Update from ILA on COVID-19: We are committed to keeping you informed of all the latest developments, including the impact on the ILA 2020 Conference in Columbus, OH, and how ILA is helping educators during this period. Let us know what support you need and stay engaged using these free resources.

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    International Literacy Association Seeks Nominations For Next 30 Under 30 List

    By ILA Staff
     | Apr 02, 2020

    30 Under 30 logo
    The International Literacy Association (ILA) is accepting nominations for its next list of 30 Under 30 literacy leaders. Launched in 2015, the program recognizes young innovators, disruptors, and visionaries whose work is helping to shape the future of literacy education and advocacy.

    Previous honorees include Allister Chang, founder of Civic Suds and former executive director of Libraries Without Borders; Gerald Dessus, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based social justice educator; Marley Dias, founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks; and Francis Jim Tuscano, edtech coach at Xavier School in the Philippines and founder of the Online Global Innovation Camp.

    “At ILA, we are committed to investing in emerging leaders,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We share their stories because they demonstrate the impact this next generation has on the future of literacy and literacy instruction across the world.”

    Nominations are open to all whose work impacts the literacy landscape—including classroom educators, administrators, librarians, preservice teachers, nonprofit founders, volunteers, and more—who are under 30 years old (as of March 1, 2021) and are making outstanding contributions to the field.

    The 30 Under 30 Nomination Form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 1, 2020.

    The next 30 Under 30 class will be featured in the January/February 2021 issue of Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine, and across ILA’s platforms. Each honoree will receive a complimentary ILA membership, be recognized at an ILA conference, and join a dynamic network of champions who are connected by their shared vision of advancing literacy for everyone, everywhere.

    Find more information about the program, including past honorees, on our 30 Under 30 website.

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    ILA 2020 Board Election Opens

    By ILA Staff
     | Mar 30, 2020

    BoardElection_w300The International Literacy Association (ILA) has commenced its annual election for its Board of Directors. Eligible ILA members are encouraged to vote for three at-large candidates and one vice president candidate. You can read about the candidates here.

    The ILA 2020 Board Election will be conducted entirely online. Individual ILA members with an active membership and a valid email address will receive email reminders with a link to the online ballot. Eligible ILA members who do not have valid email addresses will receive instructions by mail for how they can vote online.

    If you haven’t received your email ballot, please confirm your membership is in good standing and that the email address connected to your membership is accurate by signing into your membership account or by phoning ILA’s Constituent Services Team at 800.336.7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 302.731.1600 (all other countries). 

    For assistance signing into your ILA membership account, please contact Keith Wier, account manager for Intelliscan, kweir@intelliscaninc.com.

    The newly elected Board members will begin their terms on July 1, 2020.


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    COVID-19: What ILA Is Doing to Support Educators During This Time of Disruption

    By Marcie Craig Post
     | Mar 23, 2020

    Marcie Craig Post headshotThere’s no way to know at this time how lasting an impact the coronavirus outbreak will have on our lives, let alone our classrooms. More and more schools across the globe are closing their buildings to help slow the spread of the virus. To minimize the disruption to education, many institutions are transitioning to virtual learning environments.

    This makes sense, in theory. But as those in the education community know all too well, lack of equipment and/or access introduce a fresh new set of challenges. The same can be said for teachers asked to make the move to online learning without formal training or practice.

    On behalf of the International Literacy Association (ILA), I want to let you know that we are here to support you in any way possible. As a first step, we are creating a series of virtual professional learning events that will be open and free to all—both members and nonmembers.

    The first, Edcamp Online, will take place April 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. Our goal is to create a space where educators can connect in real time, on a level deeper than even Twitter or Facebook Live can provide. Social isolation may be necessary, but it’s also linked to adverse health consequences. We’re hoping this will, in some small way, help combat that.

    We’re also increasing the number of free resources available. The most significant of these: We’re reopening access to select sessions from the ILA 2019 Conference. Beginning April 1, you’ll once again be able to learn from Pedro Noguera, David Kirkland, Tricia Ebarvia, Donalyn Miller, and more.

    On a separate note: We’ve received a few inquiries regarding the ILA 2020 Conference, which takes place in Columbus, OH, October 15–18, 2020. As of today, we are proceeding with the conference as planned.

    Rest assured that the health and safety of our participants is our primary concern. We are in daily communication with key officials regarding the latest developments of the virus, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the city of Columbus, and we will continue to follow and implement the government-recommended health and safety guidelines for planning the event and conference operations.

    Earlier this month, we made the decision to close our headquarters office in Newark, DE, and we have asked staff to work remotely until further notice. But operations continue, and we will continue to develop new avenues of support.

    I also want to encourage you to share with us the work you’re doing in your schools and communities by sending an email to social@reading.org. We are eager to celebrate the extraordinary ways in which you’re responding to what is a most extraordinary situation.

    From all of us at ILA: Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay in touch.

    Marcie Craig Post is the executive director of the International Literacy Association.

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    P. David Pearson Remembers Kenneth S. Goodman

    By P. David Pearson
     | Mar 23, 2020
    Kenneth Goodman headshot

    On March 12, ILA past president Kenneth S. Goodman passed away peacefully at home. Goodman was without question one of the most influential scholars in the field of literacy education. In this series of posts, several of Goodman’s colleagues reflect on the indelible impact of his work and his life.

    When I received the email from my colleague Patty Anders letting me know that Ken had died, my heart stopped. We knew this day would come eventually, but when it did, it seemed surreal to me. Hard for me to imagine the field of literacy and reading research without Ken. Hard to imagine the world without him.

    We agreed on a lot of issues about literacy research and practice but not everything. Unlike modern political discourse, our points of difference prompted deeper conversations and more reading, not an exit from the room. If I had to argue a point, I wanted to do it with Ken because I always left the conversation richer for the interaction: I always learned something new. Differences aside, one thing we always agreed on was policy—and how important it is—to support teacher knowledge and prerogative, not mandated curriculum or assessments, as the primary tools for shaping the ways we support student learning.

    I knew Ken though his research before I met him in person. But I’ll never forget the first time I heard him talk. It was about 1970, at a pre-convention institute hosted by the Psycholinguistics and Reading committee of the International Reading Association (IRA), and I heard him give the oral version of Reading: A Psycholinguistic Guessing Game. I knew then that the old model of reading as the sum total of an assembly line of skills was doomed, and the behavioristic reading theory apple cart I had inherited from early grad student days was crushed—for good!

    We became friends, making sure to meet at every IRA and National Council of Teachers of English meeting. Ken and his wife, Yetta, became mentors, offering advice (what kinds of research to do), consolation (in response to an all too frequent string of manuscript rejections in those early days), and community (an invitation into their expanding cadre of scholars committed to applying theory and research to student learning, teacher learning, and teacher education).

    The day before Ken died, Patty Anders told me that she was going out to see Ken and Yetta and the family. I asked her to tell him, if the opportunity arose, that he has always been, still is, and will always be my literacy hero—my model of what it means to be a scholar of both theory and practice. Ken died before Patty was able to make that visit. I think, I hope, Ken knew how I felt about him.

    Ken was a model, a mentor, a colleague, a friend. Miss him forever. Remember him even longer.

    P. David Pearson is an emeritus faculty member in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as Dean from 2001–2010.

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    James V. Hoffman Remembers Kenneth S. Goodman

    By James V. Hoffman
     | Mar 18, 2020

    Kenneth S. Goodman headshot
    On March 12, ILA past president Kenneth S. Goodman passed away peacefully at home. Goodman was without question one of the most influential scholars in the field of literacy education. In this series of posts, several of Goodman’s colleagues reflect on the indelible impact of his work and his life.

    Ken Goodman’s legacy as a literacy scholar is a treasure that future generations will continue to mine for the wisdom, the character, and the moral purpose it represents.

    Ken has been a centering force in our professional community for over 50 years. To be in his presence was at the same time awe inspiring and comforting. In his absence we are compelled to push forward with courage and commitment along the path that he has marked for us.

    If there were a 23andMe test for academic lineage, I would flow 100% Ken Goodman. My major professor was Dave Allen—a self-described “original miscueteer” who studied with Ken in the same cohort as Bill Page, Carolyn Burke, and other renowned literacy educators. I think this mentoring experience qualified me as Ken’s academic grandson. (One of many.)

    Little did I realize while in my doctoral program that Ken would lead me on a career path that I could never have imagined without his inspiration. Miscues were not just a reframing of an “error.” Miscues were even more than a window into the child’s emerging understanding of how language works. Miscues were a path into a philosophy and a pedagogy that Ken’s collaborator and wife Yetta Goodman describes as centered on revaluing the learner, or what Ken expressed in one of his favorite email taglines: Learning is not a Response to Instruction. Effective Instruction is a Response to Learning.

    I didn’t realize at that time that I would have the great fortune to become Ken’s colleague, friend, and even coauthor. I didn’t agree with everything he said, how he said it, or when he said it, but in almost every case, with hindsight, I came to realize that he was right and I was wrong.

    I can’t say the same about his jokes, which were very long and often funnier to him than to those who listened to him tell it. But you had to laugh with him because for Ken to tell you a joke meant that he noticed you and cared for you. Humor was so important to Ken and was often revealed in the blunt ways he would comment on the absurdities that abound  in our field. Ken’s post regarding DIBELS, for example, carries more meaning than any technical analysis could muster: As for me, I prefer the eminent test authority professor Roger Farr whose assessment is summed up as follows in a private communication with a number of eminent witnesses: DIBELS is a piece of sh***.”  

    If you want an insight into Ken—his humor and his humanity—I invite you to read his reflection on turning 90. I guarantee you will laugh and perhaps shed a tear or two.

    I was raised Catholic, and I learned from the nuns in St. Francis Xavier elementary school that the little voice inside my head telling me right from wrong was the voice of my guardian angel. That little voice is still with me, and I realized somewhere in my professional life that the voice had taken a turn from an Irish Catholic guardian angel to something sounding a lot like Ken Goodman—reminding me to do the right thing, to challenge the wrongs that surround us, to see text and context as inseparable, and to view research and teaching as inseparable moral endeavors. 

    Ken’s life is honored every time we take up these same stances in our own work. Every time we inspire young literacy scholars to be bold in their work and not to forget the humanity in which we are all bound.

    Thank you, Ken Goodman. To borrow from Barack Obama’s comments on Nelson Mandela’s passing, “What a wonderful person. What a wonderful life.”

    James V. Hoffman is a professor of language and literacy at the University of North Texas.

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