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Task Group Reviews Education Activity’s Literacy Programs

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2009 – The Department of Defense Education Activity has suspended the use of the Reading Recovery program in its European schools for the school year that begins in the fall.

Reading Recovery, a manpower-intensive literacy program that aims to bolster literacy skills of low-achieving first grade students, already has been discontinued in DoDEA’s Pacific schools.

“Reading Recovery itself … is very limiting, in that it targets 10 to 20 percent of first graders,” Lori Pickel, DoDEA’s elementary reading and language arts coordinator, said of the 16-week, one-on-one program. “We have many ways that we provide reading intervention or literacy intervention for our students. Reading Recovery was just one of those vehicles.”

It’s also just one of the literacy programs under review by DoDEA’s Literacy Task Group. The group was convened during the current school year.

“In reviewing the programs, this is one … that really may not be hitting the population of military students that we have in the numbers that we need,” Marc Mossburg, the activity’s chief of curriculum, said. “This is the way to move forward and the way for continuous improvement.

“[The task group] is having their third and final meeting in April, at which time they will present some preliminary recommendations for a [pre-kindergarten] through [12th grade] literacy program that will have intervention strategies and support strategies,” he added.

The bottom line for DoDEA is to build one consistent program with strategies it will fully fund and support in the next few years that is driven by student need, including learning styles, Mossburg said.

Students participating in Reading Recovery this year will continue to receive assistance next year through other initiatives should they need it, he said.

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