Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Report and dissent 1: Reading and SREB

The Southern Regional Education Board's new report recommends "Making Adolescent Reading an Immediate Priority in SREB States."

The proposed solution is more reading instruction in the upper grades with attention to reading strategies for each academic subject. It's thoughtful work with new detail on what we all lose when students can't read successfully. Check out their ideas here.

Having given the SREB strategies a spotlight, I disagree with their approach. I submit that their action proposals are sure not to solve the main problem.

More work on decoding and spotting main points won't equip students to handle their middle and high school textbooks. The core problem is that they don't have the vocabulary and prior knowledge to make sense of what they decode. Better teaching of science and history and art and other foundational content in the early grades is the most important change we can make to prepare students to read successfully in the upper grades.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!