Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dr. Stephen Krashen - Let's pull out of Race to the Top, but not because our standards are so good

Just continue to follow the money. This Race to the Trough will make the Reading First crooks under Bush look like dopey Boy Scouts. — Jim Horn, PhD (Educator, Writer

Defend Public Schools from Corporate Charter-Voucher Charlatans
Sent to the Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA

Doug Laskin feels that Gov-elect Brown "needs to pull California out of Race to the Top" (Dec. 20) because California already has good standards and the feds' standards don't exist yet. The virtue of California's language arts standards, according to Laskin, is that they restore grammar, spelling and phonics instruction, which had been removed "by faddish theories."

The "faddish' theories were the result of decades of responsible scientific work published in major journals and books. The theories concluded that most of our ability to use grammar and phonics and most of our spelling ability is the result of reading. They also concluded that a modest amount of direct instruction in grammar, phonics, and spelling is advisable, but that these subjects should not dominate the language arts curriculum.

The evidence includes studies showing that showing that those who read more read better, have more control over complex grammar, and spell better. The evidence also includes studies of the effect of Reading First, a program based on "intensive, systematic" phonics instruction. Reading First children performed no better on tests of reading comprehension than children taught by regular methods, even though those in Reading First had more reading instructional time.

I agree with Laskin that California should pull out of Race to the Top, but not because our standards are so good. They aren't.

Stephen Krashen

Laskin article at:


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