What Reading Research Tells Us about Children with Diverse Learning Needs: Bases and Basics

What Reading Research Tells Us about Children with Diverse Learning Needs: Bases and Basics

What Reading Research Tells Us about Children with Diverse Learning Needs: Bases and Basics

What Reading Research Tells Us about Children with Diverse Learning Needs: Bases and Basics

Synopsis

The purpose of this book is to communicate findings of a research synthesis investigating the bases of reading failure and the curricular and instructional basics to help guide the design and advancement of children's reading performance. The synthesis--completed by the National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators (NCITE) and sponsored by the U. S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs--was conducted as part of NCITE's mission to improve the quality of educational tools that largely shape practice in American schools.

Excerpt

Deborah C. Simmons Edward J. Kameenui University of Oregon

ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN READING ACHIEVEMENT

Professional educators and the public at large have long known that reading is an enabling skill that traverses academic disciplines and translates into meaningful personal, social, and economic outcomes for individuals. It is common knowledge that reading is the fulcrum of academics, the pivotal ability that stabilizes and leverages children's opportunities to learn and to become reflective, independent learners. Despite society's long recognition of the importance of successful reading, only recently have we begun to understand the profound and enduring consequences of not learning to read and the new-found evidence of the critical and abbreviated period in which we have to alter reading trajectories (California Department of Education, 1995; Juel, 1988; Lyon & Chhabra, 1996).

One need not look beyond the school dropout data, prison rosters, or recipients of federal public assistance to find that poor reading ability is pervasive and common to many who are not succeeding in today's society--a society whose literacy demands continue to galvanize the distinctions between the "haves and have nots." Studies of individuals who are resilient to personal and societal adversity indicate that the ability to read has powerful and far-reaching positive effects and, likewise, the converse. Literacy level is both negatively associated with lower annual earnings and higher unemployment. The absence of proficient reading skills is a considerable risk factor associated not only with academic failure and school dropout but unemployment and adjudication (Cornwall & Bawden, 1992; Werner, 1993). Stanovich (1986) drew parallels between a biblical proverb and the domain of reading noting that the rich get richer . . .

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