Think of literacy as a spine; it holds everything together. The branches of learning connect to it, meaning that all core content teachers have a responsibility to teach literacy.
Vicki Phillips and Carina Wong
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Focus points to ponder:
"...the general underperformance of schools can be directly attributed to a failure to implement three simple, well-known elements: a common curriculum, sound lessons, and authentic literacy" (9). Schmoker refers to "authentic literacy" as "purposeful reading, writing, and discussion as the primary modes of learning both content and thinking skills" (26). This theme carries throughout the book.
"Literacy is still the unrivaled, but grossly under-implemented, key to learning both content and thinking skills" (11).
"A simple, emphatic insistence on common curriculum, sound lessons, and authentic literacy out to be our common goal-the standard for our profession at the classroom, school, and district level" (23).
"We acquire knowledge and thinking skills best when we learn them reciprocally, when we are asked to read, write, argue, and problem solve as we engage with text" (32).
"But how should students approach textbooks-or the literature, poems, or op-ed pieces we should be providing for them in abundance? With questions" (35). "It is especially important for teams of teachers in every discipline to make the development and refinement of good, text-based questions among their highest priorities" (36).