I recently compiled a Bill of Rights for Students 2012 and decided that the first and most important right had to be: THE RIGHT TO LEARN TO READ. Somehow this right is being routinely violated. Recent NAEP scores indicate that two-thirds of eighth graders are below “proficient” in reading. The whole country should be angry about this news. (But my local newspaper reported it as ho-hum-what’s-new?) I would like to understand why (and how) the administrators continue to use teaching methods that don’t work. How do we get the Education Establishment to test out new ideas, and to start producing readers instead of functional illiterates? Please explain the forces operating in your school that keep our reading scores so low. (I believe it’s well-known that all phonics programs claim they will teach children to read in the first grade, and that by the second grade children should be reading age-appropriate books which they have selected. Isn’t this the only acceptable goal? Shouldn't administrators who are not at least trying to reach this standard be replaced?)
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