Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188

I am a lay Parent Advocate assisting parents of children with disabilities in school IDEA, 504 and SST meetings. I am a former CHADD and LDA Coordinator, graduate of the 1st GA Advocacy Office PLSP legal training course and most importantly parent of two children with various disabilities.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reading program said to boost scores - More school district results from Lindamood-Bell!

FYI - Another school district reports success using Lindamood-Bell .  See articles below.  These studies can be cited when advocating for the use of Lindamood-Bell to remediate decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, spelling, and language comprehension.
Lindamood-Bell's research statistics
Use similar graphs in the article above to chart your own child's reading progress (or lack of progress) to use in IEP meetings.  Graphs are a great visual document.  I used graphs in my own daughter's case to show that in three years of intense reading remediation within our school district, my daughter made virtually NO progress based on their own testing results.  Make your own charts and graphs.
Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA  30188
"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people."   ----  Thomas Jefferson
Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged.  It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, and the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest.  Please do not forward without my permission.

Reading program said to boost scores

Elementary students used method for a year


December 15, 2007

VISTA – Third-, fourth-and fifth-graders participating in a new reading program that Superintendent Joyce Bales introduced to Vista Unified have boosted their scores on state tests, new data show.

The scores, presented at a school board meeting Thursday, show gains among some students enrolled in the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes program during the past school year. Bales brought the reading program to Vista after using it at her last job in Pueblo, Colo.

“What we're seeing is the trend moving in the right direction,” said Paul Worthington, director of development for Lindamood-Bell.

At the meeting, however, some teachers said the data were incomplete because they didn't compare those state scores in English/language arts with test scores of students in other reading programs. They said they wanted to know whether students in other district programs also improved to the same extent.

The Lindamood-Bell program, which gets students to focus on the imagery associated with words and sentences, involves teacher training and intensive reading clinics.

Bales and several trustees expressed encouragement about the results, saying the program isn't competing with other reading programs in the district, such as Reading First and one by the Houghton Mifflin Co.

“If it is, we're in big trouble,” trustee Steve Lilly said.

Board member Carol Herrera suggested touting the district's other reading programs, as well. “I think we need to look at the entire program,” she said.

Among third-, fourth-and fifth-grade students in the Lindamood-Bell program during the past school year, fourth-graders showed the largest gains.

There are five scoring categories for the tests: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic. The goal for students to be at grade level is to score proficient or advanced.

Of the 120 fourth-grade students who worked intensively in the Lindamood-Bell program, 106 had scored in either the below basic or far below basic categories on state tests in 2006 as third-graders. That number was reduced to 46 in 2007, after participation in the new program.

Students in the basic category went from 14 to 67, the data show. And students in the proficient and advanced categories went from 0 to 7.

The gains were less impressive for 92 third-grade students in the program. In 2006, 71 scored below basic or far below basic as second-graders. That fell to 65 in 2007.

In 2006, 21 of the students scored basic or proficient. In 2007, 27 scored in that category.

Among the 90 fifth-graders in the program during the past school year, 68 had scored far below basic or below basic in 2006 as fourth-graders. That dropped to 59 in 2007.

The number of students in basic and proficient categories went from 22 to 31 in 2007.

In other business, the board heard an update on the construction of dual magnet high schools in east Oceanside, collectively called Mission Vista High School.

Donna Caperton, interim chief operations officer, said the district this week received approval for $2 million in joint-use funding from the state for the project.

The state had initially denied the funding, but the district appealed. The funds raise the project's available budget to $90.8 million, Caperton said.

The district also received an approved set of building plans from the Division of the State Architect in November. With that in hand, the district expects to receive a revised maximum construction price from contractor Edge Development Inc. in February.

Caperton said the district anticipates that another company, Modtech, will begin delivering 58 modular classrooms to the site in January.

The classroom delivery is behind schedule, but Caperton said the district will work with the company to speed up the timeline. The district plans to open the high school by fall 2008.

Matthew Rodriguez: (760) 476-8239;

Pueblo District 60 uses Lindamood-Bell (they actually work with the organization, so all teachers are highly qualified and certified). They have been doing this since 1998.

To read what they are doing, and where they sit in the State (#2 district to achieve the highest AYP out of approx. 178 districts in the State). Go to this link:    


District 60 helps low-income students achieve

 The Pueblo  Chieftain Online"


Recent analysis completed by both the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Piton Foundation addressed school districts’ statewide struggle to improve the quality of education and close the acknowledged “achievement gap.”

The “achievement gap” is the commonly used term to describe the recognized disparity between schools with high levels of students coming from lower income homes compared to schools with more affluent student profiles.

Simply put, researchers reported that there has been little significant progress statewide in reducing this gap since 1997, when state testing began. While this is certainly regrettable for most districts, as was stated in the report, "A notable success story among the districts analyzed is Pueblo City Schools (District 60). All students made gains there, but progress in schools with the most low-income students far outpaced that of schools with fewer poor students."

This is a powerful validation for Pueblo and all those who have worked so hard for educational equity. Pueblo District 60, with its “no excuse” attitudes, is mentioned many more times throughout both reports.

Over the past seven years Pueblo School District 60 has achieved dramatic results regarding reading instruction to ensure that ALL children have the opportunity to become proficient readers. Our fundamental responsibility is to enable all children to become lifelong readers. Reading comprehension allows every individual to more fully participate in our democratic society.

District 60 students, staff and parents have become the state and national model for student progress. This is evidenced by three District 60 principals being invited to provide the keynote address at the First White House Conference on Reading, and District 60 was one of only three districts invited to the White House on the first anniversary of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

The district is strongly committed to supporting each teacher as a teacher of reading. Redirected resources and the acquisition of grants give teachers and students the tools necessary to improve reading. Some of the actions that we have taken to assist students in reaching their academic goals are:

The first is a fundamental belief that all children can learn and reach higher levels. We know that all children can meet high academic standards regardless of race or income level. Most District 60 schools have dramatically raised test scores to meet our high expectations. We have engaged students, staff and parents in our efforts to increase higher expectations. As a result, our teachers are recognized and should be commended for their efforts in closing the achievement gap.

District 60 is the first district in Colorado to embrace legislated accountability by becoming data driven and striving for academic improvement. Another example is that our schools use a business model with measurable goals and quarterly reports to keep the focus on student achievement. Specifically in reading, District 60 has a long-term partnership with Lindamood-Bell that began in 1998 when it was apparent, with the first state tests, that additional reading support was needed. The Lindamood-Bell partnership introduced a multisensory approach to reading with an emphasis back on phonics. Over the years, District 60 has worked to successfully integrate this model into the classroom, thereby reducing our financial commitment to an outside vendor.

This district is fortunate to have high-performing teachers. Dedicated, highly qualified teachers are an absolute necessity for improving the classroom experience for students. Ongoing professional development and support of our teachers are responsibilities that our district takes very seriously. District 60 has redirected resources in order to invest millions of dollars in professional development for teachers. The result of this significant investment, at no additional cost to the taxpayer, has been dramatic improvements in student test scores.

Another key component of our success is the connection our schools have with their families and parents. Parental involvement is a key to student success. Our schools continually invite and involve parents to become an integral part of the school community. Throughout the school year parents are supported with learning strategies that they can use at home. As a result, parental visits to schools are at an all-time high.

The District has committed significant resources to the visual and performing arts, with new programs planned for the fall. Research has proven that it is developmentally important that all children have the opportunity to experience and explore the arts.

Finally, high-quality leadership is a commonality in our schools. Being a principal or a master teacher in public education is one of the most important jobs in the United States today. To quote from the book “Good to Great,” "It is important to not only have the right people on the bus - someone has to guide." Student success in raising test scores is absolutely a team effort. The success of District 60 students has been a direct result of the combined efforts of administrators, teachers, support staff and parents. District 60 was the first district in Colorado to align all subjects with the state standards. This effort was initially driven by administration in concert with teams of district principals, teachers and community members. Increasing and improving the quality of professional development, our teachers are provided with the knowledge and the tools to address student achievement. The teachers’ successful implementation of the strategies significantly improved student achievement.

Our school district has been repeatedly cited by President George W. Bush, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige, Gov. Bill Owens, and Colorado Commissioner of Education William Moloney, as being a district that others are looking to as a model for student success. This level of recognition does not happen by accident. It is a concerted effort by all District 60 students, staff and parents to provide the best opportunities for every child in Pueblo.

While we acknowledge that we have not attained our goals in all areas, Pueblo can be proud that the children of our community are a part of one of the most improved districts in our nation today. Rest assured, the progress will not stop. The pressure to move to the next level is high and the rewards are even higher.

Kitty Kennedy is president of the District 60 Board of Education