We’ve been talking a lot about reading lately at Pilot! Perhaps this one seems obvious, but we’ve been specifically chatting about a couple of concurrent happenings in the world of reading that I thought would be relevant to share.
At the end of October, Emily Hanford, a popular education journalist, released a podcast called Sold a Story about the science of reading and the tragic state of reading education in public schools. A few different parents sent me the link over the course of November (thank you!) and many teachers here have listened to it. I highly recommend it, and because I think the Pilot parent community is likely more aware than most about the unfortunate state of reading instruction in America, I’ll think you’ll find it resonant.
Meanwhile, in the very same week the podcast was released, the 2022 Nation’s Report Card was also released, and the state of Delaware did not fare well. Reading and math scores had declined since the last report card, and were below the national average for both 4th and 8th graders. Nearly half of readers tested were functioning below a basic level.
It wasn’t until this past August that legislation calling for the use of science of reading curriculum in public schools was passed in Delaware, and schools have until the 2027-2028 school year to catch up, including purchasing evidence-based curriculum, training teachers, and implementing instruction. So while the legislation is certainly a step in the right direction, it still seems a long road ahead.
Taken together, the lack of cohesive, systematic instruction based in the science of reading in our public schools explains the poor scores in reading, and the podcast will certainly offer a storyline to help you understand how well-intentioned educators allowed things to go on like this for as long as they have. And I promise that you don’t need to love the learning sciences or data rabbit holes to enjoy the podcast!
As an aside, in case you listen and find your jaw on the floor, rest easy knowing that all of the students at Pilot are taught reading by expertly trained teachers exclusively using evidence-based instruction! We love the science of reading here at Pilot!