Author Biographies

Teaira McMurtry, PhD, Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a former high school English Language Arts teacher, literacy leader, and curriculum specialist for Milwaukee Public Schools. She has published articles on the promising outcomes of centering Black Language in curriculum and pedagogy in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, English Journal, English Teaching: Practice and Critique.


In this article, the author discusses the process of creating an engaged pedagogy (hooks, 1994), one that prioritized authentic, engaging, and equally rigorous engagement activities that were ongoing preparation for standardized tests and embedded in core ELA instruction. These learning experiences were not only academically necessary, but they were also integral in developing positive racial identity. The author shares three ways to amplify reading instruction that prepares students for skill-based standardized tests and beyond.

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