The “Science of Reading”: A Reader for Educators

How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: A Primer for Parents, Policy Makers, and People Who Care, P.L. Thomas

Fact Checking the “Science of Reading”: A Quick Guide for Teachers

Historical Context

What Shall We Do About Reading Today?: A Symposium ( November 1942, The Elementary English Review, National Council of Teachers of English)

LaBrant, L. (1947, January). Research in language. Elementary English, 24(1), 86-94. Stable URL:

Lou LaBrant on reading

Doing What Matters Most: Investing in Quality Teaching, Linda Darling Hammond (1997)

Whole Language and the Great Plummet of 1987-92: An Urban Legend from California, Stephen Krashen

Silver Bullets, Babies, and Bath Water: Literature Response Groups in a Balanced Literacy Program, Dixie Lee Spiegel (The Reading Teacher, 1998)

Literacy Crises: False Claims and Real Solutions, Jeff McQuillan

National Reading Panel (NRP)

The Federal Government Wants Me to Teach What?: A Teacher’s Guide to the National Reading Panel Report, Diane Stephens (NCTE, 2008)

Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors: A Critique of the National Reading Panel Report on Phonics, Elaine M. Garan (2001)

Babes in the Woods: The Wanderings of the National Reading Panel, Joanne Yatvin, The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 83, No. 5 (Jan., 2002), pp. 364-369

I Told You So! The Misinterpretation and Misuse of The National Reading Panel Report, Joanne Yatvin (Education Week)

My Experiences in Teaching Reading and Being a Member of the National Reading Panel

“Science of Reading”

Policy Statement on the “Science of Reading” (NEPC)

The Critical Story of the “Science of Reading” and Why Its Narrow Plotline Is Putting Our Children and Schools at Risk

Perspective | Is there really a ‘science of reading’ that tells us exactly how to teach kids to read?

The Trouble With Binaries: A Perspective on the Science of Reading, David B. Yaden Jr., David Reinking, and Peter Smagorinsky

Where Is the Evidence? Looking Back to Jeanne Chall and Enduring Debates About the Science of Reading, Peggy Semingson and William Kerns

The Sciences of Reading Instruction, Rachael Gabriel (Educational Leadership)

The Science of Reading Progresses: Communicating Advances Beyond the Simple View of Reading, Nell Duke and Kelly B. Cartwright

Science of Reading Advocates Have a Messaging Problem, Claude Goldenberg (Education Week)

MacPhee, D., Handsfield, L.J., & Paugh, P. (2021). Conflict or conversation? Media portrayals of the science of reading. Reading Research Quarterly, TBD.

Bowers, J. S., & Bowers, P. N. (2021, January 22). The science of reading provides little or no support for the widespread claim that systematic phonics should be part of initial reading instruction: A response to Buckingham.

Reading Policy

Making Early Literacy Policy Work: Three Considerations for Policymakers Based on Kentucky’s “Read to Succeed” Act (NEPC)

Red Flags, Red Herrings, and Common Ground: An Expert Study in Response to State Reading Policy


Phoney Phonics: How Decoding Came to Rule and Reading Lost Meaning (TCR)

The Phonics Debate: 2004, Stephen Krashen

Defending Whole Language: The Limits of Phonics Instruction and the Efficacy of Whole Language Instruction, Stephen Krashen

Does Phonics Deserve the Credit for Improvement in PIRLS?, Stephen Krashen

Reconsidering the Evidence That Systematic Phonics Is More Effective Than Alternative Methods of Reading Instruction, Jeffrey S. Bowers (2020)

To read or not to read: decoding Synthetic Phonics, Andrew Davis

Cryonics Phonics: Inequality’s Little Helper, Gerald Coles

Grade Retention

UPDATED: Grade Retention Research

Grade Retention:

Black students disproportionately retained (grades 3 and 4)

(USDOE/Office of Civil Rights) – Data 2017-2018


An Examination of Dyslexia Research and Instruction, with Policy Implications, Peter Johnston and Donna Scanlon

Research Advisory: Dyslexia (ILA) (2016)

Emerging Bilinguals

Caught in the Crosshairs: Emerging Bilinguals and the Reading Wars (NEPC)


NEPC reviews of NCTQ reports

NCTQ on States’ Teacher Evaluation Systems’ Failures, Again

Measuring Up: The National Council on Teacher Quality’s Ratings of Teacher Preparation Programs and Measures of Teacher Performance


UPDATED: Mississippi Miracle or Mirage?: 2019 NAEP Reading Scores Prompt Questions, Not Answers

Mississippi rising? A partial explanation for its NAEP improvement is that it holds students back