Gov. Hochul wants New York schools to embrace the ‘science of reading.’ Will they?

Gov. Hochul wants New York schools to embrace the ‘science of reading.’ Will they?

Eight months after New York City announced a major literacy shakeup, Gov. Kathy Hochul sketched out one of her own on Wednesday that may encourage districts across the state to adopt new reading curriculums.

The effort comes amid growing pressure for officials to boost literacy, as dozens of states have enacted efforts to improve reading instruction and embrace what’s known as the “science of reading,” an established body of research about how children learn to read. New York is one of a handful of states that has not advanced similar proposals in recent years, even as fewer than half of students in grades 3-8 are considered proficient in reading on state tests.

Hochul said her goal is to move schools away from “balanced literacy” — including a popular curriculum developed by Teachers College professor Lucy Calkins that has come under intense scrutiny in recent years. The approach includes mini-lessons and lots of independent reading time to get students excited about literature and help practice reading skills on their own. Experts say that method often does not work for students who struggle to read, including those with learning disabilities like dyslexia.

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