By 2026, Cal’s Education Leader Wants Every Third-Grade Student To Read – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentry
State Superintendent of Public Education Tony Thurmond held a press conference via zoom and on Facebook last week to unveil an ambitious new school success plan for California. This is a campaign designed to ensure, by 2026, that every third grader in California can read.
The effort will also include a bi-literacy milestone for bilingual learners.
Thurmond announced that he will form a working group of practitioners, advocates, researchers, founding partners, thought leaders, students, parents and other experts to identify key strategies that districts school and charter schools can use it to help their students achieve this bold goal. .
Education researchers point out that children are expected to be able to learn about the world through reading by grades three and four. This is when their math lessons are taught using word problems, and reasoning skills are developed by discussing the text they have been instructed to read. Children who fall behind in developing reading skills quickly find it difficult to keep up with their lessons.
A study conducted by researchers from Stanford Graduate School of Education came to the conclusion that during the pandemic, inadequate reading instruction contributed to the reading proficiency of students in grades two and three to be about 30% lower than would be expected over the course of a typical year.
Thurmond said in his opening remarks: “We already know that when students learn to read, they can read to learn anything. This is a bridging skill that can take them at any point in their life, career, and journey. We also know that when students do not learn to read in grade three, they are at greater risk of dropping out of school and at greater risk of ending up in the criminal justice system.
About the state Balanced smarter tests in the 2018-19 school year only 33% of black students in grades 3 to 11 tested at school level or above in English language; only 31% of third graders were tested at school level or above in English.
In addition to announcing the formation of the task force, Thurmond revealed that Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) has agreed to sponsor legislation that will be formally introduced in 2022 to support the task force’s recommendations.
“In the next legislative cycle, we will be proposing legislation that will help us have the resources for professional learning and other things we will need to support our students,” he said.
Thurmond expects legislation to take into account issues of preparation, chronic absenteeism, the needs of students with disabilities and multilingual learners, early education and socio-economic factors that impact the ability to perform. ‘a student to learn to read.
“I look forward to working closely with all of you over the coming weeks and months to improve children’s literacy and bi-literacy,” Assembly member Bonta said at the press conference. “I congratulate Superintendent Thurmond for this targeted campaign. It is a bold and aggressive program. I agree and want to make sure that we have the capacity to deliver legislation that is going to be meaningful and focus on implementation and making it a reality for every child in this state. Literacy is the key to equity.
Also in attendance at the press conference: E. Toby Boyd, California Teachers Association; Hedy Chang, Executive Director, Attendance Works; Dr Francisco Escobedo, Executive Director, National Center for the Transformation of Urban Schools; Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), Liaison with the Advisory Board on Special Education; Jan Gustafson-Corea, Executive Director, California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE); Matt Navo, Executive Director, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE); Dr Christopher J. Nellum, Executive Director, The Education Trust — West; and Jackie Thu-Huong Wong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, First 5 California. Keith Pace, executive director of the California School Employees Association was invited but did not attend.
Each participant shared personal stories and encouraged statewide support for literacy and bi-literacy for all California students.
“It has been an incredibly difficult year for our students, educators and their families,” said E. Toby Boyd, president of the California Teachers Association. “The pandemic has shed light on the challenges our schools and communities face in serving the six million students in our system. With my 310,000 educators, I am ready to work with Superintendent Thurmond, Assembly members Bonta and Frazier and members of the task force to develop thoughtful strategies and policies for our youngest learners, as well as for the future of California public education.
“We are extremely excited about this campaign for a number of reasons, but for me and for us this campaign is launched at a time when we have all seen how our education systems can change drastically during a crisis,” said Christopher Nellum, Managing Director of Education Trust-West. “And in our opinion, now is the time to act with the same kind of urgency when it comes to our California literacy crisis.”
In his closing remarks, Thurmond said, “I thought I would have eight years to work on this one way or another. The pandemic has turned some of these efforts upside down. But, I just have to say, as I feel like I’m about to borrow from wonderful MP Maxine Waters, “I’m getting my time back” to work on an initiative that I know is so important. “
An archived broadcast of the press conference with the American Sign Language Interpretation Service can be viewed on the website CDE Facebook page.