Going Public: Advocating for Effective Literacy

Katherine L. Schlick Noe, Ph.D.

Seattle University

To advocate means to...
...plead for a cause
...argue in support of or on behalf of another
...take action to help someone else
...speak out for those who can't speak for themselves
Highly Selected Booklist:
Taking a Stand
features picture books and novels in which characters stand up for what they believe to be right

National Reading Panel

  • Reports of the Subgroups: Complete research findings from the subgroups on phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

  • Summary: A summary of findings from the subgroups in one booklet. Findings reported in the summary sometimes directly contradict what is reported in the Reports of the Subgroups.

  • Minority View: Expressing her concern with the process and findings of the NRP, panel member Joanne Yatvin attached a “minority view” to the full report.

  • National Reading Panel: Findings and Cautions: Summary of the NRP findings on phonics instruction written by Katherine L. Schlick Noe.

  • International Reading Association Summary: Summary of the NRP findings and conclusions written by the International Reading Association.

Reading First Legislation (2002, January 8). Part of the No Child Left Behind Act, Public Law 107-110.

Research on Literacy
Dr. Margaret Moustafa
, California State University, Los Angeles.  Research syntheses on a wide range of literacy issues:  Phonics and phonemic awareness instruction; effective early literacy instruction. 

:  Clearinghouse for research on reading and writing.

Dr. Richard Allington

Advocacy Web Sites
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest)   Advocacy organization working to end the abuses, misuses and flaws of standardized testing and ensure that evaluation of students and workers is fair, open, and educationally sound.

Susan Ohanian Speaks Out
  Web site of advocacy resources by activist Susan Ohanian, author of What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? (2002). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  Advocacy and resources by Jim Trelease, author of The Read Aloud Handbook.  This link addresses the National Reading Panel report and its critiques.

Wisconsin State Reading Association
: Advocacy web site

Project Vote Smart
: Comprehensive information on voting, issues, legislation, and the democratic process.

Washington State Legislature
:Search for phone, mail, and email addresses for your legislators.

Professional Resources  

Allington, Richard L. (Ed.) (2002). Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Allington, Richard L. (2001). What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs. New York: Longman.

Armbruster, Bonnie; Lehr, Fran; & Osborn, Jean. (2002). Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA).

Calkins, L., Montgomery, K., & Santman, D. (1998). A Teacher’s Guide to Standardized Tests: Knowledge is Power. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Coles, Gerald. (2000). Misreading Reading: The Bad Science that Hurts Children. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Coles, Gerald. (2003). Reading the Naked Truth: Literacy, Legislation, and Lies. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Doyon, Juanita. (2003). Not with Our Kids You Don’t!: Ten Strategies to Save Our Schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ford, Michael P.  “What to Do about Jabbering Parrots: Lessons Learned while Advocating for Best Practices” (September, 2001). Language Arts 

Garan, Elaine M. (March, 2001). Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: A Critique of the National Reading Panel Report on Phonics. Phi Delta Kappan.

Garan, Elaine M. (2002). Resisting Reading Mandates: How to Triumph with the Truth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Garan, Elaine M. (October, 2002). Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors: Where is the ‘Science in Education Research? Handout from the Montana Reading Conference, Great Falls. 

Houck-Cerna, Farin. (February 23, 2003). National Reading Panel Gives Poor Kids the Shaft. Tacoma News Tribune. Accessed February 29, 2003.

Keresty, Barbara, O’Leary, Susan, & Wortley, Dale. (1998). You Can Make a Difference: A Teacher’s Guide to Political Action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Krashen, Stephen. Free Voluntary Reading: New Research, Applications, and Controversies. Accessed September 19, 2004.

Lent, ReLeah Cossett & Pipkin, Gloria. (Eds.). (2003). Silent No More: Voices of Courage in American Schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

McQuillan, Jeff. (1998). The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Moats, Louisa Cook. (October 2002). Whole Language Lives On: The Illusion of “Balanced” Reading Instruction. Thomas Fordham Foundation. 

National Research Council. (1998). Preventing Reading Difficulties In Young Children.

Pressley, Michael. (2002). Effective Beginning Reading Instruction. Paper commissioned by the National Reading Conference.

Pressley, Michael; Allington, Richard. L.; Wharton-McDonald, Ruth; Block, Cathy Collins; & Morrow, Lesley Mandel. (2001). Learning to Read: Lessons from Exemplary First-Grade Classrooms. New York: Guilford Press.

Routman, Regie. (1996). Literacy at the Crossroads: Crucial Talk About Reading, Writing, and Other Teaching Dilemmas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Routman, Regie. (2003). Reading Essentials: The Specifics You Need to Teach Reading Well. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Download an excerpt (pdf file): Plan for and Monitor Independent Reading.

Shannon, Patrick. (Ed.). (2001). Becoming Political, Too: New Readings and Writings on the Politics of Literacy Education. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Stahl, S.A., Duffy-Hester, A., & Stahl, K.A.D. (1998).  Everything you wanted to know about phonics (but were afraid to ask). Reading Research Quarterly, 33, 338-355.

Yatvin, Joanne.  (2002). Babes in the Woods: The Wanderings of the National Reading Panel.  Phi Delta Kappa Online Article.

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