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[Susan notes: This calm refutation of "science based" claims is effective.]

Submitted to Cincinnati Enquirer but not published

To the editor

"Oregon education professors wield influence with

Bush," July 20, gives false the impression that heavy phonic programs are scientifically based, while other approaches are not. The current emphasis on "systematic, intensive phonics programs" has been criticized by a number of respectable scientists, who argue that scientific evidence actually supports programs that emphasize interesting, comprehensible reading, with a modest amount of phonics instruction.

No Child Left Behind insists on teaching all the major rules of phonics (including many that are very complex with numerous exceptions) in a strict sequence, a view that critics regard as extremist and without scientific support.

Stephen Krashen

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