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IPFS News Link • Education: Government Schools

'Kids Can't Read': The Revolt That Is Taking on the Education Establishment


At an elementary school in Hutchinson, Minn., a veteran teacher is crusading for reform, haunted by the fear that, for 28 years, she failed children because she was not trained in the cognitive science behind reading.

And Ohio may become the latest state to overhaul reading instruction, under a plan by Gov. Mike DeWine.

"The evidence is clear," Mr. DeWine said. "The verdict is in."

A revolt over how children are taught to read, steadily building for years, is now sweeping school board meetings and statehouses around the country.

The movement, under the banner of "the science of reading," is targeting the education establishment: school districts, literacy gurus, publishers and colleges of education, which critics say have failed to embrace the cognitive science of how children learn to read.

Research shows that most children need systematic, sound-it-out instruction — known as phonics — as well as other direct support, like building vocabulary and expanding students' knowledge of the world.