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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Doing more of what wasn't working won't help kids catch up

"If we really want to narrow gaps and make up for pandemic-related learning loss, we need to change what and how we teach -- especially in the area of reading, argues Natalie Wexler, author of The Knowledge Gap. Extending the school year won't help much if we students get more-of-the-same teaching.

In addition to teaching phonics explicitly and systematically, schools need to change "the approach to reading comprehension, which takes up the lion’s share of instructional time in elementary school," Wexler writes. Too much time is spent searching for "the main idea" and too little building the knowledge and vocabulary needed to understand complex texts.

Some children "acquire that kind of knowledge and vocabulary at home" from their well-educated, affluent parents, she notes. Others rely on their teachers.

Wexler's Knowledge Matters podcast is here.

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Wow, what a coincidence. Natalie wants everyone to take the same steps she's been preaching for years.


I've been saying just that here for a long time:

"Carthago delenda est" To modernize Cato: The public school system must be destroyed.

It's past the point where it can be "evolved" or "transformed" into something sane. It has to be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up.

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