Monday, August 29, 2016

Progress But Still Lots of Work to Do

From Reading Rockets, a great up-to-date source of posts on struggling readers: A short excerpt

Recent Trends in Income, Racial,

and Ethnic School Readiness Gaps

 at Kindergarten Entry

Sean F. Reardon, Ximena A. Portilla (August 2016 ). Recent Trends in Income,
Racial, and Ethnic School Readiness Gaps at Kindergarten Entry,
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Open, DOI: 10.1177/2332858416657343,
This study found that low-income kindergarten students have reversed the trend
of growing academic achievement gaps between them and their
higher-income peers. Academic achievement gaps grew from 
the 1970s to the 1990s, but from 1998 to 2010 the gaps shrank 10-16%.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Oral Language AND Literacy. Not either/or

Oral Language AND Literacy: Not either/or
A short excerpt from an article published in Reading Rockets
“Recently, Chris Lonigan and I (Timothy Shanahan) wrote a short article for Language Magazine. It’s focus is on “The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development.” I think both Chris and I have bona fides in the “phonics/decoding/foundational skills” community and have the scars to show it. But we are both also advocates of the so-called “simple view” of reading — students need to know how to decode from print to language and they need to know how to understand language. This is a both, not an either/or.
Here is a link to the article. Hope you enjoy it.”
 And here is a short excerpt from that article:

“Response to intervention in preschool holds promise for successful early language development but several key issues must be considered. For one, preschools often serve disproportionate numbers of children who need Tier 2 or Tier 3 services, which causes staffing concerns. Also, more research is needed on the effect of interventions for children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English language learners, and children from underrepresented ethnic groups.
The NELP report, along with other studies of children’s early language development, suggests that early oral language has a growing contribution to later reading comprehension — a contribution that is separate from the important role played by the alphabetic code. As such, improving young children’s oral language development should be a central goal during the preschool and kindergarten years.”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back to Focus on Oral Language, Literacy and the Achievement Gap

The importance of follow-through

Preschool Through Third Grade Alignment and Differentiated Instruction: A Literature Review
August 2016 Prepared for: Policy and Program 
 Prepared by: Katie Drummond Aleksandra Holod Marie Perrot Antonia Wang American Institutes for Research Washington, DC 20007 Michèle Muñoz-Miller Mackson Ncube Herb Turner Analytica Phoenixville, PA 19460

A brief excerpt of this 37 page report
Executive Summary
 This literature review provides a review of policies, programs, and practices that have the potential to help students sustain the positive effects of preschool as they progress from kindergarten through grade 3 (K–3). T
he U.S. Department of Education’s Policy and Program Studies Service commissioned this systematic literature review, which focuses on two specific approaches: (1) preschool and K–3 alignment, and (2) differentiated instruction in kindergarten and first grade.
Background Research shows that participation in a high-quality preschool can improve young children’s readiness skills for elementary school, positively influencing behavioral, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes (Andrews, Jargowsky, & Kuhne, 2012). Specifically, for children who may be at risk for academic challenges in early elementary school, attending a high-quality preschool can improve test scores and attendance, and it can reduce grade-level retention and placement in special education (Andrews et al., 2012; Barnett, 2008; Karoly & Bigelow, 2005; Reynolds, 1993; Reynolds et al., 2007).

However, some preschool program evaluations document that strong initial benefits may not persist into early elementary school (Lipsey, Farran, & Hofer, 2015; Magnuson, Meyers, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2005; Manship, Madsen, Mezzanotte, & Fain, 2013; Ramey et al., 2000; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).