ERIC Number: EJ975965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 3
High Ability Readers and the Achievement Gap
Hunsaker, Scott L.; Parke, Cynthia J.; Bramble, Joan G.
Understanding Our Gifted, v16 n4 p8-10 Sum 2004
To close the achievement gap, the "No Child Left Behind" law calls for all students to make appropriate yearly progress. This presumably means that progress is being made by capable readers at the same time progress is being made by struggling readers. However, there appear to be unintended effects of "No Child Left Behind" that may impede the progress of some gifted students, many of whom would also be high-ability readers. An additional effect of the law is that schools may ignore the various needs within the gifted population itself. Not all gifted students are high-ability readers, and they may require more focused instruction to improve their reading abilities. In fairness, the law provides not only punishments for failing to meet its requirements but also incentives for success. Nonetheless, administrators appear to focus on avoiding the failures more than facilitating the successes. In response to high-stakes political pressures for accountability, particularly in the area of reading, the Utah Association for Gifted Children (UAGC) took a proactive approach to make sure that the needs of high-ability readers were not ignored. While these efforts began prior to the passage of No Child Left Behind, implementation overlapped with the beginning activities of the federal legislation. After Utah's then governor, Michael O. Leavitt, set a goal for every child to read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, UAGC worried that this focus on basic reading skills would cause advanced readers to be put at risk; thus, the Advanced Readers at Risk project began. This article discusses the Advanced Readers at Risk project, and how the program aids those reading above grade level.
Descriptors: Achievement Gap, Reading Comprehension, Academically Gifted, Federal Legislation, Reading Skills, Educational Improvement, Improvement Programs, Educational Strategies, Models, Professional Development, Ability Identification, Outcomes of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001