Districts Must Adapt to Science of Reading Legislation


If it hasn’t already, legislation surrounding the science of reading will likely impact a district near you soon.

According to an Education Week analysis, as of May 9, 2023, 31 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws or implemented new policies related to evidence-based reading instruction since 2013. (https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/which-states-have-passed-science-of-reading-laws-whats-in-them/2022/07) 

For many states, this legislation requires that schools put aside their previous reading instruction methods and instead use evidence-based strategies. These new methods also focus on various components of teacher instruction, including how teachers are trained and how students are identified as at-risk.  

While science of reading legislation has been championed by many, the challenge for schools is in translating these legislative policies into practice under short timelines and with specific recommendations. A report from FutureEd found that one of the most significant barriers to adopting these new practices is the teacher-preparation programs that must accompany them. (https://www.future-ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/The-Reading-Revolution.pdf) 

Step By Step Learning® (SBSL) is partnering with school leaders to overcome these challenges by implementing programs that will improve teacher effectiveness and impact student performance. For example, in partnership with Bethlehem Area School District, SBSL’s programs yielded real-time recognition in student performance.

At Lincoln Elementary in particular, 90% of kindergarten students met the end-of-year benchmark goals, a substantial increase from 54% in years prior.  

SBSL’s approach includes working with K-3rd grade teachers to increase their knowledge and understanding of the science of reading and how they can best collect, interpret, and understand student data. Teachers also benefit from customized lesson plans and classroom engagement techniques, as well as frequent in-person, side-by-side follow-up support, including: 

  • Modeling and coaching 
  • The Science of Reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension training 
  • Connecting to the Classroom® sessions 
  • Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) protocols
  • Consultative implementation support 

With nearly 20 years of in-classroom experience, the SBSL team is recognized as the nation’s preeminent educational and literacy organization, helping districts achieve positive and sustainable results to benefit every child, especially the most at-risk.  

If you’d like to learn more about Step By Step Learning ® and the science of reading, feel free to contact our team at info@sbsl.org.  

Publish Date

Posted on August 2, 2023