The Intersection

The Intersection Webinar Recap: Thomas B. Fordham Institute

August 17, 2018

Our thanks to David Griffith, Senior Research and Policy Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute for presenting on this week’s The Intersection: A Biweekly Education Policy Conversation. David joined us to discuss their recent report Reading and Writing Instruction in America’s Schools.

Key Takeaways:

  • Less fiction, more informational texts  | Teachers report assigning more informational texts in 2017 than in 2012. While this increase in informational and nonfiction reading is consistent with new ELA standards, it is concerning that nearly 70% of teachers also feel like “classic works of literature” no longer have room in the curriculum. The findings suggest that some additional calibration with the literary/informational splits is needed.
  • Shifts away from grade-level reading | Despite new standards encouraging teachers to assign texts based on students’ grade levels, more teachers in 2017 are choosing reading materials based on students’ reading levels than in 2012. In 2017, 57% of teachers reported choosing reading materials based on student’s reading levels, 26% based on grade level, and 17% on something else compared to 39%, 38%, and 23% respectively in 2012. Teachers need more support to carry out this portion of standards implementation.
  • Content-rich curriculum | Nearly half of teachers think their curriculum and/or materials do a poor job of building students’ general knowledge, and one-third of teachers think students’ general knowledge has gotten worse in recent years (with only 26% saying it has improved). Principals should be thinking about a roadmap of curriculum for the school that allows students to build content knowledge across grades and subjects.

For more on our conversation with David, download the presentation here or check out the full webinar below!

We hope you’ll join us for our next webinar on Wednesday, August 29th at 1pm (EST). We look forward to talking with Hans Voss from Hans and his colleagues will join us to discuss a new website Achieve is preparing to launch, covering graduation requirements across the states.

Stay tuned and follow us on Twitter for updates!  

See you at the Intersection,

The Hunt Team


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