Literacy focus helps U.K. school improve academic performance

A literacy push that includes assessments of reading skills as students enter school and an accelerated reader program has brought a dramatic increase in test scores for students attending Unity City Academy, a secondary school in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. Changes included creating a school library and offering books that appeal to students' interests. "It took a long time to move on from what is now ancient history to the modern history we are now creating. We've changed from 'I wouldn't dare [do that]' to 'I would dare,'" said Patricia Towey, principal of Unity.

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