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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-56
August 21, 2017
Contact: Robert Oakes
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New State Guidelines to Improve Services for Students with Dyslexia

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) posted new online guidelines to assist teachers and parents in identifying students with dyslexia and to plan, provide, evaluate, and improve education services.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.

The Legislature two years ago passed AB 1369, which required CDE to consult with a stakeholder group of teachers, school administrators, education professionals, medical professionals, parents, and others involved in educating students with dyslexia. The bill also required CDE to post the new guidelines on the Department’s Web site for the 2017-18 school year.

“I want to thank all the dedicated people who came together and worked hard to produce the guidelines that will help identify students with dyslexia, evaluate their individual needs, and improve educational services,” Torlakson said. “The ability to read is a fundamental skill in modern society. Yet for people with dyslexia, this ability can be frustratingly out of reach.”

The goal of the California Dyslexia Guidelines is to provide practical information and resources for identifying and supporting students who may have dyslexia.

The expert group met for more than a year to assist CDE in the development of the guidelines, which are available with other information on this CDE Web page.

These new guidelines are also part of a broader effort by CDE to increase literacy skills for all California students through supporting struggling readers. In 2015 CDE published the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (ELA/ELD Framework). The ELA/ELD Framework supports students with a wide range of language development needs.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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