BOSTON - March 27, 2013 – American schools are facing a fundamental change in the way teaching and learning takes place in order to meet the expectations of the new Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts. The new standards demand high levels of performance from all students, including Title I students and English Language Learners, which in turn has significant implications for teaching. Yet, a new survey reveals that educators are apprehensive about whether they have enough time, let alone the resources, to support the necessary instructional shifts required to help struggling readers close achievement gaps and meet the highly anticipated standards.
The informal survey, conducted by Lexia Learning®, developer of the award-winning technology-based reading program, Lexia Reading®, polled more than 100 education professionals at the 2013 ASCD Conference.
Attendees were first asked about whether their school or district was equipped with the right resources to address the unique needs of ELL and Title I student populations who often enter school with low oral language skills. Only 30 percent of the respondents believe that they have the right educational resources to support oral language development and eventual reading achievement. Those surveyed were also asked about whether educators in their school or district had enough time to provide the direct instruction to help diverse student populations improve reading proficiency. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) indicated that teachers had the time to effectively deliver individualized instruction, while only about one-third (30 percent) of the educators polled believed that they had the appropriate instructional resources available to offer individualized instruction to advance students reading skills.
“Research has shown that oral language—the foundations of which are developed by age four—has a profound impact on children’s preparedness for kindergarten and on their success throughout their academic career,” said Lexia President and CEO Nick Gaehde. “So the question facing educators is: How can we overcome the challenges of developing strong oral language skills, particularly in student populations where risk factors and obstacles are significant and teachers’ time is stretched?”
Many schools and districts are currently using Lexia Reading to meet these challenges and later this year will turn to Lexia Reading Core 5,™ the first technology-based reading program developed specifically to meet the Common Core State Standards. Lexia Reading Core5 provides structured, sequential, scaffolded instruction in the five areas of reading for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5. Built upon Lexia’s research-proven, award-winning methodology, Lexia Reading Core5 provides a rigorous approach beginning with oral language development and early reading skills, and culminating with fluency and comprehension in grade 5.
As students work in the program, Lexia’s proprietary Assessment Without Testing® technology gathers norm-referenced, criterion-referenced performance data—without stopping the flow of instruction to administer a test—and adjusts each student’s learning path accordingly. In fact, within the first month of use, teachers will know which students are most at risk of not reaching end-of-year benchmarks. In addition, teachers and administrators receive real-time reports on individual student progress toward mastery of the Common Core State Standards, as well as student-specific action plans to provide intervention and improve performance on year-end assessments.
“The new demands that the Common Core State Standards place on students translate into new demands for teachers as well,” said Gaehde. “It’s imperative that school administrators provide a platform of student-driven learning that sets an individualized path of instruction and allows teachers to intervene with direct instruction when necessary.”
For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.
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