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The Right to Read in CT, Literacy Forum Series Starting Tomorrow, and a Resource for Families

This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: The Right to Read in Connecticut, Literacy Forum Series Starting Tomorrow, and a Resource for Families During Periods of Hybrid and Remote Learning.

Get Involved: CT Students Have a Right To Read

A sneak preview for Wednesday Weekly readers: tomorrow our affiliate, ERN CT, will announce a new coalition called Right to Read CT. This legislative effort seeks to better prepare Connecticut educators and students, based on the body of educational and cognitive research about how to most effectively teach literacy (“the science of reading”). At the end of 2020, a study released by ERN CT revealed that only about half (53%) of the state's third graders were meeting or exceeding expectations in English Language Arts on the state's standardized assessment. The assessment also reveals ongoing and persistent gaps in achievement, which point to systemic civil rights injustices.

Connecticut students are facing unprecedented academic challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic. When students in our state return to the classroom full time, we must set all students up for success, and this means using research-based literacy instruction in every school, and for every child. Last week, a Boston Globe article highlighted children struggling with reading who had already been vulnerable before this crisis, calling COVID-19 a "wrecking ball."

We have to do better. That’s why Right to Read CT is raising awareness and building support for legislation to systematize the science of reading in classrooms across our state. In addition to ERN CT, the Right to Read CT coalition partners currently include: the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity; Hill for Literacy; Literacy How; and ReadyCT.

“Right to Read CT” Forum Tomorrow: A Literacy Initiative for Equity

Please join the Right to Read CT Coalition on Thursday January 28 for a virtual forum called, “A Literacy Initiative for Equityhosted on the Facebook page of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity. The event features the following panelists to discuss how we can improve literacy instruction now and in the future:

  • Shavar Jeffries, National President of Education Reform Now

  • Hon. Brandon McGee Jr., State Representative

  • Hon. Patricia Miller, Assistant Majority Leader

  • Hon. Jason Rojas, House Majority Leader

Making Learning Work: A Guide for Families

The Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University has recently released a resource called Making Learning Work: A Family Guide to Supporting Your Child in Hybrid and Remote Learning. It provides practical tips, resources, and tools for families to use during the pandemic, as students navigate the remainder of the school year, and beyond. Enjoy!

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