ERIC Number: ED439410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Support for Reading in Middle and High Schools: Institutional and Organizational Influences.
Sunderman, Gail L.; Amoa, Marian; Meyers, Tiffany
To understand the capacity of middle and high schools to support reading, a study examined two questions: (1) How do middle/high schools organize and allocate resources to support reading? and (2) How do middle/high schools respond to resource and structural challenges created by the multiple institutional actors that comprise the school system? Combining an organizational and institutional view of schools, the study examined how eight high-performing California middle and high schools organized resources to support the improvement of reading. In particular, it is concerned with how the state's prior and current language arts curriculum policies shape and support the development and implementation of reading programs. Interviews were conducted with principals, teachers, and a central office administrator in each district. Classroom observations were made, and documents were collected. Findings suggest middle/high schools have adopted a limited number of strategies aimed at improving the literacy skills of their students. Because of organizational and resource constraints (including limited funding, scheduling limitations, curriculum requirements, few teachers with reading expertise, and a lack of appropriate materials) the most commonly adopted practices included reading or writing across the curriculum and sustained silent reading. These schools, however, were able to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers and attract a diverse student population, which also contributed to the students' reading development and academic achievement. Most important was how these schools distributed their resources within the school. They made sure students of all ability levels received high quality instruction that accommodated differences in students' abilities, and they provided support programs that gave opportunities for additional instruction. (Contains 40 notes, 8 tables of data, and 25 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: California