Nancy Bailey reflects on the sudden upsurge in concern about reading instruction and what might be behind it.

I share her reaction to the latest “crisis in reading” because I wrote a book in 2000 (“Left Back”) that traced controversies over reading instruction back to the 19th century, to Horace Mann’s day. The big “CRISIS” was in the 1950s when Rudolph Flesch wrote “Why Johnny Can’t Read” (not enough phonics, too much Dick-and-Jane and whole-word), through the National Reading Panel, Reading First, etc.

It is a wonder that anyone can actually read anything. But Nancy says we can do more without attacking teachers and ed schools. For sure, TFA doesn’t know how to teach reading in the five weeks of preparation they get.