All Policy, Politics, Statistics articles

By: Julius D. Spain, Sr., S. Symone Walker, Sherrice L. Kerns

Leaders at the Arlington County (Virginia) NAACP call on the Superintendent of APS Public Schools to adopt evidence-based reading instruction in every district K-3 classroom. Our children's literacy is a critical civil rights and equity issue. Every child has the right to consistent, high-quality instruction.

By: Melody Musgrove, Understood

This Q&A provides a brief overview of the responsibility of public schools to provide and pay for a student's assistive technology under the federal IDEA law and Section 504.

By: Jan Hasbrouck, Gerald Tindal

View the results of the updated 2017 study on oral reading fluency (ORF) by Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal, with compiled ORF norms for grades 1-6. You'll also find an analysis of how the 2017 norms differ from the 2006 norms.

By: Reading Rockets

Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know the four "anchors" of the Common Core writing standards and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in all of these areas.

By: Reading Rockets

Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know what the four main areas of the Common Core reading standards mean and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in these areas.

By: Saga Briggs

In many states, third graders who cannot read proficiently are required to repeat that year. This policy, known as mandatory retention, can greatly impact students' emotional and cognitive development. In an effort to reconcile the academic and social needs of young learners, this article addresses the pros and cons of mandatory retention, global treatment of the problem, and possible solutions.

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

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: National Center for Education Statistics

A nationally representative sample of 213,100 fourth-graders participated in the 2011 assessment. Learn more about the key findings and trends in this Reading 2011 snapshot.

By: Reading Rockets

Get the basic facts about what it takes for a young child to learn to read, best practices in teaching reading, the importance of oral language in literacy development, why so many children struggle, and more in this overview.

By: Center for American Progress, Claire E. White, James S. Kim

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: The National Early Literacy Panel

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: Pre-K Now
Latino children make up the largest and most rapidly growing racial/ethnic minority population in the U.S. Find out how pre-K programs can play a key role in helping these children in school readiness and educational achievement.
By: Pre-K Now
The state of pre-kindergarten varies across the country. This national snapshot is a good starting point for understanding what's happening in pre-K right now.
By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
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: International Reading Association
The International Reading Association's position is that every child has a right to receive the best possible reading instruction, and has a set of 10 principles to help provide excellent reading instruction.
By: National Association of School Psychologists
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: Christopher Gabrieli , Warren Goldstein
In this excerpt from the book Time to Learn: How a New School Schedule Is Making Smarter Kids, Happier Parents & Safer Neighborhoods, the authors discuss how a longer school day can support achievement in reading and math while providing a richer, broader curriculum. The book discusses extended day success stories in public schools throughout the country, the impact on teachers and families, and benefits for English language learners and children with learning disabilities.
By: National Center for Education Statistics
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — a.k.a. The Nation's Report Card — is a nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. This article contains some of the results of the most recent NAEP assessment in reading and compares them to results from assessments in 2005 and in the first year data were available, usually 1992.
By: Ellen Delisio
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: National Center on Education and the Economy

America's approach to education has lagged behind as industry and technology have continued to advance. To truly prepare students for the 21st century workforce, and to remain competitive in the global economy, the National Center on Education and the Economy has ten policy recommendations for America's schools.

By: Lynn S. Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs
Use Curriculum-Based Measurement to make sure students are on track for academic success by charting their trajectory of improvement all the way through the school year. CBM calculates rate of improvement during the first month of school and determines how much a student will need to improve each month to reach benchmark goals.
By: Victor Chudowsky, Naomi Chudowsky

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
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: Craig Jerald
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: Communities in Schools
Communities In Schools describes essential elements of good after-school programs so that research findings are accessible to practitioners. Included are key elements of program implementation.
By: The Center for Public Education
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: Dorothy Strickland, Shannon Riley-Ayers

By: E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

According to author E. D. Hirsch, Jr., the only useful way to prepare for a reading test is indirectly by becoming a good reader of a broad range of texts, an ability that requires broad general knowledge.

By: Candace Cortiella
Assessment accommodations help people with learning disabilities display their skills accurately on examinations. Teachers, learn how to test the true knowledge of your students. Don't test their ability to write quickly if you want to see their science skills! Parents, these pointers will help you assure that your children are tested fairly.
By: Candace Cortiella

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: Candace Cortiella
If a Title I school repeatedly underperforms, federal law provides opportunities for students to change schools or obtain additional instructional support. This parent advocacy brief looks at the information parents of students with disabilities need to know and understand in order to maximize these options.
By: Candace Cortiella
The No Child Left Behind law requires each school test students in Reading/Language Arts & Math each year in grades 3-8, and at least once more in grades 10-12. In some cases, children eligible for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services may be able to access testing accommodations or even alternate tests, but parents need to fully understand the implications and potential consequences of participation in the various testing options.
By: Reading Rockets
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is our nation's special education law. Below you'll find important information about IDEA 2004, which went into effect on July 1, 2005.
By: Afterschool Alliance
Afterschool advocates and practitioners face a daily struggle for adequate funding. This brief describes how both research and personal stories reveal resoundingly that afterschool programs are a worthy investment.
By: The Center for Public Education
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: National Institute for Literacy

Teachers can strengthen instruction and protect their students' valuable time in school by scientifically evaluating claims about teaching methods and recognizing quality research when they see it. This article provides a brief introduction to understanding and using scientifically based research.

By: National Summer Learning Association
Research demonstrates that all students experience significant learning losses in procedural and factual knowledge during the summer months.
By: Debra Viadero
This article says that according to a new study, former full-day kindergartners were more than twice as likely as children without any kindergarten experiences – and 26 percent more likely than graduates of half-day programs – to have made it to 3rd and 4th grade without having repeated a grade. This study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.
By: National Institute for Early Education Research
Research shows that 3- and 4-year-olds who attend a high-quality preschool are more successful in kindergarten and beyond. But research also shows that most preschool programs are not high-quality. This policy brief looks at what "high-quality" means, and how early childhood education can be improved.
By: Beth Antunez
In 1997, Congress approved the creation of a National Reading Panel (NRP) to initiate a national, comprehensive, research-based effort on alternative instructional approaches to reading instruction and to guide the development of public policy on literacy instruction (Ramírez, 2001).
By: U.S. Department of Education
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: Erik W. Robelen
Given that Title I aid is spread throughout every state and nine out of ten school districts, one out of five eligible high poverty schools in poor districts are not receiving this aid. Learn about the history of the debate on Title I allocation.
By: U.S. Department of Education
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: E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
The NAEP 2000 reading results provides further evidence of a longstanding gap in verbal skills between rich and poor children in the United States. This article describes the history of this achievement gap, speculates on its causes, and makes recommendations for closing it.
By: David J. Hoff
In the 2000 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international survey of the reading achievement of 15-year-olds, the U.S. had the widest gap — greater than 32 other countries — between the best and worst readers. These results demonstrate what reading experts say they already knew: most students leave the primary grades as competent readers steeped in the basics, but many fail to refine and build on their skills as they move through middle and high school.
By: Chia-Hui Lin
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: Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst
Reading skills provide a critical foundation for children's academic success. Children who read well read more and, as a result, acquire more knowledge in numerous domains.
By: International Literacy Association

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: Linda Butler
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: G. Reid Lyon
In order to make reading instruction research-based, the research itself must be trustworthy, teachers must be prepared to understand and use it, and efforts must be made to translate research findings into recommendations for instruction. This article describes the issues involved in each of these three areas.
By: G. Reid Lyon
Making the teaching of reading into a research-based profession requires that research findings be trustworthy and understandable to the classroom teacher. This article summarizes recent initiatives to improve the use of reading research in the classroom, and argues for increased efforts in these areas.
By: Susan Burns, Peg Griffin, Catherine Snow
Hispanic students in the United States are at especially high risk of reading difficulties. Despite progress over the past 15 to 20 years, they are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to read well below average for their age.
By: U.S. Department of Education
The phrase "reading war" has been the popular description for long-running disagreements about the best way to teach children to read. Fierce battles have been waged by academics and theorists since the late 1800s (McCormick, 1999), with classroom teachers often spinning like weathervanes as they tried to align classroom practices with the prevailing winds.
By: Alfie Kohn
The call for higher standards is a common but problematic one that disregards students, according to this author. The author points out five fatal flaws of the standards movement, in terms of motivation, pedagogy, evaluation, school reform, and improvement.
By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), International Reading Association

Early childhood programs and elementary schools in the United States operate in widely differing contexts with varying levels of funding and resources. Regardless of the resources available, professionals have an ethical responsibility to teach, to the best of their ability, according to the standards of the profession.

By: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement
Learn ten lessons from research about the home and school experiences necessary for reading success in this concise overview.
By: Jeff McQuillan
In this provocative article, the author argues that reading achievement hasn't changed much in several decades, and that many common notions about a reading crisis are, in fact, myths.
By: Catherine Snow, Susan Burns, Peg Griffin

This influential 1998 report was developed by The Committee for the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children,  established by the National Academy of Sciences to study the comparative effectiveness of interventions for young children who are at risk of having problems learning to read. The primary goal of the project was to translate the research findings about reading into advice and guidance for parents, educators, and others involved in the literacy development of young children. 

"Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear." —

Judy Blume