Four superintendents from large districts and the president of an educational publisher waxed poetic about how to improve reading instruction yesterday at a Washington forum hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. The conversation touched on teachers' practical instructional concerns, as well as more general problems associated with school leadership, professional development, and curriculum.
My colleague Liana Heitin gives a nice overview of the conversation over at the Teaching Now blog.
One superintendent, she notes, lamented that most reading programs fail to provide a "deep dive" into all the basic areas of literacy and that individual, research-based programs are often cost-prohibitive. Another superintendent argued that preservice teacher training has contributed to subpar reading instruction, with new teachers "by and large nowhere remotely near prepared to come in and do the task."
Participants included the superintendents for the school districts in Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, N.J., as well as California's San Juan Unified district.