Failing Balanced Literacy Is Failing Readers, Katie Kelly and Paul Thomas

Failing Balanced Literacy Is Failing Readers, Katie Kelly and Paul Thomas NOTE: An earlier version of the PDF had a citation/edit error that has been corrected, with apologies.

The Problem with Balanced Literacy

My summer graduate course, Foundations and Current Trends in Literacy Research and Practice, never fails at being an invigorating course for me and my students because it combines foundational topics in literacy with a never-ending series of current debates and controversies surrounding those enduring elements of teaching and learning literacy. For several years recently, my … Continue reading The Problem with Balanced Literacy

Attack on “Balanced Literacy” Is Attack on Professional Teachers, Research

The allusion in Robert Pondiscio’s Why Johnny won’t learn to read accomplishes something different than intended. Pondiscio’s uninformed swipe at balanced literacy actually reveals that, once again, ideology trumps teacher professionalism and literacy research. The reading wars are about almost everything except reading, but the most important lesson from this newest version of the same … Continue reading Attack on “Balanced Literacy” Is Attack on Professional Teachers, Research

NEW: How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: A Primer for Parents, Policy Makers, and People Who Care (IAP)

How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: A Primer for Parents, Policy Makers, and People Who Care (IAP) amazon Barnes and Noble [excerpt from Introduction] How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: An Overview The chapters that follow are not intended … Continue reading NEW: How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: A Primer for Parents, Policy Makers, and People Who Care (IAP)

Did Balance Literacy Fail to Teach Your Child to Read?

For 36 years now, I have been teaching people to write; that journey is a large subset of my own being and becoming a writer, an experience that is captured well in an old Nike poster I used to hang on the wall of my high school classroom, proclaiming “There is no finish line.” For … Continue reading Did Balance Literacy Fail to Teach Your Child to Read?

Reading as a First-Mile Problem: Recognizing the Role of Poverty and Inequity in Literacy Development

Literacy scholar Tim Shanahan answers the question Why Is It So Hard to Improve Reading Achievement? with the following: “Classroom implementation is the last mile in reading reform.” He eventually adds, “The last mile rhetoric shouldn’t be a hair-on-fire message, but one that acknowledges both the current successes and the need to do better.” Shanahan’s … Continue reading Reading as a First-Mile Problem: Recognizing the Role of Poverty and Inequity in Literacy Development

Teachable Moment: Fake News and Critical Media Literacy

The great and urgent paradox of twenty-first century America is trying to discover the truth about fake news, a phenomenon spurred by the 2016 presidential election. Fortunately, Andrew Guess, Brendan Nyhan, and Jason Reifler have analyzed how often people viewed fake news to help us understand that elusive truth: [W]e find that approximately one in four … Continue reading Teachable Moment: Fake News and Critical Media Literacy

SC Fails Students Still: More on Grade Retention and Misreading Literacy

But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease. Oscar Wilde (1891), The Soul of Man under Socialism Bells will certainly continue to signal class changes in public schools all across South Carolina this fall, but there is a much more serious (and unwarranted) bell … Continue reading SC Fails Students Still: More on Grade Retention and Misreading Literacy

Middle-Class Assumptions Fail Literacy Instruction

My doctoral work was anchored significantly in John Dewey—highlighted, I recall, by discovering that Dewey had claimed we need not teach children to read because reading was something that naturally developed in children (and since he could not recall being taught explicitly to read). I was struck by such a tremendous failure in a great … Continue reading Middle-Class Assumptions Fail Literacy Instruction

Parental Rights as Bullying [UPDATED]

I am not a high-profile journalist with platforms at APM, Education Week, and the New York Times. So I have to imagine that hearing from teachers and parents raising concerns about how the “science of reading” (SOR) movement isn’t representing them and even silencing and bullying them is only a fraction of those experiencing the … Continue reading Parental Rights as Bullying [UPDATED]