Changes in how we teach reading are coming to SFUSD

SFUSD has engaged the services of Core Learning to provide professional development to our teachers and leaders to understand the reading research, sometimes referred to as the “Science of Reading”.  This partnership aims to effectively teach ALL students to read and build sustainable curriculum implementation knowledge and systems to provide lasting change, all while ensuring we see the impact in improved student success.

How will this change how we teach reading?

Core Learning is helping our district pivot our reading instruction to align with the Science of Reading.  Science of Reading refers to evidence from multiple disciplines conclusively showing the need for explicit instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension when learning to read. Research indicates 95% of students can be taught to read at or approaching grade level.

Since our students may not have encountered explicit instruction in all of these areas previously, we should not view any student who is not reading proficiently as a struggling reader.  Instead, Core Learning views them as students with unfinished learning. This is a great match to the growth mindset of our district and a great way to feel about this change in how we teach reading in our district. 

For an idea of what explicit reading instruction in all these important areas might look like in a classroom, please click here for an example lesson plan.   You will also want to read the Core Learning Science of Reading Parent Guide.

Imagine the impact!

SFUSD has amazing and dedicated teachers who work hard every day and care deeply about our students’ success. Despite this, and like many school districts across California and the nation, our English Language Arts proficiency scores (52% proficient in 3rd grade) show we have still struggled with teaching ALL students to read.

Students with IEPs and 504 plans, like all SFUSD students, are expected to improve their reading proficiency due to the coming shifts in how we teach reading. Imagine the impact if 95% of our students could read at or near grade level, as research indicates is achievable!