I’VE BEEN AN education reporter for a long time, and I’ve found there’s a pervasive set of beliefs about reading that aren’t true that have taken hold in schools. Basically, that reading is something that kids just pick up—they don’t need a lot of instruction. That as long as you read a lot to kids, they’ll be okay, it’ll come in time. For some kids, it seems like that’s the way it works. But the truth is when you get under the hood, that’s not really the way it works. And it isn’t working for a whole lot of kids.
Parents are quite a powerful force in education. And when a lot of parents find a common story, that does lead to change.”
In schools all over this country, kids are not being taught how to read. Some kids don’t need a lot of instruction, but there’s a whole segment of kids who need a lot more instruction than they’re getting. And it’s having a huge impact on kids, families, teachers, and schools.
I think we’ve been too quick to blame all these other reasons for why kids aren’t reading. It does correlate with things like poverty and circumstances in kids’ homes, but for some reason we haven’t looked at instruction.