Education Week reports that a growing number of school districts are asking would-be teachers: “What have you done personally or professionally to be more antiracist?” “Once you learn to read, you will forever be free,” wrote Frederick Douglass. Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom The best answer, writes Kay Hymowitz in City Journal, is: Teach black children to read. Nationwide, 52 percent of black children read below basic in fourth grade, according to federal data, with Hispa
Teachers were trained to teach students how to guess words they couldn’t read. The reading wars are over, writes Dana Goldstein in the New York Times. Lucy Calkins, the influential leader of the “balanced literacy” camp has retreated, acknowledging that her “wildly popular and profitable” curriculum does not reflect the research on how children learn to read. A rewrite of her reading curriculum, from kindergarten to second grade, includes, for the first time, daily structured
“Schools aren’t teaching reading in ways that line up with the science,” concludes American Public Media’s Emily Hanford in Hard Words. Many teachers go through training programs without learning how to teach reading effectively — including systematic, explicit instruction in phonics, she found. The story struck a chord with teachers, writes Robert Pondiscio, a former teacher. One such response, posted to the Facebook page of Decoding Dyslexia-Arkansas, was a letter from teac
Parents of children with dyslexia forced their school district to teach phonics, reports Emily Hanford on NPR. Upper Arlington, Ohio schools had been using the whole-language method, which “holds that learning to read is a natural process” that doesn’t require direct instruction, she writes. Instead, children were surrounded by books. That didn’t work for dyslexic students — or for many of their classmates. People with dyslexia have an especially hard time learning to read be
Educators are teaching reading wrong, argues Mark Seidenberg, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist, in Language at the Speed of Sight. “Whole language” and “balanced literacy” ignore the “science of reading,” he writes. The book is “indispensable,” writes Robert Pondiscio in a review (follow the link and read his lead, if nothing else). “Parents who proudly bring their children to school on the first day of kindergarten are making a big mistake,” Seidenberg writes. “They
. . . researchers trained adults to read in a new language, printed in unfamiliar symbols, and then measured their learning with reading tests and brain scans.
Professor Kathy Rastle, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway said, “The results were striking; people who had focused on the meanings of the new words were much less accurate in reading aloud and comprehension than those who had used phonics, and our MRI scans revealed that their brains had to work hard