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November 22, 2011

NCTE Pushes Collaboration With New Literacy Education Center

Take a look at Catherine Gewertz's blog post about the new National Center for Literacy Education, which NCTE announced the launch of at its conference. NCLE will offer free Web-based resources for teachers on the Literacy and Learning Exchange starting in 2012, as well as recognize and support scho...

November 16, 2011

Study: Readers Use 'Visual Dictionaries'

A new study finds that skilled readers do not rely on sounds at all when reading but rather retrieve words purely from a "visual dictionary."

October 21, 2011

Poll: Public Skeptical of Digital Texts in Schools

Here's a surprising, somewhat out-of-the-way finding: A national poll conducted last month found that most Americans (68 percent) are opposed to the idea of schools using iPads or e-readers in place print books. Interestingly, women and young people (ages 18-29) were the most strongly opposed. Only ...

October 19, 2011

An English Teacher's Envy

Miss Eyre at NYC Educator describes feeling "insanely, irrationally jealous" of her students during their free reading time. She writes: It's really hard to do quality reading during the school year, especially if you're an English teacher and you have to stay on top of the texts you're reading wit...

September 30, 2011

Preparing Tech-Smart Teachers, TFA-style

In a recent policy brief, the Progressive Policy Institute, a Democratic-aligned think tank based in Washington, proposed preparing a corps of tech-savvy teachers aimed at boosting 4th grade literacy rates in low-income communities, using Teach for America as a program model.

September 19, 2011

Has Reading Instruction Lost the 'Gist'?

In the New York Times, literary critic and Core Knowledge Foundation founder E.D. Hirsch reasserts his case that the recent drop in SAT reading scores derives not from student demographic changes but from a long-term de-intellectualization of elementary school curricula: The most credible analyses...

September 15, 2011

What's Behind the SAT Reading-Score Drop?

Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss takes issue with the College Board's explanation that the decline in the SAT reading scores this past year was caused largely by an increase in the number and diversity of test-takers. She puts the blame squarely on the effects of recent education po...

August 22, 2011

The 10-Year Lesson Plan

Interesting advice: High school English teacher Epiphany in Baltimore explains that he always teaches with a view toward what students will retain from a lesson 10 years later: I always teach books with the "ten year" goal in mind, asking myself what will this kid remember in ten years? I hope s...

August 08, 2011

Graphic Novels: Snooki in Book-form?

Hopefully, Bill Ferriter of The Tempered Radical found shelter in a comment-proof safe house before, in a recent blog post, calling graphic novels "the literary equivalent of Jersey Shore." He argues, with some anecdotal evidence, that graphic novels take away the need for students to think while ...

July 11, 2011

Dumbing Down 'Gatsby'

Film critic Roger Ebert is fuming mad about a "retold," intermediate reader version of The Great Gatsby published by MacMillan. The book employs greatly simplified prose, comes in at less than half the length of the original, and seriously muddles the ending. For Ebert, the whole project amounts to ...

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