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A real war on women: lies about reading
AllVoices ^ | May 28, 2013 | Bruce Deitrick Price

Posted on 06/27/2013 6:07:55 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice

In first grade the child comes home with lists of sight-words to be memorized. It’s a struggle. As fast as he memorizes new words, he forgets the previous words. Well before the end of the year, he is officially identified as a weak reader. The mother suffers more than the child does. The teacher says the school is is doing everything it can; the parents must do more.

In second grade, the child is a bad reader and is very conscious of it. If he memorize words in a list, he doesn’t recognize them in a story. The teacher mentions the need for intervention. This boy is miserable, but the teacher seems to think it’s perfectly normal that half the class should be “below proficient.”

In third grade the child is failing all subjects. He is depressed, anxious, belligerent. The school psychiatrist says he is suffering from ADHD and needs medications. He cannot read so he cannot do word problems in math. Of course, he cannot read history, science, current events, geography or anything else. He is a mess.

All of this failure falls with special weight on the mother. She must deal with the home work, and the conferences with teachers. She must live with the bad news. In the evening the parents stare at each other and wonder which one has the defective gene that now been passed to this child? The parents wonder which of their various relatives is the retarded one? For surely the boy is retarded. He can’t do the simplest thing: he can’t read.

The mood in the house is damaged. The marriage is subtly eroded. Nothing is as much as fun as it might be if all the children are more or less average in school. A kid who can’t read and can’t learn is like having an amputee or a leukemia victim, something that changes everything around it. Neighbors can’t immediately see a non-reader, of course, but the family knows. Oh, they know.

In fourth grade and fifth grade, the boy has mostly given up doing whatever it is they’re asking him to do. He just does not get it. Apparently he is supposed to memorize many hundreds of words as logos. He can’t. Many children cannot memorize even 100, even 50.

In fact, the parents themselves have never understood why the child is supposed to memorize sight-words, or what the teachers and principal mean when they say that reading is about guessing, reading from context, picture clues, phonemes, bringing meaning to the page, and lots of other mysterious jargon. Reading has become a sort of alchemy. But their boy remains lead.

Both parents remember reading as children, and loving it. Their friends could read. Maybe not in the first grade but certainly in the second, third and fourth grades. Reading was easy and fun, But now their child is finishing fifth grade and is a hopeless failure. Some days he’s the class clown. Some days, the class bully. He does not like what the world is doing to him and he is showing that in any way possible.

In sixth grade, the school announces that his RTI (response to intervention) is inadequate. The child now has dyslexia. More Ritalin is the only sensible solution. Mother is so upset she’s seeing a therapist and is taking some pills herself.

The reading methods that are used in most public schools seem almost perversely designed to hurt the health of children and families, and to create greater demand for pharmaceuticals. These methods, being ineffective, create a second, very lucrative educational system called remediation. Lots of people are making big bucks from damaged children.

Seventh grade, eighth grade, the child falls further behind. Ninth grade, tenth grade, more of the same. Nothing is learned. The boy is thoroughly humiliated and defeated. He drops out of school.

What, the parents wonder, will become of a child who can’t read? What kind of jobs can such children get? All those long, wasteful, embarrassing years spent in school, but they hardly seem to add up to a day’s worth of education. It’s a mystery, depressing, and beyond recourse, apparently.

Talk about a war on women? The Education Establishment knows all about that. There’s little going on in the public schools that isn’t a war on women. Do children learn to read fluently? No, it’s exceptional if they do. Do they learn to do arithmetic? No, they bring home the most absurd methods (partial quotients, lattice, etc.), all kinds of strange things the parents can’t understand or explain. Do children learn the most basic information? No, schools don’t seem to teach all that stuff about 1492 Columbus discovered the ocean blue and the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Kids don’t know even elementary facts.

Parents find themselves wondering, what do their kids know? They look at the people that Jay Leno finds on Jaywalking? Our kid, they agree, has a good chance of being on Leno’s program in a few years. He’ll look foolish.

Their boy is a drop out. Unemployed and almost unemployable. Mother suffers every day for the luckless child. Why, she wonders again and again, did this happen to him?

CODA: the US is said to have 50,000,000 functional illiterates. Most could have learned to read if taught properly. Most, like this hypothetical boy, were not taught properly. It’s a national scandal, one that especially demoralizes women.

----

Related article: "Reading Wars Still Damage Many Children"

http://www.examiner.com/article/reading-wars-still-damage-many-children

...


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Education; History; Society
KEYWORDS: k12education; phonics; sightwords

1 posted on 06/27/2013 6:07:55 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

“US is said to have 50,000,000 functional illiterates’

One was testifying in the Zimmerman trial today.


2 posted on 06/27/2013 6:11:13 PM PDT by dynachrome (Vertrou in God en die Mauser)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

If the author ever figures out this is a war on everybody, he might be on to something.


3 posted on 06/27/2013 6:14:55 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: dynachrome
We pulled our son out of public school just because of this. He was a year behind grade level and we worked with him 3 hours every night to get him up to par. This did not work so we started home schooling him. With in about 6 months of teaching him phonics he was almost a year ahead of grade level.

He was falling behind because public school failed. It was not his fault. It was not us the parents fault. It was the schools fault. And for this failure of theirs they take over 75% of my property taxes.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CRAP!!!!!!

4 posted on 06/27/2013 6:16:46 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

How very odd, Bruce. I had a completely different experience learning to read whole words, and took to it like a duck to water. By the time I was 11 I was reading on a college level. No one with whom I grew up had any reading problems whatsoever. And many of the kids had foreign parents.
How in the world do you explain this?


5 posted on 06/27/2013 6:28:21 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: jimpick

Kudos to you. My daughter called me at the end of my grandson’s kindergarten year to tell me they were flunking him because he was behind in reading and couldn’t make it up. I picked him up as soon as school was out and spent the some part of every day teaching him phonics. I quickly learned that he loved math, and was soaking up the reading like a sponge. His father had the top TCAP score in the country the year he decided to go to medical school, I knew this kid couldn’t be dumb. Late summer I had him evaluated by a child psychiatrist. The outcome, grandson is of superior intelligence and was reading on grade level 1-1/2. He went to school with us for the first semester - earned high marks, always at the top of the testing. Second semester he was in a Montessori school and was put in the advanced reading and math classes. At the end of first grade he tested on the fourth grade level in reading. Make him repeat kindergarten indeed.

I endorse your last sentence 100%!!!!


6 posted on 06/27/2013 6:32:18 PM PDT by Roses0508
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To: jimpick
There are plenty of people who do not want to hear that.

When the kids fail in school it is the kid's fault, the parent's fault, society's fault but not the school's fault and never ever the teacher's fault.

Kids can't read because the parents can't read.

But that is nothing new. It used to be that most students were first time readers and they learned to read.

It is because their home language isn't English.

Once again, nothing new. It used to be many students did not speak English in the home and they learned to read.

It is because their parents don't see the value of education.

Still nothing new. It used to be the parents of many students resented the time that their kids spend at school when they could be helping out at home and yet the kids learned to read.

There is nothing new with the students, there is a lot new with the teachers and the schools.

So why can't kids learn to read? Hmmmm I guess it is a mystery.

7 posted on 06/27/2013 6:35:37 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: jimpick

“teaching him phonics”

It works, that’s why alinsky-ites hate it.


8 posted on 06/27/2013 6:38:53 PM PDT by dynachrome (Vertrou in God en die Mauser)
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To: kabumpo

Seriously, if someone showed you a word you’d never seen before you wouldn’t know how to “sound it out” and pronounce it properly?


9 posted on 06/27/2013 6:45:18 PM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
I teach at a public high school and I have classrooms full of functioning illiterates. Our elementary schools use a Title IX program called Success for All (SFA), and it is worthless because it focuses on sight words and very little on phonics. I've yet to find a quality study that proves the benefits of word memorization over phonics. It's even been shown that some people diagnosed with dyslexia are “cured” when they learn phonics. Read Why Johnny Still Can't Read (my apologies for lack of italics). It's frightening. The whole-word memorization programs are loved by teachers because the programs are literally scripted. Word for word, teachers are responsible for nothing. A robot could implement the program.
10 posted on 06/27/2013 6:51:45 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: kabumpo
English is a phonetic language. Only people with photographic memory capabilities learn that way. In essence it is a code with a simple decoding scheme. All intelligent and even average people can learn this and therefore further themselves with knowledge.

I was taught whole word in first grade, and was labeled a retard. In second grade an old school marme bucked the rules and taught me to read phonetically. This opened the world to me and I am currently employed as a high end well paid computer professional. That old lady opened the world to me and saved my life.

Anyone who would teach a phonetic language as pictographs is a fool. The only reason for it is that the state wants easily controlled, enslaved, illiterate retards, for their socialist utopia i.e. hell.

I for one am not going to allow those EVIL, DESPICABLE, INSECTS, lay one grasping claw on my grandson.

11 posted on 06/27/2013 6:53:25 PM PDT by CyberSpartacus
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
PHONICS, PHONICS, PHONICS!

Teach them yourself. Buy workbooks, make a game of it.

Every letter makes a sound. You put the sounds together and it makes a word. Put the words together and it makes a sentence...

Start with simple and basic words, avoid silent letters and weird sounds. Teach the rules, then the exceptions...

I started my granddaughters (and great granddaughter) off with "I love you"--not only were they tickled to decipher it, the heartfelt little notes I got back from them were the best wages! They read ahead of their grade levels.

12 posted on 06/27/2013 6:54:32 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
I was about three and a half when my mother taught me to read. She taught me the alphabet and how to sound out letters and words. She read to me every night.

We sounded out the words together and I could see this "magic" in the books as we sounded out their words too. From there, she taught me comprehension; how to figure out meaning based on context.

By the 1st grade, I was already at what was considered a 6th grade reading level. I was bored in school and read my reader cover to cover before the first month of school was finished. The teacher had readers for other grades on a bookshelf.....I used to sneak the other readers home with me.

In the 6th grade, I maxed the state competency test and was rated at a collegiate reading level.

The point is, SHE spent the time teaching me how to "read," not memorize words on a page. She made it fun and she used basic concepts to teach me.

It was not any school that did this.

The downside was that school was geared toward the lowest denominator, and boring for me - leaving me free to disrupt everyone else and cause trouble. Boys will be boys.

I wish she would have had homeschooling instead of publik skewel......unfortunately, my parents separated when I was young, and I lived with my dad. Homeschool was not an option; even if I had lived with my mother, it still would not have been an option.

13 posted on 06/27/2013 6:55:27 PM PDT by Repeat Offender (What good are conservative principles if we don't stand by them?)
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To: kabumpo

My grandkids aren’t even in school yet, and here’s a few years old “cute story”. Grandkid was riding in car with “other” grandparents, and remarked on a “big truck”. “Other” grandma, seeking to expand horizons, so to say, added, “It’s a HUGE truck”. GD ( OK, a girl ) tops it ... “It’s ENORMOUS”.


14 posted on 06/27/2013 7:02:40 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: Smokin' Joe
I should also mention that the teacher worked hard to get him to read but was limited by the schools course work requirements. No phonics only sight words taught by a computer program.

In other words the failure was mandated by the state. We have no choice it is public school or pay for it again out of pocket after our taxes are stolen from us.

15 posted on 06/27/2013 7:05:19 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: jimpick
That's where the workbook and a stack of flashcards come in handy. In half an hour a school night, you can teach your child the basics of phonics well before the end of the year. It takes a fair dose of patience, too, to do this, but there are ways.

Name the letter, what sound does it make? Have them name it and make the sounds.

Use it in a word, (A is for apple, L is for lion, and so on.

As they get letters right let them hold them When they get a big stack in their hands they start to feel good about it. Put a couple together and spell names or short words for them to sound out. Sound out the sight words.

In short, subvert the system. Might as well teach them that early, too, but present it as another way to read, one that will let them read almost anything (except, perhaps, Welsh and Icelandic).

16 posted on 06/27/2013 7:11:48 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Repeat Offender

It sounds R.O. like you were home schooled by an attentive mom. You just happened to also attend a government institution. My daughter home-schools her kids. The 13 y/o now starts 8th grade having already scored in the 97th percentile on the ACT verbal.


17 posted on 06/27/2013 7:25:00 PM PDT by jimfree (In November 2016 my 13 y/o granddaughter will have more quality exec experience than Barack Obama)
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To: CyberSpartacus

You are quite wrong, because I do not have a photographic memory: I was always terrible at arithmetic; I failed algebra two years in a row
Yet I learned to read whole words at age four. By the time I was nine I could read four books in weekend, and did.
I am a published writer, in print media and in an encyclopaedia. I also speak a second language - so I find it strange that you would imply that I am illiterate.


18 posted on 06/27/2013 7:25:19 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: PLMerite

I don’t know how to answer that question. I can barely recall a time when I could not read.


19 posted on 06/27/2013 7:27:34 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo
By the time I was 11 I was reading on a college level. No one with whom I grew up had any reading problems whatsoever. And many of the kids had foreign parents. How in the world do you explain this?

Some kids do just fine with just about any reading method, however some other kids need to have the words broken down by syllable in order to gain that skill. I had four kids. One was a poor reader and needed extra phonics help. Two were regular readers. And one asked me at the age of three what "park closed" meant after reading the sign to me.

20 posted on 06/27/2013 7:35:14 PM PDT by Slyfox (Without the Right to Life, all other rights are meaningless.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I remember reading about a study that was conducted where they had volunteers work with children after school having the children read to them. And what they found was that the children’s reading improved rapidly, meaning that the main problem most children have is that they are learning to read, however they are not practicing enough to build solid skills.


21 posted on 06/27/2013 7:43:39 PM PDT by Slyfox (Without the Right to Life, all other rights are meaningless.)
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To: dynachrome

At least she can write.......


22 posted on 06/27/2013 8:46:35 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: kabumpo

Your kid taught himself phonics.


23 posted on 06/27/2013 10:03:30 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: goodwithagun

As I teacher I teach phonics exclusively. Working with Latin + Greek with grade 8s. Teaching them how to break down scientific terminology in order to understand it.

Public schools? What public schools.


24 posted on 06/27/2013 10:06:11 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: Smokin' Joe

Reading is simply teaching the kids to decode what they already know. They understand the sounds. They need to be able to attach the sounds to the words.


25 posted on 06/27/2013 10:07:48 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge

What kid? I don’t have one.


26 posted on 06/27/2013 10:22:06 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Smokin' Joe said: "Teach the rules, then the exceptions...

Exactly.

When my girls were little I bought a set of flashcards which were the 330 most common words. I sorted through them, picking out those which were phonetically spelled.

Only when the girls had mastered this did I begin introducing the words which were exceptional.

When my youngest started kindergarten, my wife and I suggested that she be transferred to a first grade class. The teachers and principal assured us that it was unlikely that this would be in her best interest, so we allowed them to have their way.

About four weeks later we got a call from the school. They recommended that our daughter be transferred to a first grade class. It seems that our daughter was distracting some of the class by reading to them during their play times.

As some have pointed out, there are people who have no trouble memorizing the words they need to read. Those who can't do this are being victimized by education charlatans who think one size fits all.

27 posted on 06/27/2013 10:24:43 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: kabumpo
I had a completely different experience learning to read whole words, and took to it like a duck to water.

That was exactly my experience. I had no problems learning to read whole words. Once I discovered Hardy Boys novels there was no turning back.

Still, unlike some aggressive Phonics proselytizers, I am willing to accept that others may learn differently than I do.

28 posted on 06/27/2013 11:36:03 PM PDT by TChad
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

This is one of the reasons why parents are leaving the public schools in droves. Home schooling is growing 7 times faster than public school enrollment.

We have a large home schooling population in my town (who knew?) and our schools are supposed to be “excellent.” The classical charter school in a neighboring county has poor, immigrant children who do better on their tests then our county’s wealthiest, top-rated town.

People are getting fed up and doing something about it, and the public schools are going to go begging.


29 posted on 06/28/2013 6:05:25 AM PDT by goldi
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To: TChad; kabumpo; All
1) A tiny percentage of people have photographic memories and might indeed learn to read with sight-words.

2) Most people who think they learned to read with sight-words actually did something different. They grasped the phonics inside the sight-words, solved the mystery of phonetic language, and proceeded normally.

3) If one does have a freaky ability, why mention that to other people who are struggling with more normal situations? I don't get the point. We can't extrapolate from someone's atypical experience to how we should organize public schools.

4) Thanks for the many smart comments. Yes, phonics is the only way. Yes, please start early so you can inoculate your kids against what might happen in the public schools. (For the basics on teaching young children to read, see "Preemptive Reading." http://www.improve-education.org/id81.html )
30 posted on 06/28/2013 10:30:13 AM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

As I said, I have nothing like a photographic memory,quite the opposite - so please stop repeating that meme. You are coming on like a fanatic.
I call what you say nonsense - bordering on lunacy - because not one person I grew up with ever had a reading problem. Not one. And some of them came into school not even speaking English, the children of Polish, Japanese Yugoslav and French diplomatic staff. They were all speaking and reading English within six months.


31 posted on 06/28/2013 9:03:18 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
A tiny percentage of people have photographic memories...

Don't I wish.

Sorry, but we don't all belong to your religion.

32 posted on 06/28/2013 9:14:01 PM PDT by TChad
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