"Reading is the number one priority, and reading has been declared a critical teacher shortage area," (University Of Florida, 2013). It is not only the developing nations that are fighting for educational programs and improving literacy but the developed nations like America is also struggling to improve the quality of education (Florida Literacy Coalition, n.a.). American attempt for improving literacy programs focuses to improve the quality of reading, writing, English, Math and family literacy. In Florida alone, different programs are run by public and private institutes in order to achieve the goal of increased quality education. Programs like NSW Department of Education and Training's one to one computing offers digital education and the Florida Differentiated Accountability Program analyzes the administrations capability to offer quality education. The students often face difficulty in reading. Such students are offered programs on the basis of age and grades they study. Such programs are found influential in increasing student's attentiveness, interest, reading, writing, understanding and reproducing knowledge.
The American Nation recognized some time ago that it is not enough just to open up schools and deploy school administration to offer education. It was rather also necessary to keep an eye on the ongoing school performance and to have accountability of teaching and non-teaching staff so that the quality of education is ensured. To assess literacy activities, the program evaluates not only the grades of students and the teacher's performance reports, but also it gets feedback from the students and staff.
The Florida Differentiated Accountability Program is conducted in a school Academir Charter School West. The organizing population in program includes the school principal, assistant Principal and the 35 staff members. What the program does is that it takes feedback on different areas. It asks about the effectiveness and efficiency of the school teachers and the staff. The program also takes feedback on what the students perceive that the state and federal services can be coordinated. Different programs are mentioned in the form and students are asked to give their opinion about the effectiveness of these programs. Some of these programs include Supplemental Academic Instruction, Violence Prevention Programs, and Housing Programs, Adult Education and career and technical education. The Florida Differentiated Accountability Program analyzes how these different programs are helpful and how the features of these can be combined to come up with a more effective literacy program.
The program uses different sources of data for the purpose of conducting research. The resources for management of data include FLKRS and FAIR. The literacy program offered by Florida Differentiated Accountability also includes the concern of training the teaching staff on the Multi-Tiered System of Supports abbreviated as MTSS and RtI or Response to Instruction/Intervention. Without fully equipping the teachers and staff, it is hard to improve students' capacity to read and write. The conventional methods are not enough where the student is asked to keep reading until he develops proficiency. The school staff is planned to be trained on MTSS during implementation (Robinson and Grego, 2012). The program plans that the teachers will be developed before and after taking them on the board. The main points to be included in the program start with effectively and actively involving leadership to establish connections between the framework of MTSS and school's mission. Next the policies of program will be designed such that they did not collide with class level, school level or state level educational policies. The program also plans to facilitate the correct use of a problem-solving procedure so that the educational process is errorless. There program aims to develop a sense of partnership between the stakeholders so that they jointly work to achieve same goal i.e. To improve the quality of education and literacy in Florida. The program does not look at only the small components but it also works on the overall progress of the educational system and thus the comprehensive and broad view of project is developed to improve program and make is humanistic (Robinson and Grego, 2012). By humanistic it means that the program is user friendly and does not put unnecessary focus on objective achievement. The program efforts to ensure that the trainers are supplied regularly and the program works on going principle.
The program has a Literacy Leadership Team or LLT that is based in the school. The team is led by school principal Dr. Carolina Claro, Assistant Principal Mr. Albert Mancebo, school coordinator and grade level chair persons. The team functions by meeting regularly and discussing the educational problems. The members suggest solutions and interventions that can help avoid or solve the problems. The team activities and progress is discussed once every two weeks. This year the major focus of team is to help students sufficiently progress in reading skills and to be able to review up to set standards. The students are surveyed as well as observed so that a balanced and effective plan is designed for achieving goals of program.
The program has set some expectations that should be met by the end of year 2013. The Florida Differentiated Accountability Program considers the realistic environment in which the literacy quality will be increased. The school also has some barriers in the achievement of the program goals. The program found that existing performance level of reading skill is 33%. The program expects that by the end of the year 2013, the expected level of performance will be 35%. To achieve this student performance, the program has designed a problem solving layout. The reading application of students is tested to find the general weak areas. As a strategy, the program emphasizes on the use of graphics to help the students learn and have fluency while reading. The teachers are asked to use such reading material that also helps in testing reading skills. This helps the student evaluate himself as he reads. The team and the school administration assist in monitoring the performance and the progress. The program uses FCIM model, a coach for reading, and a team that reviews whole class' performance. The FCAT explorer at level 3 helps the program team evaluate reading skills of the students. The quantifying method helps the students know where they are lacking and what is their strength in reading (Robinson and Grego, 2012). This encourages and motivates them to do well next time. It would be very hard for the Florida program to evaluate literacy progress in the absence of a well defined program and the evaluation tool.
The program takes some initiatives for literacy improvement at level 4, 5 and 6 as well. These initiatives are somewhat different than the proceedures for level 3. The Reading Goal for number 2a is that the students should get 1% more proficency in reading and the skill should be improved from 35% to 36%. It is anticipated that the reading application will be a barrier in achieving the goal. The program adopts the strategy of determining cause and effect of reading tools (teacher's efforts and graphic organizers) on the improvement in literacy.
The team members and school administration will collaborate to follow FCIM model and evaluate the student performance with theset standards to dind if the student capability is enhanced or not. The FCAT 2.0 program with reading goal #3a strives to increase the reading proficency by 2% . this goal is set for those students that already have level 7 acheievement in literacy proficiency. The 2012 perfroncae of tehse students is 78% which is aimed and expected to increase to 83%. The students will be taught using cause and effects technique and they will be offered charts and other material that makes it easy to evaluate the performnace. With the help of school administration and the etam members, the students will be evaluated on 2013 FCAT reading designed to know their level of proficeiency as well as performance.
The Florida Differentiated Accountability Program plans to improve student achievement by involving their parents into the program too (Robinson and Grego, 2012). The parent involvement is currently 75% which will be increased to 77%. Normally the parents stress their children to improve their performnace at reading and writing but they are not themselves willing to learn how to facilitate their children. The parents will be taught in the program how to remove the learning barriers and to develop work commitment scheduels along with their children. This will be done by first conducting a survey along with the aprents to find out what are the convineint times during day and week that can facilitate classes. Then the team will develop sign-in sheets for those that volunteer to work extra hours. Finally there will be evaluation of parents' participation and the parents will be evaluated on the basis of their attendence and involvement.
It may seem that the satndards set for improving the quality of literacy are not very high. That is true but these standards are very optimistic and realistic. The program is not hypothetical and it is based on the reaserch conducted by program…