top of page


At a recent State Board of Education meeting, Dr. Audrey Young talked about popular literacy curriculum, like Lucy Calkins or Fountas and Pinnell. Dr. Young went on to ask Texas Education Commissioner, Mike Morath, how the Texas Education Agency will ensure school districts adopt high-quality instructional materials to complement the training teachers are receiving through the Texas Reading Academies to ensure ALL Texas children can read!  Watch the video to see the exchange. 

yellow white map_edited.png

Currently, 28 states are passing laws, prioritizing federal funding, or requiring teacher training and/or curriculum to align to the Science of Reading.

Some states have effectively banned HPISD’s Balanced Literacy materials, including Lucy Calkins Units of Study and Fountas & Pinnell.

States have chosen different methods to remove Balanced Literacy materials from classrooms, including:

Massachusetts - The state is offering grants for the purchase of high-quality core curricular materials for literacy in any grade. The grant application indicates Lucy Calkins Units of Study and Fountas & Pinnell do not meet expectations. Schools using these materials will receive priority in order to support replacing low quality materials.

California (Palo Alto) - The Palo Alto school district (home of Stanford University) has long used Lucy Calkins Units of Study and Fountas & Pinnell, but is adopting a new curriculum promoted by the national conversation about the Science of Reading  (podcast and district process).

California (State) - A recent federal class action lawsuit prohibits the future use of Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention in the state.

Colorado - The state has ordered schools to replace low-quality elementary reading programs including Lucy Calkins Units of Study and Fountas & Pinnell

Virginia - In February 2022, a bill unanimously passed the state House that would require districts to align with the Science of Reading in educator training, intervention, and curriculum.  It is expected to pass in the Virginia state Senate and be signed into law this spring.

In 2020, Lucy Calkins, the author of HPISD’s Lucy Calkins Units of Study, made a public statement that Balanced Literacy (the approach her materials are based on) needs “re-balancing” as it does not align with established reading research. However, her materials have not changed. Today, Balanced Literacy materials that the author herself does not have confidence in are “anchor resources” in Highland Park ISD Kindergarten through 8th grade classrooms.

The publisher is expected to publish updated materials Summer 2022, which districts would need to purchase if they don’t want to continue to use materials that now even the author herself has misgivings about. 

TRA copy.png

Instead of banning Balanced Literacy materials like some other states, Texas is shifting schools to the Science of Reading by investing in every Texas K-3 teacher and principal using a new, mandatory training initiative: the Texas Reading Academies.


The Texas Reading Academies were designed and implemented by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in partnership with nationally acclaimed educators and researchers from leading universities as part of HB3. SMU, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, and The University of Houston are all contributing their expertise to the TEA's new initiative.

texas 3.png
University_of_Houston_Logo_red copy.png

The Texas Reading Academies' goal is to increase current educator knowledge in the Science of Reading, but the TEA is going even further! As of January 2021, prospective Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade teachers, must demonstrate proficiency on the Science of Teaching Reading Certification Examination.

View slides from the Texas Reading Academies below and note the Science of Teaching Reading is abbreviated STR.

bottom of page