Public Comments for: HB419 - Higher educational institutions; education preparation programs, coursework, audit.
Last Name: Turner Locality: Fairfax

I support HB1047, HB319, HB418, and HB419.

Last Name: Kane Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Please support HB319, HB 418, and HB 419. These bills will make great strides for Virginia's children and their literacy. We cannot afford to wait any longer. I hope as you consider these bills you will also champion the need for urgency . We risk the continued loss of years waiting for districts to begin implementation. Our children do not have the time to wait they need these bills implemented as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Last Name: VanDerhoff Locality: Springfield

I am writing to urge you to support HB 319, HB 418, and HB 419. I am a first grade teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and for the past two years I have immersed myself in learning everything I can about the science of reading. Even though I have taught 1st and 2nd grade for ten years now, I am embarrassed to say that before learning about the science of reading, I didn't understand a lot about how children developed the skills to become proficient readers. I had been trained in teaching reading using the "balanced literacy" approach. In the early grades, students taught through a balanced literacy approach can appear to be fluent readers. They read formulaic "leveled texts" filled with memorized high-frequency words and peppered with other words that students are meant to guess based on the picture and maybe the first letter. Students move through these levels with just enough picture support to suggest that they are becoming proficienct readers, but then when they reach 3rd grade and beyond where they encounter more unfamiliar multisyllabic words and the picture support drops off, it becomes apparent that they never learned the skills to break down and read words using phonics. After learning about the science of reading, I now know that decoding skills (the ability to read the words on the page) are developed in a sequential and systematic way through explicit phonics instruction where students first learn basic phonics patterns and then move to more challenging ones as they develop mastery. I am grateful that my district, FCPS is adopting a new approach to literacy that aligns with the science of reading. I hope that by passing these three bills, we can move Virginia toward ensuring that every new teacher learns reading instructional practices that align to the science of reading, that we are using evidence-based interventions to address reading gaps and abandoning programs based in balanced literacy such as Reading Recovery, and that we are giving every early reading educator the training and tools they need so that they are equipped to unlock the potential in every child to become a proficient reader.

Last Name: Pfister Locality: Henrico

I support HB419 however, strongly suggest a 3 year, not 5 year audit period.

Last Name: Foltz Locality: Fairfax

Please support HB419 We must ensure that Institutions of higher education; education preparation programs are preparing future Teachers to teach children how to read using evidence-based literacy instruction grounded in science-based reading research. My daughter has had years of poor instruction by VA trained teachers and reading teachers who "meant well" but were not following evidenced based literacy instruction. They did not know "what they did not know" and frequently told my child she would read if she only tried harder ,look at the picture for clues, and other student blaming horrible practices. These future teachers deserve better and to be prepared upon graduation to actually teach reading. My daughter was identified early to have reading struggles but after years of inefffective instruction is still struggling in high school with graduation on the horizon.Thank you.

Last Name: Seyba Locality: Yorktown

Please vote for this. So, teachers can learn how to help with reading issues. Thanks

Last Name: Hall Locality: Vienna

I wish to convey my support for house bill 318, 319, and 418. What makes Virginia strong is commitment to meeting the learning needs of all students through the various stages of language skill acquisition. In truth, there are many steps which could be undertaken to strengthen education throughout the Commonwealth. What these bills have in common is a focus on demonstrated approaches to further learning outcomes using what are really modest levels of resources. Please pass each of these measures out of committee! Respectfully Norm Hall Vienna VA

Last Name: Cooper-Gould Locality: Reston, VA

Please vote yes and support HB419! There is a national movement to improve literacy instruction in the US, and Virginia is no exception. Decades of research show us that explicit, systematic and cumulative instruction based on the Science of Reading (SOR) is critical best practice for effective literacy instruction. We have bipartisan support for this initiative, however, our higher institutions that are training our teachers are not teaching our teachers how to TEACH according to the science of reading. This bill will ensure our teachers have the knowledge and preparation they need to teach our VA students to read effectively. We cannot expect teachers to teach practices that they themselves have never learned! Without this bill, our efforts to improve literacy in VA are at risk of failing.

Last Name: Moore-Rizek Locality: Haymarket

Our incoming teachers deserve to know how to truly teach a child to read by understanding the science of reading. Teachers want to help, now let's give them the tools, by supporting HB419 as it is written. Our universities can become the start of literacy skills by providing an evidence-based curriculum to teachers. This bill also requires an audit to ensure that these programs are in compliance. Our Virginia teaching universities have been acting in a silo far too long while receiving public funds and the money of pre-service teachers. I have seen a retiring teacher realize she had failed so many of her first-grade students and it was not her fault, it was because the university had failed her. Let's help our kids by helping new teachers gain the tools they need. Thank you.

Last Name: Dail Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

I am providing comments in order to ask you to support HB418 and HB419. HB418 removes Reading Recovery from Virginia Code; please note that names of literacy programs should not be listed in Virginia code. Furthermore, Reading Recovery is inconsistent with Virginia code § 22.1-253.13:1 D.13 as it does not sufficiently address phonemic awareness and phonics which are both key deficits exhibited by young struggling readers. It is time for the Commonwealth to focus resources on evidence-based literacy instruction and remediation approaches that are rooted in science-based reading research. HB419 provides consistency and accountability for higher education institutes' teacher preparation programs. HB419 requires students in early childhood education, special education, and reading specialist courses of study to demonstrate mastery in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. HB419 empowers future teachers with knowledge to instruct and support their students and recognize and assist struggling students. Virginia K-12 students will benefit from appropriately prepared teachers and the Commonwealth can begin to tackle the equity issues related to literacy and reduce the need for costly remediation when students are not taught to read using evidence-based literacy instruction rooted in science-based reading research. Thank you for your service to the Commonwealth and please support HB418 and HB419.

Last Name: Taylor Locality: Herndon, VA

Please support HB 319, 418 and 419. These bills will help Virginia's children learn to read and gain more proficiency in acquiring language arts skills. BUT also please consider shortening the time frame as we can no longer sit around and wait as we will be losing precious time waiting on the implementation. We need action NOW to give these children a better start in life with acquiring the reading skills that they deserve to be taught by a public education system! Thank you. Signed - Mom of a dyslexic son whose top notch public school could not provide the basic Science of Reading remediation desperately needed after not being diagnosed until mid 3rd grade.

Last Name: Sassano Locality: Loudoun

As a Virginia educator and educational leader specializing in literacy and social emotional learning for the past 15 years, I wish to support HB319 | Coyner | Virginia Literacy Act; early student literacy, evidence-based literacy instruction, etc. and HB419 | Delaney | Institutions of higher education; education preparation programs; coursework; audit. Data in northern Virginia schools have long demonstrated that our most vulnerable populations: minority students, economically disadvantaged, English learners and students with disabilities do not achieve basic literacy standards at the same rate as their peers, when receiving instruction based in "balanced literacy" practices alone. This failure to provide an equitable educational experience resulting in equitable access to higher level education is unnecessary when we have over 40 years of government funded research which empirically tells us the instructional practices that work. As someone who has been responsible for instructing hundreds of children in scientifically based early literacy (direct instruction and structured literacy) interventions and has witnessed the positive shift in progress firsthand, I can attest to its success. Should appropriate literacy instruction based in science (direct instruction and structured literacy) be delivered to all students as their first form of instruction, we would not be spending the amount on intervention, remediation and staffing which we currently are in our public schools. More recently in my career, as someone who has been responsible for teaching thousands of Virginia teachers literacy practices through post-service professional development, I can also attest to the fact that the vast majority of new and veteran teachers alike are not aware of the differences in literacy approaches that are evidence-based versus those which are not. This currently is requiring a great deal of retraining, substitutes to cover classrooms and time away from instruction, all which come at the expense of taxpayer dollars. Should universities be required to rewrite their coursework to include skills and competencies grounded in research, that burden would be alleviated from our public school systems. These bills support one another in a two pronged approach to eliminate the negative outcomes created by widespread and long-standing miseducation in literacy: require school systems to implement evidence-based curriculum for the students of today, and better prepare our teachers of tomorrow. We need all citizens to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and problem solvers. Without acquiring literacy skills at a proficient enough rate to access factual information in current contexts, as well as historically, the knowledge of others who came before us, that is simply not possible. Without having the deep level of literacy necessary to access higher education opportunities, choices in adulthood are severely limited. When significant portions of our overall population do not have access to information, because we have not equipped them with adequate literacy skills to effectively read and critically think, the impacts on the individual's quality of life, as well as the societal and workforce impacts are immeasurable. Scientifically based literacy instruction is a human right and civil rights issue, and implore our commonwealth's leaders to take the first step in addressing it by passing these bills. Thank you!

Last Name: Keen Locality: Roanoke County

As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I would like to support these 3 bills. Our sons reading disability was missed by multitudes of educators and once identified the schools were ill-prepared to instruct him using a structured literacy program. The Commonwealth must have a data-driven literacy program. This ultimately benefits all students.

Last Name: Knuth Locality: Berkeley Heights

We lost our good friends and their beautiful family to a move they needed to make due to the need of sufficient education for their two boys with dyslexia.

Last Name: Butler Locality: Loudoun

My middle school daughter is dyslexic. It is because of the phonemic based literacy intervention she received in school that she is currently an A student. She has received support since second grade and lives school. She would be in a much different position without the early intervention she received. Please support these literacy bills.

Last Name: Wentzel Locality: Leesburg va

Upport our students and families

Last Name: Hoffman Locality: Ashburn

Please evaluate our literacy programs and institute science based proven instruction. My 8 year old has an IEP and is being evaluated for a reading disability. There needs to be more options to help these struggling readers! Thank you

Last Name: Frese Locality: Leesburg

I lost a good friend because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children

Last Name: Mansfield Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melinda Mansfield and I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit Virginia is in the midst of a literacy crisis and we must invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. Children deserve teachers and reading specialists who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic journey. Teachers deserve adequate tools and preparation so they may teach children how to read, handwrite, write and spell “to make the difference that they want to make.” School districts deserve support and guidance in picking professional development, curriculum, intervention, computer and supplemental literacy programs so that they are not subject to slick marketing campaigns. The consequences of a slow start in reading become titanic in middle school and beyond because they exponentially accrue over time. Therefore, this must be done in elementary school before a child moves to middle and high school. Moreover, the middle and high school model is not adequately set up for real remediation. WE must move from a “remediation” model to a “preventative” model of literacy instruction. The investment in our children, teachers and school districts is way overdue. If you cannot read or write…you cannot do math, history, science, civics, computer programming, etc. Literacy is the foundation for all learning. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read write proficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Literacy is a right!

Last Name: Lee Locality: Henrico

Literacy is a basic human right! Thank you for supporting our children!

Last Name: gregory Locality: henrico

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human

Last Name: Gunther Locality: Chesterfield

I believe that every school should do their best to ensure every child has the best literacy instruction possible. This needs to be the primary focus in k-2 grades as research shows that students who are behind by 3rd grade will most likely never “catch up.” The emphasis on phonics and language acquisition is vital in order to teach all students to read!

Last Name: Dunn Locality: Haymarket, VA

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human and we lost good friends because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children.

Last Name: Krishnan Locality: Loudoun

I believe quality education is a basic right

Last Name: Viverito Locality: Henrico

Both of our children, now ages 8 and 10 have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Our 10-year-old is currently reading at a first grade level our eight-year-old cannot yet read at all. After spending more than $50,000 out of pocket, every ounce of energy we have and strong advocacy with their school in Loudoun County Virginia, they finally received services, after initially being declined. The services being provided are the bare minimum of what they need. My oldest is going into middle school next year and he is considered “at risk”. We uprooted our entire family and moved to the Richmond area so that he could attend a private school that costs $33,000 a year where he would finally receive the proven structured literacy program that works for all struggling readers not just dyslexic students. It should not be this way, not in 2022 . All students are entitled by law, to a free and appropriate education. I have teacher friends that have are part of a Facebook group called “things I should have learned in college” that was created by teachers and is for teachers. Why aren’t teachers being taught the science of reading? There is no excuse.

Last Name: Carmean Locality: Ashburn

Our children with learning disabilities deserve more!

Last Name: O’Toole Locality: Aldie

I am writing in support of bills HB318, HB418, and HB419. I am a parent of two elementary school kids in Loudoun county. We desperately need improves screening and literacy programs for our kids. My sons are in 4th and 2nd grade. They both were in virtual learning during the first year and half of the pandemic. My 2nd grader is in the process of getting an IEP. He has dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. We need programs that teach all of our kids how to read and identify those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities sooner. My son is now over a year behind in reading and writing as his dyslexia was not discovered until this year. His confidence has taken a huge blow. The more I have educated myself about dyslexia and now learned that 15-20% of kids have dyslexia I was surprised to learn that we aren’t doing an adequate job providing proven multi sensory structured literacy for all our kids. The literacy scores for our students have continued to fall and a major revamp is needed. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of these bills. All our kids deserve a fair and good education.

Last Name: Bean Locality: South Riding, Va

I am writing in support of these important bills (HB319, HB418, HB419) that will provide vital improvements to our education system. We need evidence-based curriculum and should be looking at what is best for all our students, not lining the pockets of curriculum companies.

Last Name: Duncan Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Fairfax County

HB319/SB616 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read in Fairfax County Schools. This comprehensive literacy bill will pull multiple levers, simultaneously, to support all VA divisions as they transition their staff and curriculum to science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. HB319 & SB616 Talking Points for Support of the Bill https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB319 & SB616 Support Flyer https://drive.google.com/file/d/1enxMHOdS3nRo4cU6gR7Lx5FLcJbrvZuR/view HB418 Reading Recovery is a product name and should not be a part of VA Education Code Talking Points for Support of HB418 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB419 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. This bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. Talking Points for Support of HB419 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit

Last Name: Martin Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Central Virginia Region Locality: Gordonsville, Orange County

Comments Document

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melissa Martin and I am a member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia, as well as a teacher. I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 Bill Support SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read efficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Reading is a right! Best regards, Melissa Martin Decoding Dyslexia Virginia 434-242-9496

End of Comments