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[Susan notes: NCTQ is a bogus, partisan outfit and their report is not based on research. Good for Krashen for pointing to their fundamental flaw.]

Submitted to Chronicle of Higher Education but not published

To the editor

Re: For Better Reading Skills Among Children, Teach Their Teachers Well, Report Says (May 22)

The Chronicle’s brief announcement of the National

Council on Teacher Quality’s condemnation of teacher

education in reading fails to point out that the

report is based on assumptions that have been

seriously challenged. The announcement and the NCTQ

report assume that the conclusions of the National

Reading Panel are correct. Not so, according to a

number of scholars. The “intensive systematic”

approach to phonics pushed by the Reading Panel only

helps children do well on tests in which they

pronounce lists of words in isolation. The push for

more phonemic awareness training is unsupported by

studies that look at whether PA training helps

children read, not just do phonemic awareness

exercises. Their conclusions questioning the value of

recreational reading in school are based on an

inadequate and sloppy review of the research.

Here is a beginning bibliography for those who want to

read “the rest of the story.”

Coles, G. 2003. Reading the Naked truth: Literacy,

Legislation, and Lies. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Garan, E. 2002. Resisting Reading Mandates.

Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Krashen, S. 2003. False Claims about phonemic

awareness, phonics, skills vs. whole language, and

recreational reading.


R. Allington (Ed.) 2002. Big Brother in the National

Reading Curriculum: How Ideology Trumped Evidence

Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Stephen Krashen

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