Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Chalkbeat Colorado

 Chalkbeat Colorado is a nonprofit news organization reporting on education in Denver and the surrounding area. (From the internet.)

Early this month a zoom meeting by community@chalkbeat.org was announced on Twitter on the following topic.

Reading matters: Learn about literacy instruction in Denver schools and how to support students.


I registered for the Zoom meeting and I received a reading list prior to the meeting.


I read all the links supplied in the reading lists and prior to the meeting sent an email asking a few questions related to the links.


Neither the panelists nor Chalkbeat responded to the questions. It makes me wonder what was the purpose of the Zoom meeting which did not discuss anything new.


Here is my email I sent to Chalkbeat one day prior to the Zoom meeting.

Dear Sir,

I have a few questions for your panel to address tomorrow.


Here are extracts of a link you sent and my comments/ questions.




Experts estimate that dyslexia affects 5% to 15% of the population. In Colorado, that could be more than 100,000 school-age children.


My comment/ question:


Researchers have said for more than 20 years that a majority of these kids classified as dyslexic are in fact instructional casualties (Instructional casualties- a word coined by Dr. Reid Lyon).


Do you know what has been instructed wrongly that can now be corrected?



Dyslexia is a learning disability that impairs reading. People with dyslexia have difficulty identifying speech sounds, decoding words, and spelling them.


My comment/ questions:

This is what has been said for decades and is erroneous.


1. What proof do you have to say that ‘dyslexics’ have difficulty identifying speech sounds?


2. Are we talking about 10% or 1% of the population?



In Denver, parents for years have asked the district for two things: A better way to screen students for dyslexia and the use of science-based methods to teach reading.


My comment/questions:


1. How are students screened now?


2. What better way to screen is available?


3. What are scientific-based methods of reading?



In September 2019, Nicole Wallerstedt told the school board about her daughter Finley. The year before, Finley had fallen off “the third-grade cliff,” her mother said. Third grade is when many students shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Finley fell behind.


“Imagine how different it would have been for Finley if she got screening out of kindergarten and [her dyslexia was] caught early,” Wallerstedt said. “It would have taken the shame away from it. It would have given a plan. There would have been no stigma.


“And there hopefully would have been no third-grade cliff to fall off of.”


My comment/question:

How do you intend to prevent 3rd grade cliff fall off?


Thank you and kind regards,

Luqman Michel


At the Zoom meeting I asked the following question:


I sent some questions yesterday but have not heard if the questions were received.


I did not receive any response to my email nor my question on the Q&A board.


It would appear that not a single person at chalkbeat.org is keen on reducing illiteracy. This is what we in Malaysia call ‘wayang kulit’ – shadow play. These Zoom meetings are for public consumption and nothing more.

Here is a response to an email I sent on March 2020.


Ann Schimke <aschimke@chalkbeat.org>
To:luqman michel
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 at 00:38

Thanks Luqman! I will look at those articles! 

I did not hear from her after that. 




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