The science of reading works. Director of Advocacy and Policy, Dr. Thomas J. Lasley, joined with StriveTogether CEO Jennifer Blatz to call on the State of Ohio to support the science of reading as the exclusive approach to reading instruction. See their Op-Ed from Real Clear Education.
It's Time for Ohio to Adopt the Science of Reading By Thomas J. Lasley & Jennifer Blatz June 01, 2023
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the majority of Ohio’s fourth-graders are failing as readers. And only two out of eight Ohio children living in poverty are proficient in reading. This is a wake-up call that demands attention: early-grade reading proficiency correlates directly with future earnings, college attendance, homeownership, and retirement savings.
Equally troubling is that, over the past two decades, NAEP scores have remained mostly flat – that is, until recent declines, which have mirrored national trends driven largely by the pandemic. By all standards, then, Ohio is failing its children. We can address this crisis before it is too late: Governor Mike DeWine is seeking major funding from the legislature to retrain teachers, update textbooks, and support the science of reading as the exclusive approach to reading instruction. This focused investment is the kind of intervention that is needed to put kids – and the state – back onto the path of economic vitality.
One of our greatest challenges is the unevenness of classroom instruction. This is often caused by inconsistent teaching methods and training; state law allows districts to teach reading however they wish, and it gives teacher-education institutions much latitude in training future teachers in reading instruction. Indeed, as the National Council on Teacher Quality just announced, some higher-education institutions are failing to provide appropriate and effective preparation as well.
By reshaping policy around evidence-based approaches in classrooms and educator-training programs, we can provide children across the state with quality instruction based on the science of reading. Statewide implementation will help improve metrics and bring a consistent approach that has proven results.
The science of reading is an empirically based approach to reading and writing, developed over five decades from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages. It works.