Legislative Action Team Advisory

Thursday, January 17, 2008

HEA Reauthorization: Building Capacity for Student Achievement

The rewriting of the Higher Education Act is now awaiting House floor action. IRA has been working to include provisions for literacy training. Currently, the House version (HR 4137) contains a literacy training provision. The Senate version (S.1642) does not include a literacy provision.

After the House finishes working on their version, the next stage in the process is when the House and Senate assign members to a committee to workout the differences between each chambers’ versions. When we know who the members of the committee are, we will be asking you to write your member of Congress and the Senate to support the literacy training provision in the House draft. The committee is expected to meet in mid to late February.

(House) Higher Education Reauthorization Act Literacy Training Provision:

Purpose: To provide additional literacy instruction for elementary and secondary coaches, principals and administrators.

Goal: To retain in the final higher education reauthorization act the following provisions:

HR 4137 Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement
Section 200 Definitions:
`(15) LITERACY COACH- The term `literacy coach' means a professional--
`(A) who--
`(i) has teaching experience and a master's degree with a concentration in reading and writing education;
`(ii) has demonstrated proficiency as determined by the principal of the individual's school in teaching reading and writing in a content area such as math, science, or social studies;
`(B) whose primary role with teachers and school personnel is to--
`(i) provide high-quality professional development opportunities for teachers and school personnel related to literacy;
`(ii) with respect to the areas of reading and writing, collaborate with paraprofessionals, teachers, principals, and other administrators, and the community served by the school; and
`(iii) work cooperatively and collaboratively with other professionals in planning programs to meet the needs of diverse population learners, including children with disabilities and limited English proficient individuals; and
`(C) who may provide students with--
`(i) reading or writing diagnosis, instruction, and assessment; and
`(ii) reading and writing assessment, in cooperation with other professionals (such as special education teachers, speech and language teachers, and school psychologists).

Section 202 State Partnership Grants
6) LITERACY TRAINING- Developing and implementing a program to strengthen content knowledge and teaching skills of elementary and secondary school literacy coaches that--
`(A) provides teacher training in reading instruction for literacy coaches who--
`(i) train classroom teachers to implement literacy programs; or
`(ii) tutor students with intense individualized reading, writing, and subject matter instruction during or beyond the school day;
`(B) develops or redesigns rigorous evidenced-based reading curricula that are aligned with challenging State academic content standards, as required under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and with postsecondary standards for reading and writing;
`(C) provides opportunities for teachers to plan and assess instruction with other teachers, school leaders, and faculty at institutions of higher education;
`(D) provides training and professional development for principals to prepare them to understand the teaching of reading, guide instruction, and foster school improvement; and
`(E) establishes an evaluation and accountability plan for activities conducted under this paragraph to measure the impact of such activities.

Monday, January 07, 2008

IRA Audio-Conference, January 15

What is happening with NCLB and how will the President's new FY 08 budget impact reading education?

Join Richard Long, IRA Director of Government Relations, in a live audio-conference on Tuesday, January 15, at 8:00 pm EST as he discusses the status of NCLB as well as the new federal budget and its impact on reading education.

This will be a free service, but registration is limited. Participants are asked to register by January 11 with irawash@reading.org to receive the
call-in number and a Power Point set of slides.

Dr. Long will brief callers for about 20 minutes and then answer questions. Participants are asked to e-mail their questions in advance to irawash@reading.org. We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered during the call. We will try to answer all questions by e-mail. Concise questions are encouraged. Please be sure to include your name and affiliation when posting your questions