You are here

Taking the Lead on Adolescent Literacy

Taking the Lead on Adolescent Literacy
Action Steps for Schoolwide Success

Edited by:
  • Judith Irvin - Florida State University, USA
  • Julie Meltzer - Mount Desert Island Regional School System (Mount Desert, ME), Center for Resource Management
  • Nancy Dean - University of Florida, USA, National Literacy Project
  • Martha Jan Mickler - National Literacy Project

Foreword by Andrés Henríquez

July 2012 | 248 pages | Corwin
Directly linked with overall student achievement, graduation rates, and success in higher education, literacy is essential for reaching academic goals in a school or county. Adolescent literacy has become the focus of many school improvement efforts to meet the needs of secondary and high school students.

Without the requisite expertise in literacy, administrators and other school leaders charged with literacy improvement initiatives need a systemic and sustained approach for improving student literacy and learning.

Taking the Lead on Adolescent Literacy presents a concrete, user-friendly, and practical guide to developing, implementing, and monitoring a schoolwide or county-wide literacy action plan. Readers will find rubrics, tools, and processes developed and field-tested by the authors over more than 10 years of close work with schools across the country.

Foreword by Andres Henriquez
About the Authors
Part I. The Model, Process, and Rubrics
Rationale for a Schoolwide Focus on Literacy

Why Focus on Literacy?

How the Literacy Leadership Process Was Developed

The Five-Stage Literacy Leadership Process

How to Use the Literacy Leadership Process

Introduction: The Literacy Action Rubrics
Description of the Rubrics

Using the Literacy Action Rubrics

The Literacy Action Rubrics

Part II. Schoolwide Change in Five Stages
1. Stage 1: Get Ready
Step 1: Build an Effective Literacy Leadership Team

Step 2: Create a Vision of a Literacy-Rich School

Step 3: Use Data to Establish the Need for Literacy Improvement

Next Steps

2. Stage 2: Assess
Step 1: Identify School Strengths

Step 2: Summarize Key Messages From Your School Data

Step 3: Assess Current School Implementation Using the Literacy Action Rubrics

Step 4: Draft Literacy Action Goals

Next Steps

3. Stage 3: Plan
Step 1: Develop an Implementation Map for Each Literacy Action Goal

Step 2: Solicit Feedback From the School Community

Step 3: Revise Literacy Action Goal Statements and Implementation Maps

Step 4: Publish the Formal Literacy Action Plan

Next Steps

4. Stage 4: Implement
Step 1: Organize for Action

Step 2: Monitor and Troubleshoot Implementation

Step 3: Monitor Progress Toward Goals

Step 4: Plan How to Sustain Momentum

Next Steps

5. Stage 5: Sustain
Step 1: Summarize Progress Toward Goals

Step 2: Revise Implementation Maps

Step 3: Analyze Success as a Literacy Leadership Team

Step 4: Plan How to Sustain Momentum

Next Steps

Part III. Supporting School and District Administrators as Literacy Leaders
6. The Principal's Role
Support Literacy Leaders

The Five Action Points of the Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

7. District Support
Communicate That Literacy Is a Priority

Provide Professional Development

Provide Specific Types of Fiscal Support

Establish Uniform Policies and Procedures Across the District

Use Data to Improve Instruction and Monitor Program Effectiveness

Develop and Implement a District Literacy Action Plan

Use the Five Action Points of the Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

Review the District Plan to Ensure Alignment With State Planning and Advocacy

Resource A. School Vignettes
Resource B: Tools to Use When Implementing the Five-Stage Process
Resource C: Examples of Each Rubric Component in Action
Resource D: High School Case Study
Resource E: Matrix of Resources Available in Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy and Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy
Resource F: Glossary of Terms

"The connections regarding best practice research from multiple fields—differentiation, professional development, curriculum mapping, 21st-century literacy, assessment, and instructional strategies—are critical and very well done. These connections are made in a professional, understandable way with theories and classroom applications articulated across grade levels and in many formats: scoring guides, prose, questions, vignettes, case studies, and graphics."

Darlene Castelli, Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist
Clayton High School, MO

"Wow! This book gives school and district leaders and teams the what, why, and how to do the rocket science work of getting every student to read and write at grade level or above. Principals and literacy teams no longer need to be stuck in the 'We don’t know what to do next' world of frustration."

Bess Scott, Director of Elementary Education
Lincoln Public Schools, NE

"This rich resource walks middle and high school literacy leaders through a comprehensive process for conceptualizing, initiating, and, most important, sustaining a schoolwide literacy learning program. The authors clearly know teachers and schools, and their reality-tested tools will prove invaluable in guiding and supporting middle and high school literacy leaders."

Doug Buehl, Author, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning

"The Literacy Project is a systemic process that guarantees all students access to superior instructional strategies."

Kathleen P. Norton, Principal
Arvada High School, CO

"This literacy project changed the culture and focus of our school in less than a year. Following the process outlined in this book allowed our literacy team to personalize the project to our school and needs. Our team presented our project to our staff in August and our teachers have implemented it faithfully. Our students know the slogan and are excited about the project. The literacy team has kept the excitement high for the year."

Trip Sargent, Principal
North Arvada Middle School, CO

"I have seen numerous educational initiatives come and go in my forty-some years working with schools, but nothing has been as important, relevant, or long lasting as adolescent literacy. Schools that have principals and teachers who have stayed the course with embedded literacy strategies across the curriculum, that focus on literacy rich culture and structures in their buildings, that have students using literacy strategies on their own, and that have staff and students reading and sharing, are the schools that make significant gains in their educational achievement."

Betty A. Jordan, Director
Washington County Consortium, Machias, ME

"The most beneficial aspect of the literacy action planning process was providing training and asking for input from teachers from the very beginning. Literacy support team members were able to reflect on the unique and specific strengths and needs of their buildings and utilize this information to develop a practical implementation plan. The time spent working together on the literacy action plan helped build community and foster a sense of ownership in the change process."

Lisa White, District ELA Coordinator
Plymouth Public Schools, MA

"In each chapter I found honest descriptions of the tough issues faced by schools trying to focus on literacy across the content areas. More important, the chapters are full of guidelines and practical suggestions for dealing with those challenges. The implementation maps and the rubrics that help school literacy teams diagnose issues, establish goals, monitor implementation, and sustain changes are particularly valuable resources. The authors know that change requires a systems approach with all levels of school and community involved over an extended timeframe. I heartily recommend this as a very useful tool for schools wanting to implement a schoolwide commitment to literacy."

Donna Ogle, Professor of Reading and Language
National-Louis University

“The five-stage literacy leadership process in the book provided my principals and teachers with an easy-to-follow, researched-based guide to develop a successful literacy program within their schools.”

Jerryelyn L. Jones, Chief Area Officer
Area 24, Chicago Public Schools, IL

"As educators living in this world of high-stakes accountability, we need a way to focus our activities to be sure that our hard work is well spent. The literacy action planning process developed by Irvin and her colleagues has helped several schools in our district realistically assess their strengths and opportunities for improvement and develop concrete action plans for schoolwide literacy improvement."

Connie Kolosey, Supervisor of Secondary Reading
Pinellas County Schools, FL

Judith Lynn Irvin

Judith Irvin is a professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and the executive director of the National Literacy Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving middle and high school literacy. Her repertoire includes chairing the research committee for the National Middle School Association for six years and serving on the Commission on Adolescent Literacy of the International Reading Association.She has written and edited numerous books, chapters, and articles on adolescent literacy—most notably Reading and the High School Student: Strategies to Enhance Literacy (with Douglas Buehl and Ronald Klemp, 2007),... More About Author

Julie Meltzer

Julie Meltzer, PhD, is Senior Advisor for Research, Strategy, and Design at Public Consulting Group’s Center for Resource Management (PCG-CRM) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is responsible for the design of consulting services related to 21st Century Teaching and Learning, Response to Intervention (RtI), and Literacy and Learning. As director of theAdolescent Literacy Project at the LAB at BrownUniversity, she developed the Adolescent Literacy Support Framework showcased on the Knowledge Loom Web site and was on the development team for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Adolescent Literacy Toolkit. A sought-after... More About Author

Nancy D. Dean

Nancy Dean, EdS, is Professor Emerita at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. During her 39 years in education, she has taught middle and high school English, special education, reading, debate, social studies, English for speakers of other languages, and Advanced Placement English. She is also an experienced literacy coach and curriculumspecialist. Committed to school literacy reform and meaningful professional development, she has worked extensively with teachers and school leaders in urban and rural schools throughout the United States. She is an associate director of the National... More About Author

Martha Jan Mickler

Martha Jan Mickler, PhD, is currently a private consultant specializing in adolescent literacy. Sheworks with administrators and teachers in classroom and seminar settings with the focus on developing literacy leadership and helping teachers integrate literacywithin academic and fine arts content areas.She has held a variety of leadership positions in education, including Supervisor of Secondary Reading (Pinellas County, Florida); Principal, Fairyland Elementary School (Walker County, Georgia); Supervisor of English and World Languages and Director of Teaching and Learning (Chattanooga Public Schools,Tennessee); and Director of Music... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412979801

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.