High-Achieving Reading: How One School Does It

School News Network
Many factors play into reading proficiency, including poverty rates and language barriers for English-language learners, and schools struggle to rise above these demographics. Brown Elementary is not poverty-free -- its free and reduced lunch rate is 21 percent -- but it has achieved above 90 percent proficiency for the past several years, posting 93.6 percent for the 2016-2017 school year. So what’s the secret at Brown, a 2015 National Blue Ribbon-winning school? What instructional practices lead students to such high achievement? Visit Brown, and one thing stands out: Students are reading books they like. Third-grade teacher Gayle Corey, in her 20th year at Brown, said a consistent curriculum with buy-in from all teachers prepares students from kindergarten on. Teachers also credit collaboration among all grade levels for their success. Together, they analyze data and discuss what is working and what isn’t. This is key, Kiel said: “If you can get your whole building on the same page with the same type of talk and curriculum, that can be a really big first step in getting all students to grade level.”

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo