Closing the Performance Gap

Gering Public Schools, a small district in northwest 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 DVD, 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 model. 

  pdf Gering's data before NIFDI support -- and AFTER!  
  pdf Video Guide  
  pdf Transcript  
Closing the Performance Gap (with subtitles in Spanish) 
 Translations and subtitles courtesy of Carlos Vílchez-Román and Juan Villaorduña Velarde.


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