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Tackling California’s Literacy Crisis: The Science of Reading and Evidence-Based Instruction

Literacy is a Civil Right

In 1997, to address the literacy crisis, congress along with the NICHD and the U.S. Dept of Education appointed a National Reading Panel made up of 14 educators and scientists to evaluate existing research and evidence to find the best ways of teaching children to read.

The NRP concluded their research and submitted their final report on April 13, 2000.

Over 20 years ago, the federal government released an extensive review of research that took place over decades by the National Reading Panel (NRP). The federal government The NRP published a 449 page review of the rigorous research that’s been conducted over decades and to answer the questions….

Congress tasked the NRP to “assess the status of research based knowledge, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read.” Additionally, the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) provided a set of specific questions to pin-point problems and solutions.

California will pay millions to settle suit claiming it violated children’s rights by not teaching them to read – CalMatters

Schools across the country have been pushing to implement evidence based reading instruction to re-evaluate their approach.

Mississippi increased their average reading score scores significantly over 7 years. Other states then followed their literacy curriculum because they were following results.

Meanwhile, California is adopting curriculums that have no evidence they work. It’s actually been deemed to be causing harm to their skills. Memorizing words and associations to words fails to focus on the phonetics. Sight words are memorized and then students don’t learn to properly read phonetically which would in turn get them to ready more and more complex levels as they grow.   (Emily Hanford)

Controversy exists over how to teach reading and in recent years, a push to implement evidence-based reading instruction has caused schools around the country to re-evaluate their approach.

“Text book publishers say that they are writing books that the schools want. Districts use trends and popularly. CA chooses the Mercedes textbook over results. They buy the flashy textbooks. (30:22) we don’t follow the trends .

McGraw, Name brand text books rather than focusing on their effectiveness.

Due to their results Other states are following their lead and exhibiting progress. California is not one of those states.

The state has addressed the crisis and has greatly increased the financial budget for literacy. But the state has been uninvolved in ensuring that the funds be spent on adopting effective curriculums to be implemented within school districts.  

The state needs to tell districts , “DISTRICTS, WE GAVE YOU MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO ADDRESS THIS. NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO MAKE LITERACY A PRIORITY DURING THE PAST DECADE.

The state has had so much money to spend on early literacy and to make it a priority. But Its been a series of ineffective changes or lack there of.

Guess what they did after that?

Continued to do nothing!

Meanwhile states like Mississippi are showing increasing results in their test scores due to them adopting the curriculum that has shown the strongest data.

November 2021 –  The state of California Withheld the latest test Scores During Elections.

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STILL, NO PLANS

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California Reading Coalition

Assessments to gauge how students are doing

  • iReady
  • Fountas and Pinell Benchmark Assessment System
  • DIBELS
  • STAR’

(Education Beat, 2022)

Alameda County School Districts Curriculum Programs & Data on Current Reading Levels

Alameda County School Districts Curriculum Programs & Data on Current Reading Levels

Amazing People

  • Emily Hanford, senior producer and correspondent, American Public Media. Hanford is the creator of the podcast “Hard Words,” which focuses on why children aren’t being taught to read. She is working on “Sold a Story,” a new podcast about the missteps in teaching children how to read.
  • John Fensterwald, editor-at-large, EdSource, an independent not-for-profit research and reporting organization
  • Kareem Weaver, co-founder, Fulcrum, a non-profit focused on improving reading outcomes for students. Weaver is also a member of the Oakland NAACP Education Committee, a senior fellow for the National Council on Teacher Quality, and an award-winning teacher and administrator in Oakland.

Literacy Program at Juvenile Hall

We are the sum of our experiences and exposures. The things we’re exposed to often form our experiences. The less we’re exposed to then less positive exposures

Not knowing how to read well can make it more likely for students to drop out of high school, and to end up in jail. By one count, 85 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have difficulty reading.

This week, we visit a county library trying to boost literacy and a love for books among teenagers who are incarcerated in juvenile hall.

Not knowing how to read well can make it more likely for students to drop out of high school, and to end up in jail. By one count, 85 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have difficulty reading.

Find a thing for every student.

Find purpose for their Future,

  • Poetry
  • Psychology
  • Stocks

Podcast: Education Beat – An island of reading for youth in the California juvenile justice system

        •        Lisa Harris, Library Manager, Social Justice Services, Alameda County Library

An island of reading for youth in the California juvenile justice system | EdSource

References

Education Beat (Ed.). (2022).

Poor Literacy Outcomes for California Students Fuel Demand for Changes in How Reading Is Taught. (2022, September 6). KQED. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.kqed.org/forum/2010101890462/poor-literacy-outcomes-for-california-students-fuel-demand-for-changes-in-how-reading-is-taught

TADAYON, A. (2022, October 11). Coalition says ‘science of reading-aligned’ core curricula barely used in California. EdSource. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://edsource.org/2022/coalition-says-science-of-reading-aligned-core-curricula-barely-used-in-california/679596

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