In terms of reading proficiency, New York State is ranked 32nd. To address that, the governor is putting forth modifications to literacy instruction.
Gov. Kathy Hochul put up a significant proposal on Wednesday that could change the way reading is taught in many New York schools. She is following the example set by other states that have abandoned teaching strategies that experts claim have failed millions of students.
The request is made in light of growing evidence, according to education experts, that the state’s literacy strategy is ineffective. Less than half of third graders in New York passed the state reading assessments last year.
By September 2025, Ms. Hochul demanded that the state Education Department mandate that school districts demonstrate that their curricula have adopted “scientifically proven” approaches to literacy.
“This is a huge problem since it took a while for people to recognize that what was being done was ineffective. Nevertheless, no one spoke out and said, “It needs to change,” Ms. Hochul told a group of legislators, educators, and fourth graders in a Watervliet, New York, public elementary school on Wednesday.
“We’re doing that here today,” she continued. “We will do better if we say we can do better.”
The governor suggested allocating $10 million for the retraining of educators in the “science of reading,” which includes educating kids to increase their vocabulary and decipher words to comprehend their meaning. She demanded that instructors be trained in these techniques through programs at the City University of New York and the State University of New York.
More than 30 states introduced science of reading laws as a result of the pandemic’s disruption of education and nationwide stagnation of reading results. Among them was not New York.
Experts and parents of students in public schools have chastised the state for taking its time implementing strategies that consider the latest findings on how kids learn to read.
New York City declared last year that it would start implementing its own reading curriculum reform in all seven hundred or so of its elementary schools. Schools are being forced by the city to select from a list of approved curricula. Some instructors have found the move to be frustrating as they feel like they no longer have control over their teaching methods.
The reading proposal is one of many that Ms. Hochul is releasing in advance of her State of the State speech to legislators in Albany next week, during which she will outline her objectives for the 2024 session.
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