Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: NOTE: Joanne Yatvin was the one member of the National Reading Panel who had the professional integrity to dissent. She is president-elect of the National Council of Teachers of English.

She encapsulates NICHD in a nutshell.]

Submitted to USA Today but not published

To the editor

To correct all of William Moloney's errors of fact

about the reading competence of American children and

adults would take more space than USA Today allows for

all its letters. His most egregious error, however,

is the promotion of the ideology of the National

Institute of Child Health and Human Development

(NICHD) as the science of reading.

NICHD, well financed by the federal government,

supported by the Bush administration, and cheered on

by publishers seeking profits, has done its best to

persuade the American public and educators at every

level that its ideology is based on science, moreover,

that it is THE SCIENCE OF READING. Still, experienced

teachers aren't buying this snake oil, college

professors aren't buying it, the most eminent

researchers in the field aren't buying, and wise

parents aren't buying it , either.

So NICHD has reverted to the tactics that

Moloney's op-ed piece exemplifies: Smear the

opposition. If Moloney were right, how come America

has one of the highest adult literacy rates in the

world; how come the vast majority of

parents--according to Gallup polls year after

year--are so satisfied with the education their

children are receiving in their neighborhood public

schools; and how come American children rank so high

in international comparisons?

Joanne Yatvin

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.