Pearson/Allyn and Bacon Publishers this week released “All Children Read,” by Charles Temple, professor of education, along with Donna Ogle, National Louis University; Alan Crawford, California State University Los Angeles; and Penny Freppon, University of Cincinnati. The 608 page textbook was written for undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses on literacy.
All Children Read responds to some urgent concerns in American schools. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a third of U.S. fourth graders can't read grade level text with reasonable ease and basic comprehension (For African American and Latino children, the figure is two-thirds). And nearly one child in ten in American schools is more proficient in another language than in English. The past decade has seen the largest influx ever of English learners in the schools: a 105 percent increase since 1991, compared to a 12 percent rise in the total K-12 population. English language learners are now dispersed across the country, and no longer concentrated only in California, Texas, and New York City. The author team thus includes a prominent expert in teaching for comprehension (Ogle), a renowned specialist in teaching English as a second language (Crawford), and a successful teacher and researcher who works with children in urban schools (Freppon). Temple has worked with and written about diagnostic and remedial reading education for 25 years.
Although the book goes well beyond other teacher training textbooks in combining basic methods of literacy instruction with discussions of cultural issues in the schools and coverage of ESL and remedial instruction techniques, the authors and the publisher feel that such an approach is justified by the realities of teaching in American classrooms. Response to All Children Read has been strong. It had been scheduled for publication in the spring of 2004, but the book was given a radical makeover and a larger initial printing after the publisher received a large number of prepublication orders. Pearson is promoting All Children Read as Allyn and Bacon's main offering in the literacy field this year.
The authors came together in the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project, an offering of the Soros Foundation. They scribbled the first outline of the book over breakfast at a conference in Brasov, Romania.