Reading Recovery Works! (PDF)
What Works Clearinghouse analysis
Reading Recovery and Common Core State Standards
Reading Recovery can play a vital role in ensuring that students are able to meet the goals of the Common Core State Standards. Free resources include a 20-minute webcast, an article from The Journal of Reading Recovery, and a report from RRCNA.
RRCNA is the only association advocating exclusively for Reading Recovery and early literacy intervention.
ESEA Reauthorization Moving Forward
The Joint House-Senate Conference Committee met last week and reached consensus on the legislative language, expected to be on the floor for separate House and Senate votes before the end of the year.
Of particular interest to RRCNA and Reading Recovery professionals was a provision supporting comprehensive literacy that was not included in the House bill. We are pleased to say the Senate’s LEARN Act language has been retained in Title II, Part D.
A total of 178 amendments were proposed and 165 were adopted. The Senate chose to adopt an amendment that would require 60 votes in the affirmative on certain amendments for acceptance. It appears this action was in response to remarks that the President would veto the final bill if it contained language in conflict with the administration’s commitment to Title I, which is designed to assist states in meeting the academic needs of disadvantaged students. By the end of that first day, agreement had been reached on nearly 20 amendments.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced an amendment that would allow a state to submit a declaration of intent to the U.S. secretary of education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students. Because they did not achieve 60 votes in the affirmative, the amendment could not be agreed to.
Another amendment was introduced by Committee Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), that would allow states to let federal funds for the education of disadvantaged children follow those children to an accredited or state-approved public or private school or supplemental educational services program. The amendment did not pass (45-52).
The amendments that were agreed to cover a broad range of issues with minimal controversy.
Since the House of Representatives passed its ESEA reauthorization bill last week (see below), we expect a House-Senate Joint Conference Committee will be appointed to resolve the differences between the two bills. Where both bills include the same language, those provisions will be accepted. However, where there are differences or where one bill includes a specific provision and the other does not, the joint committee must come to agreement on whether to create compromise language or take the language from one bill over the other. Upon completion of this process, the final bill moves back to each chamber (Senate and House) for a vote, and if passed moves to the President for signature.
Student Success Act, H.R. 5
The House bill to reauthorize the ESEA, the Student Success Act, H.R. 5, was introduced in the House in February and reported out of the House Education and Workforce Committee later that month. Although H.R. 5 was scheduled for the floor vote on February 27, the bill was subsequently stalled until July 8, when it passed by a vote of 218-213.
The bill restricts the role of the federal government by restoring authority to the states and to local educational agencies. In fact, the language in the final House bill specifically restricts the authority of the U.S. secretary of education in matters historically residing with the states and local educational agencies.
While preserving the requirements for data collection by racial and ethnic groups, H.R. 5 leaves to the states the authority to determine academic standards and criteria for measuring student achievement. Amendments from both Democrats and Republicans are being introduced and receiving bi-partisan support. However, the Republican majority has ensured support for such issues as elimination of federal mandates, consolidation of federal education programs to provide greater flexibility, Title I portability, and reductions in reporting requirements.
Bipartisan Senate ESEA Bill a good first step
Senators Lamar Alexander, R-TN and Patty Miller, D-WA the chairman and ranking member of the education committee, respectively, are sponsors of an ESEA reauthorization bill being heralded as a “good first step.” Formally titled the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” key provisions address Title I, accountability, data collection, academic standards, student assessment, teacher evaluation systems, and more.
RRCNA and other members of the national Advocates for Literacy coalition are pleased that the LEARN Act, a comprehensive state literacy program proposal, in included in the bill. Link to a summary of the proposed legislation and Advocates for Literacy letter of support.
Reading Recovery expands efforts to secure increased Congressional support for comprehensive literacy programs
RRCNA, along with other literacy advocates drafted and signed on to a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), urging them to provide strong leadership to expand federal support to improve reading achievement among those students most disadvantaged economically.
In addition, Advocates for Literacy secured Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and six other members of the House of Representatives—Steven Cohen (D-TN), David Loebsack (D-IA), James McGovern (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mark Pocan (D-WA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Charles Rangel (D-NY—to co-sponsor the LEARN Act, H.R. 858. The LEARN Act would establish a comprehensive literacy program funded by the Department of Education. It is expected that a Senate companion bill will be introduced in the coming weeks.
RRCNA and other literacy advocates were successful in securing Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WA) to introduce Amendment # 18 at the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Mark up of its bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), H.R. 5, Student Success Act. Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated by voice vote. The amendment, if adopted, would have incorporated into the House ESEA bill the key provisions of H.R. 858.
Regarding the FY-2016 President’s budget, the U.S. Secretary of Education has requested that the Striving Readers Program continue to be sustained at the FY-2015 level at $160 million, though the department has significantly changed some key provisions of the program. Advocates for Literacy are working to return the program to being “comprehensive” once again.
We ensure that children who struggle in learning to read and write gain the skills for a literate and productive future.