Essentially, that meant kids were not being taught to read at all.
Whole language proponents even said that when children guessed wrong, they should not be corrected.
“It is unpleasant to be corrected,” Paul Jennings, an Australian whole language enthusiast, said. “It has to be fun, fun, fun.”
But reading, like devising algebraic equations, is anything but natural. It must be learned.
Whole language had one thing going for it: Instead of teaching the 44 sounds or phonemes that the 26 letters of the English alphabet can make, with whole language, teachers could sit back and relax.
They gave kids books and passively watched as students struggled to make sense of the material placed in front of them. When their children failed to learn to read, they could blame it on their homes or on poor motivation.
Egged on by teachers’ unions, public schools across the country widely adopted the whole language approach. As evidenced by their reading scores, Blacks often struggled the most. Unable to read even a simple road map, they faced a lifetime of failure.
Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.
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”
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