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July 26, 2004 Extra Credit
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July 26, 2004

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Mobile County, Alabama Education Official on Reading First: "It Does Work"

Reading First is the academic cornerstone of the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act. This program provides grants to states to help schools and districts improve children’s reading achievement through scientifically proven methods of instruction. The following are excerpts from a recent article in The Mobile Register highlighting how Reading First is improving children’s reading skills in Mobile County, Alabama:

"Ten Mobile County elementary schools achieved some of the top reading scores in the state among high-poverty schools participating in the Alabama Reading First Initiative. Four of the schools even ranked in the top 10 statewide among all schools involved in Reading First. The results, compiled by the Mobile County school system, were based on student performance on [a] test known as DIBELS [Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills], administered in the spring."

"Sheila Mosley, coordinator of elementary education in Mobile County, said the 10 Reading First schools had low reading scores prior to implementing the program last fall. ‘It does work,’ Mosley said. ‘The schools are motivated, because now they have a clear focus on what they need to do and where they need to take the children.’ In an effort to duplicate the success, the system will unveil similar reading programs at five other struggling schools this fall, Mosley said."

"Among the Reading First schools, Alba Elementary showed the most growth between fall and spring administrations of the test. Thirty percent of the students passed in the fall, while 77 percent passed in the spring. Lisa Williams, principal at Alba, credited Reading First with the improvement. Williams said Alba’s faculty held meetings to discuss the progress of every child, and the teachers and coaches ‘focused continually on meeting the needs of all students.’ Through Reading First, Williams said, ‘we will assure that no child is left behind.’"

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013