Nashville – Governor Phil Bredesen, Education Commissioner Timothy Webb and the Tennessee Department of Education launched the 2009-10 Middle and High School Reading Summit beginning today with a spotlight on promoting reading success.
“Reading is the key to a successful education,” Governor Bredesen said. “While we have made reading a priority with early learning initiatives like Books from Birth, it’s now time to apply that same level of focus to keep reading on the forefront for middle and high school students as we increase standards this year.”
With a renewed focus on reading comprehension, the Department of Education recently created the Office of Reading Information and Proficiency. The office, comprised of existing education department professionals, will provide guidance and offer professional development for teachers on how to build on basic reading skills during the middle and high school years.
“It’s critical that our students have excellent reading skills if we expect them to be prepared for college and the workforce,” Commissioner Webb said. “That’s why reading remains important from kindergarten to graduation.”
During the summit, teams of educators from middle and high schools across the state will participate in various sessions detailing strategies to meet the reading needs of Tennessee’s students. Noted guests include Dr. Deborah Reed, Director of the Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies, from the University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Dian Lapp, Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University.