Adolescent Literacy on the National Agenda

Within broader adolescent education, Adolescent Literacy is a hot-button topic today, but we still have few models and little movement at the local level to integrate systematic approaches to literacy integration, or to practically support the guidelines released in Reading Next in 2004.

However, at the national level, adolescent literacy has been, and continues to be on the forefront of research, policy-making, and funding preparations. The US DOE has been implementing 8 research projects across the country to study intervention and school-wide approaches to adolescent literacy.  As these projects enter their fourth implementation year, data is becoming available about what works in middle and high schools, and how to make it happen.  Reports are available at the USDOE website.

Additionally, the LEARN bill, for Pre-K through Grade 12 literacy program implementation is currently in process of review and passage at the federal level.  This bill, when passed, will provide tens of millions of dollars each year, for five years, to support states, districts and schools in implementing broad and deep literacy program implementation.  Middle and high schools would be encouraged to implement literacy program approaches to create a comprehensive systems approach, including intensive interventions for struggling readers, school-wide integration of literacy strategies across content areas, teacher coaching, and intentional distribution of leadership.

Schools across the country are beginning to prepare program approaches and identify literacy needs in anticipation of potential funding and grant-writing.  In this series of blog posts we will continue to explore key components of an effective adolescent literacy program, and strategies schools can use to prepare themselves to apply for federal dollars to support their ongoing literacy efforts.

Question for consideration and sharing:  What efforts is your school making to address the adolescent literacy issue?  What lessons have you learned that you can share with others?

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