Turning a new page on literacy

A  week after the Board of Education voted to close 50 schools this coming fall, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told an audience at the City Club that it was time to leave behind the acrimonious battles that have marked this school year. “Whatever has happened this past year is done,” Byrd-Bennett said. “It is a new beginning. … It is time to turn the page.” Sadly, it’s unlikely that the storms of this tumultuous year will dissipate easily or swiftly.

Reading woes

CPS is part of a federal project to help teens better understand and discuss nonfiction in core subjects. Using an approach called “disciplinary literacy,” teachers aim to help students read history texts the way historians do, and science texts like scientists.

Boosting basic literacy

While most high school freshmen read at or just slightly below grade level, there’s another aspect of the teen literacy challenge: students who reach high school but read several years below grade level.

From novice to expert

Wells High School freshman reading teacher Jillian Connolly is one of a minority of teachers in CPS high schools with a reading specialist endorsement. Even so, Connolly says she wasn’t fully prepared to work with teen readers.