CEO Rick Smith Welcomes Press Release Conversation

A couple of years ago, IDA, along with all of its stakeholders, embarked on a new course in response to the urgent need of children, adults, and families who struggle to read and miss out on the opportunity to reach their potential and fully contribute to our society. Our stakeholders agreed that it was imperative that we pursue this course with unprecedented impatience and speed to make the maximum impact. One of the most effective ways to do this is to become part of the conversation.

Our recent press release “DeVos Nomination – Leading Advocate for Children with Reading Differences Speaks Out” is one way that we have chosen to participate in the conversation about the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. And, because it is a conversation, I believe it is very important that I respond to everyone who took the time to write to me about the press release.

Many of you were excited and pleased that IDA had raised concerns about the nomination and provided details for contacting local representatives. In fact, many of you helped us spread the word, because our message reached more people via social media than ever before. Thank you!

Others were not so pleased, but we thank you too! If we are to be truly engaged in the conversation, we understand that you may not always agree with us, and we must be open to considering all positions that have the potential to move us forward in pursuit of our mission.

Finally, to further clarify our purpose in publishing the press release, I want to reiterate that our mission is “to create a future for every individual who struggles with dyslexia and other related reading differences that results in a richer, most robust life and the access to tools and resources when they need them.” To create that future, we need both public and private institutions committed to effective instruction for ALL students, and we will continue to speak out when that future could be threatened.

IDA supports lawmakers and laws that champion effective instruction and training that prepares teachers to deliver that instruction in both public and private schools. In situations where the system is broken, IDA will continue to fill in the gaps by providing evidence-based practice standards, accreditation of universities and programs that meet those standards, and certification of teachers who practice those standards. We ask that you continue to support us in these efforts to ensure that all children have access to free and appropriate education and to support the families protected by these rights.

Rick Smith, CEO

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