To Dr. Dexter Suggs and the LRSD Board:
We, the undersigned, are summarily opposed to ending the Reading Recovery program in the Little Rock School District. For the following reasons, we urge the superintendent and board to continue and expand the current Reading Recovery program.
First, ending this successful program directly violates the first, second, fourth, and fifth “cultural imperatives” in the NEW Little Rock School District. If you are serious about these imperatives, then please provide leadership in following them. If you are not serious about these imperatives, then please stop referring to them.
If Reading Recovery is discontinued, the first imperative, “Children come first!,” will be flouted in favor of specious, short-term financial savings.
The second imperative states, “All employees are accountable for student achievement that meets or exceeds state standards.” The employees who are primarily accountable are teachers. They know what works best, and they overwhelmingly support the Reading Recovery program for helping their students meet state standards.
If “student success is the only option,” the fourth imperative, then a proven program with strong teacher support will be expanded, not cut. In particular, the one-on-one instruction provides our students with the attention and focus they need to catch up to their peers.
Likewise, LRSD’s Reading Recovery specialists have an impressive record of discovering and nurturing potential, the fifth imperative. Teachers are much more likely to discover and nurture potential when each student has their undivided attention.
Second, research confirms that Reading Recovery works. The Reading Recovery program is “the world’s most widely researched intervention for young children having extreme difficulty with early literacy learning,” according to UALR. The U. S. Department of Education found Reading Recovery “to have positive effects on general reading achievement and potentially positive effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and comprehension for beginning readers.”
We believe the choice is clear. The LRSD should keep and expand Reading Recovery.