Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2008 Issue »

    State Literacy Plans

    Incorporating Adolescent Literacy

    Catherine Snow, Twakia Martin, and Ilene Berman
    In this article, Catherine Snow, Twakia Martin, and Ilene Berman describe professional development institutes offered in 2001 and 2002 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices to familiarize state-level policymakers with research on adolescent literacy and to guide states’ development of effective literacy plans. The authors then review the literacy plans that four of the participating states developed in the years following their institute involvement and discuss ways in which the content of the literacy institutes is reflected in these states’ plans. In conclusion, the authors call on higher education institutions to help state policymakers develop and evaluate initiatives intended to increase adolescents’ reading skills. They also call for broader cross-state comparisons of states’ strategies for improving adolescent literacy.

    Click here to purchase this article.

    Catherine E. Snow is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her work focuses on literacy achievement among students at risk of academic failure, including children growing up in poverty and those who arrive at school not speaking English. She chaired the National Research Council Committee that wrote Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (1998), the RAND Reading Study Group that wrote Reading for Understanding: Toward an R&D Program in Reading Comprehension (2002), and the National Academy of Education Committee that wrote Knowledge to Support the Teaching of Reading: Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (2005). Snow conducted a long-term longitudinal study of the academic outcomes of urban students living in poverty, entitled Is Literacy Enough? Pathways to Academic Success for Adolescents (2007), and she is currently directing the Strategic Education Research Partnership’s Boston Public Schools field site.

    Twakia Martin is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her work focuses on achievement and motivation for adolescent readers and students with disabilities, as well as teacher preparation. Her doctoral thesis investigates whether the designation of “special education” has an influence on how Black males judge themselves as readers, and on their overall reading achievement. Martin previously taught second and fourth grades in urban school districts.

    Ilene Berman is a program director in the Education Division at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, which provides policy advice, research, and technical assistance to governors and their advisors. Her areas of expertise include literacy, high school redesign, turning around low-performing schools, and school choice. Berman has coauthored two governors’ guides, Reading to Achieve: A Governor’s Guide to Adolescent Literacy (2005) and Reaching New Heights: Turning Around Low-Performing Schools (2003), and a report titled Providing Quality Options in Education (2005). Berman also has served as the director of policy, standards, and instruction at the Council for Basic Education, and as the director of research and content for the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher in Washington, D.C.
  2. Share

    Spring 2008 Issue


    Why Adolescent Literacy Matters Now
    Jacy Ippolito, Jennifer L. Steele, and Jennifer F. Samson
    Adolescent Literacy
    Putting the Crisis in Context
    Vicki A. Jacobs
    Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents
    Rethinking Content-Area Literacy
    Timothy Shanahan and Cynthia Shanahan
    Redefining Content-Area Literacy Teacher Education
    Finding My Voice through Collaboration
    Roni Jo Draper
    Cognitive Strategy Instruction for Adolescents
    What We Know about the Promise, What We Don’t Know about the Potential
    Mark W. Conley
    The Complex World of Adolescent Literacy
    Myths, Motivations, and Mysteries
    Elizabeth Birr Moje, Melanie Overby, Nicole Tysvaer, and Karen Morris
    Toward a More Anatomically Complete Model of Literacy Instruction
    A Focus on African American Male Adolescents and Texts
    Alfred W. Tatum
    Implementing a Structured Reading Program in an Afterschool Setting
    Problems and Potential Solutions
    Ardice Hartry, Robert Fitzgerald, and Kristie Porter
    State Literacy Plans
    Incorporating Adolescent Literacy
    Catherine Snow, Twakia Martin, and Ilene Berman
    Beyond Writing Next
    A Discussion of Writing Research and Instructional Uncertainty
    David Coker and William E. Lewis