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University At Albany and State Education Department Host Destination Diploma: The Journey To Adolescent Literacy

Karl Luntta at (518) 437-4980
Jonathan Burman or Tom Dunn at (518) 474-1201

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 12, 2005) -- The University at Albany and the New York State Education Department are hosting the Destination Diploma III forum to discuss literacy at the middle and high school levels. Jointly sponsored by the University at Albany and the New York State Education Department, the forum was held Monday and Tuesday, December 12 & 13 at the UAlbany student center. The forum brings together educators and stakeholders from 23 large and small city school districts, schools and their partners to determine how to improve graduation rates through an increased focus on literacy.

"This workshop brings together the best minds and best intentions for the future of our young people," said University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall. "Literacy and future opportunity are inextricably linked, and it is collaborations such as this one between the Education Department and the University that solidify our goal to bring these students to successful graduation and beyond."

The primary outcomes from these two days of work will be more effective ways to get extra help to students who don't read adequately and who need added support and encouragement to succeed. "To compete in the global economy, young people today need literacy skills far more advanced than have been required of any previous generation," said State Education Commissioner Richard Mills. "Destination Diploma III is designed to increase high school graduation rates by bringing the latest in research and the best practice to the educators and students who need them most."

Keynote speakers at the forum include Alfred Tatum, researcher and author of Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap; Judy L. Elliott, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education in the Long Beach Unified School District, the third largest urban school system in the state; and James McPartland a Johns Hopkins researcher in reform for large high schools that face serious problems with student attendance, discipline, achievement scores, and dropout rates.

"It is a privilege to collaborate with our colleagues and neighbors at the State Education Department and researchers across the country on the important initiative of strengthening adolescent literacy," said UAlbany School of Education Dean Susan D. Phillips. "The School of Education faculty and research centers can offer a great deal of field research and knowledge on successful and effective practices for literacy development."


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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