ERIC Number: ED436753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Dec-1
Early Reading Programs in High-Poverty Schools: Emerald Elementary Beats the Odds.
Fisher, Charles; Adler, Martha A.
This report describes the early reading program in Emerald Elementary School, located in a Midwest urban fringe district. From 1996 through 1998, Emerald's students performed well above the district average or near the state average on reading achievement. During this period, the school had at least half of its students eligible for free or reduced lunch and a student mobility rate of approximately 40%. This exceptional achievement placed Emerald among the top-performing high-poverty schools in its state. The cornerstone of Emerald's early reading program was referred to as a literacy rotation in which Grade 1 students had access to four small-group instructional approaches for two hours weekly. Beyond the literacy rotation, a variety of safety nets for supporting struggling readers was identified. At a broader level, several mechanisms for facilitating communication among the staff, professional development, collaboration, and participation in state and federal educational initiatives were found. Analysis of the early reading program identified five key elements of school operation: focus on student outcomes; multiple reading programs in every classroom; shared responsibility for student success; strong leadership at school and classroom levels; and a veteran, knowledgeable staff. These elements were related to resource allocations within the school. Contains 1 figure, 3 tables of data, 8 notes, and 24 references. (Author/NKA)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Classroom Techniques, Grade 1, Low Income, Poverty Areas, Primary Education, Reading Achievement, Reading Programs, Reading Research, School Culture, Urban Schools
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., Rm. 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259. Tel: 734-647-6940. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor, MI.