Wisconsin Approves Legislative Council Study Committee on Dyslexia

Committee to Evaluate Dyslexia in Education

OnFocus – The study committee is directed to review current screening, identification, school intervention, and treatment protocols for dyslexia in K- 12 schools. Representative Bob Kulp will chair the Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia. State Senator Schactner will be the vice-chair of the committee.

The committee will examine the effects of current state statutes and regulations on literacy outcomes for students with dyslexia; and evaluate the effects of dyslexia on literacy outcomes in the state. The committee shall study recent research on evidence-based instructional techniques for students with dyslexia; determine the components and costs of successful dyslexia education practices and laws in other states; and identify institutional obstacles to academic attainment for these students. The committee shall consider legislation to implement screening for characteristics of dyslexia in early grades; to ensure that reading instruction and intervention practices incorporate relevant research findings from the University of Wisconsin; to improve the partnership between parents, educators, counselors and others on early identification and effective interventions for dyslexic learners; and to enhance statewide access to updated resources and training on dyslexic education.

This is a timely development, as today’s release of the 2017 4th grade reading scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows Wisconsin students with disabilities have an average score of 177, while the national average for that group of students is 184. 10 points on the NAEP is approximately one grade level, so this is a substantial difference. Within Wisconsin, students with disabilities score 2% advanced, 9 percent proficient, 13% basic and 76% below basic.

Good reading instruction is good reading instruction, regardless of which students are receiving it. All students need to learn the same skills to become proficient readers, with some of them requiring more time and more explicit instruction to master skills. Since students with dyslexia receive much of their reading instruction and early intervention in the general education classroom, and 65% of ALL Wisconsin 4th graders perform at a basic or below basic level, we are hopeful that this study committee will make suggestions that will benefit ALL readers. Improvements in teacher preparation as well as professional development are of central importance to any meaningful change.

Decoding Dyslexia Wisconsin is a parent led grassroots group working to create better outcomes for struggling readers and dyslexics. We are one of 50 nationwide chapters with a three way mission to: educate, advocate and legislate. We provide educational programming, mentor families so they can get the help they need, host informal coffee and conversation opportunities allowing parents to network, share resources and learn how best to support their children! We are a unique network of parents, students, teachers, researchers and professionals concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia in all Wisconsin schools. A learning difference does not have to escalate into a disability! Have a struggling reader? Wondering if your student or child may have dyslexia? Learn the signs, do not wait! Visit us to learn more visit our website.