From Education Week to the Hechinger Report to The Answer Sheet (the latter two typically good sources for education journalism), the media simply cannot resist publishing misguided takes on how we do and should teach reading.
Citing the National Reading Panel as credible (it isn’t), misrepresenting whole language and balanced literacy (as somehow anti-phonics), hand-wringing about third-grade reading ability, and taking broad uneven swipes at teacher education—these are the hallmarks of bad journalism and garbled takes (usually with ulterior motives) on the reading wars.
Since I simply cannot continue to make the same points over and over, I suggest below a bit of actual reading to clarify why the media continually misrepresents the reading wars:
- Evidence v. Advocacy in Teaching Reading: “We Should Not Mistake Zeal for Warrant” [UPDATED]
- What Shall We Do About Reading Today?: Looking Back to See Now More Clearly [UPDATED]
- Misreading the Reading Wars Again (and Again)
- Beware Grade-Level Reading and the Cult of Proficiency
- What’s Wrong with Education as a Discipline?: Unpacking the Reading Wars (Again)
- NPR Fails Journalism and Education (Again)
- Beware the Technocrats: More on the Reading Wars
- Collateral Damage from the Never-Ending Reading Wars
Here is a final note worth emphasizing: Phonics-intense and phonics-only reading instruction is a gold mine for textbook publishers, reading program shills, and the testing industry.
Consider carefully the who and why of public commentaries screeching about reading instruction, especially when the arguments are full of easily identifiable holes in their credibility and logic.