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Tulare City School District has a large number of English learners in its diverse student body, which is predominantly Hispanic. Yet it has posted great success in reading scores over the past decade.

All the rhetoric urging the U.S. education system to up the ante to remain competitive in a global economy came to a sobering point with the release of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results on Dec. 7, 2010. In 2009, the United States, along with 65 other countries, joined PISA to assess the performance of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and science. The United States remained just average in reading and science, while lagging a bit in mathematics on the global scale.


Based on percentage of funding increase, the big winner in President Obama’s proposed 2010 education budget is Striving Readers, which is slated to go from $35 million to $370 million.

This program was designed to reach students in grades 4-12 whose literacy skills were significantly below grade level. Such students were not eligible for Reading First, a Department of Education program for students in grades K-3.


Learning Cafe

Phoenix (Ariz.) Elementary School District #1


Motivation is often cited as an important factor in students' becoming proficient readers. How does student motivation affect the development of reading skills? And what can teachers do to tap into students' motivation to read? The research on reading motivation is not robust enough to fully answer these questions, but recent studies offer intriguing insights.