The Reading Reimagined (5/13/2021)
Susan Lambert: Hello, and good morning, everyone. I'm watching the chat bar and seeing folks from Virginia, and Alabama, and Oregon, and Northwest Indiana. Hello, Miami, Florida. Ontario is in the room. We have North Carolina, New Hampshire. If you have not yet said good morning and where you're from, can you go in that chatbox and make sure you do that. We've got Sacramento, California. Another one from Ontario, Chicago, Illinois, it's so amazing. Welcome, welcome to everybody. Oh, look at there. Alberta, Canada, another Canada. Hello from Ohio. And I am coming from you in Grand Rapids, Michigan. So, any of my Michigan friends that are also in the room, hello. Jersey Shore, stop it. Jersey Shore is in the room. We're really, really excited. We are pushing 4, 000 registrants at today's event and I know there are hundreds of you right now that are joining us live. We've been on this journey together for quite some time, and we're so excited to take the next step in this learning journey and glad that you could come along with us. I'm going to talk through some logistics first before we get started. I want you to look at the Q and A box. So, down here, there's a box that says Ask a Question. I think it's probably on this side. Make sure you pay attention to that. There's also a spot down there that will give you closed captioning. So, you look at that, you can pop on closed captioning and the link will open in a separate window in your computer. Note that you can select translations in that window for Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese, Hindi, Russian, and Arabic, and it's so exciting that we're able to offer that to you because we know that our Science of Reading reach has actually gone across the world, and we're super excited about that. We want you to know that all of the sessions today are being recorded, and they will actually be made available immediately after the session ends so you don't have to wait until tomorrow or next week or two weeks from now. You will have access to them right away. And for you, that means I'm sure many of you are not able to join for the entire time. There will be sessions that you perhaps have to miss that you'll want to come back and listen to, and remember, use those sessions wisely to sort of share the love with other folks, and I can imagine some of you using them in grade- level team meetings, and all staff meetings and professional development opportunities. Just share those, use those broadly, particularly this first session of kickoff. I'm so excited, but we'll hold onto that for a minute. We're going to be monitoring the Q and A. So, I'll be monitoring that throughout the presentation that's coming up. If time permits at the end of the sessions, we'll try to answer some questions live. If not, you can come back to the recording where you can sort of see some of the questions being answered. So, let's talk about what we're going to experience today and why we're so excited that you're here with us on the journey. I think I didn't introduce myself so I think I'll take time to do that. My name is Susan Lambert. I'm the chief academic officer of Elementary Humanities here at Amplify, and I am host of Science of Reading, the podcast. Many of you, I know, are listeners of the podcast. We're really excited about the friendships that we've developed through that podcast. We've intersected with lots of folks. And like I said, we've kind of all been on a journey together to learn more about the science of reading. What does it mean? How can I start my journey? How can I extend my journey? And for each one of us, really, that journey looks differently, and no shame for where you are in that journey. If you're just starting on that journey, good for you. And for those of you that are further along, please connect with somebody that isn't as far along as you are and partner with them to learn even more. I know you are going to hear from some great folks today. Coming up soon is Dr. Maria Murray. I was literally on the phone with her yesterday in the morning, and we were talking about how we can even learn more ourselves and amongst ourselves and sort of the kind of environment and situation we want to bring to this whole learning experience. So, I encourage you, no matter where you're at, lean into that learning journey, and you will never become an expert because that's the great thing about science is we continue to grow and we continue to learn. Okay, quick quiz for those of you, get ready to put this in the chatbox, but I want you to tell me what percentage of students, regardless of background, are capable of developing as skilled readers. So, throw in a percentage. I'm watching that chatbox, throw in your percentage of what you think students can achieve regardless of background. We got a hundred percent. We got one in there. Keep going. Other people have guesses about what this is. I love this. And I would say it's close to 100%. What we know is 95% of all students, regardless of background, are capable of developing as skilled readers. But there's a caveat to that. That is only when they receive instruction that is sufficient to develop their learning, meaning that the instruction that they receive is based in science of reading principles. And that's what we are proud to bring to you is our learning journey here at Amplify on what does that mean in both the basics of the science of what we already know and what are we continuing to learn more about. And so, this today is another way for you to understand more about how classrooms need to change, how schools need to change, how districts need to change in order to get on that journey and ensure that we're getting all of our kids the kind of instruction, the kind of personalized learning, the kind of assessment we need to bring together in alignment with the science of reading principles to ensure that it's effective instruction. This is a call to action as an adult responsibility. We have an incredible responsibility and opportunity to do that for all of our students. So, I am pleased to introduce our first session where we are going to be joined by both Dr. Maria Murray and Dr. Tracy Weeden who are going to challenge us to think about what it means to be on a science of reading journey and what it means for you and what it means for all students. So, I'd like to introduce them a little bit in case you don't know who they are or their backgrounds just give us some context. I'm going to start with Dr. Tracy Weeden. So, Dr. Tracy Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all and academic excellence for children, regardless of zip code. Dr. Weeden has spent her career developing innovative academic programs while scaling transformational systems change. While serving for the past five years as president and CEO of the Neuhaus Education Center, Dr. Weeden has expanded the reach and impact of this center from local nonprofit to broader impact across the state of Texas and on a national and international level. The mission provides evidence- based professional learning to all educators, information and resources to families, and adult literacy services. Her background includes executive director of Academic Planning and assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, a coordinator of professional development in a central office, but I think she says her roots are in her beloved city of Detroit, go Michigan, where she started as a high school English and theater arts teacher, and she professes always be a teacher at heart. She is a graduate of the University of Detroit with a bachelor's degree in speech communication and English, received her master's degree in EDD and ed leadership from the University of Houston, and is a loyal Cougar. So, welcome Dr. Weeden. And alongside of me on the other side is Dr. Maria Murray founder, CEO, and president of The Reading League, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence- aligned reading instruction. Prior to founding The Reading League, Dr. Murray was an associate professor at the State University of New York at the Oswego where she taught courses related to literacy assessment and intervention for 10 years. She received her PhD in reading education from Syracuse University where she served as project coordinator for Dr. Benita Blackman's numerous federally funded early reading intervention grants. Ladies, it is an honor to share this stage with you and turn it over to you to hear your expertise, and what's really on your heart, and your passion. So I'm going to turn it over to you. Ladies, thank you, and welcome.
Dr. Maria Murray: Thank you. Go Cougars.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Dr. Maria Murray: I need to affiliate with a team. I'm going to share my screen now, and we will get started. Good morning, everybody. Here we go. Yeah, we're going to get our presentation slides up.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: I have two little cubs graduating today from your bench so crosstalk two reasons, being here with you and watching them crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: Oh, an exciting day.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Really is.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay. We're in present mode. I assume people will tell me if they don't see that and we can get started. Thank you for the introduction, Susan Lambert. You're a dear friend and I love always working alongside you in whatever you want to do. And thank you for the introduction of our organizations, Neuhaus Education Center and The Reading League. I think Tracy and I, Dr. Weeden and I can say that our organizations have very complimentary missions. We do similar work, not identical, but very similar work, and we love to collaborate, and we're just at the beginning of that collaborative effort I look forward to so much. So, we're very pleased to have been asked to keynote this beautiful summit by Amplify. Oops, excuse me. There we go, present. Even though we're not together in person, all these people, it would be wonderful to be in one giant room together. Can you imagine the feeling that would evoke in us after all this time of being isolated? We do feel the support from you based on comments that we've received just in the last few days, people excited for coming into this together. So, it's exciting to be among so many science of reading advocate friends who share that same passion that we do. So, the theme of this summit is personalized learning, and most of us know that this means addressing children's and even adults' and any learners' individual needs, and we know that it's even more critical come this fall in what we hope is a truly post- pandemic educational reality, and we have to focus our attention and all of our good work that all of us do on their literacy needs, of course, and all of their other needs. And as we're going to discuss here today, I guess I would say we're at a really critical juncture where we have to marry those needs that children have to the science of reading. We have to address those reading gaps that children have from every zip code, from every home in all of our nations wherever we live, and we have this wonderful tool that can get us there, the science of reading. Like Susan just said, we can get 95% of our students reading proficiently with just tier one and some supplemental assistance. And the other 5% we don't leave behind. We call them lifelong learners, not treatment resistors or anything negative. We've got to help them too. Oh, and I just want to mention, I love Student Achievement Partners' definition of personalized learning. They call it, and I'm going to read here, an approach in which teaching and other learning experiences build on each student's strengths, address each student's needs, spur student motivation and agency, oh, I love that, and help all students meet grade- level standards, and ultimately achieve college and career readiness. So, science of reading, now more than ever, that was our theme last year for our conference, is going to play that critical role in strengthening this personalized learning that we all have to adhere to, closing the gaps that have widened in so many cases, especially for our foundational learners as a result of interrupted learning, and as we are here again to say to you building equity for all. Tracy, I'm going to turn it over to you on this slide to say your wonderful sayings.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Well, Maria, first of all, you know you're my sister from another mister.
Dr. Maria Murray: We are such sisters it's not funny.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: It is such an honor to be a shoulder partner in this work with you. I love your spirit, love your heart for the work. And it's so important, which you said, regardless of the zip code a kid comes from, or the girl or boy they were sent here in, regardless of the dialect or the language they are loved in, they must have the currency of the 21st century in their hands, and that's literacy.
Dr. Maria Murray: Right.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Right. And COVID has underscored that. It's either a COVID crucible or a COVID chrysalis for us. Right? We're going to learn from this, and this is a moment to seize, and it's such an honor to seize the moment with you and all the other amazing educators who are joining us today. And I hope you leave inspired, encouraged, and equipped with something to take away to keep pressing on for all of our children and adult learners as well.
Dr. Maria Murray: Beautiful. Okay. Okay. I'm having a little bit of navigation thrill here. So, here is our second slide. I want to let everybody know that this is not going to be a traditional keynote where there are a lot of slides. We are deliberately trying something different and we want to build in some spontaneous conversation. Wish you were here with us, but we will have your spirit with us, and maybe the comments in the box will help us with that, but our content is going to hopefully lend itself perfectly to discussion, and we hope deep consideration. So, we also hope to have some time for questions and comments at the end. So, many of you have listened to the podcast that I had the very amazing honor of doing recently with Susan Lambert regarding The Defining Movement. The Defining Movement, if you don't know, so I don't want to spend a lot of time on it because I already did the podcast and you can go back and listen to that, but The Defining Movement on the one hand is a group, a coalition of science of reading advocates that we brought together, and we've been meeting weekly since September. Our intention was to develop a definition of the science of reading because there are so many definitions out there, and not all of them are exactly correct. A lot of misconceptions have weaseled their way into definitions. So, this Defining Movement coalition, it's a couple dozen of us, but the power in a movement is especially powerful when it's a social movement. We love our little group, but our little group loves and needs all of you. We've been working very hard. Dr. Weeden is part of that group, a very influential part of it, and hats off and applause to the others. So, what we've been doing is meeting weekly to really have conversations and do work around a couple of things. First of all, what is the definition of the science of reading and why should that matter. Words matter, right, and definitions matter. I think, I remember in undergrad, we were all asked to define how we view literacy, or we were asked to define balanced literacy and all of our definitions were different, and that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable. Right? But with the science of reading, I think it matters because there are so many variations in how people define it, many of which are way off base. Some of them are, for example, science of reading is phonics and that's it. No, it's so much more. This can lead to vulnerability, and we talk about that too. What do we mean by this vulnerability? If the science of reading is misunderstood, okay, entities such as publishers, policymakers, service providers, and so on can claim to be in alignment with the science of reading, their product, or their service, they can take your credit card or your school district's credit card and swipe it, and then we might remain mired in this decades- long just anemic growth pattern. Right? If anything's going to count as the science of reading, or if we believe that everything out there is... Or some things that aren't are, we will not have the reading outcomes at 95% for our children and adults, and this is just completely unacceptable. So, The Reading League, speaking from here, we just love drawing people together. I think The Reading League in and of itself is a social movement built out of a need as is Neuhaus. So, this is what we're all doing. We're giving our time to create this defining movement because our children are just too precious to leave to chance in instruction that is not aligned with the findings from the science of reading. So, again, I'm already spending a little bit too much time about it, but I do have to come right out here and take a moment and literally ask each one of you, my friends, before this talk is over, leave the talk for just a minute, shrink us down, keep listening, and go to whatisthescienceofreading. org and add your name to the movement. There is power in numbers. If we can get thousands and thousands of people to say," I stand behind the science of reading and its promise to get 95% of kids reading on grade level," and imagine what that would do for our society and our democracy. If we can do that, and we could even eradicate low literacy once and for all, it's completely possible, that would show publishers and policymakers and all those decision- makers at the top that there is a loud cry, a resounding demand throughout this land and all lands that they prioritize this in their products, our laws, and our classrooms. And I don't have anything against people making money, but please make money on things that do not harm children and help them. So, do join us today. There's a counter at the bottom. We have about 6, 000 people, and we'd love the thousands of people that are here today, if you haven't already, to join that movement whether you're a Reading League member or you belonged to Neuhaus or work with any other organization in here, please also join The Defining Movement. And do, there's a little tab at the top, maybe not today but sometime go into the tab that is The Defining Guide at the top. The coalition that I speak of, we've been developing sections of The Defining Guide that eventually every month we release. So, if you join, you get an email and say, what are we," The Defining Movement has launched a new section of the guide. Go check it out." And they're very short. We try to keep them about 250 words or less. Eventually, this will be completed in mid- summer, we hope, and then we'll even produce a tiny, tangible defining guide that people can offer in PTO meetings, schools can offer it to their educators when they begin a transformation effort, state education policy meetings, et cetera. Your name added to this gives it strength and credence. So, okay. And just one exciting thing, today towards the end of presentation, everyone here is going to get a sneak peek at what's going to appear at the end of The Defining Guide when it is done. So, that's just a little tease for you. So, you're going to get it first here. Okay. So, before we talk about that culminating portion of The Defining Guide, let's share the beginning portion, what I want to call the preamble. So, I'm going to turn this. Tracy, do you want to give it a little preface for why we did a preamble?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: I absolutely can.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Yes, I'd love to do that.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: You know, how we frame what we do is so important and the why behind this movement is important. When we think about 50% of prison inmates being dyslexic, 85% of adjudicated youth being functionally illiterate, when we think about having the highest incarceration rate in the world, and it's definitely juxtaposed to literacy and a functional illiteracy, the why is crucial. So, to be able to have the honor of writing it and getting feedback on it was just beyond my wildest dreams, and I think that's sufficient just to launch it.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay. That is sufficient. Here we go.
Audio: Human kinds' most precious treasure is our children and our future depends on them.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Okay. There's no sound, Maria.
Audio: ...convergence scientific evidence. Research has yielded proven assessment and instructional practices with which every teacher and leader should be equipped. We believe that providing educators with this knowledge is a moral imperative. We are committed to evidence- aligned reading instruction being scaled with a sense of urgency in a comprehensive and systematic way by multiple stakeholders. We know that our children can be taught to read properly the first time. In a knowledge economy, the currency of the 21st century will be built on the foundation of skilled reading. Students who can read well have a place at the table of opportunity, whether their aspirations lead them to preparation for college or the workforce. We believe in a future where a collective focus on applying the science of reading through teacher, and a leader, preparation, classroom application, and community engagement will elevate and transform every community, every nation through the power of literacy. Join us.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay. So, we can advance the slide to the next one. I'm doing that.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: More chat.
Dr. Maria Murray: More chat?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: I don't know if you can see it, but they've got the chairs up for us.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay. We've got the... Oh, I'm finally back. Navigation issues. Oh, okay. Oh, look at that's beautiful. Thank you for joining, friends. Yes. I like that someone said," Also interested in the stats for prison and illiteracy." We've been having some conversations. So, it is time to talk now. We want to settle in here and spend some time in this moment and dissect some of the central concepts in that preamble that centers the entire premise of the science of reading, urgency, moral, imperative, opportunity, equity, social justice, a fundamental human right. This is not maybe going to be the neatest conversation in terms of structure, because none of this is neat, is it, and it's complex because it's human. So, let's talk about it.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Yes, let's talk about it. And you know, Maria, part of this journey is just being really honest, looking in the mirror of the past and the future we desire, and being real about how did we get where we are today. Part of that is due to anti- literacy laws that were established in the 1830s when African Americans, Black people were not allowed to learn to read. Now, there were people who surreptitiously continued to learn, but it's so ironic when you think about our history as a country, and now certain practices that set teachers and leaders up for malpractice if you fail are harming the children who are the most vulnerable among us, those who are navigating the wars of poverty, where there's a class divide, and children from student groups who have been underperforming, not because they can't learn to read, right, but because educators have never had access to the right tools, they have not been coached, they have not been supported, and as we saw on the chat, universities really needing to own that. If you're not apprenticing teachers and leaders in the science, that's a moral imperative that needs to change if we care about our children and we care about our community.
Dr. Maria Murray: Preach, preach, preach that.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: And, Maria, I'm wondering, when you think about, I call it the COVID chrysalis because it's a time to rethink, retool, and not repeat, hopefully, what hasn't been working. When you think about your COVID chrysalis experience, how do you want to come out of this, and how do you want to influence all of these wonderful educators who want to do the right things kids deserve?
Dr. Maria Murray: Can you repeat that so that people maybe put some of their answers in the chat? This way we can involve them in this conversation.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: You know, I hear teachers say," I'm just a teacher." No, you're not. You're a VIP, and you transform the family tree through literacy. I'm an inner- city girl from Detroit. I shouldn't be here. I learned to code- switch. So, I have the language for the boardroom or for my neighborhood. It doesn't matter where I am. I can be in any room and I belong there. So, when you think about, as an educator you're in a COVID chrysalis, what will your leadership moves be, making sure of disposition, not position. You don't need a title. You need to activate yourself. What are you coming out of this COVID chrysalis with that you are saying," I, on my watch, this must change," whether it's in your classroom, it's in your school, it's in your district? What's your commitment to yourself and to the children you serve based on what you've learned about the science of reading?
Dr. Maria Murray: What a great way for everyone to wrap up this year and be mindful of that and go strong, strong- hearted into next year with that sense of urgency.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Absolutely.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yes, Sheryl Ferlito, a true warrior. Many of us are here in this group, wow.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: I see good, good people out there who are working hard. They're pushing hard. It reminds me of the book, A Tale of Two Cities. I don't know if you've ever taught that, Maria?
Dr. Maria Murray: No, I never taught it. I was on the social studies end.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Oh, there's an amazing quote,"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." And that quote is completely applicable to the time we're in now. Either it's a crucible or chrysalis for children. I know you have a story. I want to share briefly a story about a young lady named Ayana. Ayana was identified as dyslexic and was placed in special education classrooms, and the teachers didn't know how to teach her how to read, and so she graduated from high school and was reading about a kindergarten level. She went to a local community college and when they screened her, they said," We can't help you. You don't know how to read." And so, inaudible Neuhaus Education Center, we have an adult literacy program. Do you know that within a year, this girl was so driven, this young woman, she was able to enter community college? She earned an 80% average that semester. So, was it dyslexia, or dysteachia, or was it both, right? It was about preventing reading failure and having that safety net early on by having good, strong, first instruction and also early identification so that she would not fall through the cracks. She could easily have been one of those statistics, the school to prison pipeline. It doesn't have to be that way. That's a story that just moves me and reminds me to keep pressing on. What about you, Maria?
Dr. Maria Murray: A similar story. I tutored a young man. I met him when he was 24 years old. We met at a pizza parlor for the first time, and I brought my bag of assessments, and just the basic alphabetic assessment, I had to stop. He knew nothing. He graduated with a special education diploma, unable to read a single word, to know his sounds. And he was, as you say, diagnosed with dyslexia and we met only one hour a week. Oftentimes, we only managed to meet 40 weeks out of 52, right, because there are holidays and illnesses and so forth. And sometimes we met in a courtroom, but while we waited for our turn to go in front of a judge, I kept sliding pieces of paper over on the bench and we'd still go. But within five years, he was reading on a fifth- grade level, approaching a sixth- grade level, and then we finished after five years. That's what he wanted. But I remember the second lesson we had, just using the handful of letters we had practiced, I made him some sentences and just a paragraph with big font this big, and he read it, very slow, very painstaking. But to him, he was sweating, and I remember him taking the sleeve of his white T- shirt and wiping his eyes when he got done, he was weeping. I think that's a sad and happy story. But think about that. It was another case of dysteachia.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Yeah.
Dr. Maria Murray: He learned to read at the age of what, 27, 28 now, 29, but he could have learned to read when he was five. The fact that he did ultimately read and so did your friend and so do many adults when they're 52 or whatever, I mean, come on.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Come on.
Dr. Maria Murray: They were missing that. So, now, these days, we can screen and prevent this.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: We can prevent it, and Marie, the irony. The previous administration was paying attention to that status far as inmates. On average, 50% are dyslexic. And so, they introduced a First Step Act, and so they can screen inmates and get them treatment hopefully because recidivism increases from I think it's 70% to 15% of inmates learn to read, but how ironic to call it the First Step Act. The first step needs to be early screening and early prevention of failure and good, strong first teach. Also, the Barbara Bush Foundation had Gallup do a national survey of adults. This is fascinating. In the Houston metropolitan area where I live now, if adults could read at least a sixth- grade level, it would drive$ 71 billion of revenue in Houston. Think about that if we want to be nationally and internationally competitive as a country.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yeah. Why do we think all of our presidential or all of our presidents and their administrations in the past four or five administrations, excuse me, have implemented legislation having to do with reading? It's a bottom line, bottom dollar, a lot of money going out and billions not coming in, trillions going out. So, it costs. It's not just even a financial issue for our country. It's emotional, psychological, spiritual.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Yes, yes.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yeah.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: The burden of shame people have to carry is necessary. And if we could send somebody to the moon, why can't we make this our moonshot?
Dr. Maria Murray: Right.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: crosstalk we make this our moonshot together.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yep.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: This can be done.
Dr. Maria Murray: There's a wonderful group called The Learning Alliance in Florida that has a... They call it their moonshot moment, and they've been doing this work for a decade, building community support around their literacy efforts, and they are also a member of our wonderful coalition. So, they contribute beautifully to that. Everyone, if you have time today, jot down a video that I would love, love, love to have time to watch today, but we don't. I've watched it dozens and dozens of times. I used to always include it in my instruction when I was a professor. I think if you google San Diego Literacy Council Voices and Faces of Illiteracy, or just Voices and Faces should get you there, and click on Videos. Amazing job, interviewing a dozen or more adults who learned to read, but the angst, the tears. What was it like for you? Were there books in your home? And she's like," Books? We were lucky if we had furniture." And she did learn to read, and she said her tutor said," I'm proud of you," and she cries and says," No one ever said that to me before." So, what did that person as a child, what kind of stunting did it do to her very life? And we know better now, friends. We know better. Oh, thank you for attaching that. Thank you, Andrea.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Yeah, thank you.
Dr. Maria Murray: I mean, how can we know that and how can we have these tools and not immediately say," This is the law of the land, this should be the law of the land"?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: The driver for me, Maria, I think we have to remember our core values, and as educators, never get on the slippery slope away from them. And for me, my mom, who I talked to you about earlier this morning, she's the anchor for me because she was one of those kids who was highly mobile. She went to 14 different schools. She was navigating the war zone of poverty, struggling reader. And I think about the other little Bessies out there who if I don't stand on my breathing and literacy privilege and pay that forward as a moral ally, how dare I not fight for kids? The children in particular who are vulnerable because of... We talk about race, but we need to talk about class. COVID has really underscored the class divide.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Trying to learn to read online, and maybe my permanent housing is a hotel room with my other five siblings, and I'm supposed to learn to read. We got to be real about those dynamics. And just to do that, we've got to know how to get along and work through difficult conversations.
Dr. Maria Murray: Oh, shall we go there next?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Let's do it, sis.
Dr. Maria Murray: Okay. Let's turn this next slide, sis. There we go.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: All right.
Dr. Maria Murray: The theme of the day is purple, intensity. So, we have to ask ourselves this question. How will we show up to do this work, in what manner? The word prevention, intervention, consideration of all children, all the while keeping that view of equity straight in front of us. inaudible The coalition, we're getting to that part where I said this is going to be the culminating piece in the defining guide. So, thank you to all the people that said they joined today. I appreciate it, and everyone in the coalition appreciates it. Linda Diamond is in our chat. She's one of our coalition members and I'm sure others are. Please, if you're a coalition member, please say hello to the group, and all of their names are on our Facebook too, or not our Facebook, on our website. So, Tracy, let's explain how this code of ethics came about. You went on to Twitter and made use of social media to ask a question.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Right. One of the things that I'm observing that I've experienced particularly as a leader is that at times, adult ego gets in the way of best practice, and at times we may forget the why. And so, if we forget the why is about the children and not about being right, if we forget to remain curious about other people's perspectives. When I was growing up, my parents told me," Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." And that was a way of showing our going concern for my neighbor. The most powerful force in the universe is love which is an action word. It's our going concern. So, if we want to show up and understand to that other person's satisfaction, engage with them for what's best for children, what can we agree would be reasonable? And in the tweet where I asked the question and said," Don't we need a code of ethics?" Because social media is like the Wild, Wild West, Twitter and Facebook, right, Wild, Wild West. Well, we need to have some boundaries for adult behavior because adults need to get their stuff together for the sake of the kids. And it doesn't mean that we don't have powerful conversations. One of my favorite books is Brené Brown's Dare to Lead, highly recommend it because sometimes you have to have a rumble, but it needs to be a respectful rumble. And a wonderful, wonderful educational leader and professor responded and came up with several really great ideas around what that code of ethics could look like, and we need input from our wonderful educators out there who would say," Yeah, just like I signed onto the movement, I want to sign on to the code of ethics and help people show up for each other in a way that helps kids."
Dr. Maria Murray: I love it. I think we can name this wonderful professor, Dr. Nathan Clemens. We asked him, or you asked him that if we could use his code of ethics for now. This is a starting point. We don't know that it could change too much because it's that good. Why reinvent the wheel? So, here we have it, folks, and let's dig into this a little bit.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Let's tag team. You want to take the first one?
Dr. Maria Murray: Oh, I would love that, please.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Right.
Dr. Maria Murray: Oh, you take the first one, yeah.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Oh, okay. I'll take it. Fairly critique all evidence. Do your homework. I was over a Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, as you heard in the Houston Independent School District, and it's the seventh- largest district in the country. And unfortunately, sometimes I didn't know what I didn't know. Connecting with movements like this one will allow you to learn. Start with milk. Don't be too hard on yourself. It takes time to kind of soak all this information in, but let's be learners together. Critique evidence fairly. And for researchers, let's talk to each other, not just at each other because if our hope is that we see the translation of research to practice, if we can learn to talk to each other, it's going to accelerate that, becoming a reality for our stakeholders.
Dr. Maria Murray: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, striving to consider opposing views. Never blocking them out entirely because there's always a truth embedded in the opposing view, isn't there?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: There is, and maybe Twitter's not the best place to have those rumbles, right?
Dr. Maria Murray: Probably not.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Maybe we have a timeout symbol we come up with in our circle where we say," Okay, time out. We need to huddle." And then you huddle up with that person, try to understand to their satisfaction their perspective. You listen in to the others and see where we find common ground. And if we have to disagree, agreeably disagree, that's okay. But putting it out there and pouring fuel on the fire through social media, it's more about the fight. It's not about the kids.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yes. So, what should we also do when we build equity for all within the science of reading? How can we proceed and in what manner? Second one is seek clarification.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: That's right.
Dr. Maria Murray: And I'm going to read what Dr. Nathan Clemens suggests for this. Do not accept evidence without looking closely. If things are unclear or ambiguous, seek clarification. Ask the authors. This is so true. Ask the authors. Email them. Reach out," Can you explain this to me?" They love to know that someone's reading their work and it's not just going into the abyss of a university library. Researchers can be accessed through social media, LinkedIn, you name it, email address, you can find them easily. Take time to look at the studies presenters or program developers are citing and ask," Do these really support the claims?" If there's too much jargon in it, ask them to simplify. So, seek clarification, and when there are opposing views to those clarification pieces, keep digging.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: We had a great example of somebody who was brave enough to step into the arena. We crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: Mm-hmm(affirmative).
Dr. Tracy Weeden: I think we should acknowledge that person.
Dr. Maria Murray: Please. If you'd like, go ahead.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Oh, I thought you'd do it. crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: Yeah. We got an email from Dr. Nell Duke a few weeks ago. This is a prime example of reaching out for clarification and wanting to add something else to our work as A Defining Moment. So, yesterday, around this time, we had our Defining Movement meeting. She graciously joined us, was very gracious in saying all the things she loved about our definition, and then narrowed into one part that she thought we were too narrow in, and she was right. We're going to fix that one little part. That's fine. And so, that's the kind of example that can be set. So, our group was willing to listen. She was willing to approach, and a resolution was almost instantaneous.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: And you know what really impressed me, Maria? I have to acknowledge someone I really highly regard. That's Dr. Louisa Moats.
Dr. Maria Murray: Mm- hmm( affirmative).
Dr. Tracy Weeden: She is one of our research moms and she is one of the first people to step up to the plate and really listen, lean in. Iron sharpens iron if we allow it to. And so, we had inaudible come to the circle. We would not have had even a better Defining Movement because of her crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: Right.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: That was a great example for me about how to show up as a researcher, how to show up as a systems change agent, and listen, and hear, and receive. And then there were some things where we disagreed but we crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: Mm- hmm( affirmative).
Dr. Tracy Weeden: That was a beautiful example of what this could be, and it ties into number three, disagree respectfully. We don't have to attack the person.
Dr. Maria Murray: Exactly.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: crosstalk.
Dr. Maria Murray: And I like how, excuse me, Nathan, Dr. Nathan Clemens says strong scientific and practice communities are never in complete agreement on all issues. I know so many of us want that. We want the water to be smooth. We want everything to be just perfectly neat and in a box and settled, but that's not how science is. I mean, just think in the last decade or century what science of all kinds has found out. If there is ever complete agreement, something is wrong and suggests a trend toward dogma and fanaticism. Isn't that something?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: That's something inaudible reflect on.
Dr. Maria Murray: Science is actually strengthened and advanced through debate. Linnea Ehri's work came out of debate. We can go online. I hope someone can pull this up for the chat, a link to her keynote speech she gave when she was president of The Scientific Society of Reading. And her keynote was about how people were arguing with her, and she said," Fine, I'm going to set out to answer these questions." So, there have been some recent arguments from different groups in the Science of Reading on Facebook. We can't hide that fact. And some are saying," This is a priority," and some are saying," That's a priority." Well, we can find that out. Future science can settle these questions. And it's not something personal that we should... We should never feel this is personal.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: The time is flying, Maria. Oh my goodness.
Dr. Maria Murray: What's that?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: The time is flying.
Dr. Maria Murray: Oh no. Goodness, 11: 53. Well, then we're just going to have to... Okay, everyone, you better join The Defining Movement to get all the rest of the details of the rest of these but have courage to reconsider. You all can read the rest of these. Right?
Dr. Tracy Weeden: There's one that I want to speak to as someone who had to make decisions as a district leader. When you are determining what resources you want to use or systems, always think about sustainability, and that's number seven. There are great for- profits that are really about helping you bring about systemic change that lasts. And there are others, buyer beware. Be very careful. Listen into whether they want to stay in your pocket or they want to help you with progress. They're two very different things. And the other thing is that let's lean into the best practices. There are next practices and promising practices. We can share this code with more fleshed out in detail, but let's not stop giving kids the treatment they deserve because we're experimenting. They're not our little subjects we're experiencing on. Right? We know the best practice. If we're not giving them that, then that's really malpractice.
Dr. Maria Murray: That's fantastic. All right. So, let's go to the next slide. We got to touch on the resolution trinity, and give people a sense of what this part of The Defining Guide is going to be.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Right. When we have that opportunity to respectfully rumble, sometimes you're talking to somebody who can't solve the problem or help us understand. That's just glorified gossip. So, it's really crucial to go to the person closest to the discussion point and have that... Give them the respect of giving them the opportunity to clarify your understanding of what they're saying. Sometimes we're just talking at each other or to other people. So, this one's pretty straightforward, and it's just a matter of having the courage to tap into our values and give them that respect. So, that's step one. If there's something that's not cleared up in the air. Number two, at times you will need a mediator. Maybe you tried step one and it didn't work so then, can we find someone we both mutually respect to help facilitate dialogue. Can we stay curious about each other's perspective? There's not black and white. Sometimes we can get into this binary thinking, I'm right, you're wrong. There's a whole lot of gray at times. And that mediator can help us navigate that gray space until we understand more deeply to that person's satisfaction. inaudible and builds trust. And then we need to offer praise because guess what? We all make mistakes. Who's perfect? Nobody. If we allow that opportunity for mediation, it can be a real game- changer in building those relationships and trust which is the glue to moving things forward. And the last one is sometimes we have to give somebody an intellectual time out. It doesn't mean that you're silenced forever. No, it means we may have to let them know privately this is gasoline on fire here, and it's not helping anybody. So, let's take a little time out here, and let's circle back and see if we can have a follow- up discussion that's respectful and the intentions are directed towards serving children. So, our purpose and our why is so crucial. Where did the time go?
Dr. Maria Murray: I don't know. Someone stole it from us.
Susan Lambert: I did. I stole the time from you ladies. I'm back.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Hi.
Dr. Maria Murray: Thank you for bringing us back, and it's good to be back.
Susan Lambert: Can we go back to the previous slide just really quickly? I want to read those bottom two lines because our little images are sort of in the way of that. But what those bottom two lines are there aren't yet best practices... Wait. Wait, what is it now? Can you read those last two lines, Maria?
Dr. Maria Murray: Yes, yes, I'm happy to. It says if there aren't yet clear best practices, we will wait for next practices.
Susan Lambert: Okay. I'm going to say that again. While there aren't yet clear best practices, we'll wait for next practices. And then the next line is super powerful.
Dr. Maria Murray: Science will get us there. Patience in the midst of urgency.
Susan Lambert: These are just really two great quotes. So, I just wanted to reiterate those, and have you say them one more time. And Mel, you can go to the next slide where we can show contact information. First of all, thank you, ladies, for taking this time to have just a really open dialogue and transparent with all of the vulnerability, and modeling for all of us how to lean in and really be learning leaders. So, thank you so much for that. And I will tell you folks, when Maria said reach out, email these people that you have questions for, go directly to the source, they will answer your questions. And just this idea of going right to the source to get some clarity, to understand, the kids are worth it. The kids are worth it to make sure we understand and get all of our questions answered. So, I just want to say thank you, ladies, for spending time with us.
Dr. Maria Murray: It's been an honor. Yes.
Susan Lambert: And a reminder that this recording will be available for anybody to go back and relisten, which I'm sure you're going to want to because there was a lot in here. Links are going to be available to The Defining Movement. Make sure you get yourself signed up. And we're going to take a quick five- minute break, but then join us back for a crash course on stimulus funding, and what you'll need to do is just go to this upper left- hand corner. There's a schedule button up there, and you can just hit that in the corner, and it drops down and takes you right into the session. So, ladies, thanks again. It was such an honor.
Dr. Maria Murray: Thank you so much.
Susan Lambert: Bye, everyone.
Dr. Tracy Weeden: Goodbye.
Dr. Maria Murray: crosstalk
Learn more about the future of personalized learning and how to make the shift to tailored instruction for all students in your classroom and district. Certificates of attendance will be awarded.
Topics will include:
- The Science of Reading in personalized learning.
- What to look for in a personalized learning program.
- How to leverage COVID-19 relief stimulus funding to combat instructional loss.
“Students who can read well have a place at the table of opportunity, whether their aspirations lead them to preparation for college or the workforce.”