Sunday, January 27, 2013

Same Old Same Old on School Reform

The Washington Times has an editorial by Eric Telford on school reform here.  Essentially he wants states to increase the funding of charters, provide vouchers, and tie teacher evaluation to outcomes:

Hmmm.  A suggestion that school improvement depends on expanding charters and vouchers, and changing the teacher evaluation system.  Not much new here.

What would fundamentally change schools is a change in how literacy is viewed.  Now the entrenched belief, in all schools whether they are charters or public schools or private schools, is that literacy skills need to be directly taught by making all students read the books that are currently in vogue as being worthwhile.

This isn’t working.  Over the last forty years, SAT verbal scores have slipped, while math scores have gone up a little.  Kids are just as smart, but they aren’t reading as well.

There is a mountain of research showing that only avid readers are sophisticated, advanced readers.  To raise reading scores we need to nurture avid-reading behavior in students.   

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