By the time students reach middle and high school, many of them have a view of themselves as people who do not read and write, at least in school. It is often difficult for teachers to know if middle school and high school students cannot or will not do the assignments; often all they know is that students do not do them. Herein lies the challenge for teachers and administrators: how to motivate middle and high school students to read and write so that they engage in literacy tasks and are willing to accept instruction and take advantage of opportunities to practice and accept feedback, thereby improving their academic literacy skills that will, in turn, improve their content-area learning and achievement .
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires schools and educators to provide high-quality instruction and evidence-based intervention strategies to teach reading and writing within subject areas and across grade levels. To support educators in this work, ESSA provides competitive state grants to help local school districts develop comprehensive birth-through-grade-twelve literacy instruction plans through the “Literacy Education for All, Results for a Nation” (LEARN) Act. The Alliance for Excellent Education’s reports Reading Next and Writing Next offer practitioners effective research-based strategies for improving adolescent literacy.