Adolescents need strong reading skills in order to fully access content-area curricula and prepare for success after high school. Yet 30% of students in upper grades read below basic.

In part one of a conversation with Pivot Learning, Linda Diamond — author of the Teaching Reading Sourcebook — shares some of the reasons why reading scores for adolescents have decreased since 2015 and provides recommendations to educators for effective intervention.

Along with the video is a free tip sheet that includes 10 recommendations for intensive intervention that works for older students, four types of intervention that don’t work for older students, and a list of reading intervention curricula that Linda recommends. (more…)

Dr. Keyon AndersonAs 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. (more…)

Evidence-based practices that work easily in the classroom can be a challenge when teaching remotely. Pivot Learning’s Dr. Monica Ng and CORE’s Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck had a conversation over Zoom with Dr. Anita Archer — author and beloved teacher of teachers — about how to adapt explicit instruction for distance learning.

In this four-part video series, Dr. Archer:

  • Shares tips for using hold ups to encourage active participation when students are online
  • Demonstrates how choral response can still be used even when students aren’t in a classroom together
  • Discusses how to use partner responses online
  • Shares simple ways to strengthen bonds with students while engaging in explicit instruction virtually


Linda Diamondby 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. (more…)

Like many educators, teacher/consultant David Hedges has been teaching his 7th graders using a hybrid model this school year. Each day, Mr. Hedges has students sitting at socially distanced desks in his classroom as well as students joining by Zoom. Watch the 30-minute conversation with CORE’s Director of Mathematics, Dean Ballard, to learn Mr. Hedge’s tips for keeping students engaged both online and in person, about collaboration tools to support hybrid instruction, and how to build community among students learning in different locations.

Explicit instruction is an important component of effective reading instruction, especially when teaching students with word reading difficulties. But many explicit instruction techniques are more difficult to implement when teaching remotely.

Pivot Learning’s Dr. Monica Ng and CORE’s Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck had a conversation over Zoom with Dr. Anita Archer — author and beloved teacher of teachers — about how to adapt explicit instruction for distance learning.

In this first video excerpt from the conversation, Dr. Archer shares tips for using hold ups to encourage active participation when students are online.


Steven P. Dykstra, PhDChildren do more than grow, they develop. They change both qualitatively and quantitatively over time to become themselves. More factors play a role in this development than we can possibly conceive of or measure, but some play a larger role than others. During this on-demand webinar, Dr. Steve Dykstra, a clinical psychologist for Milwaukee County, unpacks the uniquely essential role that language and literacy play in the process of child development in the modern world, and how language and literacy interact with other factors that drive healthy development. (more…)

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.  (more…)

Welcome to the Fall 2020 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this edition of the Academic Quarterly, the Reading Expert shares recommendations and resources to help you better support students with dyslexia when they are participating in remote learning.

The Marvelous Mathematician shares many techniques to help students with dyslexia overcome their challenges learning mathematics with less pain and with greater success.

Finally, in the Leadership Corner you’ll find you’ll find guidance for selecting and implementing valid and reliable screeners, high-quality curriculum, and intervention materials.


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In 2018, Emily Hanford began an investigation into reading instruction in the U.S. Her reporting for American Public Media added fuel to a long-simmering debate about phonics-based instruction versus a whole language approach to teaching reading. During this on-demand webinar Ms. Hanford takes a deep dive into what she’s learned, including: