The West Virginia Board of Education Lands National Grant for State Literacy Programs

June 28, 2007

Charleston, W.Va. - The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) announced today that the West Virginia Board of Education has been awarded a grant for the development of comprehensive state literacy initiatives.  

West Virginia is one of five states to receive a 15 thousand dollar one-year grant to help guide state leadership efforts in inserting literacy strategies into core academic subjects. The funding comes from NASBE’s Adolescent Literacy Network and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The state Boards of Education in Connecticut, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Utah also received the grant.  

“We are pleased to support the leadership of these five state boards of education in making literacy instruction a coordinated set of state policies spanning all programs and academic subjects in school. Their success will help other states develop similar solutions for this deficit in student learning,” said Brenda Welburn, NASBE Executive Director.  

The year-long project requires states to commit to establishing ongoing collaborative partnerships and develop and implement a work plan that integrates improvements in literacy performance with school improvement efforts. It requires broad attention to the problems of connecting policy to practice and to the demands for systematic investments in the training and professional development of teachers.  

The grants support the design and implementation of state plans to improve adolescent literacy achievement which adhere to the recommendations put forth in the NASBE 2005 report, Reading at Risk: The State Response to the Crisis in Adolescent Literacy, and the 2007 publication, From State Policy to Classroom Practice: Improving Literacy Instruction for All Students. The recommendations urge states to base their decisions on a clear understanding of what needs to take place at the instructional core—the relationships between teachers and students around the content to be learned.  

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” Advancing Literacy is a relatively new subprogram of the Education Division aimed at advancing literacy by affecting policy, practice, and research.  

*** NASBE represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Its principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education.

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