Donalyn's Reviews > Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools: Five Simple-To-Follow Strategies

Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools by Elaine K. McEwan
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Mar 19, 09

bookshelves: adult-teaching-books
Read in March, 2009

I am not sure I should rate this book or mark it as a book I read, when I did not finish all of it.

I am always open to learning more about teaching reading and I have discovered that many of my middle and high school colleagues see reading instruction differently than I do. The title of this book intrigued me because I thought I would discover more about reading instruction in secondary school.

What a disappointment. First, the author's style is off-putting and noninclusive. I can tell that she has not been in a classroom in years and spends most of her time presenting staff development. Her tone is condescending and boring.

Second, I could not believe some of the flawed arguments she builds to prove her points. Is she the last educator in America who still defends the work of the National Reading Panel and its decision to exclude independent reading from its instructional recommendations? If you know me, you know that this is what pushed me over the edge!

Ultimately, the book fails to provide what it promises-- a school-wide plan for creating a reading culture. Most of the core beliefs and values the author provides are generic advice about teaching and learning that have little to do with reading. Statements like, "We have high expectations for every student," and "Important decisions must be made collegially," don't help me (or anyone else) improve reading achievement at my school.

There are a few charts I found interesting, but I will look for the data elsewhere. I don't want to appear as if I found this book relevant by referring to it. My advice-- skip this book and check out the research in the bibliography instead.
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message 1: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Good job, Donalyn. I like reviewers to tell me why I shouldn't consider reading a book. You did that with sound points.


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