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[Susan notes: Terrific! This letter neatly cites research findings about which newspaper had made false claims.]

Published in

To the editor

You say that the move to phonics was inspired "by its proven success in trials involving 300 children in Clackmannanshire. By the age of 11, those children taught using synthetic phonics were three years ahead of their peers in reading skills". Not quite. I have read this report. Only 177 children were tested at age 11, and they were ahead only on tests of pronouncing words presented in lists. On tests of reading comprehension, they were only three months ahead of national norms. Major policy changes should be based on sterner stuff.

Stephen Krashen, University of Southern California

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