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Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia Task Force Holds First Meeting



October 23, 2018
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - The first official meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia authorized by the Alaska Legislature through House Bill 64 last session was held yesterday.  The twelve-member task force met to study the latest research on how children learn to read and look at ways to effectively put this knowledge into practice.

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Approximately 47,000 students in Alaska did not meet state standards in 2015, leaving them insufficiently prepared for the challenges of the future. However, new research shows that even children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties can become excellent readers with the right approach to learning.

“The work of the task force will help us identify and promote the most effective learning techniques needed to improve reading scores for all students,”  said task force chair  Rep. Harriet Drummond  (D-Anchorage).

The task force will examine the effects of current Alaska statutes on reading proficiency and dyslexia, as well as researching practices in other jurisdictions. The task force will make recommendations to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and education of children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties in Alaska. The task force’s final report is to be submitted by March 29 of next year.

The 12-member task force is made up of three members of the Alaska House of Representatives, three members of the Alaska State Senate, and six members of the public representing teachers, parents, students, administrators and nonprofit organizations.

The first meeting was teleconferenced with presentations by Posie Boggs, IDA Alaska, Alaska Reading Coalition; Dr. Donna Dearman, Mat Su School District; and Camille Booth of Ketchikan.

Members of the task force are:

Diane B Orr (Active or Retired Teacher) - Public Member
Norm Wooten (Association of School Boards) - Public Member
Kim Bautista (Council of School Admin. or Assn. of Elem. School Principals) - Public Member
Camille Booth (Nonprofit organization) - Public Member
Marta Lastufka (Parent) - Public Member
Ambrose Bucy (Student) - Public Member
Rep. Harriet Drummond - Chair
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz - Member
Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonare - Member
Sen. Cathy Giessel - Member
Sen. Gary Stevens - Member
Sen. Tom Begich - Member

The next meeting is scheduled for October 31st at 1:00 PM in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office and will be streamed live on


On the Web:

Task Force On Reading Prof & Dyslexia - Schedule - Documents

Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska House Majority Coalition - Office of Rep. Harriet Drummond


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