Kansas Dyslexia Recommendations

In November 2019, the Kansas State Board of Education approved the Kansas Dyslexia Recommendations developed by the Legislative Dyslexia Task Force Committee for pre-service teacher programs, professional learning, screening and evaluation, and evidence-based reading practices, as well as a definition of dyslexia. 

Even before these recommendations were approved, dyslexia has been a priority in teacher education at Wichita State. A candidate in each of the pre-service teacher education programs, specifically Elementary Education, Teacher Apprentice Program, English 6-12, High Incidence Special Education, High Incidence Alternative Licensure, and Reading Specialist Pre-K-12, have focused on preparing effective teachers who:

  1. Understand and can construct a learning environment focused on the essential elements of literacy instruction;
  2. Utilize structured literacy as the explicit and evidence-based approach to teaching literacy skills to all students and promote early intervention for students with characteristics of dyslexia; and
  3. Teach the science of reading, and utilize structured literacy practices.
What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.  Source, International Dyslexia Association 

Knowledge in the Science of Reading

The Dyslexia Task Force Committee recommendation states candidates for K-6 teaching licenses, English Language Arts endorsements, reading specialist teaching licenses, and special education teaching licenses pass an examination of their knowledge of the science of reading.

Elementary Education
Elementary Education Exam # Mean Score Range of Scores Pass Rate Required Cut Score State Pass Rate
2019-2020 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
      159  
2020-2021 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon 159 Coming Soon

* Learn more about this program: Elementary Education

 

Early Childhood Unified
Early Childhood Unified Exam # Mean Score Range of Scores Pass Rate Required Cut Score State Pass Rate
2019-2020 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
      159  
2020-2021 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon 159 Coming Soon

* Learn more about this program: Early Childhood Unified

Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education (TAP Program)
Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education (TAP Program) Exam # Mean Score Range of Scores Pass Rate Required Cut Score State Pass Rate
2019-2020 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
      159  
2020-2021 Results

7812

Elementary Education Reading and Language Arts CKT Subtest
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon 159 Coming Soon

* Learn more about this program: Teacher Apprentice Program

English 6-12

Testing specific to knowledge of the science of reading at the licensure level will begin in August 2024 pending Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) approval of an exam/assessment requirement.

* Learn more about this program: English 6-12

High Incidence Special Education

Testing specific to knowledge of the science of reading at the licensure level will begin in August 2024 pending Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) approval of an exam/assessment requirement.

Learn more about these programs:

* High Incidence Special Education

* High Incidence Alternative Licensure

Reading Specialist Pre-K-12
Reading Specialist Exam # Mean Score Range of Scores Pass Rate Required Cut Score State Pass Rate
2019-2020 Results

5302

Reading Specialist
      165  
2020-2021 Results

5302

Reading Specialist
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon 165 Coming Soon

* Learn more about this program: Reading Specialist Pre-K-12

Professional Development and Scholarship of Wichita State Faculty

Wichita State has invested funding to support faculty members to regularly attend professional conferences and engage in professional study on dyslexia and related reading disorders and include content from the National Reading Panel report, the International Literacy Association, and the Council for Exceptional Children. Faculty have also completed professional readings including works such as Kilpatrick’s Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties and Essentials of Dyslexia. Faculty have utilized this professional learning and have engaged students in expanded conversations on these concepts.

In addition, several faculty members have completed the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) professional development and facilitator trainings. The LETRS program, which is an International Dyslexia Association’s accredited program, is designed to strengthen approaches of the fundamentals of reading instruction—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and language.

 

The Wichita State faculty have conducted planning sessions for the implementation of the science of reading into curricular and program enhancements based on professional expertise and insights gained in the aforementioned professional engagement activities.

 

Additionally, faculty have conducted on-going research and scholarship centering on dyslexia and the science of reading.

Curricular Enhancements

Faculty at Wichita State regularly review courses for the targeted teacher preparation programs (Elementary Education, English/Language Arts 6-12, High Incidence Special Education, and Reading Specialist) regarding dyslexia and the Science of reading. These reviews are focused on ensuring the current elements of dyslexia instruction embedded in each course and program meet the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading as determined by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) as well as add any additional curricular elements related to dyslexia instruction needed. These reviews also focus on the central beliefs from structured literacy, and ensuring all components are introduced and fully applied in each of the above-named programs.

These regular reviews also allow faculty in the targeted programs to review course syllabi and ensure they are in alignment to the IDA standards as well as focusing on central teaching principles: explicit instruction, diagnostic teaching, being systemic and cumulative – and these six elements: phonology, sound-symbol, syllables, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

This commitment extends to the on-going cycle of improvement which is core to the programs in higher education and an expectation of our accreditation standards.

In addition to revising course syllabi to ensure alignment to the IDA Standards, courses are reviewed and revised to ensure inclusion of Science of reading and dyslexia focused activities, resources, and experiences. Each of the targeted teacher preparation programs include courses with this content.  Programs of study for the various majors include literacy courses, each of which have been aligned to the dyslexia standards. For example, the Reading Specialist program, a rigorous 18-hour graduate level (endorsement) program incorporates research-based practices for diverse reading profiles, including dyslexia, through program planning to promote literacy development; assessment; and structured literacy instruction. At the undergraduate level, the Elementary Education program includes 3 courses specific to developing candidates’ knowledge of literacy assessment, acquisition, and development in typical and atypical learners.