Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Joanne Yatvin, who had the courage to write a dissenting view when the National Reading Panel, of which she was a member, has written a terrific letter, packed with information.]

Published in USA Today

To the editor

Crisis is only a claim

To correct all of William Moloney's views about the reading competence of American children and adults would exceed space limits. His most egregious error, however, is the promotion of the ideology of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as the science of reading ("To find the answer to our illiteracy crisis, Americans must look within," The Forum, Thursday).

NICHD, well-financed by the federal government, supported by the Bush administration and cheered on by publishers seeking profits, has done its best to convince the American public and educators at every level that its ideology is based on science. But experienced teachers and college professors aren't buying this snake oil, the most eminent researchers in the field aren't buying it and wise parents aren't buying it.

So NICHD reverted to tactics Moloney's piece exemplified: 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.