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CTA: Can the academics
SF Chronicle ^
| Debra J. Saunders
Posted on 03/26/2002 4:49:50 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
Edited on 04/13/2004 2:40:00 AM PDT by Jim Robinson.
THE FORCES that want to dumb down public schools never rest. Failure never cows them; success never hinders them.
After years of producing poor readers, California has returned to recommending phonics-rich reading programs. As more new schools adopt the program each year, reading test scores have risen modestly as a result.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; cta; phonics; publicschools; reading; teacherunions
To: Oldeconomybuyer; ElkGroveDan
This is an evil measure designed to give unions total and complete control over every facet of education. It must be stopped. It takes away accountability from local schools and school districts, and puts it in the hand of a union who is more interested in increasing pay and benefits than ensuring that children know how to read and write. It's brought to you by the same people who damaged an entire generation of students through "look-say" reading and "new new math."
My kids go to a private Christian school, but because I still pay taxes and because my children's future rests partly on the 90% of kids who DON'T go to private school, it's imperative that ALL parents get involved in this fight. If we can defeat this measure, perhaps we can push even harder.
posted on 03/26/2002 5:19:19 AM PST
Phonics makes sense if you're reading Chaucer, but not in modern English. If you want to teach kids to read, take away textbooks and give them real books. Let them jump in and drink from the fire hose.
It takes away accountability from local schools and school districts, and puts it in the hand of a union who is more interested in increasing pay and benefits than ensuring that children know how to read and write.
I think it was Albert Shanker, then-president of the American Federation of Teachers, who said that when the students started paying union dues, then he would start looking out for their interests.
posted on 03/26/2002 5:51:09 AM PST
I will stop worrying about whether the kids are using phonics at the point where Chaucer is part of the 1st and 2nd grade curriculum.
Your comment is just silly. Chaucer is a non-issue for most 1st and 2nd graders--the ones who would use phonics. So are 'real books'. Before they read Chaucer or your 'real books', they have to learn how to read. The evidence is quite persuasive that phonics is a better approach to teaching kids how to read than other theories--whole word, etc.
posted on 03/26/2002 5:51:20 AM PST
I beg to differ. I have two children in private school. They learn through phonics. My kindergartener can sound out virtually any word, and comprehend simple stories. My second grader can read chapter books and has outstanding comprehension ... she is in an advanced reading program where they just finished the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.
Phonics is the single best way to teach reading. Yes, there are some words that don't following the rules. Those, to my 5 year old, are "jail words" because they break the words. She knows most of the jail words and has no problem. But 90% of reading comes through repetitive phonics. They shouldn't be thrown into books they don't understand on the theory that eventually they'll just "get it". Basic rules need to be drilled into their head in a fun way.
I am 100% sold on phonics instruction, and I have two kids who love books and love to read to prove it.
Another important point in instilling children a love of reading: parents need to read not only to their kids, but their own books. If kids see parents regularly reading, they will want to read too.
posted on 03/26/2002 7:54:09 AM PST
Are you going to give your kindergarteners the Pythagorean Theorem before they learn about exponents, triangles, or equations, too? 'Whole-language' works for some, but is not nearly as successful as phonics. If you don't give students the basic building blocks to help them understand how things are put together, then how can you expect them to start putting things together by themselves later on? Some kids have a strong-enough mind (and probably parents) to make the jump, but the majority do not.
From my experience, 'Whole-language' makes dependent readers, while phonics makes independent learners. "Your mileage may vary." =^)
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