Forum 14-NRC 08 Study Grp-Biancarosa, Bryk, & Dexter, Assessing the Value-Added Effects of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development on Student Learning

Nancy Shanklin, Mon October 27, 2008, 06:31 PM MDT

Those of you who attended NRC in 07 will remember the excellent set of papers presented on Saturday morning on the work of the Literacy Collaborative.  Others may have heard further presentations by this group at AERA 08. 

At NRC this year we are very lucky! They are presenting a session with four papers on W, 3:00-4:30 PM in Salon B.  The over all title of the session is "The Longitudinal Impact of Literacy Collaborative on Teacher Development and Student Achievement: Final Results from a Four-year Quasi-esperimental Study." 

This is important work that has been IES funded.  This research team includes Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, Anthony Bryk, Gina Biancarosa, Patricia Scharer, Allison Atteberry, Heather Hough, Emily Dexter, and Lisa Walker. 

We will be discussing their work in the Study Group on TH morning.  Members of the research team will be in attendance. This will allow us to  interact with them about the papers posted here and their presentation on  W.  We  will post in separate forums 3 to 4 of their papers to read, study, and discuss  prior to NRC.  The link to the project's website is:

This is the third of three forums that we will create around the papers that link to the Literacy Collaborative so that we can discuss them before NRC.  Please see Forums 12-14.  The papers build upon each other, so you may want to start with Forum 12 first.



Nancy Shanklin , Mon October 27, 2008, 09:14 PM MDT - Assessing the Value-Added Effects of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development on Student Learning
This paper, first presented at AERA in March 08, examines the value-added effects of literacy coaching on student literacy learning based on the first three years of a four-year longitudinal field trial of the effectiveness of the Literacy Collaborative (LC), which relies heavily on literacy coaching as a means of improving student literacy learning. It builds upon the presentation at NRC 07.

Assessing the Value-Added Effects of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development on Student Learning

Shawna from TE 633 , Thu January 29, 2009, 09:04 PM MST - The Decline of Literacy Coaches in California
According to the author, the goal of a literacy coach is to “…improve the reading and writing achievement of all children in the school.” (Biancarosa, Bryk, & Dexter, 2008, p.4) The data in this paper suggests that schools with literacy coaches showed some type of improvement in district test scores. As a future literacy coach in California, my question is: If literacy coaches are beneficial to school districts in all aspects, why is there not a stronger need for them throughout California?
Celina Register , Sat January 31, 2009, 04:08 PM MST - Literacy Coaches
This study states that Literacy Collaborative (LC) professional development improves the literacy learning of students throughout the years (Biancarosa, Bryk, & Dexter, 2008, p.38). When teachers and schools focus on a common goal with specific learning parameters and are given an opportunity to work with educated individuals, of course learning will improve. However this study fails to mention the type of literacy coaching that was implemented. Success depends on the support, education and the involvement of the literacy coach. Having a warm extra body on campus does not mean that students will suddenly learn more. The coach has to be active and knowledgeable. Literacy Coaches are just like teachers: some are great and some are just adults in a room with kids.
Stephanie Strachan , Fri February 20, 2009, 03:29 PM MST - Literacy Coaches
Good point Celina. The effects of the Literacy Collaborative did differ depending on the school site, each of which included a distinct set of teachers, students, parents, and coaches. And while all of the coaches of the Literacy Collaborative received "rigorous training in the theory and content of literacy learning," it can be expected that coaches differed in their level of expertise. That preliminary findings suggest that coaching is associated with a 16 to 29 percent improvement in student literacy learning rates is fairly substantial, however, as it suggests that literacy coaches can have a dramatic and positive impact on student and teacher learning despite their own differences.
Celina Register , Mon April 13, 2009, 12:33 PM MDT - Response to Stephanie
With literacy coaching showing such positive gains in testing, why aren’t more schools incorporating coaches?
Amy Jackson , Thu May 21, 2009, 03:11 PM MDT - emperical data
I was intrigued when the authors noted that there have not been many quantative studies demonstrating the effects of literacy coaching. They were able to refer to qualitative examples that utilized evaluations of particular practices, yet decided to create their investigation as the result of a void they saw. Interestingly, their data did in fact demonstrate that the Literacy Collaborative had forward results. In other words, rigorous training and then imparting the knowledge unto colleagues resulted in strides for a particular group of students. I wondered why other types of studies had not been pursued, and I determined that the collection of data and statistics perhaps could be a deterrent. It is easier to illustrate gains qualatatively rather than quantatively in my opinion. With regard to what can go on at a school that has a literacy support provider/coach, I believe, like others who have posted, that the relationship must not be a power struggle type one. The guide must develop relationships with the staff and students alike to have a marked success.

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