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ERIC Number: ED510935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Why the Crisis in Adolescent Literacy Demands a National Response. Policy Brief
Alliance for Excellent Education
Millions of middle and high school students lack the reading and writing skills they need to succeed in college, compete in the workforce, or even understand their daily newspaper. However, while Congress has demonstrated a real commitment to improve reading instruction in grades K-3, it has made relatively trivial investments (mainly through the new Striving Readers program) in the literacy skills of students in grades 4-12. The federal government has a major role to play--as it does in early grades--to help improve adolescent literacy instruction, but it will require the same sort of commitment and resources that have been directed toward the teaching of early reading skills, an investment that has shown results. Based upon a research and best practices, this paper strongly recommends that federal policymakers: (1) Build on the success of Reading First (K-3) by expanding it to the upper grades; (2) Give schools the flexibility and resources they need to schedule more time for reading and writing instruction; (3) Encourage states to incorporate reading and writing skills into content area standards; (4) Increase federal funding for enhanced assessments to help states use open-ended writing and analytic reading items as part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability systems; (5) Increase funding for the federal school libraries program and target the increase to low-performing high schools, in order to provide content area teachers with access to more and better reading materials; (6) Support more teacher professional development in adolescent literacy; and (7) Increase federal support for the National Writing Project.
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001