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#ILAchat: The Nation’s Report Card

By Wesley Ford
 | Aug 02, 2018

Earlier this year,Promo_NAEP Reading Results_v3_300 the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card—the  largest ongoing assessment of what U.S. students know and can do—released the results of the 2017 test. The reading scores of U.S. fourth- and fifth-grade students remained flat, as they have for the past decade. In fact, scores haven’t improved much over the entire 25-year span of testing.

Our next #ILAchat, on August 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET, will focus on the findings of the NAEP Reading Results, the trends that the scores reveal, and the steps educators need to take to substantially improve future results.

For this Twitter chat, we’ve partnered with the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the NAEP. The nonpartisan and independent Governing Board, created by Congress in 1988, identifies subjects to be tested, determines the content and achievement levels for each assessment, approves all test questions, and pursues innovative ways to make NAEP results more meaningful and relevant to the public.

The Governing Board, which will be represented on the chat by Assistant Director for Communications Stephaan Harris, does not offer suggestions or recommendations based on the results; rather, its role in the chat is to address questions about the results and trends. To help guide this conversation about takeaways from the NAEP findings and potential changes to literacy education, we’ve brought in Carol Jago and Tim Shanahan, experts in the literacy field with years of experience around this topic.

Jago, associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, has taught English in middle and high school for over 30 years. She is past president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and has published many books with Heinemann including her latest, The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis. Jago has been awarded ILA’s Adolescent Literacy Thought Leader Award and the NCTE Exemplary Leadership Award. She currently serves on the National Assessment Governing Board.

Shanahan is a past president of the International Reading Association (now ILA) and is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he is founding director of the UIC Center for Literacy. Previously, he was a first-grade teacher and director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. An expert in early literacy education, he is an author and editor of more than 200 publications on literacy education, including Early Childhood Literacy and Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through Third Grade. He chaired the National Early Literacy Panel, which reviewed research on preschool literacy learning and instruction, and was coprincipal investigator of the National Title I Study of Implementation and Outcomes in Early Childhood Language Development, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. He was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007. Check out his website for research on and information about literacy education: www.shanahanonliteracy.com.

We hope you’ll join us on August 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET as we delve into the results and trends from the Nation’s Report Card and examine steps educators can take to help improve future reading scores.

See you there!

Wesley Ford is the social media strategist for ILA.

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