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Why a Mandate?

On Monday, June 16, 2023, published a letter to the editor from Learn to Earn Dayton's Director of Policy and Advocacy, Dr. Thomas Lasley. In the letter, Dr. Lasley pushed back against the newspaper's previously published opinion that the science of reading should not be mandatory.

He argued, "the evidence is clear that the other methods are not working. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the majority of Ohio's fourth-graders are failing as readers. The reality is that, if current methods were effective, the results would demonstrate as much. They do not. Ohio can and must do better."

Ohio should mandate ‘science of reading’ literacy instruction in its schools On March 5, The Plain Dealer/ editorial board argued in an editorial that Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposals on literacy instruction should not be mandatory. That recommendation and approach are not in the best interests of the young people of Ohio. The science of reading is not an ideological construct, nor is it “this new shiny thing,” as the editorial put it. Rather, the science of reading is a body of empirically based literature that documents clearly what a young person needs to be able to do to read independently. What the governor is proposing is that science of reading needs to be followed and that we should only be using evidenced-based practices.

Read the full letter at


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