Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: What a fine letter! Sue Allison, director Marylanders Against High Stakes Testing, nails it. She informs the reader and concludes with a great zinger.]

Published in The Education Gadfly

To the editor

Bullying isn't science

I just read your piece about the "Reading Wars." I think part of the problem rests with the heavy-handed deliberation process that the National Reading Panel undertook to try to end the reading wars in the first place.

Have you ever read Joanne Yatvin's account of her experience on the NRP? It is featured in the book Silent No More--Voices of Courage in American Schools, edited by Gloria Pipkin and ReLeah Cossett. Joanne's chapter is entitled "Science Means What We Say it Means, or, My Adventures in Wonderland." In this chapter, Joanne recounts how she had to fight to have her minority report included in the final NRP report. It was eventually tacked on at the end on unnumbered pages, but it was not part of the summary booklet, nor was it mentioned in the press materials.

In my opinion, if the National Reading Panel's conclusions were so inevitable and incontrovertible, the NRP leaders wouldn't have had to coerce consensus by trying to silence or hide the minority views of Joanne Yatvin. I didn't realize bullying was part of the scientific method.

Sue Allison

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.