Effective school-wide reform efforts require a thoughtful, well-informed, sustained process that includes planning, implementation, and ongoing improvement. The articles below describe school features that support effective adolescent literacy instruction and provide examples of successful school-wide programs.
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What is meant by “school climate”, and how can you assess the climate at your school? Read on for helpful definitions, assessment ideas, tools, and resources.
Learn how teachers at this once low-performing school dramatically improved academic performance by focusing on student attendance and literacy.
Take the lead to improve literacy for all students at your school. Implement regular school-wide monitoring of assessment results and student progress.
Teaching strong literacy skills to the diverse learners in a secondary school requires teamwork, professional development, planning and progress monitoring. Find out what key elements will put your team and students on the path to success.
How can school leaders support school-wide reading initiatives? Here are keys to leading the way in the areas of reading curriculum, instruction, assessment, and motivation.
This research brief from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement examines the research on teacher leadership and what it says about drawing on the skills of experienced teachers to facilitate school improvement.
Alabama is unique in including an adolescent literacy focus in its statewide reading improvement efforts. This report from the National High School Center looks at the Alabama Reading Initiative and synopsizes 10 lessons learned in creating a K-12 continuum of reading instruction.
Recent research shows that some high schools have much lower dropout rates than would be predicted based on the composition of their student bodies. Moreover, requiring students to work harder and complete a tougher academic curriculum might actually improve graduation rates rather than making them plummet, as so many educators fear.
It is possible for educators to make better choices about how and when to teach to the test than the alarmist newspaper articles and editorials would seem to suggest. This article from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement aims to help readers think beyond simple compliance with federal law or basic implementation of programs.
Walk into any truly excellent school and you can feel it almost immediately — a calm, orderly atmosphere that hums with an exciting, vibrant sense of purposefulness. This is a positive school culture, the kind that improves educational outcomes.
As we discover more about how students learn and how different minds learn differently, our schools have a golden opportunity to increase the percentage of their students who experience true academic success.
Research suggests six reform strategies that may help high schools better prepare students for college-level work and the workforce: planning at the state and district levels; rigorous curricula; real-world relevant curricula; improving student relationships and personalization; improving transitions to 9th grade, college, and work; and data-driven decision-making. This article lists key actions and offers practical examples and additional resources.
Research shows that effective school leaders focus on improving classroom instruction, not just managerial tasks. A natural way for school leaders to take on the role of instructional leader is to serve as a "chief" coach for teachers by designing and supporting strong classroom level instructional coaching. Here's how to selecting a coaching approach that meets the particular needs of a school and how to implement and sustain the effort.
Only half of New York City's public school students complete high school in four years, one- third of all 9th graders fail, and fewer than 40% of students in large, low-performing schools graduate. To address student needs and thereby increase future student achievement, the district is working with nonprofit organizations and funders to support and develop small high schools. The preliminary results of these efforts are promising.
For struggling adolescent readers, creating student interest is as vital as teaching language skills.
Only 68% of all students entering high school nationwide will earn their diploma. The news for students from historically underserved populations is even worse. These students have slightly more than a 50% chance of graduating from high school. To respond to this crisis, educators and policymakers are focused on developing small high schools which offer students a more personalized setting. But is the effort making a difference? In the absence of available long term data, WestEd examined five new, inner-city high schools across the country and discovered rigorous curricula, racially and socioeconomically diverse student bodies, academic access, engaged students, and supportive learning environments.
The Content Literacy Continuum (CLC) is a tool for enabling teachers and administrators to evaluate literacy instruction/services offered within a school and to formulate a plan for improving the quality of those services. This article describes the CLC's five levels of service, along with practice examples and the teacher's role at each level.