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"Let Them Eat Sight-Words"
CanadaFreePress ^ | Feb. 15, 2012 | Bruce Deitrick Price

Posted on 02/21/2012 3:37:12 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice

Marie Antoinette, on hearing that French peasants had no bread to eat, suggested, “Let them eat cake.”

This quip perfectly captured the haughty indifference which many people attributed to the French monarchy. A few years later, she was punished for her hauteur: execution by guillotine.

The famous quote was probably never uttered. Real or not, it’s a handy symbol for an arrogant elite, indifferent to the suffering of the people.

When you read in the newspaper that the US has 50 million functional illiterates, the disdainful queen should flash into your mind.

During the 1920’s, the American population was moving toward universal literacy. By 1940’s, that success was a thing of the past. More than 1,000,000 young men could not read well enough to enter the military. What happened?

Circa 1931, the Education Establishment enforced a new instructional method called Look-say, and later known as Whole Word, Sight Words, and many other aliases.

This method (no surprise to teachers of phonics) has been a painful catastrophe. Theory says that children can memorize 25,000, 50,000, or even 100,000 English words as graphic designs. Oh, really?? Most people can’t reach 1,000, and that requires a major struggle over many years.

It’s striking that so-called literacy professionals, in the face of manifest failure, pushed this dubious gimmick for so long. Clearly, they are well barricaded in ivory towers. “Eh bien, paysans, mangez les sight-words!”...

[900 WORD ARTICLE; HOW IT ENDS]

"...focus on early literacy. When children are three or four, teach them the alphabet, the sounds, the blends, and so on. These kids will be protected against the craziness that many schools insist on perpetuating.

CODA: I’m hopeful that a quiet rebellion will form around the banner Early Literacy At Home. For more on this important topic, see “54: Preemptive Reading” on Improve-Education.org."

--

(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...


TOPICS: Education; History; Reference; Society
KEYWORDS: balancedliteracy; education; educrats; literacy; phonics; reading; thedestoyers; thedestroyers

1 posted on 02/21/2012 3:37:17 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
How are kids supposed to know what a word sounds like when they wont teach them what the letters sound like to begin with?

Intentional communist sabotage!

Moses and Jesus are illegal, Snoop Dawg and cop killer are 24/7, and we wonder why they behave like they do???

2 posted on 02/21/2012 3:43:04 PM PST by rawcatslyentist (BO Stinks! So does Mitts magic underwear!)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Not using phonics to teach children to read and write English is insane.

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.


3 posted on 02/21/2012 3:43:41 PM PST by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Look-say.

An educational disaster.


4 posted on 02/21/2012 3:54:16 PM PST by Ole Okie
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
I am a public school teacher. I teach 11th grade American literature and 12th grade British literature. I can say that this article is very true. Children who learn sight words or use the see-and-say method do not know how to read. Sure, it gets students through fourth or fifth grade successfully, but they can't function at higher levels without phonics training. Our school system uses a Title I program called Success for All (SFA), which claims that phonics is part of the learning system. Since reading WHY JOHNNY STILL CAN'T READ (sorry don't know how to do italics) I have learned why this is a lie. It is quite frightening to hear 12th graders read, mispronounce words, and then not even recognize that what was read makes absolutely no sense.
5 posted on 02/21/2012 4:08:38 PM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
I am a public school teacher. I teach 11th grade American literature and 12th grade British literature. I can say that this article is very true. Children who learn sight words or use the see-and-say method do not know how to read. Sure, it gets students through fourth or fifth grade successfully, but they can't function at higher levels without phonics training. Our school system uses a Title I program called Success for All (SFA), which claims that phonics is part of the learning system. Since reading WHY JOHNNY STILL CAN'T READ (sorry don't know how to do italics) I have learned why this is a lie. It is quite frightening to hear 12th graders read, mispronounce words, and then not even recognize that what was read makes absolutely no sense.
6 posted on 02/21/2012 4:11:29 PM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: goodwithagun

I hope the new servers eliminate the chronic double posts.


7 posted on 02/21/2012 4:12:58 PM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: goodwithagun

I don’t disagree with your reasoning...phonics is a good tool but from my prospective I can’t use it simply because I have a 70% hearing loss since birth...I’ve learned to sight read and memorize words for over 55 years...my handicap and I accept it...however, having said that you need to know that though my names not Johnny...I read 2 books a week on average and must have over 3000 books in my library.
I’m also an engineer (non degree) and teach and do consulting work. Again, I’m not saying phonics isn’t good...but lots of “johnny’s” can read with out it...having said that...how do you teach some to spell and pronounce “phonics” using phonics...just wondering...


8 posted on 02/21/2012 4:42:26 PM PST by Hotdog
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
When my younger brother was in grammar school they taught him to read using a new program called the Initial Teaching Alphabet. Instead of normal letters they had a bunch of different symbols, each representing a different sound. Supposedly once you learned these sounds you would have the tools to know every word in the English language. They even learned to read from ITA books instead of regular ones.

My brother could read an ITA book perfectly. The only problem was that in the real world there were no ITA books and he had major problems in the transition from ITA to normal. It took him many years to catch up and recover from the damage done to him by this experiment in modern learning.

9 posted on 02/21/2012 4:46:03 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: goodwithagun

Oh for Pete’s sake, I have never heard of anyone being taught sight reading that wasn’t followed up with phonics.

Now, what you might be seeing are students with mild dyslexia, who simply cannot learn phonics without great difficulty.

Most of the best students and fastest readers are sight readers.


10 posted on 02/21/2012 4:50:25 PM PST by Eva
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

My niece is in 2nd grade and can now read on an 8th grade level. Her secret? I gave my sister Sig Engelmann’s “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons” and she followed it.


11 posted on 02/21/2012 5:02:53 PM PST by ari-freedom
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To: Eva
Eva, here's the old-time deal.

(1) You learn to read by the Phonics method. McGuffey, for instance.

(2)After you master that and read a few hundred real books, you are then a sight reader.

The Ed Gurus merely tried to get the children to sight reading faster by eliminating phonics. You know what? In highly literate households where kids pick up reading on their own when they are 3 or 4, it sometimes works.

It does not work all that well for your ordinary happy-go-lucky 6-year old male first grader. I tutor maths at the Community College and these youngsters, while perfectly "nice" people are astoundingly illiterate and have absolutely none of the Western Canon under control at age 20 or so. Nada. Zip. Nuthin'. Can you spell, "Obama Voter?" Forever.

PS: If I see one more tattoo, or piercing, just send the cops to pick me up before I hurt someone. WTF? Over.

12 posted on 02/21/2012 5:08:59 PM PST by Kenny Bunk ((So, you're telling me Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts can't figure out this eligibility stuff?))
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To: Hotdog

“how do you teach some to spell and pronounce “phonics” using phonics...just wondering...”

‘ph’ is taught as ‘f’
For example: PHone, PHoto, soPHistry, PHarmacy, etc


13 posted on 02/21/2012 5:09:36 PM PST by ari-freedom
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To: Ole Okie

Look say an educational DELIBERATE disaster. See Charlotte Iserbyt’s book, THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA . and see who did this and why. Available on line and from Amazon in a new updated edition. Watch her hour long Alex Jones interview. The truth will set you free.


14 posted on 02/21/2012 5:17:46 PM PST by codder too
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To: Kenny Bunk

“(2)After you master that and read a few hundred real books, you are then a sight reader. “

That’s the other part of the equation. After my niece learned how to read, we gave her a ton of books. She reads every night before she goes to sleep. When I was over to babysit, I gave her the Book of Esther and she read the entire book before it was time to turn off the lights.


15 posted on 02/21/2012 5:17:50 PM PST by ari-freedom
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

My four year old has been taught entirely with phonetics yet he can read all of the Dolch words through third grade. < /proud dad>


16 posted on 02/21/2012 5:34:57 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: ari-freedom

Got it...I’m still having trouble with too, to and two...love the English language...I remember going to a plant in Nottingham, England...arrived there at 8:00am their time and had jet lag big time. The plant manager came to greet me and responded by saying “He couldn’t wait to have intercourse with me”
I damn near ran from that place (intercourse to them means to have conversation)


17 posted on 02/21/2012 5:35:44 PM PST by Hotdog
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
This classic 1986 speech by renowned educator and author Samuel L. Blumenfeld discusses this very subject. The video is one hour and 42 minutes in length and is as fresh today as it was decades ago.
18 posted on 02/21/2012 5:40:54 PM PST by wtd
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To: ari-freedom

Gave our grandson Hooked Onthe Phonicsat age 4. Be could read AND spell before starting school. Once you have the phonics programed in the brain it cannot be undone and ADD ADHD is not a problem for these kids. Our grandson read the Easter story to me from a children’s book. The ONLY word missprounced was disciples. He chose a short i rather than long. I said the word and the next night he ‘knew’ word and will for the rest of his life. Phonics is the greatest gift a child can be given for a lifetime of learning and enjoyment.


19 posted on 02/21/2012 5:43:18 PM PST by codder too
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
Marie Antoinette, on hearing that French peasants had no bread to eat, suggested, “Let them eat cake."

This quote has been falsely attributed to Antionette for a loooong time.

It's the old-time version of liberal smear jobs in the current media.

20 posted on 02/21/2012 5:48:18 PM PST by Lazamataz (If you only think about a diet, only your brain loses weight.)
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To: codder too
Who will take credit for all **your**hard work?

Answer: The school, of course and those who push sight reading!

One thing that steams me is that these school ratings **never** take into account all the hard work parents and kids do **afterschooling** and **preschooling** IN THE HOME!

21 posted on 02/21/2012 5:51:58 PM PST by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

I learned sight reading in first grade (they didn’t offer kindergarten at the public school) and was qualified to read any book in the library by the time I started third grade.


22 posted on 02/21/2012 6:02:59 PM PST by Eva
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To: Straight Vermonter

My grandson was reading sight words at 15 months.


23 posted on 02/21/2012 6:05:10 PM PST by Eva
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To: Reddy

A lot of our “functionally illiterate” children (and teachers) are foreign language and ebonic speakers and they have their diversity race “right” to be functionally illiterate. How does a public school child learn to read and write when English is not their language? They don’t.


24 posted on 02/21/2012 6:07:24 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Kenny Bunk

It all depends on the style of learning that a child has. You have to be a visual learner to learn sight reading. My family are all visual learners and not very good auditory learners.

When my grandson was 18 months old, he could read every word in his vocabulary and some words that were not in his vocabulary, like chimpanzee.

When I was in college, I was in an advanced English comp class for students that scored above 650 on their English boards. The teacher told us that we were all sight readers and that studies showed that because we were sight readers we were also very fast readers, but we were also the worst spellers. We had spelling lessons in Eng. Comp, that the lower classes did not have.


25 posted on 02/21/2012 6:14:20 PM PST by Eva
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

INITIAL TEACHING ALPHABET...Yes, my impression was that ITA made no earthly sense. Almost a separate language. Very scary when you first glance at it. But there’s still a foundation pushing it!

“Let them eat ITA!”

The sad truth is that our Education Establishment was/is a lot more dedicated to illiteracy than to literacy. All the evidence shouts that.


26 posted on 02/21/2012 6:15:14 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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To: Eva

Everything in your post is proved false by specific, documented studies referenced in the book that I mentioned in my previous post . . . for Pete’s sake.


27 posted on 02/21/2012 7:09:49 PM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Eva
“I learned sight reading in first grade (they didn’t offer kindergarten at the public school) and was qualified to read any book in the library by the time I started third grade.”

Too bad. Children who are taught phonics are reading before kindergarten.

28 posted on 02/21/2012 7:13:04 PM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: ari-freedom

RE: “Sig Engelmann’s “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons”


Siegfried Engelmann and Samuel Blumenfeld are two of America’s real educators. I recommend anything by them over everything pushed by the Education Establishment.


29 posted on 02/21/2012 8:13:06 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I think that the best phonics program in the US is the Abeka K-5, Grade 1 and Grade 2 program. Works well, is colorful and gets the job done.

I taught four using it and it was very successful. All learned to read well and comprehend easily. Never needed the third grade program, went straight to Easy Grammer and its companion book.


30 posted on 02/21/2012 8:28:49 PM PST by Chickensoup (In the 20th century 200 million people were killed by their own governments.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
” Experts agree that writing helps reading. (Montessori taught writing first.) Cursive especially helps reading” ( From the article cited at the end of the post)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The boys in our cub scout troop tell me that they are not not taught cursive.

Seriously...After working with the cub scouts for 3 years, I am convinced that the **only** children in our county learning to read and do arithmetic are those kids who have parents that do **tons** of afterschooling.

Who takes the credit for the high standardized test scores after the parents have done tons of afterschooling? The teachers and principal, of course!

Who do the teachers and principals blame when the child fails to learn to read or do basic arithmetic? The parents, of course!

Personally....I would like to see the studies that show exactly how much is learned in the classroom as compared to what is acquired ** at home** due to the parents’ and child's’ own efforts.

31 posted on 02/21/2012 9:06:07 PM PST by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice; Eva; ari-freedom
I think we all more or less agree that there is a place for "Sight" reading and "Phonics." Furthermore, McGuffey having shuffled off the mortal coil, Sig and Sam be the man, among others!

The problem (Yes, Virginia, there is a problem) is that the "Teacher College"-based educational establishment tends toward "one size fits all" theories, and they put all their reading eggs in the "Sight" basket. This has had the effect of putting the dream of universal literacy, especially among the lower middle class, way behind the 8-ball. My community College kids are just as "smart," as anyone on this planet. Their inability to really read effectively is enough to make an old man (me) weep!

It is very interesting that in O say, 1920, most American "educators" were "conservative," and tended to belong to the Republican Party. The Communists very deliberately and consciously set out to change that.

Newsflash! In the brief span of 25 years or so, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

32 posted on 02/22/2012 6:58:10 AM PST by Kenny Bunk ((So, you're telling me Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts can't figure out this eligibility stuff?))
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
In our school district, we teach and test the kids on each letter and the sound/s they make. We teach beginning blends as well as words with a "bossy 'e' at the end (making the vowel say its name). We also teach them 'tricky words', the ones that don't play fair (can't sound out) like 'said'

I can't imagine that any school teaches kids to read any other way.

33 posted on 02/22/2012 7:05:34 AM PST by CAluvdubya
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To: goodwithagun

There was no kindergarten, where I lived and when I asked my mother to teach me, she told me to wait until I went to school. I did not come from a particularly literate family. There wasn’t any help or interest from the family.

As a matter of fact, it was so bad that the superintendent of schools came to fist our house to discuss the lack of proper academic stimulation with my parents. They had given by brother an IQ test and were shocked at the fact that the district had never seen such a high IQ, especially coming from a blue collar family.


34 posted on 02/22/2012 8:49:03 AM PST by Eva
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To: codder too

Look say bit one of my grandchildren. I resent it highly.


35 posted on 02/22/2012 11:18:29 AM PST by Ole Okie
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To: Ole Okie

I strongly urge that you purchase Charlotte Iserbyt’s book, THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN of AMERICA. You will learn how and why our nations schools have been turned into school-to-work training institutions. Also suggest you buy the hard copy even though it is available online too. Internet access could be blocked but an in hand printed copy is much safer. You will find it to be an invaluable resource. It will make you angry but give you the information you need in order to decide what is best for your family. Private school, home school, parochial but not Charters as they are part of the same ‘government controlled system ‘.


36 posted on 02/22/2012 12:11:31 PM PST by codder too
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To: Kenny Bunk
McGuffey has hardly “bit the dust.” I used it with my own children, and there is a company that does nothing but reprint all of the McGuffey books. It is quite popular with the home school crowd.
37 posted on 02/22/2012 2:05:57 PM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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