The State of Reading & Dyslexia in Maryland
Reading & Dyslexia Policy Solutions
FREE EVENT, REGISTER HERE
Thursday, February 2, 2017 ~ Room 180 ~ Lowe House Office Building, Annapolis, Maryland
2016 was a year of solution finding for families and educators concerned about access to effective instruction for dyslexia and reading. The “Task Force to Implement a Dyslexia Education Program in Maryland” completed its recommendations and provided a report to the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed a Technical Assistance Bulletin on Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) with a focus on dyslexia to help facilitate and implement effective instruction for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
But we must do more. Join us to learn about dyslexia and reading solutions that will narrow the reading and writing achievement gap in Maryland. Many students with average to above average intelligence have trouble learning to read, write and/or spell in Maryland public schools. The 2016 Maryland state assessment (PARCC) for 4th grade students shows that 91% of special education, 77% of African American, 98% of limited English proficiency and 79% of students in poverty are not on grade level for reading and writing. Maryland can change this outcome with your help.
Dyslexia Advocacy Day 2017
8:00 - 9:00am -- Community Partner Open House
8:00am -- Delegate Al Carr, Montgomery County, Welcome Message
9:00 - 9:20am -- Lisa Blottenberger: Decoding Dyslexia Maryland: The Science of Reading: How to Help Struggling Readers Thrive!
9:20 - 9:35am -- Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy: Chair, Task Force to Implement a Dyslexia Education Program in MD: Best Practices to Serve Students with Dyslexia in Maryland: Task Force Update
9:35 - 9:45am -- Delegate Anne Kaiser: Chair, House Education Subcommittee, D-Montgomery
What Legislators Need to Know About Dyslexia & Reading
9:45 - 10:00am -- Marcella Franczkowski: Assistant State Superintendent, Special Education & Early Intervention Services, MSDE: Newly Released Technical Assistance Bulletin Drives Identification and Instruction for Students with Disabilities & Dyslexia
10:00 - 10:10am -- Susie Fowler: Director of Special Education, St. Mary's County: Practical Advice on How to Implement the Dyslexia Technical Assistance Bulletin
10:10 - 10:20am -- Rick Smith, CEO, International Dyslexia Association: How Revisions to University Accreditation on Reading will Improve Student Learning
10:20 - 10:30am -- Laura Schultz: Decoding Dyslexia Maryland: ACT-vocate for Dyslexia
10:30 - 11:45am -- BREAK -- Pre-scheduled individual/group legislator meetings
12:00 - 1:00pm -- Panel Discussion (see below)
Lunch & Panel Discussion: Reading & Dyslexia Policy Solutions
12:00 - 1:00pm
PANELISTS -- Moderator: Karleen Spitulnik, Decoding Dyslexia MD, State Leader
1:00 - 4:00pm -- Pre-scheduled legislator meetings
Downloadable Advocacy Day Flyer, 3-color, Legislator Invite
Downloadable Dyslexia Advocacy Day Panel, Multi-color Legislator Invite
Downloadable Advocacy Day Flyer, Public Flyer Invite
Downloadable Advocacy Day Program, 2017
MD Dept. of Education Says Dyslexia -- Issues Technical Assistance Bulletin to Help Schools Identify & Support Students
- Defines dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia (p. 5, Definitions)
- Early Screening: Clarifies that MD Public Schools do NOT screen for dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, but acknowledges that early screening is a best practice (p.6, Identification, Do Maryland Public Schools screen all students for these conditions?)
- Identification of dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia: provides information on who can identify these conditions both within and outside the school system. Within the school system a school psychologist, speech language pathologist and reading specialist are named as qualified to identify dyslexia (p. 6, Identification, Who can identify one of these conditions?)
- The IEP and Dyslexia: Clarifies that dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia can be referenced in the IEP to address the student’s needs resulting from that disability; further clarifies that the IEP should include information about the disability and how it relates to eligibility, educational needs, and specially designed instruction to address dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia (p. 7, Can these conditions be referenced in a student’s IEP?)
- Lists general problems experienced by students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia (p. 7-8, Instruction)
- Instruction: Acknowledges that dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia may impact achievement across academic content and explains that ALL students should be provided evidence based practices and interventions “matched to their identified area of need.”
- Progress Monitoring: clarifies that general education students who receive interventions for reading, writing and/or math and who are not achieving adequately may require more intense specially designed instruction and should be evaluated for an IEP. (p. 8, Instruction: How do I know if one of these conditions requires specially designed instruction?)
- Dyslexia Assessments: Lists assessments (universal screeners) known to identify dyslexia including Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and Rapid Automatized Spelling (RAS) (p. 9, Instruction)
- Specially Designed Instruction: Delineates the elements and principles of Structured Literacy, “a highly recommended approach” to address dyslexia. The elements of structured literacy include phonology, sound-symbol association, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax and semantics and is taught in an explicit, systematic, cumulative and diagnostic way (p. 10, Instruction, What might specially designed instruction look like?).
Dyslexia Technical Assistance Bulletin (TAB), Maryland State Department of Education, November 2016
DDMD Summary of MSDE Dyslexia TAB (coming soon)
Federal Department of Education Dyslexia Guidance Letter, October 2015
DDMD Summary of Federal DOE Guidance
DDMD Dyslexia TAB Press Release (coming soon)
Maryland Reading Scores, 2015 and 2016
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia
Maryland Technical Assistance Bulletin, November 16, 2016
At a literacy convention recently, Decoding Dyslexia Maryland was asked by a group of teachers: "where can we find training? What can we do on Monday to help our kids?" Teachers also wondered why they didn't learned how to teach kids with dyslexia in their college reading courses. Where to find training just became a whole lot easier for teachers -- here are some options:
Dyslexia Educator Training in Maryland:
- The Center for Effective Reading Instruction: There is a new training and professional development opportunity available for schools, teachers, districts and states to ensure all teachers are up to speed on dyslexia and reading disabilities -- it's called the CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE READING INSTRUCTION (CERI). CERI is located in Baltimore and offers an array of training and certification levels for interested students and teachers. CERI also accredits university education programs: LINK HERE
- The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center: ASDEC's graduate-level training in structured multisensory language instruction enables teachers, tutors, parents and other educators to teach success to students with even the most severe learning disabilities. For educators interested in learning more about dyslexia and how to work with students with language learning disabilities, a new option for this summer will be taught by Sandra Thompson, QI, CALT author of Language Foundations who will present this Orton-Gillingham Structured Literacy Curriculum in Rockville. This course prepares candidates for certification as Academic Language Practitioners (aka Licensed Dyslexia Practitioners).
- Orton-Gillingham Training, by bowman educational services (Fran Bowman): Offers training courses throughout the summer for educators who would like to learn about the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling.
When teachers learn the structure of the English language and how to teach struggling readers, they can and will make a difference for students. 63% of Maryland students read below proficient -- it's time to change the way we teach reading, writing and spelling so we can reach all our students and narrow the reading gap in Maryland.
SOMEDAY SOON, THE STORY BELOW WILL BE CONSIDERED "THE OLD WAY"
The following summary is from the Wright's Law web site, a rich resource for parents and teachers of students with special needs. Below is an excerpt from the website that explains a legal case where the child had dyslexia and the parents removed him from school and won reimbursement because the IEP was too generic and did not meet the child's individual needs.
Alex Gerstmyer v. Howard County Public Schools
"After the Supreme Court issued the decision in Carter, an interesting case arose in Columbia, Maryland. This case involved Alex Gerstmyer, a 6 year old child who also had dyslexia. Although Alex had "red flag" problems in Kindergarten, the staff at Alex’s school waited before testing him—they thought that he might "grow out of his problems."
When Alex began first grade, he had still not been evaluated. There was no IEP in place for him. Alex quickly realized that he was different from the other children—he was not learning how to read. At home, he was distraught and said that he was "stupid." His alarmed parents had him evaluated by a private sector psychologist—this testing confirmed that Alex had dyslexia.
Later in the Fall, the public school did propose an IEP. The parents felt that the IEP was vague and did not provide Alex with the help he needed to overcome his dyslexia. Alex was becoming more upset by the day—saying that he was stupid and didn’t want to live. Presented with an inadequate IEP for their son, his parents removed him from the public school program and placed him into a Montessori school (non- special education school) and asked for tuition assistance. (Gerstmyer v. Howard County Public Schools, 850 F. Supp. 361, 20 IDELR 1327 (D. MD 1994)
In his decision, Judge Motz described the public school IEP as ". . . nothing more than a collection of forms prepared for other students stating only general goals and not at all tailored to Alex’s special needs."
Because the IEP was not tailored to Alex’s unique needs as a child with dyslexia, Judge Motz awarded Alex’ parents reimbursement for their son’s education at the Montessori school."
You can find Maryland legal information here:
State Complaint Letters of Finding
Fiscal Year 2016
Fiscal Year 2015
Fiscal Year 2014
Fiscal Year 2013
Due Process Hearing Decisions, and End-of-Year Hearing and Mediation Outcome Reports by Public Agency
Fiscal Year 2016
Fiscal Year 2015
Fiscal Year 2014
Fiscal Year 2013
First speaker: 43:00
Second speaker: 55:48
Third Speaker: 59:40
Fourth Speaker: 1:07:31
And a special 5 second bonus by another surprise speaker at 1:10:00!!
It was a great night of sharing many different aspects of the mission of Decoding Dyslexia MD. Thank you to our speakers who represented us so well!