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Use ESSER Funds for Innovation and Acceleration

June 2, 2021

Special Education and Regular Education Students All Need Fast Growth

Students qualifying for special education services are possibly among the hardest-hit by COVID disruptions. Federal ESSER funding (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief legislation) was authorized by Congress to address this. But, the ESSER-funded program you choose must result in rapid growth for students. Old, repackaged strategies cannot work for SpEd students. So, what can produce accelerated learning? The innovative Read Right Reading Intervention program will make it happen, as delivered by your special education staff. Read Right methods have been producing remarkable growth for 30 years. For special education students the growth is often up to 2 years gain in one school year and even less.

Y_ _      c_n      c_ _ nt   _n     _t!

Candidly, the expectation for reading improvement for special education students in one year has been six months’ growth—the rate defined by the federal government as indicative of a good reading program for SpEd students. This expectation cannot close the achievement gap. Why shoot for six months growth when your students on average can achieve one to two years growth?

Here’s how it works: Read Right consultants train your own staff, (certificated or non-certificated teaching assistants) via seven weeks of hands-on training spread over one semester, to be the BEST small group reading instructors they can possibly be. When properly trained, your staff will stop learning loss in its tracks—and produce accelerated recovery. How fast? Here are REAL examples from our clients. They are the best source for understanding how well and/or how fast Read Right Reading Intervention works:

“The State of Texas on TAKS scores has gone to vertical alignment (a standardized measure of growth; for Grade 4 to Grade 5, it is 66 points per year). The kids we’re serving, their average growth—average, mind you—is 111 points! That’s a grade-and-a-half to two full grade levels in one school year! Some of our students have made three years (growth)!” –Julia Bell, Freestone-Navarro Special Education Cooperative serving elementary and secondary special education students, Texas.

“We had a (high school) student, very problem child. …Suspended at least three times. …He got right back into it (Read Right) and did well. …November to May…his grade level had gone up 2 grade levels (in spite of extended suspensions). If you follow that manual page by page … and do everything Read Right says you should do, you will succeed. You will love it. You will feel rewarded.” –Nancy Louis, Marianna Bracetti Academy (middle and high school), Administrator and Trainer, Pennsylvania.

 “All the students at Gateway School are diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder…it has worked with every child. That’s when you have real success.” –Harriet Walber, Director, Gateway School for Grade 7 – 12 students with learning disorders, Texas.

Is the Read Right Reading Intervention Program a good fit for ESSER funding, your district, school, and staff? Absolutely. Here’s how:

From the U.S. Department of Education ESSER guidance document:

  1. Does (the program you choose) address a (school or district’s) “most important educational needs as a result of COVID-19?”  FROM READ RIGHT SYSTEMS: YES! Most Special Education students struggle with the ability to read and comprehend academic text. Rapid and permanent improvement in reading ability accelerates recovery by making it possible for special education students to succeed across the curriculum.
  2. “What is the proposed timeline for providing services and assistance to students” (and what are the gains expected in that timeline)?  FROM READ RIGHT SYSTEMS: You can expect an average 1.5 to 2 years growth in the reading abilities of special-education qualified students in one school year. This is a common average for schools implementing Read Right with Special Education students during the first year. Why? Because Read Right, unlike other intervention programs is in alignment with how the brain learns a process, and we train staff over one full semester—with students present for the entire training process. It is THE most intensive training your staff will ever receive for reading improvement.
  3. “The extent to which the (school or district) intends to use ESSER funds to promote remote learning.”  FROM READ RIGHT SYSTEMS: School staff members trained to be Read Right Small Group Instructors can use the methodology in the classroom AND online. The methodology is highly adaptable. It has been used online successfully for schools and individual families for 11 years.  
  4. “How the (school or district) intends to assess and address student learning gaps resulting from the disruption in educational services.”  FROM READ RIGHT SYSTEMS: Your ESSER objective for Special Education students is to rapidly improve reading ability so that SpEd students can begin to read and comprehend text independently. This accelerates learning in every subject.

Join individual schools and school systems that are already choosing something innovative to achieve accelerated learning. Choose Read Right to transform your Special Education program into something truly “Special.”

Re-Thinking Special Education: What Is Possible? Pt. 2

May 20, 2021

By Rhonda Stone of Read Right Systems
A blog series: Part 2 of 13

If it doesn’t work, why keep doing it? That is one interpretation of what Albert Einstein meant when he said:  “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Special education programs across America continue to be locked into the 150-year-old view that students who struggle with reading do so because they do not have sufficient word attack and decoding skills. How is it possible, then, that many SpEd students can read this second sentence (the first one is on our Home page) with only the clue that the  sentence is about TREES:

I    h_v_    b_g    tr_ _ s     _n     m_     b _ _k y_ _ d.

It obviously isn’t possible to decode the words in this sentence. To read it, the brain relies on far more complex and sophisticated neural activity to anticipate the meaning. Anticipation is what drives all human function, including reading! Consider this from Kajaani University of Applied Sciences in Finland, a nation that routinely outperforms the United States in reading: “Reading, we conclude, is not a matter of decoding linguistic information. Far from being a text-driven process, it depends on integrating both sensory and motor processes in an anticipatory meaning generation based on the history of experience and cultural context of the reader,” by  Timo Järvilehto  Veli-Matti Nurkkala and Kyösti Koskela, in “The Role of Anticipation in Reading,” published in the peer-reviewed journal Pragmatics & Cognition, Volume 17, Issue 3, Jan 2009, p. 509 – 526. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.17.3.02jar

Few would disagree that competent reading ability is the foundation for achieving success in elementary, secondary, and collegiate education. So, why not re-think Special Education, and do everything you can to ensure that instruction is fully aligned with current brain science? That is what Read Right methodology has done—and it is producing results Special Education administrators and teachers never thought possible. Results like these:  507 students—a mixture of elementary, middle school, and high school students—in an average of only 40.2 hours of participation in Read Right gained an average of 2.1 grade levels in reading as measured by the comprehension sub-section of the Gates Mac-Ginitie Test of Reading. The Normal Curve Equivalency gain score was 10.6. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! Read Right unleashes the power of the brain to do what brains do.

For your next reading intervention purchase, add something with a proven track-record that does NOT repeat what you’ve already tried with lackluster results. Your students can experience one to two full years’ gain in reading ability in one school year or less. Train your SpEd teachers and teaching assistants in Read Right methodology. Help your students become impressively successful readers.

Re-Thinking Special Education: What is Possible? Pt. 1

May 13, 2021

by Dee Tadlock, Ph.D.
Reading Instruction, Reading Remediation, and Online Reading Tutoring

Students who qualify for special education services in reading typically fall further behind their peers each year. As the daughter of a friend said to her mother when assessed for special education services: “Mom, once you go into special ed, you never get out.”

Does it have to be that way? Is it possible for students with special education labels to catch up to their general-education peers and exit SpEd services forever? Let’s ask Dr. Pat Harper, Director of a multi-district special-education cooperative in Texas: After considerable research, the Co-op purchased Read Right as their reading intervention program for both general-education students and special-education students. “We have seen phenomenal results!” says Harper.

THERE WAS A 48% DECREASE in the referral rate the first year after implementing Read Right, and the number of referrals have since declined by almost 70%. Additionally, there has been almost a 50% reduction in the special education population. “For many students, solving their reading problems with Read Right tutoring has been a ticket out of special education.”

Read Right graduates have also done very well on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills—80% have passed it, and none of them had ever passed it before. Harper stated, “Read Right has proved to be the tool that has enabled school staff to serve our students in a way that no one thought was possible. The dramatic results speak for themselves. Read Right works!”

Why does participation in Read Right transform severely struggling students to successful, confident readers? The simple answer is: Read Right marches to a totally different drummer; it does not put students in instructional environments created by virtually all other reading intervention programs. It adheres to the wisdom of these two quotes:

 “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein

AND…

“If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.”  Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

The Read Right Reading Intervention Program for schools is neither a packaged program nor an independent online learning tool. Instead, it is intensive training for your staff to be the BEST small group instructors they can be. The Read Right methods your staff will learn over one full semester of hands-on training are not a re-application of the instructional methods students have already received. Those methods did not work—so, why use them again?

Instead, Read Right methodology does something extraordinary: it integrates the latest and best neuroscience related to brain function with typical and not-so-typical ideas about what is required to achieve reading proficiency. With our methods, your students will experience successful, confident reading ability for the first time in their lives, beginning with the first day they engage with Read Right Small Group Instruction. Our patented methods build proficiency into the system from Day One (and, to be clear—training of your staff occurs with your students present!)

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explain why Read Right works so well and how you can access it for your students. Remember: When reading problems are resolved, many students no longer need SpEd services.

GO FOR IT! You’ve already spent thousands and it hasn’t delivered. Read Right methodology employs methods never before attempted, and it achieves results never before accomplished. It’s the best way to “re-think” Special Education!

Reading + the Mysterious, Miraculous Human Brain

April 11, 2021

by Rhonda Stone, MPA
Tutor & Communications
Read Right Systems

“Brain science?! Who needs to understand brain science?!” some may ask.

In a word: Everyone!

From parents to teachers to reading experts, if we all understood more about how the human brain works, fewer children, teens and adults would struggle with the essential skill of reading.

Here are a few common misunderstandings about the mysterious and miraculous human brain:

  1. “Each person has a dominant learning style.” Not true! This refers to auditory, visual, and hands-on learning. Thirty years ago, a study of people with brain injuries proposed this–and an education scientist somewhere, somehow twisted it around to apply to everyone, including people with uninjured brains! Read more about this harmful myth at: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2019/05/learning-styles-myth.
  2. “If you are analytical, you are left-brained. If you are creative, you are right brained.” Again, not true! The brain IS divided into two hemispheres (left and right), and joined in the center by the corpus callosum. However, we are all “whole-brained.” Meaning, brain function occurs and requires activity throughout the brain. Learn more from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical School: https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/right-vs-left-myth.

    The following myth may be the most damaging to the development of reading excellence:
  3. “Intensive, systematic instruction in phonics and decoding is required to become a successful reader.” Absolutely NOT true!! Evidence: Every year, a small percentage of children ages 4 to 6 figure out how to read on their own, before starting school! These children are called “precocious readers.” In fact, brain science suggests decoding and individual word recognition may cause reading problems. Here are three reasons from brain science: a) Human working memory (also called “short-term memory”) can only hold 3 to 7 bits of information at a time before it wipes working memory clean, and starts over. Thus, limitations on working memory prevent the brain from reading successfully through either decoding or individual word recognition. b) On top of this, focusing on individual syllables and words restricts all neural activity to the language centers of the brain, preventing the brain’s control system (executive function) from seeking, locating, and integrating other information stored as memory throughout the brain. Access to all information relevant to what is being read is vital to the only skill that makes reading useful: comprehension. Finally: c) R–ea–d–ing l–i–k–e th–i–s w–ou–l–d dr–i–ve y–ou cr–a–z–y! It forces the brain to work too much! Every function we perform involves anticipation, which is the brain’s amazing ability to use minimal information to achieve automaticity.

Lack of understanding of how the human brain functions is the #1 reason reading problems appear to be so difficult to fix. Read Right has found an answer: When the right strategies are used, fixing reading problems is not difficult. We know this with certainty because we do it every day. The key is a broader understanding and application of accurate brain science.

Read Right methodology is grounded in an inclusive view of brain science–or, all brain science. We remediate reading problems quickly because we understand and have applied brain science in new and exciting ways.

Help Your Child Read Right from the Start

March 29, 2021

by Dee Tadlock, Ph.D.
Founder & Director of Development
Read Right Systems

One out of three children have significant reading problems. These children cannot easily and comfortably get information through reading, they certainly don’t find pleasure in it, and they struggle in school. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, if the reading problem persists until the age of 9, there is a 75 percent chance that it will persist forever.

This alarming situation is not confined to children who are limited in life experiences, come from dysfunctional families, or who come from parents who struggle with reading themselves. Chances are, if you talk to parents in your neighborhood, you will find several families whose children cannot read very well, even though loving parents have spent years reading to them, and nurturing their love of books.

Today, most early reading instruction focuses on systematic, explicit instruction in decoding–or, using sound-symbol information to sound out words. That’s because reading experts view individual word identification–including decoding, word attack, and sight-word recognition–as the all-important foundation of reading ability.

The idea seems like common sense. From history, however, we know that lots of seemingly common sense ideas turn out to be untrue: it would “seem” that the Earth is flat; it would “seem” as if the sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was arrested and excommunicated from his church for suggesting otherwise! The following paragraph challenges the idea that we have to decode words in order to read:

“Aoccdrnig to rscheearch, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr teh ltteers in a wrod aer prseetend. Teh olny iprmoatnt tihng si taht frist adn lsat ltteres aer ta teh rghit pclae. Teh rset cna be a toatl mses adn yuo cna sitll raed ti wouthit a porbelm.”
— Modified from the website: languagehat.com

To learn to read excellently (proficient and above), developing readers must learn sound-symbol associations for the 15 stable letters of the alphabet (b, d, f, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, and w) and must then figure out how to plan, integrate, and coordinate information and systems from all over the brain to make it possible to anticipate the author’s intended meaning. This may sound intimidating, but, quite wonderfully, children are equipped to figure out how to do it. Evidence that this true: Thousands of children across America (approximately 1 percent of children ages 4, 5, and 6) each year figure out how to do this on their own, before starting kindergarten or first grade. The number would increase if we all stopped asking children to “sound out” words in text.

You may be asking, “Is it really that simple?” Yes and no. The brain is wonderfully adept at figuring out all kinds of complex things (crawling, walking, speaking in meaningful sentences, swimming, bicycle riding, etc). Unfortunately, the brain can also be easily misled to believe that looking at one–word—at—a–time–and–figuring–out–each–word is the right path to reading excellence. It isn’t. It can’t be. The idea violates too many fundamental aspects of brain science.

For more information, order the book Read RIght! Coaching Your Child to Excellence in Reading (by Dee Tadlock, Ph.D., New York: McGraw-Hill from the Read Right Store. The entire “brain system theory” theory of reading development is laid out there.

Literacy Shapes Life–Invest In It!

March 2, 2021

by Read Right Staff
Read Right Systems

Our intention is not to inspire fear; it is to point out that becoming an excellent reader–not a “basic” reader–is a life-shaping event.

So–invest in it.

Flying under the radar for several years now is the reality that lower literacy levels have a direct correlation to homelessness. Low literacy means individuals struggle with multiple areas of routine life: completing a job application; creating a resume and writing an accompanying cover letter; and even completing forms required to rent an apartment–or to apply for public assistance.

Low literacy holds people down. A hallmark of low literacy is the struggle to read text above a second or third grade level.

Read Right Systems is dedicated to eliminating low literacy. Our focus is not achieving a basic reading level. Our focus was, is and always will be reading excellence–or, reading comfortably and with full comprehension at or above a level that matches an individuals age and/or level of intellect.

The secret to excellent reading is not decoding, or the ability to sound out words in a text. Presently, federal and state public education programs believe this is the required foundation of reading ability. As of 2018, there were an estimated 1.5 million homeless children in the U.S. (three times as many as 2008) and, when they arrive in schools, they are frequently funneled into reading support programs that begin with phonics and decoding. Federal and state-funded programs do this to children regardless of age–kindergarten through Grade 8.

Through 40 years of successful work with struggling readers of all ages, this is what we know: If children and adults already know the sounds made by the stable letters of the alphabet (letters that only make one sound), it is a waste of time to teach decoding–as well as a contributor to continuing frustration and low self-esteem when it doesn’t work.

The secret to excellent reading is helping the individual student discover that combining basic phonics knowledge with all kinds of knowledge they’ve already stored in their minds is the key to reconstructing an author’s intended meaning. Once they understand that the sole purpose of reading is to create a meaningful message from text, they begin to fly.

We know this with certainty because we’ve rapidly eliminated reading problems with children of all ages (pre-K through high school) and adults (young adults through senior citizens). And, the methods we use don’t take years. More often than not, it takes less than a year.

Homeless in America needs to end–but so does low literacy. Please consider sponsoring a homeless child in a Read Right Reading Intervention program. Call this number to learn more: 360-427-9440, ext. 115.