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[Susan notes: [ It's your rent-a-susan again saying:]One more slinging arrow into the heart of foolishness, New York City, for whom money means more than education or learning styles of children.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Ways to Teach Reading

Re "For U.S. Aid, City Switches Reading Plan in 49 Schools" (news article, Jan. 7):

New York's schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, is right to ask, "Where's the science?" supporting President Bush's "scientifically proven" Reading First mandates. Several analyses of the data, including my own, have revealed the vacuousness of the research offered to justify the legislation.

The instruction is not superior for teaching skills and comprehension. It provides no advantages for poor children, at-risk children or disabled readers. It is one more fiction undercutting public schools, driven by a political ideology that substitutes simplistic bootstrap answers for comprehensive social policy.

Most grievously, it creates false expectations in parents whose children will never achieve the academic success the Bush administration assures them will be theirs.


Ithaca, N.Y., Jan. 8, 2004

The writer is the author of several books about reading education.

Gerald Coles

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