Closing the Performance Gap: The Gering Story

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Gering Public Schools, a small district in northeast Nebraska, used to suffer from an achievement gap in reading.  In 2004, 36 percent of all Hispanic students in second grade met fluency benchmarks compared to 59 percent of all white students in the district's three elementary schools.  Low literacy performance was also a problem at the district's sole junior high school.

That was before the district implemented the comprehensive Direct Instruction model with the support of the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).  Now the achievement gap in reading has been closed.  Over three-fourths of all students meet second grade fluency benchmarks, with a higher percentage of Hispanic students meeting benchmarks than white students!  At the junior high school, the need for remedial reading programs has declined drastically as students are much more able to comprehend content area texts.

This 20 minute video, Closing the Performance Gap:  The Gering Story, portrays the district's transition from one with literacy problems to one in which all students receive an education that meets their literacy needs.  The video describes the changes that have taken place in instruction, progress monitoring, and professional development through the implementation of the comprehensive Direct Instruction (DI) model.

Gering is one of many districts where NIFDI provides direct support for accelerating student performance through the comprehensive DI model.  NIFDI offers the services districts need to implement the DI approach:  assessment training and assessment assistance, pre-service training, on-site coaching and feedback visits, off-site data analysis, coaches' (peer teacher) training, and weekly conference calls.

Please contact NIFDI if you have questions about the video or if you want more information on how NIFDI can help improve student literacy in your school or district.

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