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By Julian Peeples

CTA President E. Toby Boyd joined Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Assemblymember Mia Bonta and state education leaders today to announce a bold vision for ensuring that every California student will learn to read by third grade by the year 2026. The effort also includes a biliteracy milestone for dual language learners.

Thurmond will convene a task force in the coming weeks that brings together educators, students, families, advocates, researchers and other experts to identify key strategies for focusing on literacy. He will also sponsor legislation in the coming year to be authored by Bonta (D-Alameda) to help advance the goal. This bill will be informed by recommendations that come from the task force, and will likely include a variety of resources to advance literacy and biliteracy goals, family engagement approaches and other reading strategies.

Thurmond anticipates the legislation will lay out a multifaceted strategy that considers issues of readiness, chronic absenteeism, needs of students with disabilities and multilingual learners, early education, and socio-economic factors that impact a student’s ability to learn to read.

“Now is the time. We have all the resources to do this, and we will bring forward legislation to support our students,” says Thurmond. “When students learn to read, they can read to learn anything.”

Boyd says that after decades of disinvestment in public schools, this year’s education budget reflects our shared values and priorities.

“Expanding transitional kindergarten, increasing community schools, and additional resources for social and emotional supports for students are all significant investments that will help support our neediest schools – and they are key programs that we need to combat illiteracy,” he says. “Equally important will be addressing the needs of our dual-language learners and assuring that they have resources and supports needed to succeed. Biliteracy is a strength of our global economy.”

Bonta is excited about the bold, aggressive agenda to ensure all kids can read.

“Literacy is the key to equity,” she says. “We are going to fight together for literacy, equity and justice.”

The Discussion 2 comments Post a Comment

  1. Jani Wright says...

    I agree with Brooke Lopez, another commenter. My district uses Benchmark Advance. The assessments and guided reading books use the Fountas & Pinnell system, which requires students to guess words; guessing isn’t reading. We need curriculum that is based on scientific research about how students learn.

  2. Brooke Lopez says...

    Can we also fight for curriculum that is science based and multi sensory so more kids can learn in the classroom and lessen their special ed needs? Other states have gone so far as to make it illegal to teach with the curriculum my kids’ district is using. (Lucy Calkins Units of Study) My first grade dyslexic daughter can’t learn using the curriculum taught in her classroom. Therefore she needs special education being pulled out of her classroom while she is missing lessons there to do tutoring. If the classroom curriculum was equitable for the majority of learners and science based she may not need any pull out intervention. And the average learners would just keep on learning. I’m happy to support this effort any way I can. I also have a 5th grader who’s struggled with spelling since 1st grade and finally this year has a teacher who’s addressing it after my pushing for years. We have to do better!!!

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