All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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AdLit News

Each week, AdLit.org gathers interesting news headlines about adolescent literacy. Please note that AdLit.org does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.

Note: These links may expire after a week or so. Some websites require you to register first before seeing an article.

What’s Behind Teen Pregnancy Rates for Latinas?

Tell Me More (NPR)
April 17, 2014

U.S. teen pregnancies have declined for years, but Latinas still have the highest rate. Health expert Jane Delgado explains, along with teacher and former teen mother Christina Martinez.

N.H. District Must Increase Access to High-Level Classes, Civil Rights Office Says

Education Week
April 15, 2014

A New Hampshire district will have to make changes to combat discriminatory practices that exclude English Language Learners and minority students from higher-level courses, after a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights. The office investigated the Manchester School District in New Hampshire to determine if the 14,700-student district's policies and procedures effectively excluded black, Hispanic, and English Language Learner students from courses and programs that would better prepare them for college and career.

Click here to register for free access to two Education Week articles each week.

National Hispanic University Shutting Its Doors

Tell Me More (NPR)
April 14, 2014

The National Hispanic University in California will shut down in the summer of 2015. Tell Me More learns about the history of the university, and what led its current crisis.

Texas Board Ducks Mexican-American Studies Vote

Education Week
April 10, 2014

The Texas Board of Education bypassed voting Wednesday on a hotly debated proposal to create a statewide Mexican-American studies course as a high school elective, instead simply asking publishers to submit textbooks for such a class and several other ethnic studies topics by the 2016-2017 school year.

Click here to register for free access to two Education Week articles each week.

Latino College Night Designed to Educate Students, Parents About Education

The Huntsville Item (TX)
April 10, 2014

Demographics in the state of Texas are changing. As time moves forward those changes will begin to manifest themselves to a greater degree in Huntsville and Walker County. For the purpose of keeping up with those changes, Walker County Unidos (United) in association with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) will be conducting Latino College Night 2014.

New Americans Look to Higher Ed in Minnesota

Star Tribune (MN)
April 10, 2014

For years, many of the state's newest immigrants and refugees have been building lives in small Minnesota towns, where they were first lured by jobs in meatpacking plants or other agricultural industries. Now many of them are getting a start in higher education at public institutions, especially at two-year community and technical colleges. They are taking advantage lower tuition, smaller class sizes and a proximity to home — as well as developmental courses in English.

ESL and Classroom Teachers Team Up to Teach Common Core

Education Week
November  1, 2013

It started with a simple after-school conversation last spring between two teachers. Barbara Page, a veteran English-as-a-second-language teacher, and Meredith Vanden Berg, an 8th grade science teacher, were discussing a student from Somalia who had just arrived from a refugee camp in Yemen and landed at their ethnically diverse middle school in Beaverton, Ore.

Click here to register for free access to two Education Week articles each week.

A Common-Core Challenge: Learners with Special Needs

Education Week
November  1, 2013

If the old adage is true -- that a society can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens -- then putting the common standards into practice carries the specter of a judgment about educational opportunity in the United States. In millions of classrooms across the country, educators are working to design lesson plans for students that will, in most places, represent a step up in academic expectations.

Click here to register for free access to two Education Week articles each week.

What Will Common Core Assessments Cost States?

eSchool News
October 31, 2013

Many states that once adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are now pressing the pause button on implementation, in light of the cost of CCSS-aligned assessments. State leaders and stakeholders wonder how assessments aligned to the Common Core compare to assessments currently in place, and are trying to decide to what extent cost factors into CCSS adoption.

Common Core Ratchets Up Language Demands for English-Learners

Education Week
October 31, 2013

No one is a native speaker of academic English. As the formal written and spoken language of classrooms and professional workplaces, academic English often bears little resemblance to the social, everyday language one needs to communicate effectively in most situations. It encompasses precise vocabulary, complex grammatical structures, and sophisticated forms of discourse. For English-language learners, acquiring academic language is often the highest hurdle to clear before they can be deemed proficient in English and be able to fully engage in the kind of rich and rigorous content necessary to succeed later in college and a professional work life.

Click here to register for free access to two Education Week articles each week.

A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism and Skepticism

National Public Radio (NPR)
October 28, 2013

A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new for math and reading. One of California's poorest school districts, the Coachella Valley Unified southeast of Los Angeles, is currently rolling out iPads to every student, pre-kindergarten through high school. It's an ambitious effort that administrators and parents hope will transform how kids learn, boost achievement and narrow the digital divide with wealthier districts.

Teachers Are Supposed to Assign Harder Books, but They Aren't Doing It Yet

The Atlantic
October 23, 2013

One of the signature aspects of the new Common Core State Standards is their tougher demands on reading: They require students to read texts that are on grade level, even if the all students in a class aren't able to read the works without assistance. Are America's classrooms ready for this change? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education-policy think tank that supports the Common Core, has just released a report that attempts to answer that question.

Implementing Common Core for Students with Disabilities

eSchool News
October 22, 2013

A new website for students--and in particular, those with disabilities--is offering free "anytime, anyplace" resources, materials, and information to help schools ensure that their students meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Created by the Center for Technology Implementation (CTI), the website for students with disabilities, PowerUp What Works, links evidence-based practices, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and technology to guide teachers, school leaders, professional development (PD) facilitators, and teacher educators in their professional learning.

With Appendices Vote, Florida Amends Involvement in Common Core

Education News
October 22, 2013

Florida's state Board of Education has opted not to require school districts to use certain education materials crafted as part of Common Core, a new set of national education standards, amid growing political backlash from some conservative groups... However, State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said that despite the Board's opt-out from specific elements of Common Core, including writing samples and math class guidelines, local school systems would still have the option to use the documents, known collectively as the Common Core appendices.

Fact-Checking Attacks on Common Core School Standards

Tampa Bay Times: PolitiFact
October 21, 2013

As states surge toward full implementation of Common Core State Standards for public schools, the din is rising from some fronts to pull back. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott, whose tea party base offers perhaps the most strident opposition, is listening. In open forums Scott requested last week, people stepped forward to give their views. Criticism ranged from what’s taught in English class all the way to conspiracy theories involving iris scans. PolitiFact Florida reviewed comments from the hearings and found that several of the most dramatic criticisms aren’t backed up by the facts. Here is a brief review of some of their findings.

Are School Reformers Wrecking the Common Core?

The Washington Post
October 16, 2013

Whether you think the Common Core State Standards are a step forward in education or a step back, there are legitimate questions about how the initiative is being implemented and how that process will affect America's public schools. Here's a smart look at this issue by Jeff Bryant.

What Kentucky Can Teach the Rest of the U.S. About the Common Core

The Atlantic
October 15, 2013

In fall 2010, Kentucky became the first of 45 states to adopt the Common Core, making the state a test case for the standards. So far, Kentucky's experience over the past three school years suggests it will be a slow and potentially frustrating road ahead for the other states that are using the Common Core. Test scores are still dismal, and state officials have expressed concern that the pace of improvement is not fast enough. Districts have also seen varying success in changing how teachers teach, something that was supposed to change under the new standards.

Elementary Students Learn Keyboard Typing Ahead of New Common Core Tests

The Washington Post
October 15, 2013

The 7-year-olds in Natalie May's class have to stretch their fingers across the keyboards to reach "ASDF" and "JKL;" as they listen to the animated characters on their computer screens talk about "home keys." Of the major shifts taking place in American classrooms as a result of the new national Common Core academic standards, one ­little-noticed but sweeping change is the fact that children as early as kindergarten are learning to use a keyboard.

Common-Core Rollout Ripe for Studying, Experts Say

Education News
October 11, 2013

The creators of the Common Core State Standards purposely set out what students should know in mathematics and reading without laying out how teachers should meet those requirements. That creates a rare opportunity -- but also requires a massive lift -- for K-12 education research to fill in the blanks.

Teachers Praise New Standards for Classroom Learning

USA Today
October  8, 2013

A large majority of K-12 teachers say that new learning standards now being implemented in most states will improve students' thinking skills, a new survey suggests.