Rise & Shine: Parents of students with dyslexia push for more screening, more training

Good morning!

Welcome to another Friday edition of Rise & Shine.

Community members usually get three minutes to speak their piece at public meetings in Colorado, but sometimes, for the elected officials listening, that's three minutes too many. Earlier this week, the Adams 14 school board told a leading critic of the district that his comments were out of order and had a police officer escort him from the room. Yesenia's story below includes video of the incident and comments on how this fits into a broader discussion about community engagement in the long-struggling suburban district.

We've also got the second in our series of searchable databases that look at how well schools are serving disadvantaged students. We're using growth scores rather than achievement data because many experts consider them a better measure of how good a job schools are doing, regardless of where a student started the year. This database focuses on students with special needs.

Plus, America's richest man promises a huge investment in preschool, parents of students with dyslexia call for more training for teachers and more screening for students, and analysts find that stagnant pay for teachers has deep roots.

Read on.

– Erica Meltzer, bureau chief


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

OUT OF ORDER Police escorted the head of the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education from an Adams 14 board meeting this week after the school board president said his comments represented a personal attack. The board’s attempts to regulate public participation in its meetings have prompted discussion among board members and others and raised questions about how the district engages with the community. Chalkbeat

DATABASE Students with special needs historically underperform the general student population on state tests. However, advocates say that with the right help, students with non-cognitive disabilities should be just as likely to score as well as their peers. Our database lets you compare the growth scores for students with and without disabilities between schools and against state and district averages. Growth scores measure how much students learned year-over-year compared to their peers. Chalkbeat

This is the second in a series of three such databases. You can see how well schools are serving students living in poverty in our first database. Chalkbeat

ARGUING IMPACT What sort of effect did the Obama administration’s School Improvement Grants have on performance? A previous study, seized upon by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, found no evidence the multibillion program did anything. A new study, by more sympathetic authors, takes issue with those findings. Chalkbeat

PHILANTHROPY Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man alive, asked his Twitter followers how he should spend his money. Two answers stood out: preschool and homelessness. Bezos announced Thursday a new $2 billion initiative, one of whose goals will be to open Montessori-inspired preschools in low-income communities. Chalkbeat

READING RAINBOW Parents of students with dyslexia say that too many Colorado teachers don’t have the training to recognize signs of dyslexia in children who are struggling to read. That leads to delayed diagnoses, years of lost learning, and even thoughts of self-harm in children who feel like they’ll just never get this basic task. They’re pushing for more screening and more awareness so that kids get help early. Colorado Public Radio

NO THANKS The St. Vrain Valley district turned down a request from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to have school resource officers store rifles inside some schools. Daily Camera

BILLS COMING DUE  Teachers suffer from more wage stagnation than most professions, and the competitiveness of their salaries, relative to other professions that require a college degree, is worse too. Experts see this downward trend as decades in the making, rooted in sexism and fiscal austerity. Time