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– An Implementation Guide for School Leaders
Literacy lies at the heart of student understanding and achievement. Yet too many educators mistakenly assume that the reading, writing, speaking and thinking skills that students developed in elementary school are sufficient for the sophisticated learning tasks they face in middle and high school. The result? Disappointing test scores, high dropout rates and students unprepared for higher education, citizenship and the world of work.
This book presents a structured approach to using literacy as a lever for overall school improvement. Literacy instruction is not an “add-on,” authors Judith L. Irvin, Julie Meltzer and Melinda Dukes insist; it’s an ongoing essential. All adolescent students, no matter what their level of achievement, can benefit from direct instruction in reading, writing, speaking and thinking. And all secondary school leaders can improve students’ literacy and learning by following the five action steps outlined in this book: (1) develop and implement a literacy action plan, (2) support teachers to improve literacy instruction, (3) use data to make curricular decisions, (4) build capacity for shared leadership and (5) creatively allocate resources to support the literacy plan.
The book also offers strategies to help educators integrate literacy and learning across the content areas, provide targeted interventions for students who are struggling the most and develop a supportive school environment that involves parents, community members and district leaders. Practical tools, helpful resources and vignettes based on the authors’ extensive work in school districts nationwide make this an indispensable guide for principals, central office administrators, literacy coaches, department chairs and other school leaders committed to helping students succeed.
About the Authors:
Judith L. Irvin is a professor at Florida State University. Dr. Irvin’s career includes chairing the Research Committee for the National Middle School Association for six years and serving as executive director of the National Literacy Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving middle and high school literacy. She has written and edited numerous books, chapters and articles on adolescent literacy.
Julie Meltzer is the director of literacy research and development at the Public Consulting Group’s Center for Resource Management, Inc. (CRM), in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Dr. Meltzer is the codeveloper of CRM’s School-Wide Program for Improving Reading and Learning (SPIRAL), which supports middle and high school educators to systemically address improving adolescent literacy.
Melinda S. Dukes