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Literacy Instruction In The Content Areas: Getting To The Core Of Middle And High School Improvement


On June 12, the Alliance for Excellent Education released Literacy Instruction in the Content Areas: Getting to the Core of Middle and High School Improvement , which argues that reading and writing instruction must be included in all academic areas if literacy is to improve to levels that will ensure the nation’s middle and high school students are prepared for success in college, work, and citizenship, and held a lively discussion of the kinds of advanced literacy instruction that all students should receive, and which are essential to mastering the academic content areas that comprise the heart of the middle and high school curriculum.

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. This report was made possible with the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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

Press ReleaseAlliance for Excellent Education’s New Report Urges Higher Expectations for All Students in Reading and Writing, and New Approach to Improving These Skills

Event AudioAudio (MP3)*

I. Introducing Literacy Instruction in the Content Areas, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education

event061207BWBob Wise
President, Alliance for Excellent Education and Former Governor, West Virginia



II. Reading and Writing in the Content Areas: The Heart of Secondary School Reform


Cynthia L. Greenleaf
Codirector, Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd



III. Rethinking Struggling and Diverse Adolescent Readers: Instructional and Policy Implications for Content Area Reading


Carol D. Lee
Professor of Learning Sciences, and African American Studies, Northwestern University






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