Kris Gutierrez, a professor of literacy and learning sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been named to a research panel formed by the International Reading Association to provide leadership regarding literacy issues.
The Literacy Research Panel, which is chaired by literacy researcher and author P. David Pearson of the University of California at Berkeley, will respond to critical literacy issues facing policymakers, school administrators, teacher educators, classroom teachers, parents and the general public.
The 16-member panel has identified four critical issues in literacy that will serve as its opening focus: the achievement gap, motivation and engagement, standards and assessments, and teacher education. The panel intends to engage with policy circles at the national and state level. However, the panel aims to do more than affect policy change; it aims to enhance effective literacy instruction across the country by introducing constructive initiatives to change policy and practices where it matters — in districts and schools.
"Each year, students struggle to excel because they lack the necessary literacy skills," said International Reading Association President and ex officio Literacy Research Panel Member Victoria Risko. "In the United States, an estimated 32 million adults are unable to read, and about 40 percent of high school graduates lack the literacy skills sought by employers. We're proud to call attention to this issue and work with teachers to improve the quality of literacy instruction across the globe."
The panel's specific action steps in addressing its four priorities will be determined in the coming months. The Panel will participate in several activities at the International Reading Association's 2012 Convention in Chicago from April 29 to May 2.