Current U.S. school reform efforts link school success, student achievement, and teacher performance to standardized tests and narrowly prescribed curricula. How do test-driven, mandated curricula in urban school systems overtly and subtly impact teachers' efforts to provide technologically advanced, challenging classroom environments that foster literacy development for all students? How do these federal policies affect instruction at the classroom level?
The premise of this book is that, in order for teachers to confront and/or counteract the pressures placed on them from these policies, it is necessary to first understand them. This book takes a close look at the tensions that exist between federal mandates and contemporary literacy needs and how those tensions impact classroom practices. Providing a clear sociopolitical overview and analysis, it combines theoretical explanations with examples from current ethnographic research. Readers are challenged to (re)consider whether meeting test performance benchmarks should be the hallmark of school success when the goal of test performance supersedes the goal of producing highly literate, productive citizens of the future.
Nancy Rankie Shelton is Associate Professor of Education, UMBC, USA. Bess Altwerger is Professor of Graduate Reading Education, Towson University, USA.
Preface Acknowledgments List of LERN Contributors Chapter 1: Introduction Nancy Rankie Shelton & Bess Altwerger Part I: Literacy policies and practices in conflict Chapter 2: Redefining Literacy in Networked World Sarah Lohnes Watulak Chapter 3: Federal education policy: Roadblock or reform? Nancy Rankie Shelton & Bess Altwerger Chapter 4: The Literacy Stance Continuum: From transmission to transformation Bess Altwerger & Nancy Rankie Shelton Part II: Teaching and learning in "Reformed" classrooms Chapter 5: Schools and communities: Multiple voices, divergent goals B. P. (Barbara) Laster & Janese Daniels Chapter 6: The new digital divide: Challenges and opportunities for using technology to develop 21st century literacies in urban schools Sarah Lohnes Watulak, B. P. (Barbara) Laster & Xiaoming Liu Chapter 7: "Zero inch voices": Imposing silence in primary classrooms Janese Daniels, Xiaoming Liu & Bess Altwerger Chapter 8: Resisting colonization in the intermediate classroom Teresa Helm Filbert & Nancy Rankie Shelton Chapter 9: Adolescent learners: "Kids don't choose this life" Cheryl North & Nancy Rankie Shelton Part III: Envisioning literacy policies and practices for tomorrow Chapter 10: Meeting the needs of every child in an era of reform B. P. (Barbara) Laster Chapter 11: Down the Rabbit Hole: Reform, Resistance, and Respect Morna McDermott, Nancy Rankie Shelton & Cheryl North Index