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Apr 072012

On April 5th the leadership of the Connecticut Black and Puerto Rican Caucus hosted a forum on early literacy intervention at the State Capitol entitled:  Urgent Policy Forum: Every Child Reading by Third Grade.  This was in support of HB 5350 which offers a  comprehensive approach to reading and the achievement  gap. Strategies in the bill  include:

1. The alignment of reading standards, instruction and assessment for students in K-3
2. School district reading plans
3. A plan of teacher training in reading that is research-based
4. The end of social promotion for students who are not reading at grade level by Grade 3
5. Intensive class interventions to assure reading on grade level for those who are not reading at grade level
6. Communication with parents on how their children are faring in reading in an on-going and detailed way;
7. Incentives for teachers and schools that improve reading skills over time
8. A test in the science of teaching reading for pre-service special education teachers
9. A test in the science of teaching reading for existing teachers, K-3
10. Improved and frequent use of assessment tools in reading
11. Intensive reading remediation plans for those not reading at grade level including comprehensive summer school programs, an accelerated reading class and transition classes
12. An increased number of CEU credits required in reading
13. Examination of teacher training in the science of reading and the reduction in misidentifying and disproportionally placing of   minority students in special education services
14. Accountability to the Department of Education for strategies and outcomes in reading at the district level

Keynote speakers in support of this bill included:  G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D.  Ralph Smith,  Executive Vice President of Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jule MCombes-Tolis, Pd. D.

Reid Lyon used the term ‘educational malpractice‘ in describing the way public schools teach children to learn to read but thought that  SB5350 an ‘exquisite bill’  and one of the best he’s seen in his 30 years.  Jule Mc Combs Toll has studied education colleges and universities across Connecticut and nationwide and provided an overview of what doesn’t get taught  but needs to be taught in the teacher’s colleges.  Below are their presentations:

McCombes-Tolis 2012 Reading Summitt

McCombes-Tolis Reading Psychology Blueprint Study

Lyon Connecticut -Final April 5 2012


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