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Literacy Instruction in the Content Areas: Getting to the Core of Middle and High School Improvement

Jun 12, 2007

lit

Today, more than six million of the nation’s secondary school students fall well short of grade-level expectations in reading and writing. Recognizing the urgency of this literacy crisis among middle and high school students, policymakers in all parts of the country have begun to implement a wide range of new programs and services designed to help struggling adolescent readers catch up in essential literacy skills, particularly reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. However—and as this report argues—if students are to be truly prepared for the sophisticated intellectual demands of college, work, and citizenship, then these reforms will not be enough. Even as their schools help them to catch up in the basics, students also must be taught the advanced literacy skills that will enable them to succeed in the academic content areas—particularly the core content areas of math, science, English, and history.

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