Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don’t know the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail.
A big part of the problem is at the university level, in schools of education, according to the authors of a 2016 article in the Journal of Childhood & Developmental Disorders. “Faculty have ignored the scientific knowledge that informs reading acquisition,” the authors wrote. “As a result, the pre-service teachers who are being educated at these institutions fail to receive the necessary training.”
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One of the achievements from my time in Congress that I’m most proud of is the passage and enactment of the bipartisan READ Act (Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act) in February 2016. The READ Act requires the National Science Foundation to devote at least $2.5 million annually to funding research on early ID, training of teachers and school administrators, and development of curricula and learning tools. We could not have enacted the READ Act for children with dyslexia without the extraordinary effort of national, state and local advocates, many of whom I spoke with again today while they were in town for their annual visit.
Although I am retiring from Congress after this term, our efforts continue beyond the READ Act with the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. Congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas will be taking on the rule of chairman of the caucus. He and his wife have been very active in their home state bringing attention to dyslexia and teaching methods, and I know they will do a great job continuing their efforts at the national level.