Our Footsteps

 

February 2, 2017

Right to Read-Maryland served as a community partner at Decoding Dyslexia Advocacy Day : The State of Reading and Dyslexia in Maryland, held in Annapolis, MD.

 

January 24, 2017

Right to Read-Maryland (Member, Dr. Ann Bain) testified before the Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE).  Dr. Bain’s testimony may be found here.

 

December 14, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Chairperson, Barbara Donick) was the guest speaker at the meeting of the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland (CEASOM).

 

December 13, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairs, Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, and members, Dr. Ann Bain and Dr. Fran Bowman) met with Sarah Spross, Assistant State Superintendent for Educator Effectiveness, Carol Williamson, State Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, and Sylvia Lawson, Deputy State Superintendent for School Effectiveness.  Discussed was the possibility of requiring the Foundations of Reading Test for certification for all teachers of reading.

 

December 5, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Member, Dr. Edwin Oliver) testified before the Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE).

 

December 2, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairs, Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, and member, Dr. Ann Bain) met with Delegates Dana Stein and Mary Washington to discuss legislation about requiring a Foundations of Reading Test for certification of Maryland elementary teachers.

 

December 1, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chair, Ellen Stein) testified before the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB).

 

November 17, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chair, Barbara Donick) met with Maryland State Board of Education member, Laurie Halverson.

 

November 16, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (members, Emily Hurd, Dr. Ann Bain, and Amy Siracusano) met as members of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group, a committee chartered to revise the four reading courses at the college/university level that teachers must complete in order to obtain certification, on November 16, 2016.

 

November 10, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairs, Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) met with Maryland State Board of Education member, Stephanie Iszard.

 

November 3, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Member, Jaclyn Paris) testified before the Maryland State Education Association’s Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB).

 

November 1, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairs, Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) met with state board member, Dr. Michelle Guyton.

 

October 19, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (members, Emily Hurd, Dr. Ann Bain, and Amy Siracusano) met as members of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group, a committee chartered to revise the four reading courses at the college/university level that teachers must complete in order to obtain certification.

 

October 17, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairpersons, Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) had a very successful meeting with Cheryl Bost, Vice President of the Maryland State Education Association, who was very supportive of our efforts.

 

October 14, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairpersons, Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) met with Delegate Eric Luedtke to discuss the possibility of his sponsorship of a reading bill.

 

September 14, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (members, Emily Hurd, Dr. Ann Bain, Amy Siracusano, and Dr. Walter Dunson) met as members of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group, a committee chartered to revise the four reading courses at the college/university level that teachers must complete in order to obtain certification.

 

September 8, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairs, Barbara Donick and Cheri Crow, along with member, Karleen Spitulnik) met with Delegate Dana Stein to discuss the sponsorship of our bill.

 

September 6, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (members, Barbara Donick and Karleen Spitulnik) met with Tiffany Robinson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor to discuss improving reading instruction in the state of Maryland.

 

August 31, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (members, Barbara Donick, Karleen Spitulnik, Cheri Crow, Ellen Stein, and Dr. Ann Bain) met with members of the Educational Testing Service to discuss what other states are doing with testing.

 

July 15, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board members, Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, Cheri Crow, and Dr. Ann Bain ) met with Maryland Delegate Dana Stein and Renee Spence, Executive Director of the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) and former liaison between MSDE and state legislature to discuss any possibilities for legislation.  Delegate Stein has agreed to meet with us on September 8, 2016 to guide us in the writing of a bill to require certification testing for teachers.

 

July 2, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Chairperson, Barbara Donick) met with Towson University’s Dr. Jack Cole, Head of Literacy Education of Maryland (LEM) to discuss teacher preparation.

 

June 29, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Chairperson, Barbara Donick) met with Bonnie Schmeltz, Mary Lou Nelson, and Gail Glick of the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC) to discuss teacher preparation.

 

June 28, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Co-Chairperson, Barbara Donick) presented to the Maryland State Department of Education board, pursuing a certification test for all teachers of reading.  See the full transcript of Barbara’s presentation here.

 

May 26, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board member, Dr. Fran Bowman) presented to the Maryland State Department of Education board, advocating the efficacy of structured literacy.  See the full transcript of Dr. Bowman’s presentation here

 

May 11, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board chairperson, Barbara Donick) met with Dr. James Fielder, Secretary of Maryland Higher Education Commission.  Also present at the meeting were Sarah Spross, Assistant State Superintendent for Educator Effectiveness, and Heather Lageman, Director of Curriculum for the Maryland State Department of Education.  The primary purpose of the meeting was to introduce Dr. Fielder, the new Secretary of MHEC, to Right to Read-Maryland and its goals.  Included in the topics of discussion were the obstacles to the goals of Right to Read-Maryland, which include:

  • Required reading courses revised with specific requirements for explicit, systematic, multi-sensory instruction

  • MSDE work group revising 4 courses not meeting until July

  • Shared testimonies of problems with instruction at college level by Dr. Donald Bolger, Dr. Walter Dunson, Dr. Ann Bain, and Steve Buettner

  • Suggested substituting CAEP regulations for reading which uses the ILA standards  (embedded phonics) with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction standards

  • Need for internship with knowledgeable classroom mentor

  • Recommended Foundations of Reading Test for certification of elementary teachers

 

May 10, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board members, Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, Cheri Crow, and Dr. Ann Bain ) met with Maryland Delegate Dana Stein to inform him about our meetings with Baltimore County Public Schools and MSDE, in which both expressed the need for professional development in reading instruction. 

Delegate Stein will contact Renee Spence ( former liaison between MSDE and state legislature ) currently, Executive Director of the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) to set up a meeting with us to discuss any possibilities for legislation.  We have also requested that Renee set up a meeting in August with PSSAM.

We have contacted California and Connecticut regarding data linking student performance and Foundations of Reading Test required for teachers.  Attached is the response from Dr. Phyllis Jacobson, Administrator of Examinations and Research for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  You may view Dr. Jacobson’s response here.

We discussed Study of Mississippi Teacher Preparation  as possible model for steps toward legislation.

 

May 5, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board member, Dr. Edwin Oliver) presented to the Maryland State Department of Education’s Professional Standards and Teacher Education board on May 5, 2016 to emphasize structured literacy. PTSB was so intrigued, they asked Dr. Oliver to follow up.  See the full transcript of Dr. Oliver’s presentation here.

 

April 13, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland Board Meeting

 

April 13, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, and Dr. Walter Dunson)  met with Karen Blannard, Assistant Superintendent of Zone 1, and Billy Burke, Chief of Organizational Effectiveness for Baltimore County Public Schools, to discuss professional development for all reading teachers in Baltimore County Public Schools.  In addition to the professional development, Right to Read-Maryland is encouraging the development of structured literacy pilot program in three schools in Baltimore County.

 

April 7, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board member, Karleen Spitulnik) presented to Maryland’s Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board to emphasize the need for effective, structured literacy instruction for teachers of reading.

 

April 6, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Barbara Donick and Dr. Walter Dunson) met with Sarah Spross, Assistant State Superintendent: Division of Educator Effectiveness and Michele Dunkle, Program Approval Specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education, to further discuss the need for standards and curriculum that are based upon reading science.  Additionally, topics included the meaningful internship for all reading teachers that is supervised by a knowledgeable mentor and the institution of a test of foundational reading skill to be required for all certification.  Ms. Dunkle was open to more voices being heard, and Right to Read-Maryland‘s Steven Buettner and Dr. Walter Dunson were nominated to join the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group.  Each accepted.

 

March 15, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, Dr. Ann Bain, and Dr. Walter Dunson) met with Dr. Nancy Grasmick, former Superintendent for Maryland schools, presidential scholar at Towson University, and Co-director of Kennedy -Krieger Institute.  Dr. Grasmick was very supportive of our work, and she suggested that we reach out to the State Superintendents Association of Maryland.  Barbara Donick has reached out to the executive director, Renee Spence.  Additionally, Dr. Grasmick recommended that we reach out to Urban Teacher Center to learn what they are doing in Baltimore City.

 

March 11, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board member, Dr. Ann Bain) met as a member of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group on March 11, 2016.

 

March 9, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland, in conjunction with Cardinal Reading Strategies, LLC, has been contracted to provide structured literacy training (Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell) to the Baltimore County Public Schools.  This group of twenty (20) teachers will begin their 5-day in-service on May 2, 2016 at the Loyola University Maryland Graduate Center in Timonium, MD. 

 

March 4, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (board member, Dr. Ann Bain, Fellow) met as a member of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group on March 4, 2016.

 

March 2, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland Board Meeting

 

March 2, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland met with Ava Spencer, State Coordinator of English/Language Arts and Heather Lageman, Interim Director of Curriculum for MSDE.  Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, and Dr. Walter Dunson discussed how to effect teacher preparation at the college level.  Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Lagemen were enthusiastic in their reception as they are largely focused on developing an inspired, dedicated, and highly qualified teaching force in Maryland, and, specifically, share a mutual mission of improving teacher preparation in reading instruction.  Mrs. Lageman informed us of Senate Bill 493, written and introduced by Senator Pinsky in order to reduce teacher turnover.  The bill is designed to develop mentor teachers to help new teachers.

 

March 1, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland co-sponsored and participated in Dyslexia Advocacy Day.  Our coalition chair, Barbara Donick, and coalition member, Dr. Walter Dunson, ventured to the state capitol, Annapolis, MD. The two met with Maryland State Delegates, Dana Stein (D) District 11, Baltimore County and Eric Ebersole, (D) District 12, Baltimore County and Howard County. Discussed with Delegate Ebersole the following issues regarding teacher preparation in reading instruction: appropriate course work at the college level, importance of training for college instructors, need for meaningful practice with knowledgeable mentors in the classroom, consideration of foundations of reading test for certification. Delegate Ebersole advised that we need to wait until the MSDE workgroup finishes their revision of the courses before we can pursue legislation or media focus.  He further advised that continuing to provide testimony before the Maryland State Board of Education and the Professional Teacher Education Board would be helpful.

 

February 23, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland met with Baltimore County leaders, Megan Shay, Head of English/Language Arts and Connie Hart, Supervisor of Teaching and Learning (Office of Special Education.  Barbara Donick, Ellen Stein, and Dr. Walter Dunson discussed how to effect teacher preparation at the college level and possible in-service training for teachers who are currently in the classroom.  As Baltimore County has a huge number of students struggling to read, the county is waiting for funding for professional development.

 

January 20, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) met with Principal, Joseph Manko, of Liberty Elementary School to discuss his outstanding leadership in advocating and assuring structured literacy on his campus.  Lead Teacher from Calvin Rodwell, Rhea Espedido, has joined our coalition. 

 

January 21, 2016

Right to Read-Maryland (Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein) met with Principal, Samuel Rather, of Calvin Rodwell Elementary School. 

 

December 14, 2015

Right to Read-Maryland appeared before the Segmental Advisory Council of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  Barbara Donick and Dr. Walter Dunson presented on the 2015 NAEP scores, the 2015 PARCC scores, and on the efficacy of structured literacy using data from a reading initiative.  The results of the initiative demonstrated grade level increases in phonemic awareness, vocabulary, morphology, reading fluency, and reading comprehension within an urban school based upon a four-month pilot.  In the pilot, 108 students in the 3rd-8th grades were instructed, daily, using evidence-based reading instruction.  As a result of structured literacy, students on the campus measured an average 2.57 grade level increase in their reading scores.  Additionally, Mrs. Donick and Dr. Dunson provided a proposed outline of training for elementary education teachers, on the university level and beyond, that will focus on increased reading ability for all students.

 

December 8, 2015

Right to Read-Maryland appeared before the Maryland State School Board and advocated for the adoption of evidence-based reading methodology that would be used to increase teacher training of all elementary education teachers.  Appearing on behalf of Right to Read-Maryland were Barbara Donick and Dr. Walter Dunson.

 

December 2, 2015

Right to Read-Maryland had the great privilege of appearing on NPR in Baltimore with Sheilah Kast, moderator, and Dr. Karen Robertson, associate dean in the College of Education at Towson University. Appearing on behalf of Right to Read-Maryland were Dr. Donald Bolger, associate professor in the Department of Human Development & Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Walter Dunson, executive director of Cardinal Reading Strategies, and Steve Buettner, the head of the Baltimore Lab School. We had a great discussion concerning the need for evidence-based reading instruction and the training of teachers in order to provide the same.  See the tab, Right To Read-Maryland’s NPR Podcast, to hear the informative program. 

 

November 16, 2015

Right to Read-Maryland Board Meeting Minutes

Reviewed contact with MHEC: workshop with MSDE is unclear at this point. Dr. Hunter-Cevera, acting secretary of MHEC wrote introduction to Adam Dubitsky, educational policy- has not responded as yet. Important to reach governor because he appoints the state school board and members of the Professional Standards Teacher Education Board (PSTEB). These two bodies control through regulations the requirements for teachers.

Consider testimony to PSTEB- First Thursday of each month – can make 3 minute public comment (submit 25 printed copies). Contact Sara Spross (410 767-0385) one week prior to get on agenda ahead of time.  Meet at MSDE and public comment is at 9:30.  First Thurs. Jan.  (Jan 8th) is possibility.

Dr. Jack Smith, interim superintendent, is looking at Ohio legislation and Connecticut policy- need to follow-up.

Fran Bowman is contacting Deborah Weiner. Looking for other opportunities to create public awareness.

Discussed Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy report by Ashley Berner, Deputy Director. Del. Shelly Hettleman sent us this information. Hopkins is supporting structured literacy and using Success for All and Direct Instruction in their graduate program. We are looking into these programs. Contacting Success for All to visit a school using this program.

Contact with Roger Schulman, CEO, Fund for Educational Excellence, which is host organization and leading partner for Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading. He responded that they do believe that instruction is critical and agrees that teacher preparation and ongoing professional development are issues we agree on. He is looking for information about Right to Read-Maryland and would “love to learn more about what you do.”  Will follow up.

Website- established name as righttoreadmd.org and are waiting for members to send in pix and bio.  Discussed printing cards and pamphlet. We are on Facebook –Right to Read-Maryland. Everyone encouraged to go on and “like” and post comment.

Dr. Eddie Oliver discussed plans for doctoral student’s thesis to test education seniors in second semester on their knowledge of foundational skills in reading instruction.  Talked about methods for obtaining subjects for the study and which tests could be used.

Maryland State Board has monthly meetings open to the public. Allow 10 spots on the agenda for comments. The comments are 3 minutes and speaker can submit printed copies (18). Call Charlene Necessary (410 767-0467), on Dec. 1st to get on agenda for Dec. 8th . Meeting is all day but commentary is usually around 3pm- encouraged to come at 2 in case they are ahead of schedule. Meets 7th floor MSDE on Baltimore Street. Dr. Walter Dunson volunteered to comment on Dec. 8th.   We discussed possibility of doing this on a monthly basis with a different focus or perspective.

PTA- Emily Hurd looked into reaching out to PTA’s . The question is how to effectively interact. One possibility is finding parents with struggling reader to visit legislators with us.

Read Steve Buettner’s excellent letter addressing ways to communicate with the public. If anyone was not at meeting and would like a copy, please let us know and we can forward it to you.

Legislation- Discussed importance of educating Maryland legislators about Right to Read- Maryland and the critical need for teacher preparation in reading instruction in Maryland.

Talking points:

  1. Who we are,  mission statement & goal

  2. PAARC & NAEP  low reading scores in Maryland  (drop in 4th grade NAEP) (awaiting 3rd grade PAARC scores)

  3. MSDE workforce working on the required reading courses to be completed in April.  (We are talking about elementary classroom teachers)

  4. Our concerns:

    • Do these courses contain explicit instruction in the recommendations of the NRP so that teachers understand the foundations of reading instruction when they graduate?

    • Are the instructors at the college level knowledgeable about the foundations of reading instruction? Have they had training in LETRS?

    • Does the program include a practicum administered by a knowledgeable supervising teacher in the classroom?

    • It would be helpful to take a parent of a struggling reader to the meeting with you. We can talk to Decoding Dyslexia and/or LDA to find parents.

 

The following are members who are contacting the following legislators.

Members and Contacts:

Dr. Ann Bain:  Baltimore City – Del. Mary Washington

Emily Hurd: Howard Country – Sen. Gail Bates

Barbara Donick and Ellen Stein: Montgomery County – Del. Anne Kaiser, Del. Sheila Hixson;   Prince George’s County – Sen. Paul Pinsky; Baltimore City – Sen Bill Ferguson, Sen. Joan Carter Conway

Dr. Walter Dunson: Prince George’s County – Del. Jimmy Tarlau, Del. Alonzo Washington, Del. Carolyn Howard, Sen. James Rosapepe; Montgomery CountySen. Nancy King, Sen Cheryl Kagan

 

 

Past Notes

 

September 29, 2015: Right to Read-Maryland met with Ron Fairchild from the Annie Casey Foundation to discuss “Campaign for Grade Level Reading” and the possibility of partnering with them in Baltimore City.

 

October 8, 2015: Right to Read-Maryland met in Annapolis with Delegate Dana Stein and Delegate Shelly Hettleman. We discussed the need for teacher preparation at the college level and the work being done through the Maryland State Department of Education workforce.

 

October 9, 2015: Right to Read-Maryland met with Dr. Chester Finn, a new member of the Maryland State Board of Education, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to inform Dr. Finn of what is happening in Maryland regarding the reading courses required by the state for certification. Liz Liptak, Head of Professional Development for IDA, discussed new foundations of a reading test being created by IDA.

 

October 15, 2015:  Dr. Ann Bain, Cheri Crow, Ellen Stein, and Barbara Donick, of Right to Read-Maryland met with the interim State Superintendent, Dr. Jack Smith, and the the Acting Secretary, Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  We discussed teacher preparation in reading instruction and a plan for a joint MHEC-MSDE workshop that focuses on teacher preparation.

 

October 16, 2015:   Dr. Ann Bain and Barbara Donick, of Right to Read-Maryland, met with Principal Hill at Lockerman-Bundy School. To submit proposal for professional development of all teachers at the school. (When the proposal was later submitted, the school did not have funding available and requested that the training be postpone until summer)

 

October 20, 2015:   Right to Read-Maryland’s monthly board meeting.

 

November 4, 2015:  Barbara Donick, Cheri Crow, Ellen Stein, Lisa Blottenberger, and Dr. Walter Dunson, of Right to Read-Maryland, met with Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, the Acting Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. We continued our discussion teacher preparation in reading instruction and a plan for a joint MHEC-MSDE workshop that focuses on teacher preparation.

 

November 16, 2015:   Right to Read-Maryland’s monthly board meeting.

 

 

fb_logo.jpg