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Change Management

Foster, K. R., Kodali, T., O’Keefe, B., Rotherham, A. J., & Jacob, A. (2024). On the same page: A primer on the science of reading and its future for policymakers, school leaders, and advocates. Bellwether.

Chapter 6, “Implementation Challenges and Lessons”, in this report discusses the complexities of adopting “science of reading”-aligned policies, emphasizing that policy adoption is only the first step toward sustainable classroom-level changes that support improved literacy instruction. Drawing parallels with past reform efforts, the authors advise that if a more evidence-based approach to teaching reading is going to be successfully implemented, there needs to be clear implementation strategies, realistic expectations, teacher involvement, and active engagement in local politics around the issue (should there be any). This chapter illustrates how these challenges have manifested in states that are implementing new reading policies, showing the potential vulnerabilities of implementation. 

For the purposes of this meeting, we are asking you to read only Chapter 6, “Implementation Challenges and Lessons”. If you would like to learn more about the evidence base behind and key components of the “science of reading”, consider reading the full report. 

Luscombe, B. (2022, August 11). Inside the massive effort to change the way kids are taught to read. Time.

This article features the advocacy efforts an educator in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in championing explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics to address persistently low reading proficiency rates, particularly among marginalized student populations. At the time this article was published, the author reported that there were five states passing laws requiring teacher training in phonics-based reading techniques. This article highlights the importance of comprehensive policy reforms and teacher training initiatives to ensure equitable access to effective reading instruction.

EL Education Inc. (2020). Leading and managing complex change.

The Knoster Model is a diagnostic tool aimed at identifying and addressing challenges in implementing changes in a system. The model connects the symptoms of a particular implementation issue with what might be missing from the way that change was implemented. Oakland Unified School District has been using the Knoster Model as a change management framework for implementing their new curriculum. The model includes six essential components – vision, consensus, skills, incentives, resources, and an action plan for effective change implementation – that reduce the chances of negative outcomes of change (e.g., confusion, resistance).