It’s that time again! December 15, 2011, marks the beginning of 2012 IRA elections. Ballots will be mailed to IRA members this week, although they may take one to two weeks to reach members. Members should make sure their voices are heard and their votes are counted. This election includes candidates for Vice President and Members of the Board of Directors. Ballots must reach the independent firm of Intelliscan, Inc., by 5:00 p.m. on February 10, 2012.
Vote by Mail
To use the traditional paper ballot, members simply fill it out, place it in the envelope provided, and mail. For a paper ballot to be valid, the auditor requires that only one ballot may be included per envelope and the encoded number printed on the ballot must remain intact. Members should address any problems related to membership to customer service at 1-800-336-7323 (option “1”), or email@example.com.
Members have the option of voting online or by mail ballot. To vote using the Internet, members should go to www.reading.org/vote or go to the International Reading Association’s homepage at www.reading.org and click on “2012 Online Election Ballot.” Members vote online using their IRA membership number and ballot control number (on the left-hand side of the paper ballot, above their name and address). They can submit questions about online voting to Intelliscan, Inc., at 1-610-935-6172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members can also vote online by clicking on the voting link in election reminder e-mails that IRA will be sending, beginning tomorrow, December 16. The link automatically takes the member to a ballot with his/her individual ballot control number on it.
Help IRA “Go Green”
Adding e-mail addresses to their member contact information, members are not only helping IRA send you reminders about important events, they are also helping the environment. The more email addresses that IRA collects, the fewer paper ballots and letters they have to mail. To add your e-mail address to a member account, click here for the IRA member login webpage. Or go to www.reading.org and login in the upper right-hand corner. Members can also contact IRA customer service at 1-800-336-7323 (option “1”), or email@example.com.
Ballot Count Procedures
The 2012 election will be handled by the independent firm of Intelliscan, Inc., whose staff members oversee the mailing of ballots, receive the returned ballots, supervise and observe the opening of returned ballots, count the ballots electronically, and certify the results. When ballots are incompletely marked, but there is a clear indication of the intended vote, the appropriate vote will be counted. Ballots with fewer than the maximum number of votes are valid, as the computer will count each vote. Ballots on which more than the permissible number of votes has been marked are rejected by the computer and not recorded in the count. Mutilated ballots are separated out to be repaired or remarked; ballots with write-in votes are also kept for a hand tally of the written names.
The opportunity suggest members for consideration for nomination and vote for candidates in IRA elections is open to every individual member of the Association. A standard format as outlined below is used for each candidate:
(a) professional role
(c) contributions to IRA
(d) contributions to the profession
(e) a statement of philosophy, including reflections on one to three major issues that the candidate deems significant to IRA in the near future
Please read the vitae carefully. Discuss the merits of the candidates with other members. Then make your decision and vote.
As a professional organization we disallow campaigning for office by the candidates, by other individuals, or by councils or affiliates. All candidates for this election have agreed to this policy. If you received campaign materials or solicitations, please keep this in mind as you vote.
For Vice President
IRA members can vote for one candidate.
JAMES HOFFMAN, Professor of Language and Literacy Studies, The University of Texas at Austin Education: PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City; MA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; BA, St. Benedicts College Contributions to IRA: Reading Research Quarterly (coeditor); IRA Commission on Teacher Education (Chair); Board of Directors (Member); Past-President Capital Reading Council; Reorganizing committee for the State Reading Council in Texas. Contributions to the Profession: Professional Service: Peace Corps Volunteer; Teacher (Grades 2/5, Milwaukee); Reading Specialist (Germany); Teacher Educator (UT-Austin). Leadership: Past-President, National Reading Conference; Past-President, Reading Hall of Fame. Author: Balancing Principles for Elementary Reading Instruction; The Texts in Elementary Classrooms; Changing Literacies for Changing Times; International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching. “Prepared to make a difference” Elementary School Journal; Assessing the effective classroom literacy environment, Journal of Literacy Research; High-stakes testing in reading: Today in Texas, tomorrow? The Reading Teacher; The de-democratization of schools and literacy in America, The Reading Teacher; The flawed search for the perfect method; The Reading Teacher. Consultant: South Africa, (BT Project; 1998–2003); Ithuba Writing Project (2005–2008); Thailand (RWCT, 2001); Cambodia (Room to Read, 2011), Read Malawi, (2009–2011), Tanzania (CBP, 2009–2011), Belize (Language to Literacy, 2000). Statement of Philosophy: My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. —Desmond Tutu Only through our joint efforts will we succeed in achieving IRA’s goal of promoting literacy around the world. Good leaders remind us that our humanity is at the heart of all such efforts. Good leaders must be responsive to moments of opportunity and crisis, and we have plenty of both in IRA. If given the opportunity to serve as President, I pledge to be a responsive leader who acts with humanity, transparency, and in a collaborative spirit with the members of the organization, the board, other officers, and the IRA staff in fulfilling my duties. Good leaders also embrace a vision. The mission for IRA is noble, but our commitments have not always been matched by our achievements. We have room to grow. My priorities include: re-establishing the voice and power of individual members through revisions to the bylaws that would require member approval for any changes; rejuvenating, as we are doing in Texas, local and state councils that are the foundation of this organization; re-engaging more effectively in our advocacy efforts to shape educational policies; recommitting to the involvement of the research community in IRA by reinstituting the research day at the annual conference and other actions; and re-examining our global commitments to assure fair and principled partnerships in promoting literacy.
JILL LEWIS-SPECTOR, Professor, Literacy Education; Graduate Program Chair, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey Education: EdD, Rutgers University; BSc, Buffalo State College (SUNY); MA, George Washington University Contributions to IRA: IRA Special Service Award; Board of Directors (2004–2007); LEADER SIG President. Committees: Governmental Relations, Chair; Literacy Leaders in Urban Teacher Education Commission; International Development in North America; Professional Standards & Ethics; NCLB Reauthorization Task Force. Reviewer: Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy; Thinking Classroom/Peremena. Presenter: Annual/State/Local Conferences, World Congress, Leadership/Legislative Workshops. International Volunteer: Secondary Education Reform; RWCT, Macedonia. New Jersey Reading Association: Executive Board; Chair, Legislation Committee; Distinguished Service Award. Contributions to the Profession: Urban teacher educator, middle/secondary teacher, Title I Director, education advocate, researcher. Publications: Adolescent Literacy: Policies, Programs and Promising Classroom Practices; Educators on the Frontline: Advocacy Strategies for Your Classroom, Your School, and Your Profession; Academic Literacy: Readings and Strategies; Essential Questions in Adolescent Literacy; Getting Started with International Projects; Articles in JAAL, Reading Today, NRC Yearbook, CRA Yearbook, Reading Instruction Journal. Chair, American Reading Forum; Chair, Teacher Education Division, ALER; Cochair, NJ Language Arts Literacy Standards Committee. Statement of Philosophy: Recent education policies undermine teachers’ professional judgment, reallocate resources from instruction to mandated testing and test-prep, and shift focus from student-as-learner to student-as-test-taker. These trends weaken teachers’ contributions to positive futures for all children. Thus, I believe:
• IRA must advocate FOR teachers around the world and AGAINST restrictive educational policies, improve public perception of teachers, and work with all our members to ensure our voices are among those that effectively influence what happens in schools.
• IRA must address professional development needs of new and experienced teachers at every level, utilizing new and online technologies for delivery of effective research-based practices, providing resources and expertise, partnering with other organizations when mutually beneficial, and doing everything possible to ensure that all students can use their multiple literacies for making sense of themselves and the world.
• IRA must strengthen its capacity to achieve its mission by building IRA identity among our members through improved services to councils and affiliates; effective mechanisms for multigenerational/multicultural communication; more diverse committee membership, leadership, and other service opportunities; greater accessibility to headquarters staff; and more transparency in IRA operations and decisions.
• IRA must extend its reach beyond the education community so that all stakeholders will share and support our vision for a literate citizenry worldwide.
With comprehensive strategic planning, these efforts will ensure that IRA maintains its position as the world’s premier literacy-focused professional organization.
For Members of the Board of Directors 2012–2015
IRA members can vote for three candidates.
DOUGLAS FISHER, Professor of Education, San Diego State University; Teacher Leader, Health Sciences High, San Diego, California Education: PhD, Multicultural Education, San Diego State University; MPH, Public Health, San Diego State University; BA, Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University; teaching credential in English. Contributions to IRA: I have been a board member in California and the coeditor of The California Reader. I have served on the following IRA committees: IRA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards, Outstanding Dissertation Award, Adolescent Literacy Task Force, Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse, and Albert J. Harris Award. I contribute a column for the members-only website, Engage. Contributions to the Profession: For NRC/LRA, I have served on many committees and on the board of directors. For NCTE, I developed an online PD system, and I co-edit Voices from the Middle. I served for eight years on the PEAK Parent Center board of directors, guiding the efforts to ensure that the organization was relevant for families and educators while also maintaining fiscal solvency. I have published widely, with both IRA and with other journals, and authored the IRA book, In a Reading State of Mind. Statement of Philosophy: IRA is an amazing resource for literacy professionals all over the world. But that world is changing, and IRA must change along with it. In addition to maintaining and recruiting members, IRA needs to ensure fiscal solvency and relevance. I think that these are three of the issues that the board will need to focus on in the near future. First, how will membership be developed? Second, does the organization have the fiscal resources necessary to operate? And third, why should people belong to professional membership organizations? What do they get for their membership? These will be critical questions in the strategic planning of IRA.
RONA FLIPPO, Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts Education: EdD, University of Florida; MEd, University of North Florida; BS, Florida Atlantic University Contributions to IRA: Since 1977, presented at IRA conventions and state, regional, affiliate, and world conferences. Served on 11 IRA committees (several multiple times); subcommittees for developing position statements/resolutions; IRA journal editorial boards; published in The Reading Teacher, JAAL, Journal of Reading; Editor, “News for Administrators” (Reading Today); Editor, Forum for Reading (SIG journal); President, IRA’s College Reading SIG; President, Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators (IRA council); Chair, IRA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Published three IRA books (1991, 2001). Contributions to Profession: Early childhood, elementary, middle, community college, and college teacher of reading education. Publications: 90 articles/chapters, 16 books (reading, studying, assessing, and “the issues”). Authored the “Expert Study.” Authored publications critical of high-stakes tests that work to exclude minority/language diverse students and teachers from colleges/schools. Affiliations: IRA, ALER, LRA, AERA, MRA, and MACURE. Editorial boards of numerous journals. Newest publication: Reading Researchers in Search of Common Ground: The Expert Study Revisited (2012). Statement of Philosophy: I’ve long argued for more rationality in what’s done or mandated in schools. Yet high-stakes testing, top-down mandates, and removal of decision making from teachers prevail. Advocating for teachers as the professional decision makers in their classrooms is an urgent priority: sensitizing the public and politicians to students’ real needs and the importance of teachers, worldwide. There are many ways to teach reading, depending on the context, situation, and child. More time in and out of classrooms should be spent actually reading! More time spent on meaningful reading where comprehension, learning, and enjoyment/engagement are priorities. Our professional associations must do more, collaborating to ensure that teachers, parents, and policymakers are fully informed and involved. We must protect the “reading rights” of children. The well-being and literacy lives of children, in all their diversity, must be the uppermost concern.
GARY MOORMAN, Professor, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina Education: PhD, MA, and BA, Arizona State University Contributions to IRA: Editorial Review Boards: Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 2009–present; ReadWriteThink, 2002–present. Member, Technology, Communication and Literacy Committee, 2009–present; International Volunteer, 2004–present, Macedonia Secondary Education Activity; Workshop leader (eleven trips), Coauthor of four modules—Qatar (lead volunteer in collaborative projects with Qatar University); Online Communities Facilitator, Reading Online, 2001–2003; Chair and co-founder of Graduate Students in Reading SIG, 1979; Publications in Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Reading, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, The Reading Teacher; one edited book published by IRA (Adolescent Literacy Instruction: Policies and Promising Practices); Forty-seven presentations at IRA local, state, regional, and annual conferences and World Congress. Contributions to the Profession: American Reading Forum, chair, vice-chair, Board of Directors, Webmaster, Program Chair, Yearbook Editor, Townsend Service Award Winner; Editorial Review Boards: Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, Reading Research and Instruction; Books: Researching Online for Education; Designing Reading Programs; Learning to Teach Reading: Instructional Units for Developing Basic Teacher Skills; 33 peer-reviewed publications; 23 non–peer-reviewed articles, websites, other publications; over 100 presentations at professional conferences and workshops Statement of Philosophy: IRA is at a critical point. Membership is down as reading professionals struggle with dilemmas created by legislative mandates and funding cuts. Two critical areas must be addressed by the organization. First, because teachers increasingly expect digital resources to be available and cutting-edge, IRA needs to become more aggressive in integrating technology into its practices. Second, the organization must take seriously the “International” in its name. Initiatives to expand membership outside the USA, to globalize the organization, need to be conceptualized and implemented. I believe I bring a strong professional background to address these and other issues challenging IRA.
AMBIGAPATHY PANDIAN, Professor, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia Education: PhD, (English Language Studies), National University of Malaysia (1993); MA, (Applied Linguistics), Indiana University, USA (1984); Certificate in Public Management, Indiana University, USA (1984); BS, (Education) Indiana University; USA (1983) Contributions to IRA: My leadership roles in the Penang and the Malaysian Chapter Reading Association have contributed to an increase in the IRA membership and the fostering of high quality learning in Malaysia. International Language Learning Conferences and the Asian Literacy Conferences are events that I have initiated for teachers, policymakers, and parents to share and network on work related to literacy. I have also promoted book club activities among low-income communities so that every child has the chance to soar as high as their reading and dreams can carry them. As the Chairperson of IDAC (International Development of Asia Committee: 2009–2011), I have initiated community activities related to reading and learning in remote schools in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Contributions to the Profession: My American education and Malaysian experiences enabled me to embark on internationalizing reading activities that developed capacity-building of teachers and students. I set up the International Literacy Research Unit, Malaysia. I am very well published, being the author and co-author of more than 100 books and journal articles, including Appropriating English: Innovation in the Global Business of English Language Teaching, Lang publishers, New York. Statement of Philosophy: I believe that the essence of learning is to make reading contagious, to have one idea spark another. The global world is a unique community that varies not only in abilities, but also in learning styles. I want to cultivate different global gardens of reading. I want to lead collaborative works with international scholars and teachers and develop projects that involve multicultural and multimodal interests of readers and make reading relevant for community development and creative participation.
SHELLEY STAGG PETERSON, Associate Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada Education: PhD, MEd., and BEd., University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada Contributions to IRA: I founded the Toronto Reading Council in 2002, serving as president and past-president of the council. Other contributions: Local Arrangements Chair for 2006 IRA Annual Convention held in Toronto; member of Notable Books for a Global Society committee; reviewer for The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and Dragon Lode; International Advisory Board member for Reading Research Quarterly; reviewer for Broader Middle East and Northern Africa Literacy Hub; representative for Ontario and Quebec on the Regional Conference Committee; author of publications in The Reading Teacher and various provincial and state journals; reviewer of conference proposals and presenter at IRA annual conventions and local, provincial, and state conferences. Contributions to the Profession: Teacher in central and northern Alberta, teacher educator in Alberta, Ohio, and Ontario; author of numerous journal articles and books, including Writing Across the Curriculum, co-author of Good Books Matter, and co-editor of Books, Media and the Internet. In 2008, I founded the Journal of Classroom Research in Literacy, a peer-reviewed online journal for teachers to publish their classroom-based research. Statement of Philosophy: IRA can expand our already significant contributions to literacy worldwide through new technologies. Educators and educator/researchers from both rural and urban communities around the world will then have even greater opportunities to engage in professional dialogue and take action to support the reading and writing of all learners. Believing that change and growth start at the local, grass-roots level, I encourage generous support for the SIGs and local, provincial, and state councils, and the creation of new opportunities for classroom teachers’ participation in planning and undertaking new professional development and leadership initiatives.
MICHAEL SHAW, Professor of Education, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, New York Education: PhD, Fordham University; MS, College of New Rochelle; BA, Binghamton University, SUNY Contributions to IRA: IRA Representative to NCATE; Member, The Reading Teacher Editorial Board; Member, 2010 Standards Committee; Past Co-chair, Professional Standards & Ethics Committee. New York State Reading Association (NYSRA) Member 2011 NYSRA Conference Management Committee; Member, NYSRA College Reading Educators; NYSRA Conference past Featured Speaker and current Presenter; Advisor, Rockland Reading Council. Contributions to the Profession: Shaw, M.L. (2008). Reaching and teaching thoughtful literacy to readers who struggle: Instruction that increases motivation and achievement. In S. Kucer (Ed.), What research REALLY says about teaching and learning to read. (pp. 198–222) Urbana, IL: NCTE; Shaw, M.L. (2009). Teaching and empowering reading specialists to be literacy coaches: Vision, passion, communication and collaboration. New England Reading Association Journal 45(1), 7–18. IRA conference presenter for 13 consecutive years. Statement of Philosophy: I pledge to work with IRA Board colleagues on all strategic initiatives and passionately believe that IRA will continue to be the leading voice in literacy education by
• Expanding Position Statements that use research to advance the profession by advocating for policies that support teacher empowerment and eliminate the use of high-stakes testing to evaluate students and teachers. I am proud that IRA endorsed the national movement to Save Our Schools.
• Expanding professional development initiatives to support the teaching of literacy through web-based initiatives and social media. These initiatives support development of knowledgeable, thoughtful, skilled teachers who motivate, engage, and increase achievement for all students.
• Taking initiatives to expand membership worldwide. I am proud that we are “International.” This accomplishes two very important goals: increasing knowledge and skills of more teachers and keeping IRA growing as a professional organization.
Click here to view candidate information as a PDF.
Click here for a brief version of the election slate.
Click here for more information about the IRA Board.
Click here for the responsibilities of IRA Board Members.
Click here to vote online now.