“THE (?) Achievment Gap

The “Achievement Gap” in reading has received some attention in the past few years.  It is generally thought of as the gap in reading achievement between children who are economically disadvantaged (aka “poor”) and children who are not.  Most recently the attention has been focused on children who are not meeting grade three reading standards and the proposal that they be “held back” in 3rd grade.  I have repeatedly suggested that “we can’t wait” until 3rd grade to pay attention to children who are not progressing at the expected rate–relative to their grade level standards.  We need to pay attention to progress from preschool on throughout a child’s education.

I’d like to add to that issue other issues I think should be addressed by “The (?) Achievement Gap.”

Standards

Why is the standard “grade level reading.”  What happened to the concept of the gap between potential  and achievement.  We sometimes see that schools pay attention to “potential” when they recognize “gifted” children–whether in academic subjects or “arts.”  At the high school level we offer “A.P.” courses.  We recognize some children’s abilities by offering them scholarships or options for how to use some of their school time.  Ideally, we recognized some dimension of “giftedness” in all children  I think that was what “Multiple Intelligences” was supposed to be about.

“Achievers”

Don’t all kids have the potential to be achievers–relative to their potential?  So, is there an achievement gap for children who aren’t currently reading at “grade level” but have potential to read at and, equally important, above that level, given the kinds of instruction and opportunity to learn that they need.  Here’s a perspective on another group of children who experience an achievement gap.

https://www.learningally.org/webinar-reading-instruction/

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7 Questions about Learning to Read and Reading to Learn. Q. 1 Who are the stakeholders?

Blog  for Jan 9 2014

So, Some Initial Thoughts on the 7 Questions/Topics

Each of those 7 questions deserves an in depth response.  Over the next year, I hope to address those 7 questions in depth.  Over the next week, I plan to make a start by posting some initial thoughts introducing people, sites, and ideas that have influenced my thinking recently.

I’m going to start with the WHO question.

Earlier (October 8th) I posted a blog visualizing reading success and noted  “who” is engaged in  reading success for students—the student him or herself, of course; but students have many advocates—parents, teachers, specialists, the professional school community, teacher educators, researchers, the school board, and members of the wider school community.

Contributors.  I think you can learn a lot about someone’s thinking by noticing who they pay attention to.  So, here are some of the people who have most recently contributed to and influenced my thinking:

The kids in Mrs. D’s kindergarten class!

Sharon D, a great Kindergarten teacher who is committed to every child in her class becoming a successful reader.

Theresa, a mom who has made an enormous commitment to giving her child the extra support and services she needed to be a successful reader.

Kim, a school board member interested in resources volunteers can provide for helping kids to be successful.

Brittany, a mom of a child with dyslexia who started a Facebook web page advocating for children with dyslexia: https://www.facebook.com/DecodingDyslexiaALA/posts/593889313999874

Mark, a superintendent who opens doors for literacy volunteers.

Peter, a principal interested in the possibility of volunteers to address the needs of struggling readers.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert and Taffy E. Raphael, whose text, Early Literacy Instruction, is one of the best comprehensive texts on early literacy—even though published in 1998—that I have read so far.  It is thorough, thoughtful, and vignette rich.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert also has an impressive site on text: http://textproject.org/topics/text-complexity/  It is a treasure that will help us address the complex question of choosing appropriate text for kids.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, St. Michael’s College, Vermont

Becoming More Effective in the Age of Accountability:  A High-Poverty School Narrows the Literacy Achievement Gap.  Kristin did an in depth study of one school’s efforts to close the achievement gap and reported 4 complex factors that accounted for success:

Context of the Individual School (including demographics, culture, staff, resources and expectations)

Coaching (professional development to address beliefs and behaviors)

Coherence (Alignment among standards, assessment, teaching practices, materials and professional development)

Compassion (The human side of school improvement)

Richard Allington’s article on Reading Rockets about Reading Instruction

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/96/   Allington maintains that 6 factors impact successful reading instruction:  Time, Texts, Teach, Talk, Tasks, and Test.  I’ll come back to these in a later blog when I address the “How” of Successful Reading Instruction.

All of the contributors whose work I curate on my Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/franvt/dyslexia-and-early-literacy-learning/

and Scoop.it sites

http://www.scoop.it/t/dyslexia-and-early-literacy

And so?   I’ll keep reading and learning….more to come later.  What could you do with these ideas?  Can you bring attention to the importance of learning to read and reading to learn to other stakeholders/advocates?

Blog Prep for Jan 9 2014

So, Some Initial Thoughts on the 7 Questions/Topics

Each of those 7 questions deserves an in depth response.  Over the next year, I hope to address those 7 questions in depth.  Over the next week, I plan to make a start by posting some initial thoughts introducing people, sites, and ideas that have influenced my thinking recently.

I’m going to start with the WHO question.

Earlier (October 8th) I posted a blog visualizing reading success and noted  “who” is engaged in  reading success for students—the student him or herself, of course; but students have many advocates—parents, teachers, specialists, the professional school community, teacher educators, researchers, the school board, and members of the wider school community.

Contributors.  I think you can learn a lot about someone’s thinking by noticing who they pay attention to.  So, here are some of the people who have most recently contributed to and influenced my thinking:

The kids in Mrs. D’s kindergarten class!

Sharon D, a great Kindergarten teacher who is committed to every child in her class becoming a successful reader.

Theresa, a mom who has made an enormous commitment to giving her child the extra support and services she needed to be a successful reader.

Kim, a school board member interested in resources volunteers can provide for helping kids to be successful.

Brittany, a mom of a child with dyslexia who started a Facebook web page advocating for children with dyslexia: https://www.facebook.com/DecodingDyslexiaALA/posts/593889313999874

Mark, a superintendent who opens doors for literacy volunteers.

Peter, a principal interested in the possibility of volunteers to address the needs of struggling readers.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert and Taffy E. Raphael, whose text, Early Literacy Instruction, is one of the best comprehensive texts on early literacy—even though published in 1998—that I have read so far.  It is thorough, thoughtful, and vignette rich.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert also has an impressive site on text: http://textproject.org/topics/text-complexity/  It is a treasure that will help us address the complex question of choosing appropriate text for kids.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, St. Michael’s College, Vermont

Becoming More Effective in the Age of Accountability:  A High-Poverty School Narrows the Literacy Achievement Gap.  Kristin did an in depth study of one school’s efforts to close the achievement gap and reported 4 complex factors that accounted for success:

Context of the Individual School (including demographics, culture, staff, resources and expectations)

Coaching (professional development to address beliefs and behaviors)

Coherence (Alignment among standards, assessment, teaching practices, materials and professional development)

Compassion (The human side of school improvement)

Richard Allington’s article on Reading Rockets about Reading Instruction

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/96/   Allington maintains that 6 factors impact successful reading instruction:  Time, Texts, Teach, Talk, Tasks, and Test.  I’ll come back to these in a later blog when I address the “How” of Successful Reading Instruction.

All of the contributors whose work I curate on my Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/franvt/dyslexia-and-early-literacy-learning/

and Scoop.it sites

http://www.scoop.it/t/dyslexia-and-early-literacy

And so?   I’ll keep reading and learning….more to come later.  What could you do with these ideas?  Can you bring attention to the importance of learning to read and reading to learn to other stakeholders/advocates?

Blog Prep for Jan 9 2014

So, Some Initial Thoughts on the 7 Questions/Topics

Each of those 7 questions deserves an in depth response.  Over the next year, I hope to address those 7 questions in depth.  Over the next week, I plan to make a start by posting some initial thoughts introducing people, sites, and ideas that have influenced my thinking recently.

I’m going to start with the WHO question.

Earlier (October 8th) I posted a blog visualizing reading success and noted  “who” is engaged in  reading success for students—the student him or herself, of course; but students have many advocates—parents, teachers, specialists, the professional school community, teacher educators, researchers, the school board, and members of the wider school community.

Contributors.  I think you can learn a lot about someone’s thinking by noticing who they pay attention to.  So, here are some of the people who have most recently contributed to and influenced my thinking:

The kids in Mrs. D’s kindergarten class!

Sharon D, a great Kindergarten teacher who is committed to every child in her class becoming a successful reader.

Theresa, a mom who has made an enormous commitment to giving her child the extra support and services she needed to be a successful reader.

Kim, a school board member interested in resources volunteers can provide for helping kids to be successful.

Brittany, a mom of a child with dyslexia who started a Facebook web page advocating for children with dyslexia: https://www.facebook.com/DecodingDyslexiaALA/posts/593889313999874

Mark, a superintendent who opens doors for literacy volunteers.

Peter, a principal interested in the possibility of volunteers to address the needs of struggling readers.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert and Taffy E. Raphael, whose text, Early Literacy Instruction, is one of the best comprehensive texts on early literacy—even though published in 1998—that I have read so far.  It is thorough, thoughtful, and vignette rich.

Elfrieda H. Hiebert also has an impressive site on text: http://textproject.org/topics/text-complexity/  It is a treasure that will help us address the complex question of choosing appropriate text for kids.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, St. Michael’s College, Vermont

Becoming More Effective in the Age of Accountability:  A High-Poverty School Narrows the Literacy Achievement Gap.  Kristin did an in depth study of one school’s efforts to close the achievement gap and reported 4 complex factors that accounted for success:

Context of the Individual School (including demographics, culture, staff, resources and expectations)

Coaching (professional development to address beliefs and behaviors)

Coherence (Alignment among standards, assessment, teaching practices, materials and professional development)

Compassion (The human side of school improvement)

Richard Allington’s article on Reading Rockets about Reading Instruction

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/96/   Allington maintains that 6 factors impact successful reading instruction:  Time, Texts, Teach, Talk, Tasks, and Test.  I’ll come back to these in a later blog when I address the “How” of Successful Reading Instruction.

All of the contributors whose work I curate on my Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/franvt/dyslexia-and-early-literacy-learning/

and Scoop.it sites

http://www.scoop.it/t/dyslexia-and-early-literacy

And so?   I’ll keep reading and learning….more to come later.  What could you do with these ideas?  Can you bring attention to the importance of learning to read and reading to learn to other stakeholders/advocates?