21st Century Literacy: If We Are Scripted, Are We Literate? by Renita Schmidt, Paul Lee Thomas

By Renita Schmidt, Paul Lee Thomas

This booklet bargains a decision to all who're concerned with literacy schooling. It explores the prescriptions that prevent real and potent ways to literacy guideline. The scripts pointed out right here contain the Bureaucratic Script, the company Script, the scholar Script, the mum or dad and Public Script, and the executive Script. The authors convey their school room instructing reports (over thirty years mixed) in addition to their examine base to a dialogue of literacy spanning uncomplicated via highschool. The dialogue bargains the reader sensible and research-based lenses for determining and overcoming the obstacles to top perform whereas fending off the inherent pitfalls chanced on too usually in our faculties. The implied resolution to the subtitle is a definitive “No”, however the textual content is going past criticizing the present country of the sector and seeks to empower either academics and scholars looking literacy development past the scripts that plague twenty-first century commitments to responsibility and testing.

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Now, let us look more closely at how these two tests dictate what matters in literacy by examining how they fail in their representations of what literacy is: • NAEP testing, like standardized testing, treats holistic performances in analytical formats. The assumption here is that reading and writing skills in isolation do somehow accurately equal the holistic acts of reading and writing. While we may be able to show statistical correlations to suggest this is true, the reality is that analytic assessment of holistic acts is simply manageable, not authentic or accurate.

My childhood memories of tests that were not highly important in regard to school or teacher achievement are gone. Many would argue that the tests have always been used to rank and sort children, and it is the accountability measures that have escalated. What is happening in the world that might be contributing to this escalation? S. history; Sputnik spurred us to action in the late 1950s and then A Nation at Risk pointed to educational weaknesses in the areas of math and science by the early 1980s.

Old Story—But Without a New Twist Growing up in Minnesota in the 1960s, I was required to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) once every school year. There were no other standardized tests—just ITBS. It was a time I enjoyed; the test caused a disruption of the normal school day and I knew I could read my library book as soon as I finished the tests for the day. For me, the test questions were like puzzles and R. Schmidt, P. L. V. 2009 41 42 R. Schmidt answering them soothed my soul; I was a middle-class white girl who knew the answers and my confidence was high.

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