Why won’t public schools teach children to read?
65% of fourth-graders and eighth-graders are below proficient in reading. The country has 50,000,000 functional illiterates.
Why does there seem to be a war against reading?
This is not a fanciful phrase. There are lots of people and forces arrayed against literacy. It’s been like this since 1931 when our
Education Establishment forced phonics out of public schools,
and forced Look-say / sight-words into the schools.
Teachers, parents, and community leaders who don’t know the history of reading are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Or they are doomed to let them be repeated.
If you’re not familiar with Rudolf Flesch, Ken Goodman, Frank Smith and all the other big players in the Reading Wars, you will enjoy this sweeping historical analysis of blunders and quackery in elementary education. (Seventeen incredible quotes from Frank Smith are worth the price of admission.)
If you are struggling to teach reading with inferior materials, it will be very helpful to spend 20 minutes finding out why this situation exists.
“The War Against Reading” by Bruce Deitrick Price.
A highly serious, highly informative 13-page article.
Please order this PDF and then give it to as many people as possible.
Note; this article goes not teach phonics per se but it does explain why Whole Word will always fail, and phonics is the default way to teach reading.
Author of "Saving k-12--What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?" (published November 17, 2017)