A Generation of
Literacy Reform
Ginger Huizar
Read 518/CI 510
12/16/13
1|Page

The need for literacy education movements have begun to take center stage in
education’s focus in the United State...
2|Page

policy development that advises how to make children read better, bringing together the many
minds of politicians,...
3|Page

The Obama administration has added to the Reauthorization of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act. Because t...
4|Page

only 38 percent of graduating high schools seniors had taken a core curriculum of four years of
English and three ...
5|Page

school renovation. The 2001 budget also provides much-needed repair funds to Native American
schools” (The White H...
6|Page

-

The saddest casualty of the illiteracy in America are the children who are affected by
intergenerational illite...
7|Page

Secondary Education. Effective language arts and literacy development curriculum
recommendations outlined are:
“An...
8|Page

encounter many examples of informational and media texts aligned to the grade or course
curriculum. This kind of r...
9|Page

component sounds of language. Effective instruction can take place in small groups,
individually, or on a whole cl...
10 | P a g e

Works Cited
Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2012). Implementing the Common Core State
Standards. Re...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

A Generation of Literacy Reform

279 views
162 views

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
279
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A Generation of Literacy Reform

  1. 1. A Generation of Literacy Reform Ginger Huizar Read 518/CI 510 12/16/13
  2. 2. 1|Page The need for literacy education movements have begun to take center stage in education’s focus in the United States. It is devastating to live in a country where we are each entitled to an equal education, yet see so manysuffer because illiteracy is plaguing our nation. This has become a national problem that is unquestionably fixable when each child goes to the same place five days a week. One in four children in America grows up without knowing how to read. Shockingly, as of 2011, America was the only free-market Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous (Huffington Post). The act of illiteracy is often gernational and sociological. In past generations it has been associated with one’s places in society, their race, even their sex. But this has changed. Boys and girls are now allocated equal education and economic opportunity in our country. The first president to move America into the current age of education that we prosper from, was Lyndon B. Johnson. He passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as part of his “War on Poverty”. To date this has been the most far reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by Congress (Wikipedia). Amongst the many things it highlights, the bill was created to help shorten the achievement gaps between students by providing each student with an equal education. This has maintained as the current Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, by president Obama, renewed every five years. Previously this was highlighted as the No Child Left Behind Actby former President Bush, signed by the Obama Administration of September 2011, adopted into place originally by President Clinton as the predecessor known as Goals 2000. Every five years when this act is reauthorized it undergoes a series of installments based on the current politics of education and one piece of that pie is the federalizing of literacy
  3. 3. 2|Page policy development that advises how to make children read better, bringing together the many minds of politicians, scholars, communities, teachers, and students. The current Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act) was adopted from former President George W. Bush. His push for literacy development began prior to his presidency, when he was governor of Texas, when one in four school children were failing on state reading tests. He called for an education overhaul and mandated an emphasis on accountability and testing throughout the state. The proof was in the pudding, 91 percent of third grade students passed the state reading test in 2004, compared with 76 percent in 1994. At the same time former governor and President Clinton also took literacy education reform very seriously and to a political level as well. During his second presidential campaign in 1996, and in his State of the Union message of 1997, Clinton advocated the America Reads Initiative. He pushed national standards and assessment in all subjects and sought federal assistance for literacy efforts. His was the first attempt to enact federal legislation aimed specifically at literacy for children (Davenport, D, Jones, J., 2005).President Clinton was met with resistance by both parties as being too liberal in his actions. His literacy movement called for state testing requirements by fourth grade and Bush took this a step further, pushing for third grade. Through the movements of President and Mrs. Bush, who spent over 5 billion dollars in five years on reading initiatives, we are currently using a newly improved version that focuses on having all children reading by third grade at state level, which is now known as the Common Core Standard. Without passing, the student will not advance to the fourth grade, which is why it was named the No Child Left Behind Act/Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Collectively taken from former president Johnson’s act and combined with former president Bush and Clinton’s new initiatives.
  4. 4. 3|Page The Obama administration has added to the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Because this is a reform process to switch to new standards and new testing and practices, they have allowed states some flexibility with the mandates, as well as offering Race to the Top competitive federally funded grants. The government wants to allow states and districts greater control over their education process. While this is a whole unit model, state and district flexibility will allow for greater individual school improvement based on specific needs (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). In conjunction with the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act the work of the last three Presidents, Obama, Bush and Clinton, have collectively built a stronger education literacy movement in our country by also supporting the implementation of the Common Core Standards.The Common Core State Standard Initiative is an education initiative in the United States born out of the 90’s accountability movement. It details what K-12 students should know in Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking) and Math at the end of each grade. All states are members of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, except Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska. The Common Core Standards Initiative is specifically Literacy and Math based currently with work to advance forward in other areas of education. As a literacy movement there is specific focus on the progressive development of student reading and writing comprehension. In Oregon, the Common Core Standards Initiative was adopted October 29, 2010 and will be fully implemented the 2014-2015 school year (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2012). The history behind the Common Core Standards and the education accountability movement started almost a generation prior. In 1992, the year before Clinton took office, test scores across the country were failing and only 14 states had standards in core subjects.In 1990,
  5. 5. 4|Page only 38 percent of graduating high schools seniors had taken a core curriculum of four years of English and three years each of Math, Science and Social Studies. Fewer than 80 percent of the nation’s highest-poverty schools received Title I funds, which are intended to aid the most disadvantaged schools. Former President Clinton launched an era of education reform based on setting high standards for all schools and students and providing the support to meet them. During Clinton’s eight year presidency reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress increased for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders, including those students in the highest poverty schools. Math SAT scores were at a 30-year high (The White House). According to the White House’s Clinton-Gore Administration,a Record of Progress, “President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted Goals 2000 which has helped States establish standards of excellence for all children, and implement steps to meet those standards and to raise educational achievement. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, 49 states have implemented standards in core subjects and the proportion of graduating high schools seniors completing a core curriculum has risen to 55 percent.The President enacted legislation targeting Title I funds to high-poverty schools and requiring States and school districts to turn around lowperforming schools. Today, nearly all of the nation’s highest-poverty schools receive Title I funds. In 1999, the President enacted a new $134 million Accountability Fund, which is helping school districts improve low-performing schools by investing in proven reforms. Next year’s budget increases this fund to $225 million.The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and to support the growth of public charter schools. In 1993, there was one charter school in the nation; today, there are more than 2,000.President Clinton fought for and won a new initiative to repair America’s schools, providing $1.2 billion for urgent
  6. 6. 5|Page school renovation. The 2001 budget also provides much-needed repair funds to Native American schools” (The White House). Each education reform has been met with praise and criticisms. The Goals 2000 made measurable progress, yet still fell short of fulfilling its practically unattainable goals. The No Child Left Behind Act has been met by many with hesitation because of its lack of inclusion for students with any IEP supports in place. And complaints of the Common Core are that we are teaching to the test. All are viable concerns, but one has to way the positives against the negatives. The negatives being the impact of illiteracy on our nation (Washington County Literacy Council): - 23% of the adult population (40 - 44 million people) is functionally illiterate, cannot read beyond a fourth-grade level. - Illiteracy transcended SES - Adult illiteracy costs society an estimated $240 billion each year in lost industrial productivity, unrealized tax revenues, welfare, crime, poverty, and related social ills. - Adults with low-level reading skills frequently suffer from health problems because the lack the ability to read medical directions, health-related literature or prescription labels. Chronic health conditions may go improperly monitored by patients who are functionally illiterate and the overall well-being of these individuals may worsen overtime causing frequent doctor or emergency room visits, hospitalization, or even death. - According to the NALS, 40% of the labor force in the United States has limited skills. - American businesses lose more than $60 billion in productivity each year to employee’s lack of basic skills. - The rate of illiteracy in America’s correctional systems is over 60%.
  7. 7. 6|Page - The saddest casualty of the illiteracy in America are the children who are affected by intergenerational illiteracy. - Children of disadvantaged parents begin their school life behind their peers. Parents with minimal or no reading skills often cannot provide the kind of support their children need to do well in school. - Analysis has shown a direct correlation between young people’s test scores and the grade level attained by their parents. - Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. - 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. - 75 percent of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90 percent of high school dropouts are on welfare. We are a nation at odds as a result of our illiteracy. This is inexcusable when we mandate by law that each child attend school. President Jonson took education reform seriously, and Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have shown the same support for educational accountability and literacy development necessity. It is no longer someone else’s problem. It has become our problem as a country, and we are playing catch-up in a time of economic recession and recovery that leaves our schools needing more than ever, and unable to receive less than before. Currently as we look at the new school year next year, we will be looking at Oregon fully adopting the Common Core State Standards. This will mean looking at how to develop and implement these standards. The best example I found of this was from the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy Department of Elementary and
  8. 8. 7|Page Secondary Education. Effective language arts and literacy development curriculum recommendations outlined are: “An effective English language arts and literacy curriculum develops thinking and language together through interactive learning. Effective use of language both requires and extends thinking. As learners listen to a speech, view a documentary, discuss a poem, or write an essay, they engage in thinking. Students develop ttheir ability to remember, understand, analyze, evaluate, and apply the ideas they encounter in English language arts and in all the other disciplines when they read increasingly complex texts and undertake increasingly challenging assignments that require them to write or speak in response to what they are learning. An effective English language arts and literacy curriculum draws on literature in order to develop students’ understanding of their literary heritage. American students need to become familiar with works that are part of a literary tradition going back thousands of years. Students should read literature reflecting the literary and civic heritage of the English-speaking world. They also should gain broad exposure to works from the many communities that make up contemporary America as well as from countries and cultures throughout the world. In order tofoster a love of reading, English language arts teachers encourage independent reading within and outside of class. An effective English language arts and literacy curriculum draws on informational texts and multimedia in order to build academic vocabulary and strong content knowledge. In all of their classes, including history/social science, science and technology/engineering, arts, comprehensive health, foreign language, and vocational and technical subjects, students should
  9. 9. 8|Page encounter many examples of informational and media texts aligned to the grade or course curriculum. This kind of reading, listening, and viewing is the key to building a rich academic vocabulary and increasing knowledge about the world. Each kind of print or media text has its unique characteristics, and proficient students apply the critical techniques learned in the study of exposition to the evaluation of multimedia, television, radio, film/video, and websites.School librarians play a key role in finding books and other media to match students’ interests, and in suggesting further resources in public libraries. An effective English language arts and literacy curriculum develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning. Reading to and conversing with preschool and primary grade children plays an especially critical role in developing children’s vocabulary, their knowledge of the natural world, and their appreciation for the power of the imagination. In the primary grades, systematic phonics instruction and regular practice in applying decoding skills are essential elements of the school program. At the middle and high school levels, programs designed to prepare students for college and careers continue to emphasize the skills of building knowledge through substantive conversation, collaboration, and making oral presentations that are adapted to task, purpose, and audience. An effective English language arts curriculum provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing. In some cases, explicit skill instruction is most effective when it precedes student need. Systematic phonics lessons, in particular decoding skills, should be taught to students before they use them in their subsequent reading. Systematic instruction is especially important for those students who have not developed phonemic awareness—the ability to pay attention to the
  10. 10. 9|Page component sounds of language. Effective instruction can take place in small groups, individually, or on a whole class basis. In other cases, explicit skill instruction is most effective when it responds to specific problems students reveal in their work” (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2011). Essentially, effective literacy development acquires multiple sources of input across many socio-cultural and multi-cultural differences and comes together to help bridge students literacy needs on an individual and grade level plane, working as a class through multiple sources of instruction. As we transition through these new educational expectations the challenges remain great, the expectations remain high, and the hopes even higher for politicians, educators, and students alike.
  11. 11. 10 | P a g e Works Cited Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2012). Implementing the Common Core State Standards. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.corestandards.org/. Davenport, D., Jones, J. (2005, April 1). The Politics of Literacy. Hoover Institution Stanford University. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/6464. Huffington Post. 11 Facts About Literacy In America. DoSomething.Org. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-literacy-america. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2011). Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy, pp. 7-14. The White House. The Clinton Gore Administration, A Record of Progress. The Clinton Presidency: Expanding Education Opportunity. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/Accomplishments/eightyears-05.html. U.S. Department of Education. (2011, September 23). Obama Administration Sets High Bar for Flexibility from No Child Left Behind in Order to Advance Equity and Support Reform. ED.gov. Taken December 15, 2013, from http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obamaadministration-sets-high-bar-flexibility-no-child-left-behind-order-advanc. Wikipedia. Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_and_Secondary_Education_Act. Washington County Literacy Council. The Impact of Illiteracy. Washington County Literacy Council. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://washingtoncountyliteracycouncil.org/WCLC.htm.

×