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    ILA Launches National Recognition Initiative

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Jul 19, 2019
    The International Literacy Association (ILA) announced today the launch of the ILA National Recognition for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, an initiative that recognizes outstanding licensure, certificate, and endorsement programs that prepare reading/literacy specialists in the United States—the only one of its kind. 

    ILA National Recognition evaluates education preparation providers (EPPs) who seek the organization’s stamp of approval and award the designation on the basis of adherence to ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017). Standards 2017 addresses the demands of 21st-century literacy instruction through rigorous field work, digital learning, and equity-building practices. 

    Programs scored highly during the ILA National Recognition process may be referred to the second phase of the process, putting them on the path to earning ILA National Recognition with Distinction—the highest honor ILA awards literacy professional preparatory programs.

    Two EPPs, The University of Texas San Antonio and West Virginia University, helped pilot the program and have been awarded ILA National Recognition with Distinction. 

    "This initiative underscores ILA’s commitment to preparing high-caliber literacy professionals,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “Programs that have earned National Recognition or National Recognition with Distinction are equipping the next generation of literacy professionals with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to meet the challenges of today's classrooms.”

    Currently, ILA National Recognition and ILA National Recognition with Distinction focus on programs that prepare reading/literacy specialists. Expansion to other literacy professional roles is planned, with a target release of summer 2020.  

    For more information, visit literacyworldwide.org/ilanationalrecognition
     
    Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.
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    ILA Discontinues Membership in CAEP

    By Lara Deloza
     | Jul 18, 2019
    ila-logoEffective August 1, the International Literacy Association (ILA) will discontinue its membership in the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), an accreditation body of education preparation providers (EPPs) that offer licensure, certificate, and endorsement programs in the United States and/or internationally.

    The relationship between the organizations spans nearly 40 years and two name changes. ILA first became a constituent member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 1980, as the International Reading Association (IRA); NCATE merged with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) to become CAEP in 2013.

    Members of ILA's CAEP Committee acted as advisors on the partnership and, along with other ILA literacy professionals, served as program reviewers to strengthen reading/literacy specialist education programs across the United States. EPPs were evaluated based on their alignment with ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 and, prior to that, IRA’s Standards 2010. 

    ILA remains committed to strengthening pre-K–12 student learning and will continue to recognize exemplary literacy professional preparation programs through its own independent initiative. 

    For questions, please contact ilanationalrecognition@reading.org.

    Lara Deloza
    is the Director of Brand Content and Communications at the International Literacy Association. 
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    #ILAchat: What Research Says About Phonics

    By Colleen Patrice Clark
     | Jul 09, 2019
    july-ilachatOur latest literacy leadership brief, Meeting the Challenges of Early Literacy Phonics Instruction, states that phonics is an essential component of early reading and writing instruction and becoming a fluent reader. Phonics has been at the top of many conversations lately, and we’ll dive in during our next #ILAchat on Thursday, July 11, at 8:00 p.m. ET, which focuses on the topic: What Research Says About Phonics.

    Guests for this Thursday’s chat include

    • Darl Kiernan, the pre-K–3 regional literacy facilitator with Nevada’s Northwest Regional Professional Development Program. Over her 24 years in education, she has served as a teacher, coach, and leader in professional learning. Her research interests include word study and vocabulary development. 
    • Jasmine Lane, an early-career high school teacher in Minnesota. Through ResearchED, a growing, grassroots, and teacher-led movement, she advocates for evidence-informed instructional approaches and strategies in the classroom. This November, she will be on a panel about reading instruction at the ResearchEd Philadelphia 2019 event moderated by Emily Hanford. She blogs at jasmineteaches.wordpress.com.
    • Karen Vaites, a K–12 education entrepreneur passionate about education research and bridging research to practice. Vaites most recently served as chief evangelist, community development officer, and chief strategy officer for Open Up Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting instructional equity. She blogs at eduvaites.org.

    Follow #ILAchat and @ILAToday this Thursday to join the conversation with Kiernan, Lane, Vaites, and ILA about phonics instruction and what role it should play in early literacy education.

    Colleen Patrice Clark is the editor of Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.

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    Get to Know ILA's Incoming Vice President and Board Members-at-Large

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Jul 04, 2019
    In a recent blog series, we spoke with our incoming Vice President and Board members-at-large about their vision for the future of ILA, the experience they bring to the role, and what they hope to accomplish during their term. 

    Get to Know Incoming Vice President Stephen Peters
    Get to Know New Board Member-at-Large Kia Brown-Dudley
    Get to Know New Board Member-at-Large Rachael Gabriel
    Get to Know New Board Member-at-Large Laurie Sharp

    Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily. 
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    ILA Creates Framework for Crafting a Learning Culture

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Jul 03, 2019
    june-llb

    The lead learners and chief architects of culture and instructional programs at their schools, principals are uniquely positioned to promote equitable practices that nurture students’ self-efficacy and academic growth, according to ILA’s latest brief, Principals as Literacy Leaders.

    ILA presents a framework composed of three influences—challenge, clarity, and feedback—that are essential ingredients in a high-quality instructional program.

    • Challenge: When teachers provide students with challenging activities, students grow their capacities for learning, problem solving, and overcoming difficulties. These students feel a sense of accomplishment and are willing to try new things.
    • Clarity: When lessons are grounded in relevance—or an understanding of how the learning might connect to a larger purpose—students are more likely to “become attached to a learning goal and engage meaningfully in class activities and discussions.”
    • Feedback: Students who receive and act on feedback learn to monitor their own progress and identify gaps between what they currently understand and what needs to be learned next, instilling a strong sense of autonomy.

    Reform efforts are most effective when principals build the capacities of staff to work collaboratively toward a shared vision, says ILA.   

    “For so long, schools have maintained a hierarchical structure, in which one person—the principal—exercises exclusive decision-making power,” says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We hope to see more schools move away from traditional siloed, disconnected efforts and embrace a more cohesive approach to school leadership centered on a strong partnership between principals and teachers/classrooms.”

    This framework, coupled with a commitment to collaborative leadership, can help to bridge the academic divide and level the playing field for students, says ILA. The brief ends with tangible next steps for fostering collective action.

    Access the full brief here.

    Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily. 

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