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21st Century Literacies

Because success with technology depends largely upon critical thinking and reflection, teachers with relatively little technological skill can provide useful instruction. But schools must support these teachers by providing professional development and up-to-date technology for use in classrooms.

No Child Left Behind: Making the Most of Options for IDEA-eligible Students

If a Title I school repeatedly underperforms, federal law provides opportunities for students to change schools or obtain additional instructional support. This parent advocacy brief looks at the information parents of students with disabilities need to know and understand in order to maximize these options.

Demography as Destiny: How America Can Build a Better Future

Barely 50% of minority students graduate from high school on time. If this trend continues and the minority student populations increase as projected, the economic strength of the U.S. will be undermined. But if 78% of all student populations graduate on time by 2020, the U.S. can realize stunning potential benefits: conservatively, more than $310 billion would be added to the national economy.

Making Writing Instruction a Priority in America's Middle and High Schools

Sometimes writing is seen as the flip side of reading, and it is assumed that students who are proficient readers will naturally be proficient writers. While reading and writing are complementary skills, students do not become skilled writers without explicit instruction. This policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education examines how writing can be taught in secondary schools and how policy can encourage more teachers to undertake writing instruction.

Position Statement on Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion

In this statement, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) identifies the characteristics of students more likely to be retained and the impact of retention at the secondary school level, late adolescence, and early adulthood. NASP also provides a long list of alternatives to retention and social promotion.

Reading and Writing in the Academic Content Areas

This issue brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education looks at the role every middle and high school teacher must play to help older students become fully literate, and puts forth a four-part agenda for improving literacy in the content areas.

Reading Next

Millions of today’s adolescents lack the reading skills demanded by today’s world. The impending crisis — millions of under-literate young people unable to succeed economically and socially — requires an immediate response. This report outlines 15 key elements of effective adolescent literacy programs and recommends that schools use a mix of these elements, tailoring the combinations to the needs of individual students.