As I write this letter, Governor Mike Pense of Indiana has just signed legislation requiring teachers to receive training to understand the warning signs of dyslexia. Indiana joins Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Maryland, Utah and Connecticut in passing legislation to aid students with dyslexia in our public schools. Dyslexia legislation was considered this year in almost twenty states; this level of activity is unprecedented.
Much of the credit goes to our partner, Decoding Dyslexia; this group has rallied parents and has been a driving force in these legislative efforts. IDA is working to be an even better partner with Decoding Dyslexia in the future.
Likewise, IDA is working with the Dyslexia Caucus in Washington, DC to develop legislation on teacher training in advance of our lobbying days that occur on July 14th and 15th.
IDA Works Across Many Fronts
On other fronts, IDA’s teacher certification exam is heading toward completion and we are reaching out to independent schools and state departments of education to encourage adoption. We are beginning a new round of university accreditation reviews. And finally, the Coalition for Reading Excellence, which IDA helped organize, held its first board meeting on June 16th. This Coalition, now with 39 members from across America, will work to encourage public school adoption of Structured Literacy reading instruction.
In order to move these missions forward, we need a greater vision for IDA and what IDA can be. Our branch leaders, staff, and executive board are working together in a “destiny discussion” to envision a more effective IDA. That vision will include better information and support, internal changes, and a more aggressive and effective fundraising program. Already, the IDA Home Office is partnering with our branches to launch a team-in-training program. As part of this project, IDA will recruit athletes who want to run marathons as members of IDA’s team and raise funds by recruiting sponsors for their runs.
This is an extraordinary time at IDA. We are thinking bigger about our mission and what we can do. We are growing our membership and fundraising. We have taken giant steps to change reading instruction in public schools—the most important problem facing students with dyslexia.
I want to thank all of our members and donors for their support. With your help, we will continue our progress in the months ahead.