Petition: Support Every Child’s Right to Read
We call on the Government of Ontario to implement an evidenced-based literacy curriculum that is aligned with the science of reading and with the recommendations laid out by the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Right to Read Inquiry. OHRC Right to Read Executive Summary and Key Recommendations
The OHRC’s Right to Read report has highlighted the flaws in reading instruction in Ontario schools which currently specify that students are taught to read using ineffective and discredited guessing strategies known as 3-cueing or Balanced Literacy. Ontario’s current approach to literacy instruction has led to the following outcomes in Ontario:
In Grade 3 – 30% of students fail to meet provincial reading standards
In Grade 10 – 40% of students fail to meet provincial literacy standards
In post-secondary – 33% of students have below expected literacy skills
It has long been said that students “learn to read and then read to learn.” Difficulties in reading affects all areas of learning. It also negatively impacts student mental health, and it has been associated with limited educational and life opportunities, higher rates of suicide and higher rates of incarceration.
But we know that 95% of students can learn to read and meet grade level expectations when instruction is aligned with the science of reading – which includes explicit and systematic instruction in the foundational skills required for reading including: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Solving this issue is possible. It will have wide ranging positive impacts for Ontario students, teachers and our province by addressing current educational inequities, reducing stigma and breaking cycles of poverty.
It is time to remove the use of cueing systems for word reading and implement evidenced-based literacy instruction in Ontario schools. The time for change in Ontario schools is now!