In recent weeks, the New York State Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled her “Back to Basics” plan to improve reading achievement in New York State. As part of her plan, Governor Hochul has proposed that millions of dollars be allocated in the state’s budget to train “20 thousand teachers in Science of Reading Instructional best practices and announced an expansion of SUNY and CUNY’s microcredentialing programs for teachers focused on the Science of Reading.” (Hochul, 2024). With the Science of Reading becoming a major component in reading instruction, this new text, Shifting the Balance: 6 ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom (Egan Cunningham, Burkins & Yates, 2024). could not be a timelier publication. The following review will give insight not only to the well-designed layout and recurring content of the chapters but will also take a peek into each of the six chapters and examine the “hits” (major important content and components of each chapter), as well as a discussion of any “misses” (components or content that can be improved upon) that a chapter may contain. What the review focuses in on, are the multitude of “hits”, most of which are well designed “Zooming In” lessons that bring the research connected to reading instruction, i.e., The Science of Reading into the upper elementary classroom through well-designed and explained instructional routines and practices for teachers to incorporate into their own teaching repertoires.


Cunningham, K E., Burkins, J. & Yates, K. (2024). Shifting the Balance: 6 ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse.

Office of New York State Governor (2024). Governor Hochul unveils second proposal of 2024 State of the State: ‘The Back to Basics’ plan to improve reading