15 - 20% of the population worldwide has dyslexia.
Dyslexia is not an intellectual disability and many, if not most,
dyslexics have above average intellects (see Famous Dyslexics).
Dyslexia affects, among other things,
reading, writing, attention, rote memorization, and math.
As we learn how to effect positive change,
we will support organizations
that advocate for appropriate, scientifically sound, school curriculum.
Early literacy curriculum must be based in the science of reading
for most kids, including dyslexics, to become fluent readers + writers.
Why does District 65's early literacy curriculum
make reading more difficult for dyslexics?
see below to learn what's up with our curriculum.
Advocating for kids identified with dyslexia
Please contact your local school board members now
and let them know that you want them to
support Resolution #1
at the November 20 IASB Delegate Assembly.
Here is a sample script which you can use to
communicate the issue with your school board members.
On November 20, the school boards of Illinois will vote on a resolution drafted by the Avoca District 37 school board to address our State's literacy crisis (see additional information below which was recently sent to your school board). Here is our opportunity to begin addressing the root cause of the reading crisis in Illinois.
If Resolution #1 passes at the IASB Delegate Assembly on Nov 20, it will give the IASB a mandate to lobby the State Board of Education to require future teacher candidates to take coursework in and pass a test on the science that supports how children learn to read. The full text is on page 9 of the IASB Resolution Committee Report- ResolutionsCommitteReport2021.pdf (iasb.com).
THE PROBLEM: Illinois has a Reading Crisis
The majority of Illinois students struggle to read. On the 2019 Illinois Assessment of Readiness, 61% of 3rd through 8th graders did not meet expectations in reading.
Black and Hispanic children are disproportionately harmed by poor reading instruction, accounting for two-thirds of struggling readers.
Students who cannot read at grade-level by the 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate high school, and consequently are at high risk of unemployment and even incarceration.
THE SOLUTION: Teach teachers the most effective methods of reading instruction.
The Council of Chief State School Officers is urging states to take immediate action on this issue, reaching out to higher education institutions to overhaul reading coursework.
This resolution requires specific types of new teachers to complete one course solely focusing on scientifically-based reading methods AND pass the most respected licensure test on early reading instruction, Foundations of Reading.
Why require an exam rather than just changes in coursework at teacher preparation programs? To ensure that programs prepare their teachers in evidence-based reading methods, some states have set standards for their reading coursework. However, this strategy has met with only limited success. A licensure test provides a better guarantee that future teachers acquire essential knowledge in the instructional methods that will yield the highest percentage of successful readers.
Will the requirements of this Resolution exacerbate the teacher shortage? No! A recent report from ISBE confirms that there have been virtually no vacancies in elementary education, and even advised that aspiring teachers should be discouraged from elementary teaching in order to address the real shortage areas. Further, new teacher enrollments in states with a strong reading test have increased, while states like ours without a strong test have actually decreased.
What about local control? Local flexibility is important on many issues, such as choosing curricula. However, licensure standards have always been decided by states (as is also the case in other professions). This helps to ensure educational equity, that all children will get what they need, doing what Illinois’ 800+ districts cannot do on their own.
CONCLUSION - Vote YES for Resolution #1!
Teaching our future teachers the science of reading by requiring that they pass the Foundations of Reading exam will put Illinois on the path to fixing its reading crisis. We can no longer afford to ignore the grim reality of our State’s literacy rates. Our children have the right to learn to read, and our teachers deserve to learn the evidence basis of reading instruction.
The future health and productivity of our citizens and our State depend on it.
NPR Podcast documentaries
NPR Report on why our district's early literacy curriculum
makes it hard for dyslexic kids to learn to read.
This was aired Aug. 22, 2019,
In Feb., 2021, District 65 acknowledged problems
with the curriculum and is opening an audit.
By the time change is effected, how will your child have been affected?
There are proven ways to help people with dyslexia learn to read, and a federal law that's supposed to ensure schools provide kids with help. But across the country, public schools are denying children proper treatment
and often failing to identify them with dyslexia in the first place.
A movie about parents who took on the system, and won.
In 2010, a group of parents in a suburban school district in Ohio discovered their children had something in common – they could not read. They were languishing in a reading intervention program and their dyslexia was not being identified or remediated as is required by federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The group banded together to form the Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia (UA-KID). Together they filed a systemic, group complaint with the Ohio Department of Education and the district was found in violation on all allegations. Then, they formed a partnership with the district and now work shoulder to shoulder to deliver the nationally recognized early literacy program they built together.
Parent group advocacy plans
The Ohio group,
Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia
Join our Zoom meeting Feb. 23, 2022 at 7pm to hear one of the
Ohio group founders speak of their purpose.
help us implement their strategy
to achieve our mission
The Ohio group,
Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia
Dyslexia expert videos
Watch a powerful new videos featuring YCDC Co-Director Dr. Sally Shaywitz as she delves into her award-winning book OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA (2nd Edition) and answers questions for parents & educators as they head back-to-school during uncertain times. Hosted by KPJR films, tens of thousands of people have already watched this “fireside chat” and the reviews have been extraordinary. One person said Overcoming Dyslexia “should be required reading.”
Illinois dyslexia advocacy organizations
We are an Illinois-based coalition of parents, educators, school board members, and community advocates who believe that all children – regardless of their zip code, race, ethnicity, disability, first language, or income – deserve equitable access to evidence-based literacy instruction.
Improving the lives of children and adults with dyslexia.
Everyone Reading Illinois’ mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with dyslexia and related learning disabilities through high quality professional development for teachers, increased public awareness and support for families.
Universities studying dyslexia + teaching
States are taking notice and passing new laws to ensure that schools are using research-based reading instruction. Such legislation lands squarely on one side of the reading wars: the side backed by the science of reading. So, what should educators and parents know about the science of reading? Here is a basic summary, plus two important beyond-basic facts to inform educators’ choices of reading programs.
Our mission is to increase awareness of dyslexia and its true nature, specifically to illuminate the creative and intellectual strengths of those with dyslexia, to disseminate the latest scientific research and practical resources, and to transform the treatment of all dyslexic children and adults.