Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jo Haines, Executive Director of The International Dyslexia Association, Needs Your Help

Ms. Haines, Executive Director of The International Dyslexia Association, asks New Yorkers to rally behind reading teachers who are about to be laid off. See her email below.

Dear Friend,

In early March, the New York City Department of Education released a layoff plan that raises real concerns about the city's ability to serve students with learning disabilities. Included in the plan are cuts of up to 15% of licensed reading teachers. The cuts will effectively terminate any reading teacher with less than ten (10) years seniority. Although we believe that any cuts to education are wrong, the effect of these proposed cuts on public school children with reading disabilities will be quite serious.

We urge you to contact the DOE and your elected officials to let them know you oppose the plan. (See below for contact information.)

Cuts system-wide are 6%, but not every discipline will be impacted equally. Math and Science will experience only 3% cuts, whereas Reading is scheduled for the most severe cuts of 15%. Including reading in the group scheduled for the largest cuts fails to recognize the invaluable service which reading specialists provide classroom teachers and our most educationally vulnerable children.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all learning disabilities are reading disabilities. Reading Teachers are specifically trained to address those learning disabilities in one-on-one and small group settings. Despite the city's claim that Special Education will be exempt from layoffs, many reading teachers spend most of their time with students requiring special education. In fact, reading specialists working in District 75 (the special education district) are not exempt from these cuts and face termination.

Reading teachers are on the educational front lines not only with special education students but also with children with reading disabilities who have not been classified for special ed. services. Families unable to afford private tutors for their children will be most affected by these cuts. It is our belief that children with reading disabilities served by licensed reading teachers in New York City will be disproportionately harmed by the intended layoffs.


Bill de Blasio
NYC Public Advocate
Municipal Building
One Centre Street
New York, NY 10007
212 669 7200

Cathleen P. Black
NYC Department of Education
Tweed Courthouse
52 Chamber Street
New York, NY 10007
212 935 2000

Robert Jackson
NYC Council Committee on Education
250 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
212 234 0551

To locate and contact your council representative, visit


Jo Haines
Executive Director
Int'l Dyslexia Association - New York
71 West 23rd Street #1527
New York, NY 10010

Sol Stern on Reading

here is a comment on the above post that I received April 3:

Thanks so much for your article. I am one of the Reading Specialists who is slated to be laid off (I am in year 4). I am also an ATR, and have been told by my Chapter Leader and borough rep that the Reading License is "dead", that no one wants it anymore. I called the UFT District Office and was basically told to ty to work under my ELA 7 -12 (even though I have never worked under it and therefore would lose my tenure and be at year 0) because "you'll never find a Reading position - no one wants them and you'll be in the ATR pool forever." So I guess I spent $22,000 on a useless piece of paper and am considering shredding it and putting it in my cat's litter box. I am planning cram through a 36 credit course in administration since no one seems to want to let me do the work I love and am also extremely good at (I was excessed, with 2 other Reading Specialists) because all of the grade 7/8 level 1 kids got 2 or higher on the ELA two years ago. As a thank you, the City decided that the school no longer needed Reading classes and eliminated the Title 1 Reading funding. Some pat on the back, eh?

Anyway, thanks for acknowledging us. I'll still be on the unemployment line, my house up for sale, and my  kids' dance/piano/sports eliminated as keeping a roof over our heads becomes our main priority, but it's nice to know that someone noticed.

No comments: