LITERACY IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE:
Families of means are spending thousands of dollars on trained literacy tutors, pretty much exclusively Orton Gillingham, or private school. Lower income families often do not have access or resources to support their children’s needs. Teaching children to read is a social justice issue.
“100 years ago, it was illegal to teach Black children to read, today we don’t teach them how to read.”
“The downward spiral that can start with early reading problems is a source of profound inequality in our society. This could be prevented if more educators and policymakers understood what cognitive scientists have figured out over the past several decades about what’s going on when kids struggle with reading.”
“But in the context of schools, as educators, as people who claim that their life’s work is for Black, brown, and disenfranchised children, we cannot fully proclaim that Black Lives Matter until Black literacy does.”
NEW MINNESOTA LAW: LITERACY INSTRUCTION AND SCREENING STUDENTS:
TEACHER'S RESOURCES/CONVERSATIONS ON EARLY LITERACY
COLLEGES OF EDUCATION:
Teachers are often not taught in their teacher prep program how to identify dyslexia or have not received explicit instruction on how to teach children how to read.
The Dyslexia Dilemma: A History of Ignorance, Complacency and Resistance in Colleges of Education (Journal of Childhood and Developmental Disorders, August 2016)
Pg 17: “Few teacher education programs provide any serious training related to developmental disorders such as dyslexia, how children at risk can be identified, and how such children can be helped. Whereas researchers are closing in on the neural and genetic bases of dyslexia (Gabrieli, 2009), educational theorists are still debating whether dyslexia exists, and if it does, whether knowing that a child has the disorder should have any impact on classroom practices (Elliott & Gibbs, 2008). Many of those children and adults who score poorly on national assessments are undoubtedly dyslexics whose condition has not been identified or addressed.
SIMPLE VIEW OF READING:
A concept which illustrates reading by breaking down the two main components into a formula:
Reading Comprehension (RC) = Language Comprehension (LC) x Decoding (D)
“Reading comprehension, which comes later developmentally, is exactly what everyone means when they speak of reading: not only producing the words (mentally or aloud), but also understanding what was just read. Such comprehension is the goal of reading instruction.
Decoding denotes the use of letter-sound correspondences.
Language comprehension involves not only hearing words spoken by another, but also understanding what was just spoken.
As D approaches 1, the finite task of “learning to read” evolves into the life-long task of “reading to learn.”
There are many children in school – and countless adults in our communities – whose language comprehension skills (LC) are fully (or nearly) appropriate for their age, but whose decoding skills are poor to non-existent.
Standardized tests provide guardians with a measure of a student’s reading comprehension. Not communicating if a student is struggling to decode text is a major failure of these assessments.
Balanced Literacy trains students to use the clues such as pictures or guessing instead of learning to decode words. Researchers argue these strategies do more harm than good:
How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers:
Predictable Books use in Balanced Literacy:
Is My Kid Learning How to Read? Take the Purple Challenge. A parent illustrates how their daughter’s guessing strategy which is taught as part of balanced literacy and gives the appearance of success at reading. Video 1 Video 2
State’s are Responding to the Science of Reading:
A growing number of states are starting to ban literacy curriculums that do not align with the science of how children learn how to read, some publishers are starting to respond.
SEQUENTIAL EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN THE GENERAL ED CLASSROOM:
Reactive vs Preventative Approach by offering science-based instruction to all students:
There are hurdles to diagnosing dyslexia in young readers. Taking a preventative approach by providing all students with proper instruction in decoding words helps all students.
Families and teachers have called our remediation programs for struggling readers ineffective. Special education services do not guarantee a child with reading problems will get the kind of reading instruction he or she needs, in part because special education teachers have not necessarily received the preparation they need to teach reading.
Matthew’s Effect: Delaying proper decoding instruction increases the Matthew’s Effect, where the rich get richer. Students that have mastered decoding now have the required skill to quickly build knowledge and vocabulary which supports Reading Comprehension.
Teacher’s professional organizations such as the AFT have a long history of supporting proper reading instruction. Their Summer 2020 issue was devoted to reading instruction.
STANDARDIZED TESTING'S IMPACT ON LITERACY INSTRUCTION
Current reading standardized testing is having negative impacts on literacy instruction.
States are beginning to utilize flexibility of ESSA law to explore new testing strategies that align curriculum with testing.
Children are not acquiring the needed vocabulary and background knowledge needed to read higher level books. Spending time on content knowledge, science, social studies, art is often dismissed in favor of reading leveled fiction books or short passages where students try and find the main idea.
LITERACY PROBLEMS BECOME SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS:
Reading problems translate into social, emotional, and behavioral problems that impact the well-being of the student, their family, classmates, and teachers.
A longitudinal analysis of the alignment between children’s early word-level reading trajectories, teachers’ reported concerns and supports provided
STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN ILLITERACY AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM:
Reading problems correlate with behavior, school completion and involvement with the criminal justice system. 85% of individuals in the juvenile justice system are illiterate. One study showed 50% of incarcerated adults are dyslexic.
First Step Act was bi-partisan act to screen Federal inmates for Dyslexia. Our correction system is beginning to take steps to support inmates that our school systems, who have ignored decades of research, have failed.
SCHOOL DISTRICT LITERACY CHECKLISTS:
Developing writing skills helps students develop higher level thinking skills. Colleges of education are not preparing future teachers how to teach students to write.
Spelling: Few MPS schools teach spelling. Spelling teaches children encoding skills which work together to help children decode text and be better readers.