The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently issued a statement that has the PK-12 and University community alarmed: they would like to eliminate the process of training reading specialists through graduate courses. 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 NCTE, 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. You will find these letters attached to this email and also on the Governmental Relations webpage (http://ksrapa.org/?page_id=
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 NCTE, KSRA and PRTE
- KSRA President and Governmental Relations Chair send letters to PDE stating concerns and requesting reversal of policy. NCTE Policy Analyst to post information on NCTE Policy Analyst website.
- Post information through social media.
- Request HEADS of literacy organizations (NCTE, 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 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.