Showing posts from June, 2010

Boys and Reading

The graph above shows an amazingly consistent pattern regarding the reading achievement of girls (top line) and boys (bottom line). While this graph highlights the longitudinal data of 13 year olds, the picture for 9 and 17 year olds looks remarkably the same.Basically girls out score boys and have for 30 years across all age groups according to the National Test of Educational Progress (NAEP.)Michael W. Smith & Jeff Wilhelm summarize the findings on boys and literacy in their book Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys (2002) pages 10&11:Achievement:Boys take longer to read than girls. Boys read less than girls. Girls tend to comprehend text significantly better than boys. Boys tend to do better with information retrieval & work-related literacy tasks than girls. Attitude:Boys generally provide a lower estimate of their reading abilities than girls do. Boys value reading as an activity less than girls do. Boys have much less interest in leisure reading & are far more likely to r…

Leadership is Essential

A good friend and colleague, Greg Llewellyn, recently came to my Curriculum Council Meeting to discuss strategies for effective implementation of initiatives. Greg shared his experience with school systems that have implemented district-wide initiatives successfully. He recommended districts consider a district-wide leadership team consisting of leadership at all levels whom meet frequently. This system helps to create a coherent understanding and common language regarding the initiative and the goal. It also helps with implementation issues that often develop regarding policy and procedures. These can best be acknowledged and addressed through a district leadership team.District leaders shared that this format was highly successful and kept potential “rogues” from going off on their own.The Caveat:Attendance at the leadership team was non-negotiable!For this district leadership team to work, all stakeholders must be present at critical decision points. Therefore, if all could not be …