Paul Bonner, retired career educator, debunks the “science of reading” prattle;

Then the New York Times published this…

Ignorance about the circumstances that hinder student learning is pervasive among the national media. They report again and again on failed “one size fits all” remedies without understanding that these fail because they do not address the root cause of public school challenges: Poverty.

Advocacy for “The science of reading”, Lucy Caulkins, or whole language all miss the point. Until we are willing to change the instructional delivery system that allows for K-12 class sizes of 20-30+ students per class, a teaching professional day that does not allow meaningful classroom preparation except beyond the school day, equal high quality resources and facilities for all students, and an understanding that this hyper focus on reading fluency actually demonstrates low expectations for our students.

Perhaps the greatest inaccuracy on the NYTimes report is that somehow schools have not been engaged in this “Science of reading” rabbit hole.

The two large districts I served in were all in with massive resources given to administrative and teacher professional development for the purpose of institutionalizing the practice. Yet, scores never moved despite efforts to show improvement through numerous changes in the standardized tests being implemented.

The confirmation bias so prevalent in this ongoing reporting has been troubling since the Clinton Administration introduced the “Standards Movement.” Any challenges to such bias continue to be ignored and often attacked.

The fact that Emily Hanford, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Margaret Spellings continue to act as “go to” interviews when their profession experience as practicing educators is woeful at best, demonstrates the little regard reporters have for the professionalism required to teach and administer instructional outcomes.

It is in fact these arbiters of “data” who use anecdotal reporting to misinform politicians and institutions such as the NAACP to continue this malpractice.

Perhaps the one method we have been reticent to use should be to support teaching, adequately resource school facilities everywhere, and get the hell out of the way for the educators who actually know their craft.