Meet the IMSE Predictions Team

Janelle Norton

As Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships at IMSE, Ms. Norton works with legislators and school districts to advocate for evidence-based reading instruction.



Alana Mangham 

Lifelong early educator and current Director of Development and Implementation Support at IMSE.



Nicole Florez

International life-long educator, advocate for multilingual learners, and Literacy Specialist and IDA Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist at IMSE.


Advancements in Literacy Instruction Methods

We are in the middle of witnessing another major shift in literacy education, just as we did in the early 90s with balanced literacy, but this time the spotlight is on the Science of Reading. The advancement of research in this field is driving a resounding push toward Structured Literacy approaches. Educators are increasingly recognizing the impact Structured Literacy has in cultivating strong foundational skills, ensuring that students comprehend and apply the rules of language systematically.

“Advancements in the Science of Reading world will continue to be based on the research,” says Florez. “Since that is in the hands of the researchers, I can’t predict what could come but I can say that I’m excited for it!” 

One significant indicator of this shift lies in the anticipated impact on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, driven by the nationwide adoption of more robust reading laws. “As legislation focuses on early literacy interventions and evidence-based practices,” Mangham says, “the ripple effect on student achievement is expected to show in improved NAEP scores, reflecting the efficacy of these legislative measures.”

The Adoption of More Evidence-Based Literacy Legislation

Across the nation, more states recognize the need for evidence-based learning strategies, contributing to a substantial surge in legislative priorities. According to an Education Week analysis, 32 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws or implemented new policies related to evidence-based reading instruction as of July 2023. That being said, the IMSE team expects to see that number rise to all 50 states. 

This shift is manifested not only in increased momentum but also in concrete financial commitments. As more states allocate funding to support evidence-based literacy programs, educators are empowered with the resources needed to implement proven methodologies in the classroom. 

Florez states, “If state leaders believe in the need for change, they will seek Science of Reading-based education, training, and resources. If leaders do not believe in the need for change, there will not be any changes.“

“Every state is different in how they approach literacy legislation,” says Norton. “Local control is good in theory until districts follow outdated methods and do not follow the latest science and data. Some states are actually pushing back on local control by banning three cueing.”

The proactive stance of certain states banning the three-cueing method and the implementation of the Lucy Calkins Units of Study is a groundbreaking development. This move reflects a commitment to embracing practices rooted in evidence and research, signaling a departure from less effective approaches and a collective dedication to elevating the standard of literacy education nationwide. 

Major Changes Coming for Dyslexia Support and Teacher Training Funding

ESSER funding comes to an end in September 2024, funding that brought focus on sustainable, long-term strategies for addressing dyslexia in educational settings. “Nationwide, decisions are being made to allocate additional funding outside of ESSER, specifically for dyslexia services, spanning from screening to ongoing support. This marks a crucial step toward a more comprehensive and proactive approach to dyslexia intervention, recognizing the importance of early identification and tailored assistance,” says Florez.

Simultaneously, there is an emphasis on the funding of evidence-based professional development initiatives and resources for teachers. States are recognizing the role that well-equipped educators play in supporting students with dyslexia, and the allocation of resources for evidence-based training ensures that teachers have the tools and knowledge necessary to implement effective strategies in the classroom. These changes reflect a collective commitment to enhancing dyslexia support and empowering educators with the resources they need to foster success for every student.

Says Mangham, “This movement is not something you can check off a to-do list, but a shift in mindset and support to continuously build capacity within our teachers, administrators, and district staff.”

The anticipated changes in dyslexia support, the rise of evidence-based legislation, and the evolving educational landscape collectively signal a pivotal era in education. Principals emerge as key figures, with their understanding of effective classroom practices essential for students to master the art of reading. 

These changes reflect a commitment to inclusivity, innovation, and a steadfast belief in the power of literacy to shape brighter futures. In 2024 and beyond, the evolving conversation around literacy education promises to be a dynamic force, propelling us towards a future where every learner, regardless of background, can not only read but thrive in a world of limitless possibilities.

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