What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
· In contrast to common belief, reading is not a skill that comes naturally–it is one that must be taught a learned. According to The Hechinger Report, a number of students struggle to read because teachers lack the proper training to teach phonics, a basic needed to successfully demonstrate reading proficiency.
· What is the best way to ensure teachers have the skills they need to teach literacy? Why is it important for educators to focus on phonics instead of diving directly into reading?
It was 2015 and Jack Silva, the chief academic officer for the public schools in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had a problem: Only 56 percent of third-graders in his district had scored proficient on the state reading test.
Reading scores had been low for a while, but for most of the five years that Silva had been chief academic officer, he and other school leaders had been consumed with a severe budget crisis. By 2015, the district had turned the corner financially, and Silva was wondering why the reading scores were so terrible. “It was really looking yourself in the mirror and saying, ‘Which four in 10 students don’t deserve to learn to read?'” he said.
The stakes were high. Research shows that children who don’t learn to read by the end of third grade are likely to remain poor readers for the rest of their lives, and they’re likely to fall behind in other academic areas, too. People who struggle with reading are more likely to drop out of high school, to end up in the criminal justice system, and to live in poverty. But as a nation, we’ve come to accept a high percentage of kids not reading well. More than 60 percent of American fourth-graders are not proficient readers, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and it’s been that way since testing began in the 1990s.
The basic assumption that underlies typical reading instruction in many schools is that learning to read is a natural process, much like learning to talk. But decades of scientific research has revealed that reading doesn’t come naturally. The human brain isn’t wired to read. Kids must be explicitly taught how to connect sounds with letters — phonics.
Read the full article about the struggle to read by Emily Hanford at The Hechinger Report.