Emily Hanford and APM Reports won a national education reporting award

Karen Vaites: “Thank you so much to EWA, congratulations to my fellow finalists, and there’s so much great reporting, education reporting going on right now–I’ve been coming to this conference and I’ve been a part of this community for a long time, and I’m just so grateful to be in the profession that all of … Continue reading Emily Hanford and APM Reports won a national education reporting award

Hanford exposes soft bigotry in schools

Nathaniel Swain: If you haven’t listened to or read the latest APM Report from Emily Hanford, this is really a must. A multifaceted look at the importance of oral language, background knowledge, and effective instruction for reading comprehension, Hanford’s report sheds light on the cruel intersections and interactions between race, family income, poverty, and educational … Continue reading Hanford exposes soft bigotry in schools

Some college, but no degree

Emily Hanford:

Kai Ryssdal: However students get their textbooks — on an iPad or the old-fashioned way — those books don’t do any good unless they’re actually used.
There are 37 million people in this country who’ve started college, who have some credits — but never finished. When they do that, when they drop out, there are costs — to them, and to the rest of us, in the billions of dollars, in wasted loans and grants and lost opportunities. Those costs are one reason college dropouts are starting to get more attention from the Obama administration on down.
But finding ways for people to finish their degrees might mean rethinking the way Americans go to college. Emily Hanford of American RadioWorks reports.

Teaching teachers: As educators struggle with the issue of teacher improvement, a program in Tennessee shows that struggling teachers can gain a lot from watching great teachers in action.

Emily Hanford

Teachers are at the center of the great debate over how to fix American education. We’re told the bad ones need to be fired; the good ones, rewarded. But what about the rest? Most teachers are in the middle — not terrible, but they could be better. If every student is going to have a good teacher, then the question of how to help teachers in the middle must be part of the debate.
One reason “teacher improvement” doesn’t get more attention is because researchers don’t know that much about how teachers get better. Typical professional development programs, in which teachers go to a workshop for a day or two, aren’t effective. Even programs that provide longer-term training don’t seem to work very well. Two experimental studies by the U.S. Department of Education showed that yearlong institutes to improve teacher knowledge and practice did not result in significantly better student test scores.

Rethinking Teacher Development Days: New ideas for better teachers and schools

Kai Ryssdal

Contrary to what you’d think, teacher development days don’t help teachers that much. So, schools and school districts are employing new tactics to improve teachers and attract new talent to schools.
This is education week for the Obama Administration. The president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board met this morning. They were talking about private partnerships with community colleges. There’s a big community college summit at the White House tomorrow afternoon.
But a lot of the attention paid to education recently has been K through 12. Specifically, whether using kids’ test scores is a fair way to grade teachers. There’s some research out there that says test scores can be used with a bunch of other measurements to help find the most effective and least effective teachers in a given school. The problem is figuring out how to help the broad middle group be better teachers.
A group of schools in Tennessee has proven that can be done, as Emily Hanford of American RadioWorks reports.

Early Lessons

Emily Hanford:

The Perry Preschool was the idea of a man named David Weikart. He was a school system administrator in the small city of Ypsilanti, Michigan back in the late 1950s. When he took the job, he was shocked to discover how many poor African-American children were doing badly in school. A lot of them were being assigned to special education classes, getting held back, and failing to graduate from high school.
Weikart wanted to do something about it, but school officials did not share his enthusiasm. They didn’t want him changing things, messing around in their schools.
So rather than change the schools, Weikart decided to invent a new kind of school – a pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds. His hope was that preschool could boost children’s IQs.
This was a radical notion. Most people believed everyone was born with a certain amount of intelligence, a quotient, and it never changed. They had faith in IQ tests to measure intelligence. And they thought intelligence mattered a lot, that it was the key to success in school, and life.

A push for Latinos to pursue education

Emily Hanford:

A report out from the Southern Education Foundation out today says the South is the first part of the country where more than half the children in public schools are minorities. That is happening in part because more Latinos and their larger families are moving in. Latinos are the fastest-growing part of the U.S. population.
And as the United States tries to keep up with other countries in getting students into, and graduated from college, Latinos are getting special attention. Because they’re the least likely to get college degrees. From American RadioWorks, Emily Hanford reports.

The Problem in Reading

Chris Stewart interviews Emily Hanford (video). audio mp3 transcript Emily Hanford notes and links. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results. My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our … Continue reading The Problem in Reading

Another indictment of America’s approach to reading instruction

Dale Chu, via a kind reader: The tremor that you felt last week was the dropping of a new Emily Hanford radio documentary, “What the Words Say: Many kids struggle with reading—and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need.” Since she started reporting on reading several years ago, Hanford … Continue reading Another indictment of America’s approach to reading instruction

Many kids struggle with reading – and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need

Emily Hanford: Sonya Thomas knew something wasn’t right with her son C.J. He was in first grade and he was struggling with reading. “Something was going on with him, but I could not figure it out,” she said.  Teachers and school officials told her that C.J. was behind but would catch up. They told Sonya … Continue reading Many kids struggle with reading – and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need

How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

Emily Hanford: Molly Woodworth was a kid who seemed to do well at everything: good grades, in the gifted and talented program. But she couldn’t read very well. “There was no rhyme or reason to reading for me,” she said. “When a teacher would dictate a word and say, ‘Tell me how you think you … Continue reading How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

Commentary on the “Science of Reading”

Today @NEPCtweet released a statement on the ‘Science of Reading.’ The email said: “It’s time for the media and political distortions to end, and for the literacy community and policymakers to fully support the literacy needs of all children.” https://t.co/zcIEyIu5HE 1/x — Emily Hanford (@ehanford) March 19, 2020

A Conversation About the Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction with Dr. Louisa Moats

Kelly Stuart & Gina Fugnitto: Dr. Louisa Moats: The body of work referred to as the “science of reading” is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction. It is the emerging consensus from many related disciplines, based on literally thousands of … Continue reading A Conversation About the Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction with Dr. Louisa Moats

Cracking the code on reading instruction stories

Holly Korbey: In late 2018, WHYY Philadelphia education reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent was asked to coffee by a group of suburban Philadelphia moms who had “this little movement” going to push their highly regarded school district to help their struggling readers, some of whom had been diagnosed with dyslexia. Wolfman-Arent had recently heard APM Reports senior … Continue reading Cracking the code on reading instruction stories

To ‘Get Reading Right,’ We Need To Talk About What Teachers Actually Do

Natalie Wexler: In recent months, thanks largely to journalist Emily Hanford, it’s become clear that the prevailing approach to teaching kids how to decipher words isn’t backed by evidence. An abundance of research shows that many children—perhaps most—won’t learn to “decode” written text unless they get systematic instruction in phonics. As Hanford has shown, teachers … Continue reading To ‘Get Reading Right,’ We Need To Talk About What Teachers Actually Do

This is why we don’t have better readers: Response to Lucy Calkins

Mark Seidenberg: Lucy Calkins has written a manifesto entitled “No One Gets To Own The Term ‘Science Of Reading’”. I am a scientist who studies reading.  Her document is not about the science that I know; it is about Lucy Calkins. Ms. Calkins is a prolific pedagogical entrepreneur who has published numerous curricula and supporting … Continue reading This is why we don’t have better readers: Response to Lucy Calkins

There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It

Emily Hanford: “Thank God for Mississippi.” That’s a phrase people would use when national education rankings came out because no matter how poorly your state performed, you could be sure things were worse in Mississippi. Not anymore. New results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test given every two years to measure … Continue reading There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It

At a Loss for Words How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

Emily Hanford: For decades, schools have taught children the strategies of struggling readers, using a theory about reading that cognitive scientists have repeatedly debunked. And many teachers and parents don’t know there’s anything wrong with it. “THE DATA CLEARLY INDICATE THAT BEING ABLE TO READ IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION AT (MADISON) EAST, ESPECIALLY … Continue reading At a Loss for Words How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

Why aren’t kids being taught to read?

Emily Hanford, via a kind reader: But this research hasn’t made its way into many elementary school classrooms. The prevailing approaches to reading instruction in American schools are inconsistent with basic things scientists have discovered about how children learn to read. Many educators don’t know the science, and in some cases actively resist it. The … Continue reading Why aren’t kids being taught to read?

Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way? Madison’s long term disastrous reading results

Emily Hanford: Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that line up with what scientists have discovered about how people actually learn. It’s a problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than six in 10 fourth graders aren’t proficient readers. It … Continue reading Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way? Madison’s long term disastrous reading results

Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read? “The study found that teacher candidates in Mississippi were getting an average of 20 minutes of instruction in phonics over their entire two-year teacher preparation program”

Emily Hanford: Balanced literacy was a way to defuse the wars over reading,” said Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neuroscientist and author of the book “Language at the Speed of Sight.” “It succeeded in keeping the science at bay, and it allowed things to continue as before.” He says the reading wars are over, and science … Continue reading Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read? “The study found that teacher candidates in Mississippi were getting an average of 20 minutes of instruction in phonics over their entire two-year teacher preparation program”

College students increasingly caught in remedial education trap

Emily Hanford: Attending Arlington Senior High School in St. Paul, Minn., she kept her head in her books and did her homework. “I was that student everybody wanted to multiply,” she said. Her mother was elated with Arlington, a brand new school with the latest technology, web training, access to Apple computers and — best … Continue reading College students increasingly caught in remedial education trap

Rethinking vocational high school as a path to college

Emily Hanford: For years, vocational high schools have been seen as a lesser form of schooling – tracking some kids off to work while others were encouraged to go on to college and pursue higher income professions. But things are changing. Vocational high schools are focusing much more on preparing students for higher education. At … Continue reading Rethinking vocational high school as a path to college