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All School-Wide Efforts articles

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Get ready for a great school year. Discover ideas for planning a sparkling back-to-school night, creating a literacy-rich classroom that is welcoming to all students, establishing an effective 90-minute reading block, building parent engagement, and more.

By: The Language Diversity and Literacy Development Research Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2012)

The Lead for Literacy initiative is a series of one-page memos for policymakers and early literacy leaders on how to improve young children's literacy, birth to age 9. Using evidence from research, these briefs are designed to help leaders avoid common mistakes and present solutions and strategies for scalability and impact.



By: International Reading Association (2012)
This guidance from the International Reading Association represents a consensus of the thinking of literacy leaders in the field who support thoughtful implementation of the Standards for student literacy achievement. Seven key topics are addressed: use of challenging texts; foundational skills; comprehension; vocabulary; writing; content area literacy; and diverse learners.

By: Dorothy Strickland (2012)
The curriculum framework offered here is a model for Common Core planning and implementation that can be adapted to K-12 in self-contained or departmental settings.

By: Corrie Kelly (2011)
If you are planning to purchase an intervention program for instruction, get as much information as you can about a program's benefits and effectiveness. This article provides basic comparative information about a range of commercially available intervention programs.

By: Education Northwest (2011)
What do parents need to know about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? How will they affect teaching and assessing mathematics and English language arts? What are the benefits and what can parents do to prepare for the CCSS?

By: PACER Center (2011)
All parents want their children to receive the best education possible. One way to help your child succeed is to know if the school is using effective teaching and intervention practices. But how can schools and parents know if a practice is effective? One method is to see if there is any research or "evidence" to prove that the practice works. This handout explains the meaning of "evidence-based practices" and why they are important. It also lists resources where parents can learn more.

By: Reading Rockets (2010)
It's time to head back to school. And while kids are stuffing their backpacks with new school supplies, we're packing a different sort of bag here at Reading Rockets — one filled with resources to help make one of the most important evening events of the school year really sparkle — back-to-school night.

By: Center for American Progress, Claire E. White, James S. Kim (2009)
The powerful combination of systematic vocabulary instruction and expanded learning time has the potential to address the large and long-standing literacy gaps in U.S. public schools, particularly with low-income students and English language learners.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
It's important to recognize what good schools look like. The quality of your child's school has a huge impact on his or her learning.

By: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (2009)
Too often, teachers say that the professionaldevelopment they receive provides limited application to their everyday world of teaching and learning. Here The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory shares a five-phase framework that can help create comprehensive, ongoing, and — most importantly — meaningful professional development.

By: The National Early Literacy Panel (2009)
The National Early Literacy Panel looked at studies of early literacy and found that there are many things that parents and preschools can do to improve the literacy development of their young children and that different approaches influence the development of a different pattern of essential skills.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
Heading off to kindergarten is a big event for all kids and parents. For young children who have struggled socially or academically during preschool, it is a transition that needs careful planning and attention. Below are four suggestions for parents of children who may need extra help making a successful move to kindergarten.

By: Yoo-Seon Bang (2009)
Informed by the author's work as a researcher and as a Korean parent of a child in a U.S. public school, this article offers suggestions to guide educators in understanding and supporting the involvement of cultural and linguistic minority families in their children's schools.

By: Thomas Toch, Robert Rothman (2008)
Comprehensive methods of evaluating teachers that avoid the typical "drive-by" evaluations can promote improvements in teaching.

By: Project Appleseed (2008)
Does your school do a good job of reaching out to parents? Use this checklist to evaluate and improve parent-school partnerships.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2008)
With the range and variety of commercial software products on the shelves today, how can an educator or parent choose a program that will most benefit a particular student? Where are product reviews that can inform the decision?

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
How can you hold an effective parent-teacher conference with the parents of English language learners if they can't communicate comfortably in English? This article provides a number of tips to help you bridge the language gap, take cultural expectations about education into account, and provide your students' parents with the information they need about their children's progress in school.

By: Pre-K Now (2008)
When you walk into a high-quality pre-K classroom you immediately see learning occurring. The following elements are critical to providing the sense of purpose, organization, and excitement that creates the best results for children.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)
Parents love to know what's going on in their child's classroom. A weekly newsletter is a great way to keep the communication going. Check out our editable newsletter template. And get your students involved in preparing for back-to-school night with our "welcome to back-to-school night" flyer.

By: Stan Paine (2008)
How can school leaders support school-wide reading initiatives? Here are keys to leading the way in the areas of reading curriculum, instruction, assessment, and motivation.

By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2008)
This research brief from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement examines the research on teacher leadership and what it says about drawing on the skills of experienced teachers to facilitate school improvement.

By: Alex Torrez, William Allan Kritsonis (2008)
The development of new teachers in hard-to-staff schools should be of the highest priority for principals, as stability is key to long-term school improvement. Here are some factors principals should remember when recruiting and retaining teachers.

By: National Association of School Psychologists (2008)
In this statement, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) identifies the characteristics of students more likely to be retained and the impact of retention at the secondary school level, late adolescence, and early adulthood. NASP also provides a long list of alternatives to retention and social promotion.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)
Here are some ways parents can help relieve test anxiety, stress, and pressure, as well as a guide to interpreting your child's test results.

By: Alliance for Excellent Education (2008)
Working conditions play a much larger role than retirement in explaining why teachers transfer, leave a class, or leave the profession. This brief looks at the research about teacher turnover, and finds that while teachers' decisions to stay or leave a particular school is contingent on a variety of factors, in all cases the key seems to lie in the level of success teachers encounter in raising their students' academic performances.

By: Linda Fitzharris, Mary Blake Jones, Allison Crawford (2008)

Knowing what teachers know and how they practice is necessary to ensure that there are professionals in every classroom meeting the diverse needs of students. Researchers evaluated case studies from a group of teachers and revealed four different levels of knowledge, indicating that future staff development needs to be differentiated and individualized.



By: Zach Miners, Angela Pascopella (2007)
It might seem that evaluating information online (just one form of "new literacy") and reading a book (more of a foundational literacy) are pretty much the same thing. But there are differences that, when brought into the classroom and incorporated into curricula, are enriching the educational experiences of many K-12 students. Many administrators are beginning to recognize the need to revise their districts' media skills instruction.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
Studies show that screening English language learners for abilities in phonological processing, letter knowledge, and word and text reading will help identify those who are progressing well and/or who require additional instructional support.

By: Ellen Delisio (2007)
Hours of test preparation, especially in underperforming schools, has left little time for electives or even some of the un-tested basic subjects. Adding time to the school day and year has helped some schools improve their scores and flesh out their curriculums.

By: Reading Rockets (2007)
Back to School is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for students and parents. A few tips might help you and your child get off on the right foot.

By: Lucy Steiner, Julie Kowal (2007)
Many school districts have adopted instructional coaching as a model for teachers' professional development. This brief offers guidance on how school leaders can tailor the most promising coaching strategies to the needs of their schools.

By: Victor Chudowsky, Naomi Chudowsky (2007)

One of the toughest parts of NCLB for local school districts is creating an accountability plan that works. While school districts have made progress in accountability over the last five years, they have also encountered great obstacles, outlined here.



By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2006)
What are the factors that can improve school districts? This research brief from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement reviewed more than 80 research articles that investigated the attributes of schools and districts that have improved over time and found 13 themes or characteristics common to them.

By: Andres Barona, Maryann Santos de Barona (2006)

This article discusses the challenges in providing psychoeducational services to the rapidly increasing minority populations in the U.S. and offers a brief elaboration of the role and function of school counselors and school psychologists and how they can meet the mental health and educational needs of this large and growing population.



By: Amy Milsom (2006)
The school experiences of students with disabilities can be positively or negatively influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of students and staff and by general school policies. School counselors can take the lead in assessing school climate in relation to students with disabilities and initiating interventions or advocating for change when appropriate. This article provides an overview of factors to consider in creating positive school experiences for students with disabilities and suggestions for intervention efforts.

By: Craig Jerald (2006)
It is possible for educators to make better choices about how and when to teach to the test than the alarmist newspaper articles and editorials would seem to suggest. This article from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement aims to help readers think beyond simple compliance with federal law or basic implementation of programs.

By: Craig Jerald (2006)
Walk into any truly excellent school and you can feel it almost immediately — a calm, orderly atmosphere that hums with an exciting, vibrant sense of purposefulness. This is a positive school culture, the kind that improves educational outcomes.

By: The Center for Public Education (2006)
Like class size reduction, increasing instructional time has lots of common-sense appeal as mechanism for raising student achievement. But more time in school can be costly. These key lessons summarize the current research on different approaches to organizing school time and schedules, beginning with the obvious question: Does more time make a difference?

By: Kate Walsh, Deborah Glaser, Danielle Dunne Wilcox (2006)
When some children are learning to read, they catch on so quickly that it appears effortless. It does not seem to matter what reading curriculum or teachers they encounter, for they arrive at school already possessing the important foundational skills. For other children, though, the path to literacy is far more difficult and by no means assured. It matters very much what curriculum their schools use and who their first teachers are.

By: Elizabeth Crawford, Joseph K. Torgesen (2006)
Improving the effectiveness of interventions for struggling readers requires a school-level system for early identification of 'at risk' students and then providing those students with intensive interventions. Learn from Reading First schools with demonstrated success in reaching struggling readers.

By: Candace Cortiella (2005)

This article provides an overview of the federal No Child Left Behind law and includes information to help parents use provisions of NCLB to ensure that their child has access to appropriate instruction.



By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2005)
The most influential educational leaders are the principal and superintendent, and their leadership is inextricably linked to student performance. This article looks at the basics of good leadership and offers practical suggestions.

By: Lucy Steiner, Julie Kowal (2005)
Research shows that effective school leaders focus on improving classroom instruction, not just managerial tasks. A natural way for school leaders to take on the role of instructional leader is to serve as a "chief" coach for teachers by designing and supporting strong classroom level instructional coaching. Here's how to selecting a coaching approach that meets the particular needs of a school and how to implement and sustain the effort.

By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2005)
Research shows that parent involvement can improve students' behavior, attendance, and achievement. But how can schools foster high-quality, successful parent involvement? The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement offers some research-based advice and resources to help.

By: The Center for Public Education (2005)
After more than 20 years of research, class size continues to be at the forefront of the educational and political agenda for schools, school districts, and school boards. Here is a snapshot of what research tells us about class size and student achievement.

By: Amanda Fenlon (2005)
Entering kindergarten can a joyful but also an anxious time, particularly for parents of children with disabilities. These best practices can help make for a smoother transition: using a collaborative team approach to involve families, setting transition goals, and focusing on the needs and strengths of individual children.

By: The Education Department (2005)
How can you help your baby or toddler to learn and to get ready for school? Here are some ways to make sure young children's physical and social needs are met.

By: National Association of School Psychologists (2004)
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education to help children be successful academically, socially, and emotionally. Learn more about their role and the kinds of support and services they offer.

By: Sally M. Reis, Robert Colbert (2004)

Recent research on academically talented students with learning disabilities indicates that they have specific counseling needs that often are not addressed in elementary and secondary school. This article looks at what kinds of support students with this profile need, and how school counselors can provide it.



By: Partnership for Reading (2004)
School administrators have a critical leadership role to play in helping students become good readers. This article suggests seven key action steps on how principals and other administrators can create a school framework for success.

By: National Summer Learning Association (2004)
Research demonstrates that all students experience significant learning losses in procedural and factual knowledge during the summer months.

By: Walter Minkel (2003)
If you're a children's librarian who wants to promote an upcoming summer reading program at your public library, start by targeting the local schools. After all, that's where the children are.

By: Richard Allington (2002)
This article by Richard Allington provides a clear-eyed view of what he believes matters most in teaching kids to read – effective and expert teachers.

By: Laurice Joseph (2002)
Get an overview of the characteristics associated with reading problems as well as the planning and implementation of effective interventions. Fundamental components of teaching such as scaffolding, connecting to prior knowledge, motivating, and providing opportunities to practice skills should be implemented.

By: Mark Stricherz (2001)
The National Association for Elementary School Principals has released a booklet on what principals should know and be able to do. Learn about their recommendations, including a focus on instructional leadership and six steps to raise test scores.

By: Laura Bush (2001)
Quality can look different in individual primary grade classrooms. However, there are certain characteristics of effective early reading programs that parents can look for in their children's classrooms. First Lady Laura Bush presents a list of these characteristics in this guide for parents.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2001)
President George W. Bush's initiative, Reading First, aims to ensure that every child learns to read by the third grade. This summary describes its proposals.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2001)
The Bush administration's program, No Child Left Behind, is a plan for educational reform that is targeted at changing the use of federal funds to close the achievement gap and improve achievement levels. The following is excerpted from the executive summary.

By: Chia-Hui Lin (2001)
Teaching reading and writing to young children in American has always been an area of controversy and debate (Teale & Yokota, 2000), and it remains so today. The purpose of this article is to review various research studies and to identify essential elements of effective early literacy classroom instruction.

By: International Reading Association (2000)
Schools in the United States face enormous challenges in teaching children to read and write. Meeting these challenges in the 21st century will require a fundamental change in how policy makers, parents, and school professionals look at improving schools.

By: International Reading Association (2000)
Because reading specialists have advanced degrees in reading, they are in a position to prevent reading failure at their schools. This position statement describes the roles reading specialists can play in instruction, assessment, and school leadership.

By: International Reading Association (2000)
Every child deserves excellent reading teachers — they make a profound difference in children's reading achievement and motivation to read.

By: New American Schools (2000)
Improving education requires a comprehensive approach to school reform. This overview describes the context of school reform efforts and outlines the steps necessary to implement such reform.

By: National Institute for Urban School Improvement (2000)
From tailored learning experiences to flexible school structures, there are certain characteristics of instruction that is designed to meet the needs of individual students. Learn about these characteristics in this overview of what it means to teach every child.

By: Learning First Alliance (2000)
In order to adopt research-based practices for teaching reading, teachers must be supported with quality professional development that helps them develop an extensive knowledge and skills base. This guide, written by Learning First Alliance (an organization of twelve national education associations), calls for changes in the context, process, and content of professional development in reading.

By: Learning First Alliance (2000)
For teachers to help more children learn to read, their own learning must be a valued and integral part of their work. Here are guidelines for the conditions for and content of effective professional development in reading.

By: Linda Butler (2000)
The NICHD Early Interventions Project was designed to increase reading achievement in nine low-performing schools in the District of Columbia. This article describes the experience of one researcher working with these schools, and makes recommendations for policymakers and administrators.

By: Holly Kreider, Ellen Mayer, Peggy Vaughan (1999)
Good communication between parents and teachers has many benefits. When parents and teachers share information, children learn more and parents and teachers feel more supported. Good communication can help create positive feelings between teachers and parents.

By: Learning First Alliance (1998)
When it comes to reading, the nine months of first grade are arguably the most important in a student's schooling.

By: Catherine Snow, Susan Burns, Peg Griffin (1998)
Socioeconomic differences are conventionally indexed by such demographic variables as household income and parents' education and occupation, alone or in some weighted combination.

By: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (1998)
Learn ten lessons from research about the home and school experiences necessary for reading success in this concise overview.

By: Joseph K. Torgesen (1998)
Early identification is crucial when it comes to helping children who are having trouble learning to read. This seminal article by Joseph Torgesen explains the assessment process and reviews the more commonly used assessment tools.

By: Texas Education Agency (1996)
Research-based reading instruction allows children opportunities to both understand the building blocks and expand their use of language, oral and written. These opportunities are illustrated by classroom activities in these twelve components of reading instruction for grades one through three.

"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase