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Morning Brief: California’s Dyslexia Response, LAUSD Drops Weekly COVID Testing, Farewell Vin Scully

A graphic of a brain and pieces of the brain surrounding it with three wavelengths going across the picture.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the U.S.
(Alborz Kamalizad/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Wednesday, August 3.

Welcome to class, everyone!

As you already know, I have a huge soft spot for the little ones as a former teacher. And if you’ve been following along these past few weeks, you’ve read my previews on the education team’s dyslexia series. Today, the first story is fresh off the press.

My colleagues Adriana Pera and Jill Replogle explain what dyslexia is and how it impacts people who have it. These two all-star reporters also go in-depth behind California’s slow and tentative approach to a comprehensive program for students who have dyslexia. 

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Dyslexia is the nation’s most common learning disability. The thing is, experts believe that with proper interventions and instruction students can conquer academic barriers and go head-to-toe with their peers.

How do we get there? Adriana and Jill ask several questions that fall under that big, looming question and highlight what the state, advocacy groups, educators and parents are doing.

When we zoom into California policies, we see that our state is lacking. Lori DePole, the state co-director of Decoding Dyslexia CA, says what the state employs is a “wait-to-fail approach.”

Forty U.S. states have laws that mandate screening for dyslexia, according to the National Center on Improving Literacy. 

California is NOT one of them. 

There are guidelines for educators and parents who want to help students with dyslexia. But as Adriana and Jill report, schools don’t have to follow those guidelines. There’s no requirement.

There’s one quote that really stood out to me and it’s from one of YOU.

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Ingrid Calame was one of over 200 respondents who responded to queries asking for people’s stories. She says:

"This is a system that greatly privileges wealth, class, education, English as a first language, race, gender .. everyone we have worked with is well meaning ... the system that they are working in is very broken." 

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There is so much more to come on this issue, but start here with Jill and Adriana’s informative explainer.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go...Remember "Oscars So White"?

Academy Goes To .jpg

I will never forget the 2015 Academy Awards. All of the acting nominations went to white actors. April Reign, then a campaign finance lawyer, tweeted about this discrepancy and included the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. It blew up and the rest became history. 

Listen to episode 9 of The Academy Museum Podcast form LAist Studios. You’ll hear from Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the former president of the academy; writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin, who co-produced the 2016 Oscars, and April Reign, now the Senior Advisor for Entertainment and Media at Gauge as they discuss the evolution of the hashtag and the movement that developed along with it.

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