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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Beth Decker

I teach a course she created to help students transition successfully into high school and adulthood. Widowed mother of three young adults, I am beyond passionate about education reform and adolescent literacy.
In 2000, my superintendent posted a job that required a "brave, positive and creative teacher" to raise reading comprehension scores in all content areas, for all 6,000 students in her high school district. I took the challenge.
During the next four years, I worked with struggling readers to improve their literacy skills. Those students then partnered with me to write and film a professional grade, revolutionary video series, called Reading to Learn. The video series features those same students introducing foundational reading strategies that foster skills required for independent adult learning. The videos launched district-wide with positive results. When funding for the project ended, I returned to the classroom to the world I enjoy most: helping teens WANT to learn and build successful lives.
With my children all launched into adulthood, I now focus on promoting my life-planning workbook project called Get totally Real! that was developed in my classroom with over 1,000 students. It is aimed at helping teens learn about themsevles and then begin designing and buliding successful lives.
Results from this course and workbook have been so dynamic and positive that I Get totally Real! Parent Companion so parents can authentically and more easily engage in the task of coaching their teens into adulthood.

Areas of Interest: 
my children,
working to improve education