- Identify cultural dialect forms used by African American preschool and elementary school-aged children;
- Describe the impact of these differences on standardized assessment of language and reading skills;
- Discuss the role of oral code-switching and dialectal variation on identification of reading and language impairments in impoverished African American learners; and
- Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.
Dr. Julie Washington, PhD
Dr. Julie Washington, PhD is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of California – Irvine (UCI). Dr. Washington directs the Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. She is also director of the Dialect, Poverty and Academic Success lab at UCI. Currently, Dr. Washington’s research is focused on the intersection of literacy, language variation, and poverty. In particular, her work focuses on understanding the role of cultural dialect in assessment, identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension on development of reading and early language skills for children growing up in poverty.
Dr. Carol Tolman, Presentation
Carol Tolman, Ed.D, was awarded a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a concentration in literacy and has been a consultant at the state, district, and school levels for over 15 years. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Tolman was a classroom teacher and Special Educator with more than 25 years of experience in public schools at the elementary and secondary levels. She spent 12 of those years designing and implementing an innovative, exemplary reading clinic for academically challenged middle and high school students.
In addition to spearheading many successful, long-term literacy initiatives throughout the country, Dr. Tolman has published Working Smarter, Not Harder: What Teachers of Reading Need to Know and Be Able to Do and The Relationship between Teacher Knowledge and Effective RtI: When we Know Better, we Do Better (IDA Perspectives).
Carol is co-author of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Presenter’s Kits, co-author of LETRS Modules 1, 2nd Edition, co-author of LETRS Module 10, 2nd Edition, and co-author with Dr. Louisa Moats of the LETRS 3rd Edition series of text and online supports for teachers of reading and spelling.
Dr. Tolman has presided over the LETRS Leadership Board, created LETRS On-Line, and provides LETRS Trainer of Trainer (TOT) workshops to prepare others for the rigorous study involved in becoming a Certified Local LETRS Trainer.
Dr. Tolman has presented internationally in China and Australia and is passionate about the importance of empowering teachers with the knowledge necessary to impact change for all children.
On September 10, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.
Dr. Mary Murray began the meeting at 9:05 by asking attendees to sign in using Zoom’s chat box feature. She and Dr. Dottie Erb welcomed the Collaborative’s new members.
Dr. Melissa Weber-Mayrer, Presentation
The first speaker—Dr. Weber-Mayrer, Director, ODE Office of Approaches to Teaching and Professional Learning—addressed the state’s commitment to improving literacy achievement for every learner. She noted that her office oversees the state’s Learning Management System and also discussed the state’s strategic plan, Each Child, Our Future. Strategy 9 of the plan relates to literacy specifically, but she also singled out other strategies that her work impinges on: Strategy 2, supporting principals; Strategy 3, improving targeted supports; Strategy 7, working with parents to help meet needs; and Strategy 8, promoting the importance of early learning.
Dr. Weber-Mayrer then discussed the ODE’s role in organizing literacy initiatives, and the many grants and programs under Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement. These included building a regional system of supports (a professional learning series on evidence-based practices), dyslexia grants, P20 grants, the development of a statewide family engagement center, running Ohio’s What Matters Now network, and others. Dr. Weber-Mayrer stressed the interrelated nature of the ODE’s many programs. Across these, Weber-Mayrer pointed to the centrality of the science of reading and noted the ODE’s role as policy implementer. She stressed the ODE’s intention to move from being a department of compliance to one of quality support.
On June 11, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.
(9:00 AM) Welcome & Introductions
Mary Murray, EdD and Dottie Erb, PhD, Co-facilitators, P20 Literacy Collaborative
- Dr. Murray and Dr. Erb introduced themselves, and Dr. Murray asked that members mute their mics and for new members to unmute and introduce themselves.
- New members: Mary Dodds (ODE); Allison Laumann (Third Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta), Maria Pappas (Chief of Core Curriculum, Youngstown City), Bonnie Stalter (First Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta) Kim Christensen (Senior Lecturer, Bowling Green), Robin Haught (Title 1 Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta)
- Dr. Murray welcomed new members and provided an overview of the agenda. Dr. Erb introduced the presenter.
(9:15 AM) The Psycho-social Impact of Reading Difficulties on Children and Youth
Steven P. Dykstra, PhD, Practicing Psychologist, Milwaukee County, WI, and Founding Member, Wisconsin Reading Coalition
- Today’s topic— “A Developmental Model of Trauma, Growth, and Resilience: The Place for Language and Reading”
- Presenter noted the group will discuss the best ways to teach reading, but he is not a reading teacher and does not have the toolbox to teach first graders in the classroom.
On March 12, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:30 am-1:00 pm. There were 43 participants in attendance. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.
Dr. Dottie Erb began the meeting by previewing the agenda and providing a summary and overview of the ongoing work of the Collaborative. She then instructed the group about where to access resources through the Deans Compact website. Dr. Mary Murray then introduced the speaker, Dr. David Kilpatrick.
Dr. Kilpatrick began his presentation at 10:00 am by reviewing the objectives for his presentation:
- Understanding word-level reading development, both identifying new words and remembering
- Understanding the basis of word reading fluency
- Understand why some students struggle in word-reading
- Learn the “elusive” research-based reading interventions
- Consider how these research findings should influence instruction and intervention
During the first hour, Dr. Kilpatrick introduced the field of the scientific study of reading, highlighting the scope of the work and research, and some of the niche areas within the field of reading research – specifically, orthographic learning (the scientific study of how we remember words) and the study of interventions for students who struggle with word-level reading. His work and his goal, he shared, involves trying to bring together these two areas of research – reading through the lens of orthographic mapping (how we store words in memory) and to move the research into the hands of teachers and those who can put it into practice, as he noted that there are huge gaps between research and practice. He continued his introduction by sharing several resources, including research journals. He said that “Reading Research” is not its own discipline – but is covered by many fields and is an interdisciplinary enterprise.
He then covered the following key terms relevant to the presentation:
- Auditory vs phonological
- Phonological vs phonemic
- Orthography and orthographic
- Phonological awareness vs phonics
- Decoding (phonic decoding and word-level reading)
- Sight word and sight word vocabulary
On January 30, 2020, the P20 Literacy Collaborative, under the auspices of the Higher Education Literacy Steering Committee, convened a one-day meeting at the Conference Center at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio. This meeting was the second gathering of the P20 Literacy Collaborative, which brings together in one community of practice stakeholders from Ohio institutions of higher education (IHEs), educators from school districts, representatives from the state’s ESCs and SSTs, and others.
Teams from each of the seven funded Improving Literacy Partnership Grants, and members of the Higher Education Literacy Steering Committee, established in 2019, attended the meeting. In addition, participants from a related grant-funded initiative—at an eighth IHE—also attended. The work of the Collaborative is grounded in the “science of reading.” Its aim is to help higher education faculties update teacher education curricula to reflect findings from high-quality research on early literacy instruction. The theory of action supporting the effort maintains that curricula grounded in the “science of reading” will prepare educators to provide instruction that results in improved literacy outcomes and improved equity outcomes across Ohio school districts.
Sign-in sheets documented the participation of 42 members of the Collaborative, not including project staff from the University of Cincinnati’s Systems Development and Improvement Center, the guest speaker, and the evaluators. The 42 Collaborative members included 16 representatives from Ohio school districts, 21 IHE representatives, and 1 SST representative. The other three members in attendance were from the Ohio Department of Education (n=2) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (n=1). Thirty-three attendees returned completed surveys (i.e., a response rate of 79%).
These are the meeting’s intended outcomes:
- To understand Ohio’s approach to improving literacy outcomes for all learners;
- To gain a clear idea about how to establish supportive time standards for improving literacy;
- To gain a clear idea of the components of literacy learning supported by research;
- To gain a clear idea of quality of instruction standards; and
- To learn about efforts of university-district partner teams to improve teacher understanding and application of evidence-based language and literacy practices.
Michelle Elia, MS, Ohio Literacy Lead
Michelle Elia has served students in Ohio as an intervention specialist, special education consultant, and Regional Early Literacy Specialist. She currently works on behalf of the Ohio Department of Education as one of 2 Ohio Literacy Leads, a role that allows her to work with district administrators, teachers, and students across the state. She provides professional development and coaching for teachers in evidence based instructional practices (aligned with the science of reading, PBIS, UDL, brain research, and differentiated instruction) to engage ALL students in the learning process. She also coaches district and building leaders to make appropriate systems changes in their school-wide reading model. Michelle serves as a board member of the International Dyslexia Association Northern Ohio, is a member of the Infohio Literacy Task Force and Ohio’s What Matters Now Network, is a national LETRS trainer, and works as an adjunct professor at both Youngstown State and Walsh Universities. She has two professional goals – to help educators to teach with a growth mindset, and to ensure that reading is taught based on science, and not belief systems.