Webinar Date & Time: Thursday, Feb. 13 | 4:00 – 5:00p.m. ET


Universal screening for reading problems is the best way to identify and address reading difficulties. While there are a range of reading problems that can affect students, an estimated 5-7% of school-age children have dyslexia*. Most students with reading difficulties, including those with dyslexia, can be taught how to be strong readers. But before research-based instruction and intervention can take place, educators must identify which students are struggling and why.

During this hour-long free webinar, Dr. Michelle Hosp, whose research focuses on reading and data-based decision making within MTSS, will provide insights into assessment for reading difficulties. You will learn:

Don’t miss this opportunity to deepen your understanding of the role of assessment in supporting students struggling to read.

If you’re not able to attend the live event, go ahead and register. Following the live webinar, we will email you a recording of the webinar to watch at your convenience.

*Pediatrics in Review, May 2003

Dr. Dale WebsterRecently, there have been many responses to Lucy Calkins’ essay ”No One Gets to Own the Term, Science of Reading.” Many have responded with strong disagreement to her point of view. Two of the responses are very informative and can be found here and here. More disputes to her essay can be found here. Interestingly, none of the responses that I have seen to date address Calkins’ inaccurate attack on the Reading First initiative, which was the academic cornerstone of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). While there are criticisms of the NCLB Act, in fact, many educators and those directly involved with Reading First have argued that the Reading First Initiative was one of the strongest components of NCLB.

Calkins makes the following statements about Reading First.

Instead, the experiment involved tens of millions of kids. It was called Reading First, the reading instructional program for K-3 mandated in schools funded by No Child Left Behind….involved a set of top-down mandates for intensive phonics instruction that resembled what the science of reading people today are supporting. The mandates included not only intensive systematic phonics based on “the science of reading” but also an unbalanced reliance on highly decodable texts, to the exclusion of trade books…The results of Reading First were not good…the problem with Reading First was not that it taught phonics, but that phonics was largely all it taught.

Calkins makes several factual errors in her statements above which are largely based on anecdotal musings from many who didn’t like Reading First.


March 16-18, 2020

APS Berna Facio Professional Development Center
Room 100 (auditorium)
3315 Louisiana Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. each day

Join the CORE team in Albuquerque this spring for a deep dive into the academic side of Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). This workshop is designed for school leadership teams involved in the design and implementation of MTSS.


Webinar Date & Time: Wednesday, January 29 | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.


Strong reading skills are the foundation of all academic success, yet African American students as a group score lower on most standardized tests than white students. In spite of the 2000 National Reading Panel’s conclusions that students need direct, explicit instruction that teaches phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, educational institutions are failing to implement the Reading Panel’s findings. University training has been inadequate, forcing K-12 systems to fill classrooms with under-prepared teachers who then receive little support, training, or aligned materials.

African American students suffer disproportionately when not taught to read using evidence-based practices that leverage research. During this provocative hour-long webinar, Kareem Weaver, Member of the NAACP Oakland Branch’s Education Committee, will discuss how:

It is critical that schools provide African American children the same opportunities to achieve academic success as other children. This webinar will provide insights into how to address the persistent issues that create the achievement gap, particularly the lack of quality, evidence-based reading instruction.

Can’t make the live webinar? No problem! Go ahead and register and we’ll send you an email the day after the webinar with a link to the recording.

Enhance your practice with CORE’s 2019-20 free professional learning webinars. From evidence-based practices to help ELs succeed to deep dives into assessing dyslexia and teaching math, it’s a convenient and free way to build your skills. Please share these webinars with your team. Everyone is welcome!


Dean BallardBy Dean Ballard, Director of Mathematics, CORE

Implementing a new curriculum is a daunting task. Often the organization, layout, and even the instructional approach can be drastically different than the previously used curriculum. Change takes time, especially if that change includes learning new instructional approaches. Therefore, the first year or two of implementing a new curriculum may be focused on changing instructional practices and deepening the knowledge base of teachers and instructional leaders. Taguma and Barrera (2019) cite teacher commitment, beliefs, and content and pedagogical understanding of the new curriculum as key factors that either facilitate or impede successful curriculum implementation. For example, if teachers do not know some of the new pedagogy that is embedded within the new curriculum, they will need more professional learning and support.


Dr. Steve DykstraBy Dr Steven Dykstra, reprinted with permission

Don Meichenbaum, one of the world’s leading experts on trauma and violence, and one of the most influential mental health professionals of the last century, said one thing is more important to traumatized children than anything else. More important than therapy, more important than social programs, more important than anything else. The research shows that the single most powerful predictor of their ability to overcome the trauma and survive their circumstances is the ability to read. If they can read, they have a chance to find success in school and overcome all those terrible things in their lives. If they can’t, school will only be another source of pain and failure added to all the other sources of pain and failure.  If they can read, they can benefit from therapy and everything else we may try to do for them. If they can’t read, all of that is a waste of time.


by Claude Goldenberg, Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education, emeritus, Stanford University

Dr. Claude GoldenbergI left graduate school fully convinced that this was axiomatic: The road to reading is paved on a foundation of meaning. Fortunately, I spent the first years after my degree as a first grade teacher in a bilingual school, teaching, or at least trying to teach, reading in English and in Spanish. I learned from the children and colleagues at my school that this is not axiomatic; it is just wrong.

But my learning was not without a struggle. Axiomatic convictions don’t go away without a fight. And I fought mightily. But in the end, the evidence won out. And by evidence I don’t just mean what researchers and others publish in their articles and professors say or don’t say to their students and anyone who will listen. I also mean what I was seeing before my very eyes. As both a teacher and a beginning researcher, my convictions were put to the test, and some didn’t pan out.


by Linda Diamond, President, CORE and author of Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures

Linda DiamondIn 1976, when news Anchor Howard Beale in the film Network yelled this famous line on air and urged everyone to open their windows and yell too, it resonated with me. It resonates even more now as once again the reading science deniers disparage those of us in the reading research community who accept the settled science on teaching reading by implying all we care about is phonics. That is a cheap shot that cannot be further from the truth. However, it is a slick strategy by the advocates of other teaching methods to belittle the rest of us and stir up anger and more sales of products that ultimately only work for a few children. This same line of resistance has been used to smear any curriculum that didn’t fit a “balanced literacy” or guided reading approach and was successfully used against a fantastic ELA curriculum, Open Court, as being only about phonics. Again, a big lie. Explicit systematic instruction, the science of reading, Structured Literacy, whatever the term, has NEVER, I repeat NEVER been all about phonics. It is about a systematic and explicit approach to developing ALL the critical literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, sound-spelling relationships, syllable patterns and morphemes, fluency, sentence and paragraph structure, vocabulary, text structure and comprehension.


Understanding how word-level reading develops and why some students struggle are valuable starting points for planning reading instruction and interventions. Knowing this puts educators in a good position to determine what aspect(s) of the reading process may be creating difficulties for children. This in turn, enables educators to provide intervention that is highly effective to minimize or eliminate the reading difficulty.