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Assistant Superintendent

Reading for Understanding Project

National Symposium on Reading for Understanding

May 18–19, 2016

The Reading for Understanding (RfU) research initiative was a five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to develop effective strategies for improving reading comprehension for students in grades preK–12. Six project teams were awarded grants. In May of 2016, ETS and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) co-hosted a national symposium to review the work of the RfU teams and to discuss the implications for next steps in research, policy and practice. State and district leaders from some two dozen states attended, with the support of CCSSO and 13 co-sponsoring organizations.

Agenda (PDF)

Opening Keynote Presentation

America’s Opportunity Gap: A Case for Change, Irwin Kirsch, Director of the Center for Global Assessment and Co-Director of the ETS Opportunity Project, ETS

Reading for Understanding Research Project Presentations and Websites

The Language Bases of Reading Comprehension (preK–grade 3), Ohio State University and the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC)

  • Overview of the Let’s Know! and ¡Vamos a Aprender! Curriculum Supplements(preK–grade 3), Shelley Gray and Laida Restrepo, Arizona State University. View the slides >
  • Lessons Learned from the Let’s Know! and ¡Vamos a Aprender! Curriculum Supplements (preK–grade 3), Shelley Gray and Laida Restrepo, Arizona State University and Tiffany Hogan, MGH Institute for Health Professions.
  • Project website: https://larrc.ehe.osu.edu/

Examining Effective Intervention Targets, Longitudinal Intensity, and Scaling Factors for Pre-K to 5th Grade Student Comprehension, The Florida Center for Reading Research

  • The FCRR Reading for Understanding Network: Challenges and Unanswered Questions (preK–grade 5) by Chris Lonigan, Florida State University. View the slides >
  • Building Language and Academic Knowledge – but What About Comprehension? Presentation on Content Area Literacy Instruction (CALI) Intervention and Results (preK–grade 4) by Carol Connor, Florida Center for Reading Research and University of California at Irvine. View the slides >
  • Supporting Young Children’s Literate Language Development: Presentation on Language in Motion (LIM) Intervention and Results in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten, by Beth Phillips, Florida Center for Reading Research. View the slides >
  • Project website: http://rfu.fcrr.org/

Catalyzing Conversation through Discussion and Debate (grades 4–8), The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP)

  • Engaging Tweens and Teens in Deep Reading Comprehension: The power of discussion and debate (grades 4–8) by M. Suzanne Donovan, SERP Institute. View the slides >
  • Fostering Academic Language and Engagement: A deeper dive into the curriculum and assessments (grades 4–8) by Paola Uccelli, Harvard University, Lowry Hemphill, Wheelock College and Catherine Snow, Harvard University. View the slides >
  • Project website: http://ccdd.serpmedia.org/

Reading, Evidence, and Argumentation in Disciplinary Instruction (READI) (grades 6–12), University of Illinois

  • READI: (Reading, Evidence, and Argumentation in Disciplinary Instruction): Yes They Can (grades 6–12) by Susan R. Goldman, University of Illinois at Chicago. View the slides >
  • READI for History: Yes They Can; (grades 6–12) by Gayle Cribb, WestEd and Jodi Hoard, West Ridge Elementary, Chicago Public Schools. View the slides >
  • READI for Science: Yes They Can; (grades 6–12) by Cynthia Greenleaf, WestEd and Katie McIntyre, Drake Elementary, Chicago Public Schools. View the slides >
  • READI for Literature:Yes They Can; (grades 6–12) by Carol D. Lee, Northwestern University and Jessica Chambers, Chicago Public Schools. View the slides >
  • Project website: http://www.projectreadi.org/

Understanding Malleable Cognitive Processes and Integrated Comprehension Interventions for Grades 7–12, The University of Texas at Austin

Assessing Reading for Understanding: A Theory-Based, Developmental Approach(preK–grade 12), Educational Testing Service (ETS)

  • Reading for Understanding in the 21st Century: Designing assessments in support of learning and instruction (preK–grade 12) by John Sabatini and Tenaha O’Reilly, ETS, and Barbara Foorman, Florida Center for Reading Research. View the slides >
  • Designing Assessments in Support of Learning and Instruction (preK–grade12). Overview and exploration stations presented by Tenaha O’Reilly and John Sabatini, ETS, and Barbara Foorman, Florida Center for Reading Research. View part A slides > and view part B slides >
  • Project website: www.ets.org/research/topics/reading_for_understanding/

Reflections on the Project Overviews, P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley

Day 2 Keynote Presentation

Getting Ideas Into Action: Figuring Out What Works for Whom, Louis M. Gomez, UCLA and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Research Panel Discussion

Moderator: T.J. Elliott, ETS

Watch the video [coming July 2016]

View the accessible transcript [coming July 2016]

  • Elizabeth Albro, Associate Commissioner for Teaching and Learning, National Commission for Education Research
  • Barbara Eason-Watkins, Superintendent, Michigan City Schools
  • Jessica Chambers, Chicago Public Schools
  • Art Graesser, University of Memphis
  • Eunice Greer, Senior Research Scientist, National Center for Educational Statistics
  • Annemarie Palincsar, University of Michigan

Policy and Practice Panel Discussion

Moderator: T.J. Elliott, ETS

Watch the video >

View the accessible transcript [coming soon]

  • Barbara Eason-Watkins, Superintendent, Michigan City Schools
  • Louis Gomez, Chair, Education Department, UCLA
  • Irwin Kirsch, Co-Director of The Opportunity Project, ETS
  • Carol Mahedy, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, MA
  • James Purpura, Associate Professor of Language and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Suzanne Wilson, Professor of Teacher Education, University of Connecticut
  • Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi

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