Adolescent Reading Grant From USDE

The USDE says that Chicago is among the first wave of districts to get money for the Department's "Striving Readers" program: 

Public Schools will receive a $24.5 million Striving Readers grant over five
years to improve the literacy skills of struggling adolescent readers, U.S.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today.  Secretary
Spellings made the announcement during a visit to Talcott Fine Arts and
Museum Academy with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley."

Striving Readers project is aimed at transforming teaching and learning in 32
middles schools serving grades 6-8.  The District will provide intensive
interventions in reading instruction in
an after school setting using a
program called Achieving Maximum Potential, developed at the University of
Illinois at Chicago."

"Chicago will work with National Louis University to
provide comprehensive professional development to create a seamless, aligned
approach to reading instruction and literacy across language arts, social
studies, science, and math classes.  The district will partner with
Learning Points Associates to undertake a rigorous experimental
research evaluation."

"A total of $30 million will be awarded for
the 2006-07 school year to support the implementation of eight Striving
Readers programs across the country.  The programs focus on middle and high
schools that have significant numbers of struggling readers and that are
striving to meet No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress requirements
in reading.  They include a range of research-based adolescent
literacy projects serving diverse populations.  Each program includes a
rigorous evaluation conducted by independent researchers.  The president's
2007 budget requests a $70.3 million increase in Striving Readers for a
total of more than $100 million."

"Grantees may use the Striving
Readers funds for activities such as interventions for middle and high
school-aged students to improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabulary,
fluency and comprehension using research-based programs; professional
development aligned with scientifically based reading research; valid and
reliable reading assessments; and the design and implementation of a rigorous

"Applicants had to meet the following requirements to be
eligible to
receive Striving Readers grants:
    *    Serve students in
grades 6-12 only in Title I eligible
schools; and
    *    Include each
of the three following components in their
program: (1) school-level
strategies; (2) intensive,         targeted
intervention for struggling
readers; and (3) a project evaluation
conducted by an independent evaluator   
      that includes a rigorous
experimental research-based evaluation of the

A fact sheet, which lists all the recipients and the
grant amounts, is

more information about the Striving Readers program,

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