One Killeen Independent School District parent is saying her child is being underserved and the child’s Individual Education Plan, or IEP, is not being followed by the district’s special education program.

Parent Stephanie Moody has filed a complaint with the Texas Education Agency and her daughter’s principal alleging the education plan for her daughter — Samantha, a general education student who suffers from dyslexia and other learning disabilities — contains more than 20 mistakes, up to and including a lack of occupational therapy goals.

“My daughter’s IEP has over 20 mistakes,” Moody said. “It is so bad that no one can follow it.”

Moody said that one of the biggest problems affecting her daughter is that none of Samantha’s teachers are certified in the special education program specified in her IEP, the Wilson Reading Program.

“The staff is not certified in the Wilson program, so my child’s dyslexia instruction is not in-line with the Wilson Reading Program, as it should be under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) rules on research-based practices,” Moody said.

According to the Wilson Reading Program website, students in the program complete it within two to three years on average. Samantha, 8, just completed second grade and is preparing to enter third grade. According to Moody, Samantha has been in the program since first grade, but is only part-way through the second step of the 12-step reading program.

The Herald has reached out to KISD in an attempt to find out which programs special education teachers in the district are certified to teach.

"Our Special Education teachers are certified to work with struggling learners in reading, math and all content areas. Our teachers that teach Dyslexia are trained through the Wilson Reading Program which is the state regulation standard," KISD spokeswoman Taina Maya said in an email to the Herald. "That training includes an intensive 3-day training and Killeen ISD requires that of our Dyslexia teachers and assessors. The Wilson program is the strongest researched-based dyslexia program."

A total of 1,500 KISD students were assessed over the course of the year, of which 550 were qualified for the program, according to KISD.

Maya said there is no state certification required to teach dyslexia, however, "we have several teachers who are going above and beyond to attain the Wilson Level 1 certification."

Added KISD: Special education "teachers are not required to be certified in dyslexia services. If a student is receiving Wilson services for their dyslexia services, then they are being served by a teacher that has been trained in Wilson. If the ARD committee determined that the student would not receive dyslexia services using Wilson, then the ARD committee determines what sped services or general ed services are more appropriate."

KISD's reply didn't sit well with Moody.
"Mrs. Maya word-smithed her answer in a very manipulative way. It's leaving out a basic answer: How many employees in the district have the Level One WRS certification?" Moody said in an email.
"The 3-day workshop (KISD referred to) is supposed to be an 'introduction' to the Wilson Reading Program," Moody said. "There are 3 levels of training offered for the Wilson Reading program—a 3 day introduction course, then Level 1 and Level 2 certifications."

In 2018, KISD announced that it would spend $1 million to hire 20 new teachers and dyslexia assessors to provide faster diagnosis for students with dyslexia — and faster support for their learning. The hiring effort was recommended by a special dyslexia focus group, school officials said. A collection of district teachers and administrators conducted a review of the dyslexia program during the 2017-18 school year.

The focus group found that 1,074 KISD students were assessed for dyslexia in the 2016-17 school year. More than 45,000 students are expected to be enrolled in KISD during the next school year.

(5) comments


Unfortunately, I am going to continue to disagree that KISD is not in compliance. Cited from Wilson, "For over 30 years, Wilson has worked collaboratively with school districts to implement achievable and sustainable plans for teacher and student success. We have trained nearly 220,000 teachers across all 50 states. Approximately, 25,000 are Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I certified." Based on that, only a little over 11% of the population would be in compliance. If Wilson felt that the program could not be implemented with fidelity unless level 1 certified, then why provide the option of the three-day training? Why not that be a requirement of the program? I am not saying more training isn't better, of course, it would be, but I don't feel the lesser equates to non-compliance. Wilson also states, "For continued development, teachers may want to pursue WRS Level I Certification and WRS Level II Certification." Again, the word "MAY" is used in their language. What is left out of this discussion is the issue of human capital. As the mother of a dyslexic daughter myself, I know first hand that the learning and movement through the program are also heavily dependent on my child's own initiative. She did not like to read, avoid reading, and did everything in her power to get by without reading. Thankfully, she was surrounded by some GREAT teachers that, while implementing the Wilson Program, also focused on learning her interests, building her up, encouraging her, and reminding her that she wasn't stupid. Did she complete the program in the Wilson Quoted average amount of time? No, but she wasn't average in her interest or motivation. However, she has passed every one of her STAAR tests and EOCs. I would take a caring teacher without level 1 certification over an uncaring level 1 certified teacher any day! Although the Wilson program moved her along at her rate of readiness, it was the teachers that helped her succeed.


Makes me Wonder, As you referenced I. Your post “should be” which differs from “must”. This is the recommendation of the Wilson program. However the language they use is “should” which indicates not a requirement. Also as you stated from the Dyslexia handbook, implementing the program by someone trained. KISD teachers are trained in the Wilson program which therefore compliance is met. Going to disagree! KISD is in compliance with TEA! And I agree that Wilson would like them certified because they (Wilson) could make a TON of money!

Makes me wonder

Good Morning Guppie5, I read what you wrote and your right it does state ‘ should be” which does differ from “must” and The Dyslexia Handbook does also state trained which you would be correct again. So, what I am gathering here is that Killeen teachers are trained in the Wilson program which is great if they were in a different state other than Texas. Anyone can take the three-day prerequisites for the WLS Certification One and be able to say they are trained in the Wilson Reading program. Yet, Wilson states also to teach it with fidelity, you need to be certified in at least level one certification. In Texas, any reading program used for children with dyslexia must be research-based, trained, and taught with fidelity. Now for Killeen ISD to be in compliance with TEA any teacher teaching the Wilson Reading program for dyslexic children needs to teach Wilson Reading program with fidelity and to do that dyslexia teacher “must” have a level one certification. So I would disagree with you and say Killeen ISD is not in compliance with TEA because the program is not taught fidelity.


I never post comments, but reading fake news gets old! 1). Special education teachers don’t have to be certified in the program. Not even dyslexia teachers have to be certified in the program! 2). Why would the newspaper put this out before getting a response from either sources? Seems intentionally misleading!

Makes me wonder

Hey Guppie5! I agree with you about how not all special education teachers should be certified in the dyslexia program. The only ones that truly need to certified are dyslexia instructors who are teaching the Wilson Reading Program. Killeen ISD uses the Wilson Reading Program for children who are found to have dyslexia in the district. I know this because I like Ms. Moody have a child who has dyslexia in the district. So since the district uses the Wilson Reading program the Wilson website states, In order to ensure the delivery of WRS with fidelity, instructors should hold at least a WRS Level I Certification. The training involved in achieving this certification provides teachers with the knowledge and application skills they need to implement the program with fidelity to maximize student achievement. This would be in compliance with The Dyslexia Handbook 2018 TEA that states on page 39 of the handbook: Standard protocol dyslexia instruction must be • Evidence-based and effective for students with dyslexia • Taught by an appropriately trained instructor; and • Implemented with fidelity. So you would be correct to say that not all dyslexia teacher need to be certified in a program but incorrect to say that dyslexia instructors do not need to be certified in Killeen ISD. Unfortunately for Killeen ISD, the dyslexia instructors, that are teaching in the Killeen ISD are not n compliance with the Dyslexia Handbook 2018 TEA teaching the Wilson program with fidelity. If the dyslexia instructors were in compliance each would have a WRS Certification level one for the school year of 2018-2019 and as far as I know, no one had one!

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