UPDATE (March 7, 2013):
We issued a call to action and you responded! The best part is that our letter writing campaign was very successful and we can now end it. Kudos to you for stepping up for your child and all dyslexic children.
Here’s the update that we have from our point person on it:
We were advised the Senate Substitution Bill 21 bill passed with some adjustment to SB 316 and HB 555. One of the changes is:
“Under the bill, a teacher must demonstrate evidence of completion of a program (rather than a “credentialed earned” as required by current law) from a list of scientifically-based reading instruction programs approved by the ODE, in order to provide reading guarantee services. Additionally, the bill permits a teacher to provide those services by satisfying the criterion beyond the 2013-14 school year (rather than only for the 2013-14 school year as prescribed by current law.”
So that is a victory that you all can celebrate. Let you letter writers know their voices were heard.
ALL Parents! This is an important call to action and we need your help ASAP.
The committee responsible for implementing the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is watering down language regarding teacher and intervention training for our kids. This is like rolling back the hands of time in terms of service delivery and programs that help our students.
Please know that this letter has gone through a “fact check” via a myriad of dyslexia experts. Also, a separate letter from ODN was issued today, too. I’ve attached that below so that you are aware.
Also know that there is URGENCY in getting your personal letter out ASAP! Simply cut, paste and send this letter to the list of email addresses listed below. This is a critical issue for all dyslexic children. It will take 5 minutes but your effort could protect and help our dyslexic kids for a long time to come. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few minutes, can you?
Here’s the letter and the email addresses. This is important so thank you for your help!
Ohio Department of Education
Attn: Third Grade Reading Guarantee Committee (email@example.com)
Dear Committee Members:
I am reaching out to you as a parent of a dyslexic child regarding the work you are doing with the implementation of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. As a parent of dyslexic child, I know first-hand the struggles that these children have every day. I see my child’s successes and the failures of systems and programs that do not meet the needs of children like mine.
I deeply care about the type of training and expertise that teachers have for our children. Parents of dyslexic children are often frustrated by the lack of knowledge and training on Science Based Researched Reading (SBRR) as demonstrated by classroom teachers and intervention.
Why? Our dyslexic children do not respond to Reading Recovery, Whole Language or ‘guessing’ strategies. In fact, I know first-hand and through quantifiable data that the method that works is to have highly trained tutors and teachers who have been trained and certified in Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE), otherwise known as the Orton Gillingham (OG) Approach.
Successful certified MSLE/OG teachers go through intensive rigorous training usually taking a year to complete. These teachers undergo a supervised practicum under qualified coaches. Currently only one university in all of Ohio offers this type of graduate level training (Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati).
Teachers and school districts who would like this type of training must seek it out from IMLSEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council) accredited courses, certified ALTA (Academic Language Therapist Association) trainers, or AOGPE (Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioner and Educators) trainers or centers.
The Third Grade Reading Guarantee document takes away this option for teachers (credentialed training from an ODE approved list of SBRR programs) after 2013-14. This option should remain and be recognized as an effective Reading Endorsement. This is deeply concerning for our dyslexic children not just in Olentangy but throughout Ohio.
Our universities should be providing this training for our teachers to equip them to successfully teach our dyslexic and struggling readers. As we wait for that to occur, on behalf of our dyslexic children and their appropriate education, please continue the provision for credentialed MSLE/OG teachers beyond 2013-14. Our state must provide the scientifically proven reading and writing instruction that our dyslexic and struggling children require.
Senator Peggy Lehner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Kris Jordan, email@example.com
Representative Andrew Brenner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Collins, State Board of Education Member, District 6, email@example.com
Jim Herrholtz, Associate Superintendent Division of Learning, ODE, firstname.lastname@example.org