How to Make the Science of Reading Work for Teachers

| Education Week | Lisa Coons

States are making important moves to improve the way reading is taught in their schools, but the choices leaders face aren’t easy. Many are wrestling with new literacy legislation that responds to stagnant national reading scores and teachers’ reports that they did not adequately learn to teach children to read in their teacher-preparation programs.

To date, 32 states have implemented mandatory training in science-based reading instruction; more are likely to. It wasn’t long ago that as the chief academic officer for Tennessee’s public schools, I was seeking a program that would ensure that every teacher is equipped with evidence-based knowledge that they could easily translate into classroom practice. My team and I wanted effective training that was also affordable, both in terms of financial outlay and teacher time. We chose to develop our own, homegrown training. Many states have selected packaged options like the popular Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (or LETRS) program, but several are now shopping for a more sustainable model—fewer teacher hours required and lower cost. I’ve talked recently with some leaders in the throes of deciding what program they will adopt and want to offer up Tennessee’s experience as possible inspiration.

Our program, Reading 360, pairs research and theory with a strong emphasis on classroom application. We believe it offers a compelling—and streamlined—model for supporting all teachers as they make the transition to practice based on the science of reading.

Read the full article at Education Week.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

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