Bush meets with education professor to discuss literacy
President discusses No Child Left Behind Act
Deshler, professor of education and director of the Center for Research
on Learning at KU, met with President George W. Bush and four other educators
Wednesday to discuss the president’s Reading First initiative and
the No Child Left Behind Act.
Deshler and his colleagues at the Center for Research on Learning designed
the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) intervention program used by thousands
of schools nationwide. In January, Deshler participated in a roundtable
discussion with first lady Laura Bush at a middle school in Florida that
uses SIM and has recorded improved reading scores as a result.
Reading First, established as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, directs
that funds be dedicated to help states and local school districts eliminate
the reading deficit by “establishing high-quality, comprehensive
reading instruction in kindergarten through grade 3.”
“While Reading First is focused on younger children, there is growing
concern about the challenges facing adolescents who are struggling readers,”
Deshler said. “I was asked to comment on the implications of the
research of the KU Center for Research on Learning for addressing the
needs of adolescents who struggle in reading and other literacy skills.”
SIM is an approach to teaching adolescents who struggle to become good
readers, writers and learners. It is based on the reality that for adolescents
to meet high standards, they must be able to read and understand large
volumes of complex, difficult reading materials. Additionally, they must
be able to express themselves in writing. SIM includes instruction in
visual imagery, paraphrasing, vocabulary, and strategies to learn sentence
writing, paragraph writing and theme writing.
More than 400,000 educators and 3,500 school districts have adopted SIM
components, and several states—including California, Connecticut,
Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
and Vermont—have implemented SIM statewide.