English Language Arts

Reaching the Goal: The Applicability and Importance of the Common Core State Standards to College and Career Readiness

This report by EPIC reveals that students who are generally proficient in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will likely be ready for a wide range of postsecondary courses. The more CCSS in which they are proficient, the wider the range of postsecondary-level classes they will be ready to undertake.

Engineering Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise of the Common Core State Standards

This policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education makes a number of federal policy recommendations that might support states’ comprehensive literacy plans, including: support for college and career ready standards, support for state level literacy teams, support for teacher education and professional development focused on content literacy, and investment in ongoing research and evaluation. Authors argue that major commitments are necessary from state and federal agencies to make substantial improvements in literacy achievement.

Closing the Expectations Gap 2011: Sixth Annual 50-state Progress Report

This sixth annual 50-state progress report from Achieve, Inc., on the alignment of high school policies and practices with the demands of college and careers as part of the American Diploma Project. The report finds that 20 states and the District of Columbia have established requirements that all high school graduates must complete a college- and career-ready curriculum that includes at least mathematics at the level of an Algebra II course (or its equivalent) and four years of grade-level English to earn a high school diploma.

Supporting High School Teachers with Instructional Approaches for Adolescent Struggling Readers

This study from the Everyone Graduates Center aimed to evaluate the different ways of supporting teachers for implementation quality and impact on student learning. Using a randomized controlled trial design, the study assessed the impact of workshops, detailed lesson plans, and coaching on instruction of high school English language arts teachers. Data were collected over two years on a total of 41 schools with 84 teachers and 1,996 students.

Adolescent Literacy Resources: Linking Research and Practice

This synthesis reviews the research on adolescent literacy from the past 20 years. Implications for classroom practice are discussed and organized as follows: Instructional Implications, Curricular/Program Implications, Structural/Systemic Implications, Professional Development Implications, and Assessment Implications. Implications for classroom practice based on this review are discussed.

Sustaining Focus on Secondary School Reading: Lessons and Recommendations from the Alabama Reading Initiative

This research brief from the National High School Center summarizes student and teacher outcomes, lessons learned, and other findings from an American Institutes for Research evaluation of the Alabama Reading Initiative at the secondary school level. The Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) addresses literacy and includes a focus on high school students.

Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis with Implications for Practice

This meta-analysis of 31 studies examined whether reading interventions could assist elementary, middle, and high school students with reading difficulties and learning disabilities. Overall, results showed that students who received a reading intervention outperformed students in the control group. This positive effect was also found for students with disabilities across all measures. Further, with few exceptions, studies that examined reading comprehension found that reading interventions could have a positive effect on reading comprehension.

Making Writing Instruction a Priority in America’s Middle and High Schools

This Alliance for Excellent Education policy brief provides an overview of the data collected on student writing achievement, recommends more opportunities for students to practice writing in school, encourages schools to teach better writing instruction, and offers policymakers suggestions on how to support school improvement efforts in this area.

Meeting Five Critical Challenges of High School Reform: Lessons from Research on Three Reform Models

This report from MDRC looks at how three different high school reform models--Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development--addressed five challenges found to be obstacles to successful reform implementation in low-performing high schools. According to this report, the pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement. The report offers tangible solutions as well as supporting evidence and various resources.


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