Why California Might Mandate the ‘Science of Reading’ in All Schools

  • by:
  • Source: edhat
  • 02/23/2024
A new Assembly bill introduced today would require all California schools to teach students to read using the “science of reading,” a phonics-based approach that research shows is a more effective way to teach literacy.

The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, a Democrat from Baldwin Park, is backed by Marshall Tuck, who ran for California superintendent of public instruction in 2018. Tuck, formerly head of a charter school network, is now the chief executive officer of EdVoice, an education policy organization.

Many schools in California have already transitioned to the science of reading approach, but some are still using a method known as balanced literacy or whole language, which emphasizes sight recognition of words in addition to phonics. The battle over the best way to teach children to read has been heated, because the stakes are so high: strong literacy skills are linked to higher graduation rates, better employment opportunities, the chances of being incarcerated and the state’s overall economy.

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