Regarding the Aug. 8 story, "Christie signs 2 dyslexia education bills":

Training teachers to identify and help remedy dyslexia is a fine idea. Using the International Dyslexia Association's narrow definition of dyslexia is not. Doing so will likely exclude many students from getting the help they need.

The current learning disabilities classification is sufficient if New Jersey begins to require that state-certified reading specialists evaluate and instruct students who may suffer from dyslexia.

Providing a specific certificate for teachers of students with dyslexia is also a poor idea. Given the IDA's narrow definition of dyslexia, many such teachers will get narrow training, insufficient to help many struggling readers.

One simple but critical fact is missing from all of the noise and ideology about dyslexia: A compelling body of research has yet to demonstrate the superiority of any one method for overcoming dyslexia. No method has the power of penicillin, despite all kinds of success stories. Until research directly supports specific methods, let's have state-certified reading specialists use their knowledge and skill to help these kids. We've yet to adequately use this powerful resource.



Howard Margolis is a professor emeritus of reading disabilities and special education at the City University of New York.

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