Season 6, Episode 10

The big win is just the beginning, with Dr. Jennifer Throndsen

With Utah’s recent passing of Senate Bill 127, a sweeping piece of literacy legislation, many are turning to the state as a model of what statewide implementation of the Science of Reading can look like. In this episode, Dr. Jennifer Throndsen, Director of Teaching and Learning at Utah State Board of Education, joins Susan to tell the story of how Senate Bill 127 came to be and how they are continuing to make changes in schools across Utah. Together, they discuss what the bill included, the opportunities and challenges the bill provides when it comes to implementation, and advice for other states looking to enact literacy legislation. Throndsen also discusses her experience as a teacher and her journey with the Science of Reading.

Meet our guest(s):

Dr. Jennifer Throndsen

Dr. Jennifer Throndsen is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Utah State Board of Education. Throndsen takes pride in developing and designing policy, resources, and supports to help other educators serve students as best as possible. Prior to her current role, she worked as an elementary and middle school teacher, instructional coach, adjunct professor, and district specialist. She earned her doctorate in mathematics curriculum and instruction from Utah State University in 2018. In addition to her primary role, Jennifer has been recognized for her extraordinary commitment to early learning.

Meet our host, Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is the Chief Academic Officer of Elementary Humanities at Amplify, and the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast. Her career has been focused on creating high-quality learning environments using evidence-based practices. Susan is a mom of four, a grandma of four, a world traveler, and a collector of stories.

As the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast, Susan explores the increasing body of scientific research around how reading is best taught. As a former classroom teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer, Susan is dedicated to turning theory into best practices that educators can put right to use in the classroom, and to showcasing national models of reading instruction excellence.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


"Our students are the state's greatest asset, and we need to invest in them with all the energy and knowledge we have to do our best to serve them with urgency, compassion, and high expectations." —Dr. Jennifer Throndsen
"If kids can't read, that really keeps them from accessing other content areas like science, social studies, and being able to engage in story problems in mathematics." —Dr. Jennifer Throndsen
"Being able to read is today's civil right's movement." —Dr. Jennifer Throndsen
"With requirements comes resistance. No matter how great the opportunity is." —Dr. Jennifer Throndsen

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