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Latest reading scores leave room for debate on NC’s investment in science of reading

Paul L. Thomas, Department of Education.

Last updated November 18, 2022

By Tina Underwood, Contributing Writer

When Mississippi’s fourth-grade reading test scores climbed after investment in teacher training, North Carolina schools took notice and, in 2021, invested $50 million in the LETRS program, Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling. But analyzing test scores alone can be deceiving, according to Furman University’s Paul Thomas, a longtime public school educator and professor of education at the university. Charlotte NPR news station WFAE 90.7 turned to Thomas for his perspective on the “science of reading” approach after the latest test scores were released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka “the nations report card,” that showed a decline in proficiency for North Carolina fourth-graders in 2022.

A skeptic of standardized testing and science of reading tactics, Thomas argues for making sure weak readers have smaller classes and experienced teachers, and for the nation as a whole to make inroads toward combating poverty.

Last updated November 18, 2022
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