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NCLB Outrages

Congress Sponsoring Disastrous Literacy Bill

by Susan Ohanian

Stephen Krashen, noted educator and Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California, has conducted an intensive investigation of new legislation pending in both chambers of Congress (Senate Bill 2740, House Bill 4037). Introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the LEARN (sic) Act picks up where the widely denounced Reading First legislation of the Bush Administration left off, putting an emphasis on the "direct instruction" of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text structure.

Not only is this approach to children's literacy development not supported by scientific research, it runs contrary to good practice. There are also several other points of contention here:

1) Why do members of Congress feel so comfortable telling teachers how they must teach?

2) When cash-strapped local politicos scramble to get the money attached to whatever outrage Congress legislates, who's responsible for the devastating results?

3) Who's in charge of our schools? Members of Congress or local school boards?

4) Who's in charge of the classroom? The teacher, consulting with colleagues and parents, or members of Congress? . . . .

Go to the url below for the rest of this column. Get the names and contact information for members of Congress sponsoring this travesty.

Leave a comment at Huffington Post, letting them know you care about public schools. Teacher silence is killing us.

— Susan Ohanian
Huffington Post


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