Strong literacy skills are a prerequisite to high school and college success, yet 70% of middle school students nationwide scored below proficient in reading achievement according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading test. Even more alarming, 25% of 8th graders and only 16% of students on free and reduced lunch nationwide score above basic on the same assessment. NYC serves over 1.1 million students and employs over 80,000 teachers; we consider it our civic duty to remedy the literacy crisis we find ourselves in. The Middle School Quality Initiative establishes models of schools serving our typical students that are making dramatic gains in increasing the number of children completing 8th grade reading on or above grade level. We leverage the ReadingNext report and define a comprehensive approach to dramatically shift literacy outcomes. We invite you to learn alongside us around what works, areas of struggle, and steps for moving forward.
Pilar supports schools in developing small group reading instruction as well as facilitating implementation of the Word Generation academic vocabulary program by planning and facilitating relevant, teacher friendly professional development sessions. Prior to becoming the MSQI team’s Director of Professional Development, Pilar was an MSQI Literacy Coach, where she worked closely with teachers and administrators modeling and observing the work in the field.
Jenna Shumsky’s expertise stems mostly from serving as a middle school teacher and leader. She earned an MS in School Leadership, with a focus on literacy, from Bankstreet College of Education and served as a district-level literacy coach and director of professional development prior to holding her current position as the Senior Director of the Middle School Quality Initiative.