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Byline: Terri Hardy Daily News Staff Writer

In response to plummeting reading test scores and public outrage, the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  County Office of Education will launch a new reading program today that targets more than a half-million students, teachers and administrators in the county's public schools.

The goal of the five-year plan Five-Year Plan, Soviet economic practice of planning to augment agricultural and industrial output by designated quotas for a limited period of usually five years. , ``Reading: Basic to Success,'' is, in fact, basic: to have every child who enters fourth grade in 2001 able to read at that grade level.

``Test scores were falling. It became a public issue. Something had to be done,'' said Celia Ayala, creator of the program and director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the county's Office of Education.

The problem, Ayala said, is that many schools have never had a comprehensive reading program.

``There haven't been many requirements. Schools could just say, `This is my program' - and that was that,'' said Ayala.

Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Donald W. Ingwerson will introduce the program today at a meeting of U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley Richard Wilson Riley (born January 2, 1933), American politician, was the United States Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton as well as the Governor of South Carolina, as a member of the Democratic Party.  with state and local education leaders in the Los Angeles Central Library.

``By bringing together all partners,'' Ingwerson said, ``we can collectively work to improve reading achievement in Los Angeles County.''

County officials contend that the reading plan was developed in collaboration with educators, parent groups and business leaders. But some education leaders within the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population.  say they were left out of the process.

Among those who say they were not consulted are Rachel Shavick and the rest of the 31st District Parent Teacher Student Association. The organization has 44,000 members in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.

``It's very short-sighted,'' said Shavick, spokeswoman for the group. ``They just don't seem to get it. Our input is very valuable.''

Also skipped over were leaders from the district's largest reform program, the Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now, said Mike Roos, LEARN's president and chief executive officer.

``When you're the largest reform effort going on in the city, it would seem that some contact with us would have been appropriate,'' Roos said.

Roos said he backs the goal of improving reading with more resources.

``It's smart money,'' he said. ``Study after study shows that learning reading skills early leads to academic success through life.''

The $2.5 million plan will help elementary schools elementary school: see school.  formulate programs that meet new state and federal goals to improve literacy, with the county offering training and support to principals, teachers and parents.

Back-to-basics phonics phonics

Method of reading instruction that breaks language down into its simplest components. Children learn the sounds of individual letters first, then the sounds of letters in combination and in simple words.
, grammar and spelling will be key components of a child's reading education. But schools still will include some of the previously favored literature-based instruction, Ayala said.

The program also will provide lectures for 2,400 parents on how to tutor children in reading at home. Principals, board members and reading specialists will be able to attend sessions on how to improve reading in their districts, and eight reading resource teachers will be available to visit school sites and offer tips and support.

Amy McKenna, assistant superintendent Assistant Superintendent, or Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was a rank used by police forces in the British Empire. It was usually the lowest rank that could be held by a European officer, most of whom joined the police at this rank.  for instruction in the Los Angeles Unified School District, acknowledged that past reading programs have been inadequate.

``Reading programs were governed by the textbook the school chose. Training was given by publishers of a text,'' McKenna said. ``This initiative forces us to look critically at what it means to develop a literate person.''

Shavick, spokeswoman for the 31st District PTSA PTSA Parent Teacher Student Association
PTSA P-Toluenesulfonic Acid
PTSA Prevention Through Service Alliance
PTSA Petroleum Transportation and Storage Association
PTSA Pre-Task Safety Analysis
, said there's a lot of frustration among the parents in the Valley over the school district's failure to help Johnny read.

``Kids aren't learning to read. They're not prepared to go out into the workplace. If they can't make changes, more and more parents are going to go to private schools,'' Shavick said.

In 1992 California ranked 40th of 43 states in its students' reading scores on the National Assessment Educational Progress test, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 county education officials. When the test was given again in 1994, California placed 40th of 41 states in which students took the test.

In 1995, a state task force called for widespread changes in instruction and urged that reading be given the highest priority and more resources in California schools. That same year the Legislature required the state Board of Education to ensure that instructional materials stress phonics, spelling and basic computation. Gov. Pete Wilson For others named Pete Wilson, see .
Peter Barton Wilson (born August 23, 1933) is an American Republican politician from California. Wilson served as the thirty-sixth Governor of California (1991–1999), the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that
 then allocated $200 million this year for back-to-basics textbooks, teacher training and testing.

And for the first time, the state Legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.

The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
 has mandated that the state Board of Education set down exactly what students should be learning in all subjects at each grade level.

``We've never had a set of legal standards for education,'' said Dan Edwards Dan Edwards may be one of the following:
  • Dan Edwards (designer)
  • Dan Edwards (football)
  • Dan Edwards (MIT) administrator of the AI Lab at MIT
  • Dan Edwards (politician)
  • Dan Edwards (priest, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Nevada)
, spokesman for the governor's Office of Child Development and Education.

Although state money is starting to flow into school district's for reading instruction, the LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)  - the largest school district in the state and the second-largest in the nation - is still unable to set up enough workshops to train all its teachers.

``That's why the county's initiative is so important. We need all the help we can get,'' McKenna said.

By August 1997, the state will require districts to offer reading training to 90 percent of its kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be  through third-grade teachers.

McKenna said the training is especially crucial now, when districts are hiring thousands of new teachers - many without credentials CREDENTIALS, international law. The instruments which authorize and establish a public minister in his character with the state or prince to whom they are addressed. If the state or prince receive the minister, he can be received only in the quality attributed to him in his credentials.  yet - to staff the additional classes created through the state's program to reduce the number of students per teacher in primary grades.

``We have to have experienced teachers in the primary classrooms who know how to teach kids how to read,'' McKenna said. ``We don't have that in some cases. Hopefully, this training will have an impact.''

Ayala agrees: ``Unless teachers understand the reading process, they can't teach it.''

Ayala hopes that 30 percent of the county's districts will have a reading plan by June. But she admits that turning around students' poor reading scores won't be easy.

``Change is hard. It takes time,'' she said.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Nov 22, 1996

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