While research abounds regarding what encompasses the reading disability known as
dyslexia, there is a gap in the knowledge regarding success rates specifically for students who
have been diagnosed with dyslexia (Fawcett, 2001; see also Lyon, 1995; Slavin & Madden,
1995). A need to find out if dyslexic students are progressing is imperative. If dyslexic students
are in a regular education class, the program should address all of their areas of need and ensure
that these students overcome the educational hurdles they face every day. The Texas Dyslexia
Guidelines mandate that every school district must implement a program to assess and serve
students with dyslexia (Texas Education Agency, 2007). Several programs are available for the
dyslexic student. The school district that was examined in this study utilizes the basic language
skills program, which is a multisensory structured program, based on the Orton-Gillingham
approach. Programs that have shown to be the most effective are those programs that are based
on the Orton-Gillingham approach (Fawcett, 2001). Most seem to be personalized in nature and
based to fit the specific needs of the children to ensure their future success.
Not all children with dyslexia are alike. These students' intellectual capacity is average to
above average and they can be labeled as gifted. There is not a simple formula for treating a
dyslexic child. Each one requires their own customized plan (Harrie & Weller, 1984). Reading at
a significantly lower level than is typical of children of their age and intelligence when standard
classroom reading intervention programs are used is one of the only traits they share.
Once the district has determined that a student has dyslexia, the district needs to provide
an appropriate instructional program for the student. Then, a team who is knowledgeable about
the student needs to make instructional decisions for the dyslexic student. The school must also
provide each dyslexic student with access to services by a trained teacher in dyslexia and related
disorders. Each student's parents or guardians must also be informed of all the services and
options available to his or her child and the district must also provide the parents/guardians with
a parent education program.
In May 1998, the State Board of Education revised the guidelines for serving dyslexic
students in Texas. The Texas Education Agency published The Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures
Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders to provide school districts and parents with
additional information regarding the state's dyslexia law and its relationship to federal laws,
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
The information in the handbook was designed to help both educators and parents to provide
appropriate accommodations for dyslexic students. The dyslexia handbook was revised in 2007
by the Texas Education Agency.
The State of Texas has passed legislation that mandates every student's academic
achievement through the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) on or above grade level
by third grade and throughout their schooling. The Texas Student Success Initiative (SSI), which
was passed by the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999, is the guide that educators will follow to
ensure that the public school children in Texas can complete the requirements set forth by this
legislation (Texas Education Agency, 2007).
The SSI requires that students in the third grade meet the standard on the Texas
Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in reading before they can be promoted to the
fourth grade. These grade advancement requirements also apply to the reading and mathematics
tests in fifth grade and eighth grade.
Therefore, a need to find out if dyslexic students are progressing is imperative. If
dyslexic students are in a regular education class, the program should address all of their areas of
need and ensure that these students overcome the educational hurdles they face every day. The
Texas Dyslexia Guidelines mandate that every school district must implement a program to
assess and serve students with dyslexia (Texas Education Agency, 2007). According to Cummins
(2005) reading achievement is essential for the development of other academic skills. It is
important to the educational success of dyslexic students to analyze the data obtained from the
Texas mandated TAKS test scores to provide evidence for this school district to continue
supporting excellence in education for the dyslexic student population. It is also important that
the results of the study be examined so that leaders of the school district can make informed
decisions as to the future of dyslexic students in their district.
Read the entire study here.