ERIC Number: EJ1003273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 19
What Happens to the Basics?
Hiebert, Elfrieda H.; Pearson, P. David
Educational Leadership, v70 n4 p48-53 Dec 2012-Jan 2013
Schools in the United States are making curricular changes from kindergarten through college to meet the Common Core State Standards' demands for higher expectations in reading and writing. As they make these important changes, however, they need not overturn all that they learned about effective reading pedagogy during No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It is better to think of the Common Core movement not as a reversal of NCLB, but as the next step on a journey toward close, critical reading and powerful writing. Part of No Child Left Behind's legacy is the understanding that certain skills (such as knowing letter names and sounds and decoding unknown words) are foundational to more advanced skills (such as reading critically and writing compellingly). Students need to learn the underlying, consistent patterns of written words. In plain talk, they need to crack the code. Schools must remember such basic skills as they move into the Common Core era, in which deeper learning and more advanced literacy assume a prominent role. Achieving these higher goals is where No Child Left Behind comes up short. Although NCLB has successfully focused educators' efforts on making sure that all students have basic literacy skills, it has not produced the thoughtful, critical readers and writers educators desire. By going beyond NCLB's fascination with the basics, schools can transform the literacy curriculum into what they wanted in the first place: a systematic effort to develop engaged and powerful readers, writers, and thinkers.
Descriptors: State Standards, Literacy, Reading Instruction, Critical Reading, Federal Legislation, Academic Standards, Educational Legislation, Writing Skills, Student Responsibility, Time on Task
ASCD. 1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714. Tel: 800-933-2723; Tel: 703-578-9600; Fax: 703-575-5400; Web site: http://www.ascd.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001