Putting the ‘Science of Reading’ Into Practice Is Challenging

Washington, North Carolina

Raul Olivares Jr. had heard the phrase “science of reading” before.

Like other education buzzwords, it had filtered down through the ether, mentioned casually in colleagues’ conversations or included in communiques from the district. But it was only last fall that he realized its significance—when Olivares, a kindergarten teacher at Eastern Elementary in Washington, N.C., heard that his state had passed a bill that would require elementary schools to teach the “science of reading.”

This past school year, he has spent hours going through state-mandated training designed to teach the foundations of reading science, processing it with colleagues,

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