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ERIC Number: EJ696265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 25
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-5984
Contexts and Practices of Six Schools Successful in Obtaining Reading Achievement
Mosenthal, Jim; Lipson, Marjorie; Torncello, Susan; Russ, Barbara; Mekkelsen, Jane
Elementary School Journal, v104 n5 p343 May 2004
In this study we examined the contexts and practices of 6 Vermont schools whose students met or exceeded standards set for performance on statewide reading tests administered at second and fourth grade. Demographic data on all elementary schools in Vermont were used in a cluster analysis to identify schools serving low-, middle-, and high-socioeconomic-status (SES) communities. 2 high-performing schools and 1 low-performing school were selected from each cluster. During 8-15 visits to each school, all K-4 teachers and administrators, as well as persons identified as key to a school's literacy practices, were interviewed and observed. Findings indicated that all SES clusters had high-performing schools and that, among these schools, instructional approaches varied. We identified 4 factors common to successful schools and absent in less successful schools: (1) within schools, the commitment to literacy improvement had remained strong over an 8- to 10-year period, with stable administrative and curricular leadership in literacy instruction; (2) the school community was focused, working toward a shared vision of student achievement, with open communication among the faculty; (3) the K-4 teachers were knowledgeable and articulate about their work and were characterized by their high level of expertise; and (4) opportunities and ample time were provided for students to read and discuss books.
University of Chicago Press, Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-753-3347; Web site:; e-mail:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 2; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont