Posted March 19, 2021
Near the start of the 2020-21 school year, El Rancho Charter Middle School in Anaheim, California, opened its doors to a hybrid model of instruction, with some students attending classes in person and some students attending simultaneously online. In this interview with Dean Ballard, CORE’s Director of Mathematics, principal Michele Walker shares the experiences at El Rancho with hybrid instruction this year — the ups and downs, challenges and successes, and tips for other educators using or considering this model of instruction. READ MORE
Posted January 27, 2021
by Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck, Director of Literacy, CORE
Almost 30 years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a student I will never forget. The year was 1993 and I was a new middle school teacher in a large district in the Midwest. I was a special education teacher, providing support to students identified as having learning disabilities in grades 6–8. The student, whom I will call Dan, was a 7th grader assigned to my caseload. Dan was a bright student who was identified as having a specific learning disability (SLD) in the area of reading and received speech and language services. He was a nonreader when I met him.
I was fortunate enough to have been trained in Direct Instruction in my master’s program at the University of Wisconsin. I had just graduated from this program three years prior. I was also fortunate to have access to Corrective Reading materials in my building. I started the year by administering the placement test for Corrective Reading to all the students I worked with. Dan placed in Level A, the lowest level of the program with lessons that went all the way back to the pre-primer reading level. There was one other student who placed in Level A so I grouped the two boys together and met with them daily to teach the lessons. READ MORE
Posted January 8, 2021
As a young child, Keyon Anderson knew that his brain didn’t work like other people’s. His peers were learning to read and he wasn’t. His teachers told him to try harder. His mother was told he would grow out of his reading difficulties. Keyon was diagnosed with a processing disorder and held back in the second grade, but he continued to struggle. When he reached high school he was reading at a second grade level. He wanted to be successful but didn’t have the skills. It wasn’t until 9th grade that he finally received effective intervention for dyslexia. A dedicated teacher worked with Keyon to teach him the fundamentals of reading and ways to learn that worked for him. By the end of his freshman year, Keyon was transformed from a failing student to one with a 4.0 GPA and a fierce desire to learn. READ MORE
Posted December 3, 2020
by Linda Diamond, President, CORE and author of Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures
“Once you learn to read you will be forever free.” Frederick Douglass
As I get ready to retire from CORE in late December, I have been looking back at all of those who guided us along the way. CORE started inside an education, public policy think tank because of the willingness and vision of my then boss, Paul Berman. He, in turn, was urged by Marion Joseph, a grandmother with political acumen and a former California state board of education member, who saw the damage being done to children in California who were not learning to read. Bill Honig, California’s former superintendent, Anne Cunningham, Sheila Mandel, and Ruth Nathan and I took a leap in 1995 and decided to create what was first called the Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE). We knew that a strong body of research existed, then over 30 years’ worth, but it had not made its way into the field. California’s reading scores were awful and whole language was the main approach. READ MORE
Posted October 28, 2020
Pajaro Valley Unified School District (CA) students whose teachers participated in training and instructional coaching provided by CORE achieved greater growth in their reading skills.
Many factors contribute to student achievement but research conducted by SEG Measurement, an education research, evaluation, and assessment firm, has found that professional development provided by Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education (CORE) moves the needle on student achievement. A study of third grade reading performance in Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) conducted in January 2020 and recently peer-reviewed for presentation at AACE’s Innovate Learning 2020 Summit found that students in classrooms with teachers who participated in CORE professional development showed statistically significant growth in their reading skills in comparison to students in classrooms whose teachers did not receive training and coaching from CORE.
Since the 2016–17 school year, CORE has provided professional development and technical assistance to elementary teachers and administrators in PVUSD to help implement, in addition to their broader English Language Arts instruction, the Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Sight words (SIPPS) reading foundational skills program. “We weren’t using SIPPS to fidelity,” Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent at PVUSD, says. “Specifically, teachers weren’t given the instruction or training to implement it well.” CORE began working closely with classroom teachers and instructional coaches, providing training and instructional coaching within the context of the SIPPS curriculum and their own classrooms. READ MORE