California is one of the more prosperous states, but it is near the bottom of the chart for reading scores, even below some states without prosperous incomes. Therefore, money does not necessarily translate into higher reading scores.
You may also notice that some states teach the same students more effectively in math than reading. Look at the math scores and compare the math scores to the reading scores, especially states like Texas. Texas scores higher than the national average in math but low in reading.
The United States also does not compare well with other countries in reading.
Why are our scores so low? Our scores are low because we use ineffective teaching methods: methods that have been proven not to work. Whole language has, since a 2000 nationwide study, been proven not to work. Eighteen years of using a method that has been proven over and over not to work results in low reading scores. Yet, we continue using teaching methods in reading that simply do not work. Today, most public schools are still using whole language methods. Some schools are adding phonics rules back into their curriculum, but as the 2017 scores show, it’s not working.
In my own reading clinic, we have had great success with students who are failing in reading or have been told that they’ll never learn to read. Some of our success stories have been:
· A student who failed for nine straight years in public school is now reading.
· A student diagnosed with ADHD and failing in reading moved up two grade levels in one year.
· A student diagnosed with dyslexia and whose parents tried everything, including expensive private one-on-one tutoring, learned to read, and moved up to beginning chapter books in one year.
· Six children who entered the program reading at the pre-K level ended the year reading at the 2nd grade reading level. Only one child in the group was a first grader.
· One student started at the pre-primer level (pre-K) and ended the year at the third-grade reading level while a second grader started the year reading below first grade and ended at the fourth-grade level.
· In 2016, we had one student move up four grade levels in reading, four students moved up three grade levels in reading, and eight students moved up two grade levels in reading.
· In 2017, we scored high again with 2 students moving up four grade levels in reading, 3 students moving up three grade levels in reading, and 6 students moving up two grade levels in reading.
Yes, we can teach these children to read. We just need to change the methods that we are using to teach children to read. Whole language, memorizing word lists, and the common core curriculum are not working
We need to change—NOW. Phonemic awareness is the answer for teaching children that letters represent sounds (see my blog post from 7/9/2017). It is teaching children how to use the letter sounds to pronounce and read words that makes my program so successful. In my program, I use a method called vowel clustering (see my 6/5/2017 blog post). It works. We have 9 years of research to prove that it works. Other researchers are also having success using phonemic awareness.