Paula Maeker, a skilled literacy expert, made this declaration as she and I spoke passionately
about empowering teachers at a conference last summer. Her statement, “Literacy is a process
not a product,” is spot on. So often the pressures to increase student performance on standardized
assessments pressures educators to gravitate toward programs that promise student literacy gains.
These programs are expensive and gobble up precious dollars – and they frequently do it in
schools that already struggle with limited resources. Many of these reading programs overwhelm
instruction rather than enhance it. If we want to witness real results, the solution is improving