Education Week - May 13, 2015 - Special Report - (Page S1)

Contents Online Exclusives S2 Teachers Turn to New Read-Aloud S4 Alabama Coaches Up Literacy Lessons S8 Broadening the Push for Grade-Level Reading Strategies For Common-Core Era S10 Forget Word Lists: Vocabulary Lessons Start With Context S16 Should 3rd Grade Be Pivot Point for Early Reading? S20 Fluency Still Seen as Neglected Skill Listen to young fluent and nonfluent readers in a reading program in the District of Columbia. MULTIMEDIA Take an interactive quiz to test your knowledge of early reading development. Watch a read-aloud lesson-and an explanation of the process-at Ruby Duncan Elementary School in Las Vegas. A Note From the Editors GETTING AN EARLY START: Vada Mooney, left, and Jakhai Bland-Jenious play literacy games on tablet computers at Pine Ridge Prep, a preschool in Topeka, Kan., part of a free program for children in public housing. PAGE S9 Copyright © 2015 by Editorial Projects in Education Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Readers may make up to five print copies of this publication at no cost for personal, noncommercial use, provided that each includes a full citation of the source. Visit for information about additional print photocopies. Early-grades reading instruction has long been a central point of emphasis-and concern-for educators and policymakers. That's in large part owing to a provocative body of research showing that students who don't read with proficiency by the end of 3rd grade are far more likely to experience poor academic outcomes, including leaving school without a diploma. Early-grades reading skills, in other words, are often seen as a key indicator of educational achievement. By that standard, many U.S. schools have struggled to give students adequate pathways. On the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or naep, only 35 percent of 4th graders scored at or above "proficient" in reading. The rate was considerably lower for minority students-18 percent for blacks and 20 percent for Hispanics. Meanwhile, the average naep reading score for 4th graders has increased only minimally over the past decade. This Education Week special report takes a wide-ranging look at new efforts to address the challenges of early-grades reading instruction, particularly in light of the waning influence of the federal Reading First program. While that initiative, launched in 2002, drew praise for providing some $1 billion annually to expand reading instruction and professional development and support for teachers, it was criticized by many teachers and reading experts for focusing too narrowly on basic skills. A number of the stories highlight the growing impact of the Common Core State Standards, whose early-grades reading expections often diverge from previous instructional systems. Scanning the changing landscape of literacy instruction, the report explores new thinking on time-honored practices such as read-alouds, teaching vocabulary, and developing reading fluency; details schoolcommunity efforts to boost early-reading skills; dives into recent research on the potentially negative effects of focusing too rigidly on 3rd graders' reading proficiency; and looks at an Alabama professional-development program that has shown promise in boosting achievement across racial categories, in part through a combination of consistency and responsiveness to change. -The Editors PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Virginia B. Edwards EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gregory Chronister EXECUTIVE PROJECT EDITOR Debra Viadero CONTRIBUTING PROJECT EDITORS Anthony Rebora Karen Diegmueller STAFF WRITERS Catherine Gewertz Liana Heitin Stephen Sawchuk Sarah D. Sparks PROJECT LEAD Sumita Bannerjee DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Charles Borst CREATIVE DIRECTOR Laura Baker ART DIRECTOR Gina Tomko ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Vanessa Solis ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Swikar Patel ONLINE NEWS EDITOR Stacey Decker SENIOR ONLINE PRODUCER Alison Kitchens MULTIMEDIA PRODUCER Deanna Del Ciello DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Jo Arnone ADVERTISING PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Dana Gittings ADVERTISING: For information about print and online advertising in future special reports, please contact Associate Publisher Sean Herdman at or (301) 280-3126. COVER PHOTO: Kindergartners, left to right, Jaylen Rivers and Jalisha Lee, work with teacher Diane Daniel at Southside Primary School in Selma, Ala. Photo by Julie Bennett for Education Week Barrett Emke for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 13, 2015 - Special Report

Education Week - May 13, 2015 - Special Report
Teachers Turn to New Read-Aloud Strategies For Common-Core Era
Alabama Coaches Up Literacy Lessons
Broadening the Push for Grade-Level Reading
Forget Word Lists: Vocabulary Lessons Start With Context
Should 3rd Grade Be Pivot Point for Early Reading?
Fluency Still Seen as Neglected Skill

Education Week - May 13, 2015 - Special Report