We are contacting you regarding a recent issue that has come to our attention about an abrupt decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to include the Reading Specialist Certificate to the Add On By Testing certificates. An email was sent from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Professional Education and Teacher Quality dated November 5, 2014 regarding “add on by testing” to the certificates that can be added on through testing. Currently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is trying to employ a short cut to an academic certification program rather than getting a reading specialist degree through a Master’s program.
We are requesting all members of KSRA, PRTE, educators, colleges, and universities throughout Pennsylvania to send a letter this week to Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, acting Secretary of Education. To make this process easier, several KSRA committees (Governmental Relations, PRTE, and Technology) have drafted a letter, which you can copy and send. A sample letter which you can adapt, along with copies of two of the letter that KSRA are sending are linked here:
- Sample Letter to PDE- Please be sure to replace bolded text with your own words, as well as delete instructions at the top of the page.
- KSRA’s Letter to PDE
- KSRA Governmental Relations Committee Letter to PDE
KSRA’s voice of 1,600 educators will be heard clearer and stronger if we all follow the same procedure and use the same language. The Governmental Relations Committee has established the current strategy:
- Send alert to KSRA and PRTE
- KSRA President and Governmental Relations Chair send letters to PDE stating concerns and requesting reversal of policy.
- Post information on KSRA website and through social media.
- Request HEADS of literacy organizations (PRTE, Deans, etc) send letters.
- Request individual members of literacy organizations send letters.
- If PDE response is positive, process ends. If not, go on to round two.
- Request meeting with PDE
- Contact your local and state government officials
Please feel free to share this information with all the teachers, school administrators, and parents of students who have received reading support. Together we will continue to provide support to educators across PA and provide guidance for how to share our concern.
Thank you for your support,
Julie B. Wise, President, KSRA
Millie Henning, Chair, Governmental Relations, KSRARead More
KSRA is aware of issues regarding changes in certification procedures for reading specialist certification in Pennsylvania. Our Government Relations Committee is working hard to track down the facts regarding the matter. If you are interested in helping or have some suggestions for how we should proceed, please only contact KSRA’s Governmental Relations Chair, Millie Henning (Henningmillie@aol.com). She is currently drafting a plan and a letter to inform all of the KSRA members. When we have all the facts, dates, and contacts in place we will send out an email blast like we did in the past for conference information. Together we will provide support to educators across PA and provide guidance for how to share our concern. KSRA’s voice of 1,600 educators will be heard clearer and stronger if we all follow the same procedure and use the same language.
For what are you thankful this season? At KSRA, we’re thankful for Michael Williams and his conference team for a great 2014 Conference. We’re thankful for our countless volunteers and council leader volunteers who do so much to make KSRA and our local councils strong and vibrant. But we’re especially thankful to our members for supporting us and the important literacy work we do together.Read More
Even though the 2014 Conference has ended, you can still learn from the conference (or refresh your memory if you were fortunate enough to attend). The conference wiki contains handouts and more from many of the speakers. Check them out today!Read More
Last spring, IRA charged a committee to investigate national and international practices used for evaluating teachers and assessing teacher effectiveness. The committee, charged by Dr. Rita Bean of University of Pittsburg and Dr. Annemarie Jay of Widener University (both KSRA members), met for the first time at the IRA Conference in May in New Orleans. Since then, tasks were set and the committee has been busy collecting information. A survey was constructed and the committee is asking for help from all IRA members (through their state/provincial councils) to take the brief survey (15 questions) and encourage their colleagues to take it as well. The survey asks how teachers are evaluated, who evaluates them, and what impact reading professionals have in helping teachers implement best practices. The committee chairs are asking that the survey be returned to them by November 1, 2014. They appreciate the participation of all general and special education teachers, reading professionals, and school administrators.Read More