Pennsylvania's Department of Education has apparently announced its intention to cut Reading Specialists off at the knees. In an email dated November 5, the department apparently indicatedthat they would add the Reading Specialist Certificate to the Added By Test list. In other words, it will no longer be necessary to go out and do a Master's Degree's worth of college coursework to become a reading specialist. Instead, aspiring reading specialists would just take a test. The Keystone State Reading Association is not delighted. Neither are the colleges and universities that make money by training reading specialists. And neither should the rest of us be. I find the whole concept a little bizarre. I've been an English teacher for 35-ish years and while I know a thing or two about reading, I wouldn't call myself a specialist.
Some Western Pennsylvania school districts — and any other governmental bodies that allow commercial advertisements on their websites — could open the door to First Amendment issues if they allow some cause- or organization-based advertisements and not others, legal experts warn.