This type of reading instruction is the most beneficial for early readers. That was the conclusion of the federally appointed National Reading Panel nearly two decades ago.
So, there is actual scientific evidence about how students learn to read. And it’s largely been ignored.
Ignored largely because of years of ideological fights over how to best teach reading. Should lessons be heavy with phonics or steeped in good literature?
Smith says sure kids of course need time with good books, but from what she’s seen in Arkansas, the first step is comprehensive phonics instruction. That’s why the state is moving to teach every student this way.
Golly, you think, what have we done? What have we done for generations to kids that we didn’t really teach to read?
Arkansas is now retraining thousands of its educators who were never taught this method of teaching.
When I first started teaching, I honestly didn’t know how to teach kids to read. I didn’t. I taught them some sight words. I taught them the letters and what sounds they make. And I hoped that they put it all together. Rush.
Teacher Miranda Mahan no longer has to hope. She knows kids are learning to read.
“THE DATA CLEARLY INDICATE THAT BEING ABLE TO READ IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION AT (MADISON) EAST, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE BLACK OR HISPANIC”