As students, teachers, schools, and districts struggle to meet the goals of NCLB and to better prepare their students for postsecondary education and the workforce, the demand for literacy interventions at the secondary level is increasing. As a result, new programs to reassess literacy levels targeted specifically toward adolescents are emerging to meet the needs of struggling students. It is important for education leaders and advocates to be familiar with these programs and how they can influence the lives of students.
The Alliance for Excellent Education is continuing an ongoing breakfast series exploring interventions in adolescent literacy. The series is driven by criteria that the Alliance has established for decisionmakers when considering literacy programs for older students. The sessions will significantly increase participants’ abilities to identify quality criteria for adolescent literacy programs, recognize new and existing programs, use research to critically examine programs, and ask practical questions about implementation and design.
The Alliance invites representatives of literacy intervention programs to apply to present at the breakfast series extending through December 2005. Programs will be selected based on the following criteria:
key elements: the extent to which the model addresses issues of motivation, comprehension instruction, diverse texts, text-based collaborative learning, intensive writing, ongoing assessments, and professional development;
age appropriateness: the extent to which the model relates to students in middle and high schools;
applicability: the extent to which cases and real-life examples clearly illustrate “lessons learned,” such as sound, research-based design principles and implementation; and
effectiveness: the extent to which the intervention has proven to raise achievement and, if relevant, increase attendance, decrease discipline problems, and reduce dropout rates.
To learn more about the above criteria, please refer to Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy, which can be downloaded here.
The Alliance encourages a variety of presenters to apply, including but not limited to school- and districtwide literacy programs, state initiatives, university-based programs, and technical assistance providers in addition to for-profit packaged interventions. Past breakfasts have featured the RAMP UP and Reading Advantage literacy interventions for older students.
To apply, submit a one-page proposal addressing the above selection criteria to Jeremy Ayers at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 15, 2005, with the subject line LITERACY PROPOSAL. Questions can be directed to Jeremy by email or by telephone at 202-828-0828. Selections will be announced and presentation schedules will be released on May 2, 2005. Information on past breakfasts, including PowerPoint presentations, is available here.