Everybody recognizes the spectacular value and importance of literacy. Or rather, everybody that actually gives serious thought to it when considering a means by which we can improve our schools recognizes the spectacular value and importance of literacy.
The research, the data, the biggest thinkers in education, they all agree: literacy is critical, if not absolutely essential, and there is a direct correlation between academic success and the literacy levels of students.
I mean it’s not that hard of a concept to grasp. Kids who are poor readers and writers are often poor students — in many subjects areas, not just in our ELA classes — and kids who have strong literacy skills have a much greater chance and capacity to successfully navigate the halls of our schools. Like I said, almost self-evident.
But try talking literacy instruction or its importance to “other” teachers in “other” academic disciplines. I mean really, don’t they they pretty much tune out?
Come on, do math department people really embrace the idea that literacy is actually monumentally important to their own effectiveness? Naw, not really. However, if you look at a state standardized test, in so many ways it’s a reading comprehension test before it is a math test.
And the same is true for science and history as well.
But do other departments buy into the idea of teaching literacy across the curriculum? If so, well… I’m just not seeing it. Yet to be fair, in the places I do see it, I see schools that seem to more closely resemble a smartly functioning organization.
For the haters and doubters, check out this latest capstone study by the Carnegie Foundation. It’s packed with good stuff.
It’s also titled Time To Act. But will we?