Thursday, September 5, 2019

"He that loves reading has everything within his reach." William Godwin

Glad Readers 

The Pittsburgh Public School District recently released numbers for reading scores that show the district 3rd graders ability to read has fallen dramatically.  According to the article, students who can't read proficiently by grade 3 are four times less likely to graduate, and the overall life outcome is lower than the norm. Although the district has spent millions on Ed Tech, scores have gone from 11.7% non proficient to 17.9% non proficient. Even more alarming - 62% of African American students are NOT proficient in reading.

Several years ago, a panel of teachers recommended that a specific reading program called Ready Gen NOT be purchased for the school district to use.  The superintendent ignored the recommendation and purchased it anyway.  Teachers say the program lacks a phonics base.  They don't like it, and students are clearly not benefiting from it.

Reading is so fundamental - it is the one skill every student must have to be successful.  Clearly, the teachers are trying, but the program is not working.

This story should shout a clear message to superintendents.  LISTEN to your teacher advisory boards.  The teachers are the ones in the classroom every day, and their voices should lead your way.

I am not sure what will happen in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, but I worry for those children, and for their leadership at the top. 

Here is a link to the story:

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  and a company called GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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