As we start a new decade, I wanted to examine how research can lead the way to improving literacy outcomes for our learners and unlocking their potential. This is the first in a series of five blog posts based on my recent webinar, “The Five Big Research-Based Ideas That Will Have a Positive Impact on Literacy Outcomes,” where I’ll highlight recent research and best practices to help shape new “Reading Resolutions” for 2020.
Simply, this blog post could have been called “Five Evidence-Based Ways to Change the World of Reading.” I don’t make personal resolutions but I do appreciate the meaning of the word resolution—“the quality of being determined or resolute.” This characteristic is more important than ever as we respond to the current student achievement situation as revealed by national and international assessments:
- 35 percent of fourth graders were found to be proficient on NAEP, down from 37 percent in the previous administration (NAEP 2019 Report Card).
- Eighth graders went down from 36 percent and to 34 percent (NAEP 2019 Report Card).
- In large cities, vulnerable students such as these eligible for the National School Lunch Program showed decreases (NAEP 2019 Report Card).
- International assessments of 15-year-olds (PISA, 2018) revealed stagnation since 2000 and, most significantly, an increasing gap between high and low performers (New York Times, December 5, 2019).