Sacramento City Unified School District: Iris Taylor

Sacramento City Unified School District Logo

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter in support of Susan Radley Brown and the work of her organization Accelerated Literacy Learning (A.L.L.). I have had the opportunity to work with Susan over the past four years and have appreciated the partnership and found it invaluable.

Susan has reflected the true meaning of the word "partner" at every phase of the process of her work in our district. She and her staff have paid careful attention to the districts context, needs, and goals and constructed professional learning designed to help us grow in our capacity to increase student literacy learning. Susan has been responsive to our context and has tailored workshops to focus on meeting the needs of English Learners. This has resonated for our teachers, and has had a significant impact on those teachers in our dual language immersion program.

In all of the schools that A.L has supported, we have seen an increase in the amount and quality of students’ writing and our teachers view themselves, not only as teachers of writing, but as writers who learn and practice alongside their students. This cultural shift has resulted in schools where teachers have opened their classrooms to peers at the school site as well as colleagues across the district.

The in-depth knowledge, experience, and skill of her consultants and their ability to customize for our district have resulted in a ground swell of enthusiasm for Writers Workshop that is spreading throughout the district. This excites me because it has led to changes in teacher practice and school culture and is fueled by teachers and leaders talking to other teachers and leaders, something that could never be achieved through a mandate.

Susan truly believes in every child being a reader and writer and is committed to supporting districts to bring this vision to life. She seeks to build the capacity of teachers as well as district and site level leaders in this work and continuously directs us to resources to assist us in our efforts.

Without hesitation, I strongly recommend a partnership with A.L.L.. Under Susan’s hands-on and thoughtful leadership, schools and districts can see a transformation in not only the ways literacy is taught, but in how students and teachers view themselves as readers and writers. This is the foundational for impactful and lasting change.

Iris Taylor
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Sacramento City Unified School District