Children who grow up in homes devoid of books and magazines with parents/guardians who don’t read even if they can read will always be struggling to catch up and often falling behind no matter what the so-called foolish experts think and force the public schools and teachers to do.
This ignorant and dangerous thinking is pounding a round peg into a square hole that is smaller than the round peg to start with.
Few issues in education seem more important or more universally embraced (from so-called progressive educators to right-wing politicians such as Jeb Bush) than the need to have all children reading on grade level—specifically by that magical third grade:
Five years ago, communities across the country formed a network aimed at getting more of their students reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade. States, cities, counties, nonprofit organizations, and foundations in 168 communities, spread across 41 states and the District of Columbia, are now a part of that initiative, theCampaign for Grade-Level Reading.
However, advocating that all students must read at grade level—often defined as reading proficiency—rarely acknowledges the foundational problems with those goals: identifying text by a formula claiming “grade level” and then identifying children as readers by association with those readability formulas.
This text, some claim, is a fifth-grade text, and thus children who can “read” that…
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