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The ALER Executive Board voted at the Fall meeting to use a blog format for the newsletter. Please check back regularly to received updated information from, about and for ALER members.


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Top tags: legislative issues  adult learning division  social issues  2015 conference  accreditation  ALER  aler historian  banned books  committee update  ESEA Reauthorization  how to join  literacy  manuscripts  mentoring  new members  publications committee  richardson  social committee  text complexity  yearbook 

Banned Books Week---An Important Story: The Spider's Web

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A satirical story on the occasion of Banned Books Week, by Judy S. Richardson

The Spider’s Web

            “Here it is, Mom! Look what I made for the project.” William tugged his mother’s arm as they reached the display wall near his classroom. He pointed to his spider nestled in a yarn web.

            “Hmm?” his mother replied, still checking her texts.

            “Look! And you can touch it too.”

            Mrs. Temple glanced at her son then back at her iphone. “Just a minute.”

            “Mo-o-om.” William stretched the word, exasperated. She looked up.

            “Oh. A black bottle. How nice, William. What’s it for?”

            “It’s not for anything. Except that it’s Charlotte. See her legs? I made them from pipe cleaners.”

“Charlotte who?” Her phone pinged. William sighed. His mother was always busy doing something besides paying attention to him. But tonight was supposed to be a special treat. For a change, she was the one bringing him to the Open House. His dad had a meeting tonight or he’d be studying the spider right now,  telling William how great it was.

“From Charlottes’ Web. Don’t you know anything?”

“I know a great deal, young man. Especially that Charlotte’s Web is not a suitable book for a child your age. How do you know about it?”

At least now William had his mother’s full attention. “We read it in our class, a few chapters a day.”

“You read it? The whole book? Without my permission?” Mrs. Temple grabbed William’s hand and jerked him into his classroom. She bustled up to the instructor, who was conversing with another parent.

“What a wonderful idea” this parent was saying. “I’ve always loved Charlotte’s Web and now Molly does too.” Mrs. Temple stiffened and grew very straight. William, his hand still gripped by his mother, felt his body stretched to keep up with her tension.

“Well, I don’t think it’s a lovely idea!” The two women jumped.

“Hello, Mrs. Temple. I’m glad to see you here with William. I guess he showed you our project?” The other parent crept away.

“I did and I’m not happy. The job of raising a child is very difficult without teachers deciding to use banned books in their curriculum.”

“Banned? I’ve never heard that about Charlotte’s Web.”

“By the Kansas City Schools in 2006. Talking animals are blasphemy. And William is too young to read about death.”
            “No, I’m not, Mom. Charlotte had to die because she was a spider. Beisdes, she had 514 children to keep Wilbur compnay. And I didn’t read it, Miss Doran read to us.”

His mother did not hear him. She released his hand to better access Safari. “I’ll show you the website. It’s on common sense media.” Miss Doran arched her eyebrows in that funny way she got when impatient. Mrs. Temple tapped and scrolled. William looked aroung the room. On the white board were the words they had learned:






Magnum opus



William liked the words Magnum opus best because his lips made  an ‘O’ when he said them. So far, his greatest art was making the spider from a bottle. Not as good as an egg sac, but okay for now.

“Here it is.” His mother read aloud. “Children typically do not understand the permanency of death until they are around 8-10 years old, the majority not understanding this until 10. Charlotte's Web is not a cute child's story...”  

“But William is already eight. His test scores tell us he is very bright. And, we have a signed permission that he could hear this story.” Miss Williams walked to a file cabinet and pulled out a drawer.

“That is a mistake on your part. I did not receive any email about this permission.”

“This is on paper which we prefer rather than an email signature so there isn’t any confusion.” Miss Williams handed Mrs. Temple the paper. “Your husband signed it.”

“William! Did you know about this?” His mother waved the paper in front of her child.

She looked red in the face. It would have been so much better if his father had been able to come tonight. His mother objected to stuff that wasn’t important.

“Yeh. We were playing ‘backpack unstuffing.’ We have to do that every week because I forget about things and they get pushed to the bottom of my backpack. It’s kind of fun. So we found it and he signed it for me.”

“Wait until I—“ his mother’s phone rang.  “Yes? Oh, of course.” Her voice mellowed. “I’d be glad to do that. Just give me a few minutes to close up what I’m doing now.” She pressed the red phone icon. “We have to go, William.”

Without another word to Miss Doran, she turned and left the room. William shrugged at his teacher. As he walked by the wall, he lingered at the network of threads.

“We made the web out of yarn. But we didn’t have time yet to make the letters for ‘Some Pig.’ It was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

“What? C’mon, William. I’m in a hurry. I have a deadline to meet.” He followed her down the steps, out the door and into the car. As they drove off, he looked up to the second floor window and waved at Miss Doran. His mother answered a call on her bluetooth.


 Attached Files:

Tags:  banned books  richardson 


Googled and found!

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Sunday, November 8, 2015


At the conclusion of our wonderful 2015 conference, we held some great discussions in our Town Hall Meeting.  We shared many ideas and stories about how to expand membership in our organization and get the word out to others.  One story that excited the executive board was of Lakendra Smithwho had searched literacy organizations online and found ALER through Google.  She felt it fit her needs exactly and flew to California all the way from Washington DC to attend our conference, participate in our sessions, and to fellowship with us.  AS we work to increase our visibility and recruit new members, we are so happy for our online presence. But it may not be enough.  As members, think of ways you can invite others to join us and participate in our great organization.  Send ideas through the website and we'll make sure your voice is heard.  

Tags:  2015 conference  ALER  how to join  literacy  new members 

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ALER Historian Committee

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Friday, October 9, 2015

The ALER Historian Committee is seeking people to take oral histories of award winners and past presidents.  We are also seeking people who are willing to serve on the editorial committee as manuscript reviewers. If you are interested in finding out more about this great opportunity to serve our organization, please contact either Ellen Jampole (, Barb McClanahan (, or Wayne Linek (

Tags:  aler historian 

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Legislative and Social Issues Committee Update Increasing Teacher Diversity: Literacy Educators Have an Important Role to Play

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Monday, September 21, 2015

by Mary McGriff, Ed.D.

New Jersey City University

September 2, 2015


Charleston. Chattanooga.  Harris County. When it comes to current events, this has certainly been a tragic and tumultuous summer.  And, on so many fronts, the morning news appears to grow more concerning…more complex.  It seems that now more than ever, children (and adults) need the ability to understand multiple viewpoints.  They need to be able to objectively assess competing perspectives, including those they disagree with. They need to be able to interrogate and evaluate their own positions in light of alternative ones.    In short, they need to be able to read critically.


As literacy educators, we already know that the types of texts and literacy experiences that students encounter in school go a long way in building critical habits of mind.  However, I was especially heartened to read Melinda Anderson’s recent piece in The Atlantic that took this a step further by calling for greater diversity among classroom teachers.  In this article, Anderson chronicles how an African-American teacher offered his predominantly white class new perspectives, disrupted one-sided portrayals of current and historical events, and on balance, incorporated ideas and related learning experiences that his students had never experienced before. Anderson calls for cultural diversity within the teacher workforce as a means of introducing students to a greater breadth of perspectives, of actively countering limited and derogatory views, and of cultivating a positive and productive appreciation for our common humanity.  “Easy for a journalist to say,” I thought.  Yet, after some investigation, I was quite encouraged to realize that there are range of current policies that, directly or indirectly, lend themselves to this very effort.  So, now that the fall semester is upon us, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at some of the policies, programmatic initiatives, and supporting research that propel this effort and support our work in fostering a culturally diverse body of teachers.  Here are just a few.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation -- Standard 3.1

CAEP’s Standard 3.1 calls for teacher education programs to develop “plans and goals to recruit and support completion of high-quality candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse populations to accomplish their mission.”  CAEP’s rationale for this requirement highlights the benefits that accrue to students when they have teachers whose cultural backgrounds match their own.  Yet, while the advantages extend well beyond this one focus, CAEP provides their member institutions with an explicit mandate to recruit and support a diverse body of teacher candidates.  Ultimately, that will benefit all students….and all school communities.    


Minority Recruitment Programs

Recognizing that greater diversity among teaching staffs better prepares students to participate in our global society, several states and county-level educational support offices have developed minority recruitment initiatives. These are designed to assist districts in crafting minority teacher hiring policies and procedures.    Representative among these is Connecticut’s Capitol Region Education Council Minority Teacher Recruiting Program.  Alternatively, some state departments of education such as those in Florida, Indiana and Illinois offer competitive scholarships to students who major in education.


Whether focusing on needs of nonwhite students or more broadly on the greater societal benefits that a diverse teacher workforce afford, there appears to be little disagreement that greater teacher diversity is required.  However long standing sociohistorical inequities make the recruitment of minorities to our field easier said than done.  Consider the following complications:

·      66% of African-American ACT test takers scored beneath the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in English in 2014.1

·      53% of Hispanic ACT test takers scored beneath the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in English in 2014.2 

·      The majority of first generation college students are African-American or Hispanic, and by virtue of this designation, are at greater risk of dropping out.3

In this context, recruiting and retaining a diverse body of teacher candidates means expanding the pool of minority students that can enter college prepared for its academic demands and that can meet CAEP’s rigorous teacher education program admissions standards. As literacy educators, we have important roles to play in supporting college and career readiness. I like to think of these as ranging from the decisions we make in our own P- 12, school-based work with teachers to the broader habits of mind we model in relation to cultural and linguistic responsiveness.   


Growing a Diverse Candidate Pool through College and Career Readiness Initiatives

Since not all practicing teachers return to our campuses for graduate study, university – school partnerships offer an ideal means of establishing productive professional relationships with teachers in area schools.  Federal funds for school-based, college and career readiness initiatives are generously incorporated into the Department of Education’s proposed 2016 budget, and these include a $1 billion increase in Title I grants and $125 million for a new Next Generation High Schools program. These monies offer funding opportunities for professional development to address the readiness gaps described above.  In addition to building teachers’ knowledge and skills for literacy instruction, The Next Chapter: Literacy within ESEA report specifically identifies teachers’ low expectations as a dispositional contributors to low achievement among low-income students, English learners and other students who read below grade level.  Maintaining high expectations for learners is, in fact, a complex matter that involves an inquiry-focused approach toward teaching, knowledge of and subscription to culturally responsive pedagogical approaches, and on-going systemic support.  Whether novice or veteran, teachers benefit when we model how high expectations for students can be sustained on a day-to-day basis, regardless of home language and culture, income level or family composition.  Modeling an inquiry-focused approach to our own practice and offering scaffolded opportunities for teachers to refine these dispositional and pedagogical practices for themselves will go a long way toward achieving this end.   


Welcoming the Fall

In light of these opportunities, now has never been a better time to work with practicing and prospective teachers.   Now has never been a better time to be a literacy teacher educator. Welcome to a new semester! 


Join us on Friday, November 6, 2015 from 3:00 – 4:25 pm.

During the 2015 ALER Annual Conference, the Legislative and Social Issues Committee will host the symposium, Dream keepers and Gatekeepers:  Examining Issues of Access, Diversity and Literacy in Teacher Education.  This program will provide ALER members with a comprehensive examination of literacy instruction as it impacts teacher preparation and student learning. Please look for an announcement specifying the room assignment for this symposium as soon as it becomes available. 



1-2.         ACT Condition of College & Career Readiness Report (2014). ACT, Inc. Iowa City, IA. Retrieved from   

3.          Engle, J. (2007). Postsecondary Access and Success for First-Generation College

Students.” American Academic. 3. 2007. Retrieved from



Tags:  committee update  legislative issues  social issues 

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Legislative and Social Committee June / July Blog Post by Nancy L. Stevens, Ph.D.: Meeting the Text Complexity Standard: Room for Balance?

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Legislative and Social Issues Committee Update


Meeting the Text Complexity Standard: Room for Balance?


by Nancy L. Stevens, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


There is an important paradox inherent in the CCSS: The Common Core established a one-size fits all common set of college and career readiness learning goals for all students – no matter who they are, where they are, or what their circumstances may be. But, despite these common aspirations, we recognize that there will be great differences among children and in what it will take to get them to achieve these goals. (


This quote, taken from the International Literacy Association Common Core Committee (2012) raises an important issue. Do we use rigorous, challenging reading materials that are often above (or below) the reading level of many students in a classroom in order to meet the end-of-year standards in reading or do we make an allowance for the varying reading levels in our classrooms so that the materials students are reading are appropriate for their various developmental levels? Politicians and members of think tanks such as the conservative Fordham Institute, and many other policy and political groups, both liberal and conservative, have debated this topic in schools and school districts, in webinars, on educational blogs. The implementation of the Common Core Standards ( has had an impact on the publishers of reading curricula and reading programs as they grapple with this issue.


It should be noted that the Common Core Standards do not require increased end-of-year text levels in kindergarten and grade one since students are working on foundational skills, learning effective decoding and word recognition. Complex texts at these grade levels can be introduced and shared through read alouds and think alouds that benefit students’ language development and emerging comprehension skills ( However, as students move into the intermediate grades and then middle school, how do we address the paradox described above?


When considering the text complexity question, we must consider the balance between the use of challenging materials to meet the CCSS requirement of preparing students who are college and career ready and considering the developmental levels and capabilities of the students as they progress through school. For example, leveled literacy and reading workshops are popular in elementary schools. Some have reasoned that students’ appropriate reading levels in leveled literacy programs are based on limited quantitative measures and underestimate the importance of a student’s background knowledge in comprehending a specific text, thus, limiting the options and variety of texts for students who only have access to books based on such limited quantitative measures (  An additional issue that was raised in the above-referenced blog was the assertion that teachers are so focused on teaching skills and strategies in an isolated manner that they neglect providing proper scaffolding and instruction that would allow students access to frustration-level texts. It is well documented that reading workshops engage students in reading self-selected, high-interest texts at students’ appropriate reading levels. Through the conferencing process, specific reading behaviors are noted and become teaching points for future conferring sessions. Individual students are motivated to read the books they select because they have choice and are reading books that are at their appropriate developmental level. Is the Common Core requirement to read challenging texts by the end of the year making workshop classes harder to find? The workshop approach is based on teaching students to select books at their appropriate level – independent level and/or a combination of independent and instructional-level texts, depending on the organization of the workshop. Students in workshop classrooms select books of interest from a range of books at their reading levels, and they are taught how to find such books as part of the workshop structure. In my experience working as a middle school literacy coach, providing students with the opportunity to read, learn, and apply strategies to texts that they enjoy and have self-selected is beneficial for all students. This is particularly true for students who struggle with reading or for students who are reading well above grade level. A balanced approach to reading grade-level texts, which may be at the frustration level, along with texts students can read and understand with scaffolding and independently, may provide for the greatest improvement throughout the year.


Comments supporting both sides of the debate are common -- the sole use of frustration-level text or a combination of frustration-level text and easier text (independent/instructional); most agree, however, that at the end of the school year, the Common Core State Standards are clear in the expectation that students will be reading rigorous text at grade level. The question that remains is how to get students to the end-of year standard (  While much of the discussion surrounds leveled reading at the elementary level, the discussion should not stop there.


Motivation to read, particularly with middle school students who struggle with reading, is one factor that needs serious consideration in the development of literacy curricula because this is a time when achievement levels tend to drop off and motivation decreases. As a teacher of what used to be called “remedial reading” at the middle and high school levels prior to working with pre-service and graduate students at the university level, I am concerned about the interpretation that only grade-level text be used throughout the year in order to meet the end-of-year standards at the end of the year. While working with readers at the high school level several years ago, I was shocked when some of them expressed the fact that they had never read through an entire book. As the year progressed, many of them became readers in no small part because they were reading books that were high interest and accessible to them. Their need included working with grade-level texts, but their interest in reading and engagement with books increased because they were able to read books that they could understand without becoming highly frustrated. Because this course was designed for readers who needed extra support, part of this interest in reading appeared to be due to the fact that everyone was reading below level so they were not embarrassed to be reading middle-level books in high school, and they often engaged discussions and book recommendations to others in the class. If our interest is in getting students to be readers, they need opportunities to read all types of books and a variety of levels.


The International Literacy Association Common Core State Standard Committee published Literacy Implementation Guidance for the ELS Common Core State Standards in 2012 ( The issue of challenging texts is addressed in the resulting white paper, which points out that the CCSS require students to read more difficult texts than they have been required to do previous to the implementation of the standards. The contention is that the new, rigorous and challenging requirements will help students reach “more advanced literacy achievement levels” (p. 1).” Writing about the requirement to read challenging texts, they also highlight the instructional complexities inherent in meeting this outcome as one that will take careful consideration and planning to successfully accomplish. “Merely adding more challenging texts to the curriculum will not be a sufficient or effective response to this requirement” (p. 1). The authors make an important statement about the levels of text that students need to read – the requirement refers to reading levels at the end of the year. “However, this does not mean that all assigned reading should be at these levels. In order to help students to attain the necessary end-of-year levels, teachers need to establish an ambitious itinerary of rich and varied narrative and informational texts, including some texts that are easier than the Standards specify” ( This point is important for all students, and is essential for students who are reading below grade level.


Motivation to read, and the opportunity to read books at both the independent and instructional reading levels are important to the development of self-efficacy and confidence, fluency, and comprehension. Williamson, Fitzgerald, and Stenner ( discuss the shift to more challenging texts in relation to adolescent readers. They highlight several studies that have documented this period as a time when students are less invested in school and are subject to declining motivation.  These authors stress the fact that these dynamics are particularly true when schools fail to meet the needs of adolescents. At this critical juncture, it is imperative that students who have been successful in elementary school continue on this path, and that students who are struggling are supported to prevent school failure. While characteristically developing and advanced adolescents may benefit from the challenge required of the Common Core Standards, the consequences for struggling adolescents may be high in terms of disengagement and increased potential for dropping out of school altogether. Since adolescents’ difficulties can vary widely, their problems may include word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, knowledge of text structure or lack of strategic reading behaviors. Whatever the weaknesses, these students need to have instruction and scaffolding that is targeted to their individual needs and the opportunity to apply what they have learned to texts that are accessible to them.


Making room for reading workshop classes at the middle school level might help meet the unique needs of the many middle school readers throughout the country who currently struggle with reading. The National Center for Education Statistics determined that only 34% and 36% of U.S. eighth-grade students read at or above the proficient level in 2011 and 2013, respectively ( As is illustrated by these statistics, there is a need to help the majority of the students who are reading below the proficient level, and more research may help identify the best way to accomplish this goal.


Students at the elementary and middle levels can and should have the opportunity to work with challenging texts, but some students will need support in reading these challenging (frustration-level texts); they will need to have sufficient scaffolding, including read alouds and think alouds, to learn how to engage with these types of texts. Whether in a disciplinary class or a reading class, all students will need the opportunity to apply what they are learning to texts that are accessible to them.


The widespread use of Readers’ Workshop has, as one of its major components, independent reading of instructional-level texts, and chosen by the students. Particularly at the middle school level, where struggling readers often display a marked decrease in motivation to read (, workshops can help rebuild confidence and motivation to read. Does the Common Core Standards’ focus on reading challenging grade level text put workshop classrooms in danger of extinction? Readers need experiences with a wide variety of genres, at a variety levels, as indicated by the International Literacy Association in a 2012 white paper.  


The International Literacy Association Common Core Standards Committee ( points out that in order to help students arrive at the end-of-year levels required by the Standards, “teachers need to establish an ambitious itinerary of rich and varied narrative and informational texts, including some texts that are easier than the Standards specify” [emphasis added].  As we move forward with the continued implementation of the Common Core Standards and contemplate how to address text complexity, there are continuing questions and debate surrounding the issues of challenging texts, rigor, and text complexity.


Points to Ponder:


  • What research is available to support the position that more-challenging texts be taught and read throughout the year vs. a combination of challenging (frustration level) and independent and instructional text in meeting the year-end grade level standards?
  • Is it feasible to devise a way to continue or begin a Readers’ Workshop with the essential elements of independent, self-selected reading at the student’s independent level, conferring with individual students based on identified teaching points to help individuals progress in their ability to comprehend increasingly difficult texts?
  • Can a schedule accommodate both a workshop where students read and work with developmentally appropriate texts and a more traditional approach where some of the students’ instructional time is devoted to instruction in reading and understanding challenging texts in order to meet the end-of-year reading requirements of the CCSS?
  • How effectively do state level continuing education/professional development policies support teachers’ needs relative to instruction with complex text?  How can we best prepare pre-service teachers to handle the text complexity required by the Common Core State Standards while also addressing the wide variety of reading levels and best instructional practices in meeting the end-of-year grade level standards?  What roles do state credentialing policies play in this regard?


Join us!

During the 2015 ALER Annual Conference, the Legislative and Social Issues Committee will host the symposium, Dream keepers and Gatekeepers:  Examining Issues of Access, Diversity and Literacy in Teacher Education.  This program will provide ALER members with a comprehensive examination of literacy instruction as it impacts teacher preparation and student learning. Please look for an announcement specifying symposium time, date and room assignment as soon as that becomes available.  

Tags:  legislative issues  social committee  text complexity 

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Legislative and Social Issues Committee Update by Mary McGriff, Co-chair

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Thursday, May 14, 2015

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization


On April 16, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 – a bipartisan bill that would replace the No Child Left Behind law.  The date for a full Senate vote on the bill has not been announced.


In a departure from NCLB, the Every Child Achieves Act would reduce the federal emphasis placed on standardized test scores and give states greater freedom to develop school accountability systems. The bill would prohibit the federal government from mandating or incentivizing use of specific standards, such as the Common Core. Additionally, it would provide resources to address the instructional needs of English learners. 


The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed its own replacement for NCLB earlier this year.  However, the House bill was not brought up for full House vote due to concerns that it did not do enough to reduce the federal government’s role in P -12 education.


The full text of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 is available at:



Teacher Education Program Accreditation

When NCATE and TEAC merged to form CAEP, the goal was not merely to consolidate operational structures. Rather CAEP’s formation was viewed as an opportunity to raise the performance standards of teacher candidates entering the field and to elevate the overall stature of the profession by making teacher preparation programs more rigorous, responsive to a range of stakeholder interests, and consistent with 21st Century imperatives.   CAEPs’ Standards for Accreditation are central to this goal, and they encompass providing candidates with appropriate content knowledge and instructional approaches (Standard 1); developing and maintaining strong clinical partnerships with P – 12 schools (Standard 2); selecting diverse and academically talented  candidates (Standard 3); demonstrating that program graduates are positively impacting P - 12 student learning (Standard 4); and maintaining effective quality control systems (Standard 5).  

With CAEP as the only national accrediting body for teacher education programs, institutions now find themselves in a common position.  They are closely examining the form and substance of their programs according to CAEP’s new framework of standards and its concomitant requirement that documentation be generated and cataloged as evidence of standard attainment.    Responses to CAEP’s standards and procedural requirements for accreditation have been mixed.  While teacher-educators generally view this new system for accreditation as an opportunity to enrich aspects of their existing programs, there have been concerns expressed about the limitations and challenges posed by CAEP standards (Sawchuk, 2015). Yet, there is little doubt that CAEP is positioned to have an expansive effect on how teacher candidates are selected and prepared for work in our nation’s schools.    


Learn more and join the discussion…

Over the next few months, Legislative & Social Issues Committee members look forward to broadening the conversation around literacy and teacher preparation by examining the effects of CAEP standards and evidentiary requirements on teacher education, adult learning, clinical initiatives and college literacy.  Please look for upcoming posts and share them with colleagues!


We encourage ALER members to familiarize themselves with CAEP’s Accreditation Standards and guidelines related to substantiating evidence –


CAEP 2013 Standards for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (amended 2015)–


CAEP’s Evidence Guide 2015–


Additionally, ALER members my sign up to receive CAEP updates at




Sawchuk, S. (2015, April 18). Teacher Education Group Airs Criticism of New Accreditor.  Education Week. retrieved from







Tags:  accreditation  ESEA Reauthorization  legislative issues  social issues 

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Adult Learning Division Call for Manuscripts

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Thursday, April 30, 2015

Call for Manuscripts

Adult Learning Division is accepting manuscripts for our online journal, Exploring Adult Literacy (EAL); a journal devoted to publishing articles of relevance to adult literacy practitioners.

The content of submission should be practical, field-based.  Articles should have relevance to practitioners. Summaries of previously published papers may be accepted if an appropriate attribution and permission is provided, and this brief form stresses or clarifies practitioner application.

Preference is for articles to be less than 1500 words; for columns, less than 500 words.

 The ALER Adult Learning Division's on-line journal Exploring Adult Literacy can be found at AND accessed on the ALER website under the “Publications” tab.

 The submission deadline is Sunday, May 31, 2015.

 The submission guidelines may be found at


Send questions or comments to Dr. Dianna Baycich at or Dr. Tammy Donaldson at

Tags:  adult learning division  manuscripts 

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ALER Mentoring Program

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Thursday, April 23, 2015

Are you currently working on a publication and would like some feedback? If so, sign-up today for ALER’s mentoring program.

Contact Victoria J. Risko for more information

Our mentors have included Marino C. Alvarez, Laurie Elish-Piper, Julie Kidd, Ray Reutzel, Jerry Johns, Karen Bromley, and Mona Matthews

Don’t forget to share this valuable opportunity with other writers.

Tags:  mentoring 

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Adult Learning Division

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Adult Learning Division would like to thank the membership for their attendance at the annual meeting on Friday, October 31, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. ALD hosted a guest speaker from the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and a round table discussant, Christine Walsh of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. The Division also held a book/journal drive to assist the literacy needs in homeless shelters, and the membership collected toiletries and additional necessities needed by the shelter.

ALD hosted guest speaker Kristin Calder, Chief Executive Officer of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. Ms. Calder shared information about the events and outreach programs the Coalition hosts for the community. Events such as Read for the Record, American Girl Fashion Show, and Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee bring families and the public together to improve the quality of life in their community and promote literacy.

During the business meeting, Dr. Tammy Donaldson was inducted as Chair of the Adult Learning Division, and voting for Secretary/Chair-elect took place. The membership elected Tiana McCoy Pearce of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi for the position. Also taking place during the business meeting was discussion about the 2015 ALD meeting at ALER Conference from November 5-8, 2015 at the Hilton in Orange County. The annual Adult Learning Division membership is looking forward to the next annual meeting in Costa Mesa, CA. We look forward to visiting with friends and making new ones in California!

Tags:  adult learning division 

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Publications Committee

Posted By Melanie Landon-Hays, Thursday, April 23, 2015

The association made a decision at the 2014 conference to publish the ALER Yearbook electronically only. This means you will not receive a printed copy from this year forward. When the ALER Yearbook is available, it will be published on the ALER website, along with issues starting with 2005: Printed copies of the journal, Literacy Research and Instruction, will still be mailed to current members.

-Sylvia Read, Publications Chair

Tags:  publications committee  yearbook 

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