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ERIC Number: EJ757366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Revamping Reading
Van Pelt, John; Poparad, Mary Ann
School Administrator, v63 n4 p31 Apr 2006
Throughout the 1980s and early '90s, school leaders in Waterloo faced a gloomy horizon. Economic hardships, including declines in property values and rising unemployment, resulted in decreasing school enrollment and limited financial resources. By 1995, the district had accumulated several million dollars of debt. From 1995 to 2005, the student minority population had increased from 28 percent to 35 percent; students eligible for free and reduced-priced meals rose from 47 percent to 54 percent; and the number of English language learners grew from approximately 60 students to more than 1,100. As a result, coordination and articulation of curriculum throughout the district began to erode. Without critical resources, teachers and principals fended for themselves and a patchwork of reading programs, methods and materials prevailed. Many teachers taught reading without the ongoing professional development needed to successfully instruct and motivate an increasingly diverse student population. Teachers began to doubt their ability to have a positive impact on student learning. They rarely shared professional ideas, successes or materials. Within this context, student performance on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills documented a steady decline in reading ability. However, the successful implementation of a plan to regain fiscal solvency allowed district leaders more time to focus on issues related to curriculum and instruction. In this article, the author describes how the Iowa school district moves from a patchwork to a coordinated curriculum and coaching to improve reading skills among elementary students systemwide.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills