Superintendent Thurmond announces vision for literacy
CTA President E. Toby Boyd joined Superintendent of Public Education Tony Thurmond, Assembly Member Mia Bonta and state education leaders today in announcing a bold vision to ensure that every California student will learn to read in third grade by 2026. The effort also includes a bi-literacy milestone for bilingual learners.
Thurmond will convene a working group in the coming weeks that will bring together educators, students, families, advocates, researchers and other experts to identify key strategies for focusing on literacy. He will also be sponsoring legislation over the coming year that will be drafted by Bonta (D-Oakland) to help advance the goal. This bill will be informed by the task force’s recommendations and will likely include a variety of resources to advance literacy and bi-literacy goals, family engagement approaches, and other reading strategies.
Thurmond anticipates that the legislation will present a multi-faceted strategy that takes into account issues of preparation, chronic absenteeism, the needs of students with disabilities and multilingual learners, early education and socio-economic factors that impact on a student’s ability to learn to read.
âThe time is right. We have all the resources to do it and we will come up with legislation to support our students,â Thurmond said. âWhen students learn to read, they can read to learn everything.â
Boyd says that after decades of divesting public schools, this year’s education budget reflects our shared values ââand priorities.
âThe expansion of transition kindergarten, the increase in the number of community schools, and additional resources for the social and emotional support of students are all important investments that will help support our poorest schools – and they are key programs we need to fight illiteracy, âhe says. âEqually important will be meeting the needs of our bilingual learners and ensuring they have the resources and support they need to be successful. Dual literacy is a strength of our global economy.
Bonta is excited about the bold and aggressive program to ensure all children can read.
âLiteracy is the key to equity,â she says. âWe will fight together for literacy, equity and justice.