From Emotions to Advocacy

Many states have applied for and received waivers for No Child Left Behind.  Ohio is one of the states that received a waiver.

No Child Left Behind

Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy 2nd Edition, page 201:

No Child Left Behind focuses on teaching young children, including children with disabilities, to read.  One goal of NCLB is that all children will be reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

If you are a parent, you know that reading skills of most children with disabilities are deficient.  Sadly, many schools continue to use reading programs that are not effective in teaching children with disabilities to read.

NCLB provides funds for states and school districts to use “in establishing reading programs for students in kindergarten through grade 3 that are based on scientifically based reading research, to ensure that every student can read at grade level or above not later than the end of grade 3.” (20 U.S.C. § 6361)

NCLB legal definition of reading:

“Reading is a complex system of deriving meaning from print that requires all of the following:

  • (A)   The skills and knowledge to understand how phonemes, or speech sounds, are connected to print,
  • (B)   The ability to decode unfamiliar words,
  • (C)   The ability to read fluently,
  • (D)   Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension,
  • (E)    The development of appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from print,
  • (F)    The development and maintenance of a motivation to read.” (20 U.S.C. § 6368(5))
NCLB defines the 5 essential components of reading instruction:

“The term ‘essential components of reading instruction’ means explicit and systematic instruction in:

  • (A)   Phonemic awareness,
  • (B)   Phonics
  • (C)   Vocabulary development
  • (D)   Reading fluency, including oral reading skills, and
  • (E)    Reading comprehension strategies.” (20 U.S.C. § 6368(3))
NCLB defines diagnostic reading assessments:

“The term ‘diagnostic reading assessment’ means an assessment that is:

(i)   Valid, reliable, and based on scientifically based reading research; and

(ii)  Used for the purpose of:

  • (I)   identifying a child’s specific areas of strengths and weaknesses so that the child has learned to read by the end of grade 3;
  • (II)  determining any difficulties that a child may have in learning to read and the potential cause of such difficulties; and
  • (III) helping  to determine possible reading intervention strategies and related special needs.” (20 U.S.C. § 6368(7))
NCLB defines scientifically based reading research:

“The term ‘scientifically based reading research’ means research that:

(A)   applies rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain valid knowledge relevant to reading development, reading instruction, and reading difficulties; and

(B)   includes research that:

  • (i)     employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
  • (ii)    involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
  • (iii)   relies on measurements or observational methods that provide valid data across evaluators and observers and across multiple measurements and observations; and
  • (iv)    has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.” (20 U.S.C. § 6368(6))

The above definitions of reading and research based reading programs apply to all programs, all schools, all children, all the time.  These terms define and describe the minimum requirements for your child’s reading program at school.  The timeline for teaching a child to read fluently is at the end of grade three.

NCLB and IDEA require schools to provide children with disabilities with appropriate accommodations on all state and district tests.