Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes:

This letter attests to the power of newspaper in classrooms. Part of that power is in the papers themselves; part is in NOT quizzing students on what they read.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Since "When Data Don't Mean That One

Way Is Best" (Education, July 16) maybe

we should just stop SCHOOLING and


As did an untrained friend who was given

a poor, failing, mostly black, 4th-grade class.

First he locked all school stuff except

pencils and paper. He gave no homework

and had no report cards.

But each day he had a few copies of the

daily newspaper.

He then HELPED them teach themselves to read

by reading aloud and then having them read in unison.

They worked the scores and wrote to their sports

heroes. Human interest stuff was also emphasized.

Kids moved around, helped each other, and were

never quizzed.

And guess what? By year's end the average

child was reading above grade level on national

norms while I believe they also did very well in

both writing and arithmetic.

Robert E. Kay, M. D.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.