Worst NAEP Reading 2019 Hot Take of the Week

This is really a hard feat, but Put “Whole Language” on Trial by the King of Know-Nothing edureform Michael J. Petrilli is easily the worst NAEP Reading 2019 Hot Take of the week.

Dumb doesn’t get any dumber than this:

An equal-opportunity challenge related to shoddy teacher preparation would likely face the same roadblock. Further, there is little, if any, legal precedent for suing schools of education; even medical schools enjoy significant protections from charges of malpractice related to the physicians they train.

All of which is why it would be important to go after states, and in particular states that have already lost finance-adequacy cases. It would also help if the chosen target states do not require elementary-school teachers to pass an in-depth test of the science of reading before entering the classroom, and if the states host several big education schools that earn failing grades when it comes to preparing candidates to teach reading effectively. States that appear to meet those criteria include Kentucky, South Carolina, and Washington.

Petrilli has entered the “science of reading debate” a little late but just as fact-challenged as the other advocates have been.

So here are a few questions:

  • Where is scientific research that how teacher education programs prepare teachers to teach reading is actually how they teach reading once in the field? (Not any.)
  • Where is scientific research that there is a causal relationship between how reading is taught (and if those approaches are uniform across an entire state) and NAEP scores? (Not any.)
  • And where is scientific research to explain—as Petrilli highlights above—these outcomes for Kentucky, South Carolina, and Washington? (Not any.)

NAEP R 2019 4

NAEP R 2019 7

NAEP R 2019 8

Kentucky, South Carolina, and Washington have 2017 and 2019 NAEP reading scores all over the place—above, at, and below the national average; dropping from 4th to 8th; and dropping from 2017 to 2019 (except one increase by SC, which remains below the national average in every test).

Petrilli is yet another know-nothing that is grasping as “scientific” straws with no evidence on his side.

This is all hokem, rhetorical grandstanding that proves to be hollow.

Shouting the “science of reading” proves itself once again to been mere ideology.