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BRIDGING THE LITERACY ACHIEVEMENT GAP: New Book Points to Improving Literacy Skills Among Adolescents as a Way to Close the Gap

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According to Ronald Ferguson, professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, "the work that the authors in this volume do in their professional practices and report in the chapters of this book provides evidence that many promising ideas are being developed and applied in the emerging national movement to close achievement gaps."

Despite efforts by educators and policymakers during the past few decades, certain groups of students-disproportionately African Americans, English-language learners, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds-continue to underperform on widespread assessments compared to peers. For example, on the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, white twelfth graders scored 292 on average, while their African-American and Latino peers scored at averages of 267 and 273, respectively. Researchers refer to this gap in students’ academic performance as the “achievement gap.” A new book, Bridging the Literacy Achievement Gap, Grades 4-12, edited by Dorothy Strickland and Donna Alvermann, addresses critical issues related to pre-adolescent and adolescent literacy learners with a focus on closing this persistent achievement gap.

The book highlights promising practices for closing the gap by improving the literacy skills of adolescent students, and offers valuable examples of how changing instruction can raise student achievement. According to Ronald Ferguson, professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, “the work that the authors in this volume do in their professional practices and report in the chapters of this book provides evidence that many promising ideas are being developed and applied in the emerging national movement to close achievement gaps.”

Alvermann and Strickland are two members of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Intermediate and Adolescent Literacy Advisory Group. The collective expertise of this group continues to guide and refine the Alliance’s work to affect adolescent literacy.

For more information on the members of this advisory group, please visit here.

For more information on the book, including ordering information, visit here

 

During the month of August, the Alliance for Excellent Education will temporarily suspend its publication of Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress. The next issue will be dated September 12.

We at the Alliance wish you a happy and safe August recess.

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