An assistant superintendent of instruction shares how special education students made the highest gains in state reading scores she has seen in her 20 years of work.
In education, and especially in special education, lessons are never one-size-fits-all. My district learned that the hard way when we faced concerns that students with characteristics of dyslexia weren’t getting the help they needed in school. That was three years ago, when our district offered limited dyslexia instruction.
As the assistant superintendent of instruction, I strategized with my department, aiming to provide an alternative option to students who weren’t succeeding with a traditional literacy and reading program. Our district is one of the lowest-funded districts in the state, so we had to be very careful about where we were using funds. Sometimes buying a program you think will work doesn’t turn out to be effective, and it seems like such a waste. We needed a program that our teachers would buy into willingly. It had to address the concerns we were hearing from both our teachers and our parents. It had to appeal to all students in special education.
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