ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new brief on strategies to turn state literacy policies into effective classroom reading instruction is being published and distributed to state education leaders, reading experts, and local educators by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).

The recommendations are the latest initiative by state boards of education to address the nation´s growing literacy crisis. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), nearly two-thirds of 8th and 12th graders cannot read at a proficient level and about one-quarter score below basic.

"This guide is aimed at helping states develop comprehensive plans to improve reading instruction for middle and high school students. States need to establish policies and practices that infuse reading and writing instruction into every subject and every grade being taught. It is intended to bridge the chasm between what we know from reading research, what is in place in state policies, and what actually happens in the classroom," said Brenda Welburn, NASBE Executive Director.

The brief was developed by NASBE´s Adolescent Literacy Network, funded by the Carnegie Corporation, to create a national network to inform state board of education leadership in promoting state literacy initiatives across core academic subjects and as part of larger school improvement strategies. In 2005, NASBE convened a year-long study of the status of adolescent literacy in public schools that culminated in a report, Reading at Risk, which issued a national call and recommendations for states to combat the student literacy crisis.

On April 19-20, 2007, NASBE will host a conference of national reading experts, researchers, and state leadership teams to highlight critical literacy issues and describe successful initiatives that will help states adopt comprehensive approaches to improving adolescent literacy.

A free PDF copy of the brief, From State Policy to Classroom Practice: Improving Literacy Instruction for All Students, is available at http://www.nasbe.org/Adolescent_Literacy/.
NASBE, www.nasbe.org, represents America´s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education.

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