement GapThe Early Childhood Years - Impact • “Taken together, we estimate that at least half of the black-white gap that exists at the end of twelfth grade can be attributed to the gap that already existed at the beginning of first grade. The remainder of the gap seems to emerge during the school years” from M. Phillips (2000) analyzed several achievement gap related surveys in an attempt to describe age related changes in the Black-White gap as children move through the grades (NCES)
National Reading Panel Phonemic Awareness Phonics Vocabulary Fluency Comprehension Nat. Early Literacy Panel Alphabet Knowledge Phonological/ Phonemic Awareness Concepts About Print Oral Language RAN (Rapid Automatic Naming) Research Findings related to literacy achievement:National Reading Panel (2000)National Early Literacy Panel (2008)
Promoting Third Grade Reading ProficiencyIssues and Concerns Issue #1. Early Literacy Standards The positive side - Early Literacy Standards help to - • establish a shared vision • provide curriculum content • establish reasonable expectations • provide clear links to accountability
Promoting Third Grade Reading ProficiencyIssues and Concerns Issue #1cont. Early Literacy Standards The negative side - Early Literacy Standards may - • be viewed as discrete and separate skills to be addressed in isolation • inadvertently narrow the curriculum in their implementation • be ignored or misunderstood by those who must implement them
Making Informed Decisions about --Promoting Third Grade Reading ProficiencyIssues and Concerns Issue #2 - Curriculum • Organization and management • Differentiated instruction • Coordinated use of materials • Intentional teaching of skills and strategies within an integrated approach • Greater focus on higher order skills: critical thinking and problem solving
Making Informed Decisions about --Promoting Third Grade Reading ProficiencyIssues and Concerns Issue # 3 - Accountability • National and state reform initiatives are increasingly accompanied by calls for accountability systems that are tied to standards for children, teachers, and programs. • There is growing concern about the types of assessments used to establish accountability and about their use in making effective decisions about policy and practice.
Making Informed Decisions about --Promoting Third Grade Reading ProficiencyIssues and Concerns Issue # 4 - Teacher Quality • Teacher quality is highly related to student achievement. • What effective teachers of young children need to know and be able to do has increased dramatically. • High quality, ongoing, and embedded professional development is essential. • Knowledgeable administrators and effective literacy coaches can make an enormous difference.
Promoting Third Grade Reading Proficiency Providing the best we have to offerMaking effective decisions for each child Effective Decision-Makingabout Third Grade Reading Proficiency will - • - be based on what is known about how young children learn and how we best teach them; • - be linked to both standards and assessment; • - include informed administrative support, high quality materials, and links to the home; • - include high quality professional development for ALL involved.