Re: Tranforming science: Fact-free reform.
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- Subject: Re: Tranforming science: Fact-free reform.
- From: "Karen Canty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 11:26:47 -0800
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- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
I actually went to hear Reid Lyon speak (he was sponsored by the Schwab
Foundation) a few years ago when he presented the evidence of a study
done in Texas. If I remember correctly, the students tested were all
Title One kids who scored in the bottom 20% of the students tested.
They were divided into three groups - one which taught "phonics only";
one "whole language only" and one a combination of the two and again if
I remember correctly, the students who scored the highest and retained
their learning were the ones who were taught a combination of phonics
and whole language. I remember very clearly how he talked about how we
needed to remember that this was a very small portion of students
(albeit the hardest to teach in some ways) and so my assumption was that
we couldn't use the study to say that it would be the same in every
group of students. Again, I concluded that if a combination of teaching
tools worked with the hardest to teach students, why wouldn't that
method (using all our tools) work with most kids? And yet, now, he is
pushing "phonics only" for ALL students. My only conclusion is that he
was either not telling the truth then or is not telling it now - or that
he is so politically motivated that he was saying what he thought his
bosses wanted him to say then (Clinton's administration) or what they
want him to say now (Bush).
Sorry, cynicism showing...
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com
On Behalf Of Jedoyon@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: [arn-l] Tranforming science: Fact-free reform.
I had the pleasure of attending Elaine Garan and Ardie Cole's session on
National Reading Panel findings a the NCTE conference last week.
there are large discrepancies between the full report and the other side
the funnel, sieve condensed version most people see. According to
research of the research, the only populations of students to which the
findings on phonics applied were "normal" 1st graders and "at risk or
K-6th graders. You can see Elaine's revealing chart at
In a message dated 11/30/2003 7:20:25 PM Pacific Standard Time,
Many of your questions about the scientific basis for reading
instruction can be found in the Report of the National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read. I believe that Reid Lyon played an important
role in that document. For further information about the scientific
basis for reading instruction see other writings by Reid Lyon.
By the way, the Department of Education in their publication of
priorities in educational research, which has been discussed here, has
now defined scientific research. This document does not say that it
must be based on studies with subjects randomly assigned to treatments,
but it does say that it is the ideal. It lists other alternatives when
that is not possible. What it does make clear, without using the
specific terms, is that scientific research is quantitative and that
proposals based on qualitative research or instructional programs based
on that methodology will not be considered scientific.
George K. Cunningham
University of Louisville
>>> firstname.lastname@example.org 11/30/2003 9:41:47 PM >>>
At 08:15 PM 11/30/2003 -0500, George K. Cunningham wrote:
>there is abundant scientific evidence that a substantial
>proportion of students need to be overtly and directly taught to read
>with a method that stresses phonics.
What is "a substantial proportion"?
50%? 75%? 33%? 16%?
Please cite the scientific evidence that you believe establishes this
Rita Mae Brown wrote, "The reward for conformity was that everyone
you except yourself."
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