Common Core: Uncovering Solutions to Students’ Literacy Struggles

Education World – Jason Papallo

“Despite an increase in non-fiction reading in K-12 education since the adoption of Common Core standards, most students—specifically in high school—aren’t reading at their grade level, and worse, aren’t ready for college reading either, shows a recent report from Renaissance Learning. Author of “Teach Like a Champion” and coauthor of new book “Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction” Doug Lemov, sees a way to change this trend, and it starts with asking the right questions. He discussed his research process for improving learning value in literacy under Common Core with EdWorld.”(more)

In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test

The Sacramento Bee – Diana Lambert

“Jennifer Sandfort devotes nearly two hours each morning to English instruction in her third-grade class at Empire Oaks Elementary School, ranging from interactive lessons to free reading time. She moves swiftly through lessons and assignments in an orderly manner at the Folsom school, but sometimes feels like she can’t get to everything she wants each day. “We have so much to cover and so much to teach the kids,” she said. While students focus on reading and writing the minute they set foot in kindergarten, the stakes are particularly high in third grade. Three decades of research have shown that students who can’t read at grade level by that point are more likely to drop out of high school than their reading-proficient peers. In impoverished communities, students have an even slimmer chance of catching up. Local teachers are redoubling their efforts after a new statewide test administered last year showed that 60 percent of third-graders in the Sacramento region performed below the state standard in English. The region includes Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties.”(more)

7 Facts About Kids Who Learned To Read Early

Bustle – E. Ce Miller

“Research in early childhood development has long demonstrated the benefits of learning to read early in life. Sure, there are those who disagree with the benefits of reading young (there always has to be one) but the overall general consensus is that learning to read is good (duh) and learning to read at a young age is even better. Here are seven facts about kids who learned to learned to read early…”(more)

The Children’s Books That Took Our Breath Away in 2015


“Every year, there are a handful of books that we can’t forget. Whether because of their beautiful illustrations, astounding writing, meaningful messages, innovative styles, or groundbreaking themes, certain books are truly memorable. We asked the Brightly contributors, the people who know books best, to share their choices for the most breathtaking book of 2015, and now we’re sharing them with you. Prepare to be captivated by 2015’s spectacular standouts.”(more)

What’s the Perfect Data Tool for Tracking and Developing Reading Comprehension?

Ed Surge – Melanie Stevens

” Let’s face it—as educators, our lives revolve around data. We are asked to embrace data collections to improve instruction. But one of the most difficult parts of dealing with data is when district assessments get switched. Just when teachers began to feel at ease with current scores and data interpretation, a school district changes from one testing program to another. In my case, it was a switch from Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (or the NWEA for short) to Renaissance Learning’s STAR Reading. Change is often received with sighs of “here we go again” and instructions on how to interpret yet another set of data.”(more)

Common Core Nonfiction Mandate Decreases Fiction, Fails to Increase Test Scores

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Reports have been circulating that the Common Core’s mandate to have nonfiction reading comprise 70 percent of classroom literature has resulted in a significant decline in the reading of fiction by America’s high school students. This, according to the Daily Caller, has resulted in English teachers across the country being forced to toss classics like “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Great Gatsby” in order to make room for the required nonfiction quota. But since the Common Core created the nonfiction mandate, the only tangible result, according to the article, has been in the decrease of fiction texts in classrooms.”(more)