On May 7th2016, the California State PTA unanimously passed the Decoding Dyslexia California and San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs Resolution “Dyslexia: Addressing the Educational Implications in Public Schools”. Dyslexia is a specific neurobiological disease that is characterized by difficulties in accurate word recognition and decoding abilities. Dyslexia is has a 20% prevalence in our student population and is a medically recognized learning disability that is acknowledged by the California Education Code and Federal law as a learning disability. Scientific research shows that when students who have the typical characteristics of dyslexia are provided with evidence-based, multisensory instruction in a structured and explicit manner, most of them learn to read and spell successfully.
By passing the resolution, CAPTA has resolved to:
- Recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications that need to be better addressed by public schools and school districts
- Adopt the definition of dyslexia, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge”
- Support teacher/staff training necessary to improve the understanding of dyslexia and its warning signs, including training in appropriate evidence-based Structured Literacy Instruction for students with dyslexia in accordance with the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge & Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading, and to promote knowledge of appropriate accommodations for dyslexic students
- Support early screening for signs and symptoms of dyslexia in kindergarten through the third grade, with parental notification; the use of evidence-based Structured Literacy Instruction as defined by the International Dyslexia Association; and the use of appropriate accommodations in order to provide students with dyslexia equitable access to the general education curriculum
- Bring this resolution to the National PTA for consideration by the delegates at the National PTA convention in June.
Congratulations to these organizations for having success through the local and state processes and for showing how PTA advocacy works to support our students’ educational needs.