S⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠es Should Embrace Sc⁠i⁠en⁠t⁠⁠i⁠f⁠i⁠cally Based Read⁠i⁠ng Ins⁠t⁠ruc⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on

January 24, 2024

Kayla Maloney

CALN Project Manager

Kids Sitting Looking at the Books

The process of teaching students how to read has not always been viewed as a science, but in recent years states have been transitioning into employing a “scientifically based reading instruction.” Noted as “the Science of Reading” in the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) new report, this new way of approaching reading instruction is proving to benefit more students in their reading proficiency. 

As states turn toward the science of reading, the NCTQ’s report details five policy actions that they can take to ensure its successful implementation: 

  1. Setting specific, detailed reading standards for teacher prep programs  
  1. Reviewing teacher prep programs to ensure they teach the science of reading  
  1. Adopting a strong elementary reading licensure test 
  1. Requiring districts to select a high-quality reading curriculum 
  1. Providing professional learning for teachers and ongoing support to sustain the implementation of the science of reading 

According to NCTQ’s State Reading Policy Action Guide, nineteen states have made little or no progress in these five policy areas, while less than half of states are taking great strides. The NAEP has found that nationally, only 33 percent of fourth-grade students are proficient in reading; it sounds like it is time for more states to embrace these solutions which will help them sustain strong reading instruction programs. 

South Carolina outperforms North Carolina in most of these policy areas. It is time for the Carolinas to get on the same page, and put their students first. 

Our students deserve for their teachers to seek out and implement only the best programs of instruction, with their success in mind. Transitioning to scientifically based reading instruction, coupled with passing these five policies, serves as the best road map for states.