[Susan notes: I'm not a big fan of 'Balanced Literacy,' which I consider too rule-based, but this article is such such a piece of garbage. . . . But I've learned one has to moderate one's tone a bit--just to get a comment posted at the New York Times. Having been rejected three time this week, I moderated--and this was accepted immediately.
To the editor
Re: The Fallacy of 'Balanced Literacy. When I taught third graders in a working class neighborhood lumped together as the "low readers" in that grade, I did not call it 'balanced literacy'; I called it USSR: Uninterrupted, Sustained Silent Reading (an idea developed by Prof. Lyman Hunt at the University of Vermont). I told 3rd kids to choose a book and read. They knew I'd have to see blood before I'd let anybody out of his seat. At first, I called a halt after five minutes of torture. They mostly watched me read. It's an important rule: teachers must not pervert silent reading time with other tasks. Students must see her reading.
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