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NCLB Outrages

An observation about Laetrile and Open Court

by Stephen Krashen

The most recent meta-analysis of research on Laetrile concluded that there are no controlled studies that can be reviewed that meet scientific standards. The researchers noted, however, that there are some suggestive case studies and there is some "promising" laboratory evidence that Laetrile has an anti-cancer effect. Laetrille is illegal in the US.

Now the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has concluded that there are no studies that can be reviewed that show that Open Court is working. ("No studies of Open Court Reading© that fall within the scope of the Beginning Reading review meet WWC evidence standards.") Other studies show that intensive systematic phonics, the core of Open Court, has limited value, having little or no effect on tests that require reading comprehension.

But Open Count is de facto the ONLY reading program that appears to be legal in many school districts in the US.

Milazzo, S. S. Lejeune, and E. Ernst. 2007. Laetrile for cancer: A systematic review of the clinical evidence.

— Stephen Krashen



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