Is it possible to help low-performing high school students avoid remedial classes in college reading and writing? Leaders in many states believe it is indeed possible and are now offering or requiring “college prep” or “college transition” courses in high school. These courses are designed to ensure that low-performing students will have the reading and writing skills they need when they graduate from high school.
When Christopher Marczak joined Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee as superintendent in fall 2015, he quickly realized that while every school in his district of 12,000 students was doing the best job possible, each had a vastly different approach to teaching literacy.
Inquiry-based learning means asking questions that demand students use evidence from the text to support their thinking. It means challenging students to respond to the differing ideas of their classmates. And it means pushing students to further their own thinking.
Many students at Oxnard Elementary School District in Southern California have a dual challenge in gaining reading proficiency. Not only do they struggle with developing literacy skills, but over 56 percent of Oxnard’s 17,000 pre-k through 8 students are learning English as a second language.
To help these students overcome their literacy deficiency, in 2014 leaders at Oxnard turned to the 1-to-1 devices purchased the year prior.