The Gap Between The Science On Kids And Reading, And How It Is Taught (Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results)

Claudio Sanchez:

Mark Seidenberg is not the first researcher to reach the stunning conclusion that only a third of the nation’s school children read at grade level. The reasons are numerous, but one that Seidenberg cites over and over again is this: The way kids are taught to read in school is disconnected from the latest research, namely how language and speech actually develop in a child’s brain.

Seidenberg is a cognitive scientist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his latest book, Language at the Speed of Sight, he points out that the “science of reading” can be a difficult concept for educators to grasp. He says it requires some basic understanding of brain research and the “mechanics” of reading, or what is often referred to as phonics.

I talked with Seidenberg about what it will take to improve reading instruction. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Much more on Mark Seidenberg and Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results.

Madison spends far more than most, now nearly $20,000 per student.