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Text complexity drives ELA growth at Admiral King School

What targeted change can school leaders make to help ELA teachers—even those with two decades of classroom experience—transform their practice?

At Admiral King Elementary in Lorain, Ohio, the answer is text complexity.

After a professional development session with ANet’s Dorie Withey, leaders took an analytical eye to their school’s texts and how teachers were using them. “Before, teachers were following the curriculum without engaging on a deeper level,” says Dorie. “Now, with the leadership team’s support, they’re digging into the materials ahead of time—particularly the texts—to consider what’s best for their students.”

Principal Lori Witt and the rest of the leadership team brought the concepts they’d learned back to their teachers at Admiral King, linked to the school’s existing instructional goals. “Teachers have been empowered to overhaul their planning and choose new and complex texts,” Dorie explains.

Watch the video below to learn more about how focused work on text complexity has led to broader changes.

Want to learn more about the improved student outcomes that resulted from ANet’s Breakthrough Results Study?

Check out our findings from the multi-year study at

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