Nowhere does the ESSA mention continuing to use whole language techniques. Yet, as classes resume this fall, most schools will still be attempting to teach children to read using a whole language approach. As a recent Washington Post news article stated, “meaningful change remains unlikely.”
We have money being allocated by the ESSA for teaching phonemic and phonological awareness, but we still do not have any proof of schools adopting a change from whole language to phonemic and phonological awareness. Why?
So far efforts have not been successful, No Child Left Behind was a failure, Race to the Top was a failure, and so far the ESSA does not seem to be working either.
According to the Washington Post’s Emma Brown, “Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools [7 billion from 2010 to 2015]— than in schools that did not.” Why can’t we teach children to read? Oh, but wait, we can. We just refuse to do so.