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Advocacy and Educational Initiatives

How we teach children to read has been so historically combative that it's often called "the reading wars."  The pendulum has swung from "whole language" ("Use context clues!  Look at the pictures!") to phonics ("Sound it out!") and back so many times that teachers are left bewildered—and children left with inadequate literacy skills. Science has solidly proven that phonics is an essential component of skilled reading, but far too many districts have failed to adopt new standards or more rigorous screening measures for dyslexia.  Educating educators, caregivers and legislators on the importance of structured literacy is key to passing initiatives that support literacy for all learners. 


Decoding Dyslexia CA

A grass-roots movement composed of parents, educators and professionals that strives to raise awareness around dyslexia.  DDCA continues to be a driving force in passing legislation that supports all learners.

DDCA: Sign the Petition for Universal Screening Bill SB237

This California senate bill would require annual K-2 screenings for dyslexia; adopt an approved list of appropriate screening tools; provide screening results and dyslexia guidelines to guardians and teachers; and allow parents to “opt out” of universal screening.

National Council on Teacher Quality:  The four pillars to reading success: an action guide for states 

PDF pamphlet presenting arguments for states to follow the research on the most effective and efficient methods of reading instruction

KQED: How parents can help dyslexic children get needed support

Article from the MindShift series with resources on dyslexia laws by state and the crucial role of parents as advocates 

Dyslegia: A legislative information site

Information on dyslexia laws and pending legislation for all 50 states, evidence-based information and additional resources

International Literacy Association (ILA)

“A professional organization connecting research and practice to continuously improve the quality of literacy instruction across the globe.”  ILA hosts frequent digital events, webinars and intensives on topics of literacy education.  Many past events are free and available through their site, Youtube or Facebook page.


Timely reporting on education issues in California, including coverage on literacy initiatives, policy issues, data on schools and districts, comprehensive reports, annual symposium and surveys.  They believe "an informed, involved public is necessary to strengthen California’s schools for the benefit of the state’s children, its civic life and its economy." 

California Reading Coalition

"Founded in 2021, the California Reading Coalition is made up of educators, advocates, researchers and policy makers committed to improved reading outcomes for all California students."  Site includes videos of the entire 2021 summit, searchable California Reading Report Card and excellently curated resources.

ILA: What should equitable and comprehensive early literacy instruction look like in 2020 and beyond?

Free on-demand webinar with registration

APM Reports: At a loss for words: how a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

Engaging, 50-minute podcast reported by Emily Hanford in 2019

APM Reports: Hard words: why aren’t kids being taught to read?

Engaging, 50-minute podcast reported by Emily Hanford in 2018 

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