Bay State Reading Institute: A Case Study of Teacher Culture Change

January 2018

In classrooms across the Commonwealth, educators continuously grapple with the best way to reach students with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and learning needs. This report examines the way in which the Bay State Reading Institute, a small group literacy model, improved teacher capacity to differentiate instruction for diverse learners in Everett, MA. In seeking to uncover the school and classroom level changes that resulted in improved student outcomes, this case study identifies the conditions and supports that led to teacher culture change.

While the Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) uses literacy as an entry point to changing teacher practice, its focus on data-informed, differentiated small-group instruction provides a foundation through which teachers can target instruction to individual student needs across subject areas. This report focuses on three Everett elementary schools at different stages in implementation, including one school that has been implementing the initiative for five years. In addition to laying out the perquisites for success in BSRI implementation, this report identifies the shifts, essential practices, challenges, and outcomes which characterize the first years of the initiative. The report concludes with key considerations and lessons learned for educators seeking to catalyze change in their own schools and districts.

Report Year