1 in 5

Today is a national Show me 1 in 5 movement to raise awareness for the magnitude of people dealing with Dyslexia.

This is my son. He is smart. He has a brilliant object photographic memory. He has a high IQ. He is Dyslexic.

Gaining exposure is critical. In North Carolina (as in other states as well) Read To Achieve laws have taken over our school systems and mandated that ALL third graders must read on or above third grade level and pass the EOG to be promoted to fourth grade. Sounds like it should be that way, right? We want our kids to learn as they should and not be lazy.

But unfortunately we have 1 in 5 kids who are Dyslexic and will not be able to read at third grade reading level. They can read, but they are progressing at their own pace and learning as their brains allow. It takes time.

Just as some babies walk at 9 months, others walk at 15 months. But they both eventually walk.

Our government is not even raising an eyebrow to our 1 in 5. They expect them to take the EOG test, even though they are on an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) that allows them the accommodations they need to prove their knowledge in the classroom. That is stripped away from them when they sit down at a desk and place the EOG in front of them. This EOG which is filled with words they are supposed to read but words which haven’t made it yet in their IEP plan. A child working hard and making it to reading level K when the EOG is using words at reading level P.

Even though most all Dyslexic students have higher than average IQ’s and have brilliant critical reasoning skills, they will fail this test because in order to answer the questions they must read the questions. If someone called the questions out to them…they would nail it.

Do you want to know what will happen when these third graders fail the EOG? They will be required to attend a mandated 6 weeks of summer school and then take the EOG again. If parents refuse summer school, their child will be retained and have to repeat third grade. No exceptions. If parents agree to summer school and their child fails the EOG again after summer classes, the student will be placed in a special class within the school system for fourth grade called third/fourth grade with “retained” documented in their file.

I am just simply blown away that our government spent all the time coming up with a way to raise the bar and push our students up to a higher level of academic success so we will rate better in the national average. And I am here, just an average mom, shaking my head and telling them they are making a huge mistake.

NC received a 400 million dollar grant because they were the first to agree to the new Read To Achieve program for our students. We have a bunch of law makers coming up with “plans” for our kids and completely overlooking the vast number of students who have Autism, ADHD, and Dyslexia.  All smart kids who will all fail.

As a mother of a 7 year old Dyslexic child, I feel so much frustration over this. How can this be happening? Why can’t our education system have a two tiered approach to testing our children? One test for children capable of learning and passing. And then an alternative way of testing for our children with learning disabilities.

It is proven that failing a child with Dyslexia does more damage than good.

I guess our government missed that paragraph when deciding what all our children need to do to meet their standards.