Public Schools Can Cripple Your Children's Ability To Read

Written by Joel Turtel

Continued from page 1

Author and education researcher Charles J. Sykes describes whole-language reading instruction in one first-grade classroom in his book "Dumbing Down Our Kids":

“Reading instruction begins with “pre-reading strategies” in which “children predict whatrepparttar story is about by looking atrepparttar 144043 title andrepparttar 144044 pictures. Background knowledge is activated to getrepparttar 144045 children thinking aboutrepparttar 144046 reading topic.” Then they readrepparttar 144047 story. If a child does not recognize a word, they are told to “look for clues.”

“The whole-language curriculum gave specific suggestions that children: “Look atrepparttar 144048 pictures,” ask “What would make sense?” “Look for patterns,” “Look for clues,” and “Skiprepparttar 144049 word and read ahead and then go back torepparttar 144050 word.” Finally, if all this fails, parents/teachers are told, “Tellrepparttar 144051 childrepparttar 144052 word. . . .”

“When kids couldn’t figure out a word, educationists gave these further ions: “Ask a friend, skiprepparttar 144053 word, substitute another meaningful word.” Sykes then asks, "Look atrepparttar 144054 pictures. Skiprepparttar 144055 word. Ask a friend. Is this reading?"

Duringrepparttar 144056 1990s, when whole-language instruction was in full force, outraged parents bitterly complained about their children's deteriorating ability to read. In response, public schools acrossrepparttar 144057 country then reverted to their usual tactics --- they keptrepparttar 144058 failed policy but changed its name.

Many public schools today say they now teach kids to read with "balanced reading instruction." What this means is they combine whole-language instruction with a smattering of phonics. "See," they can say to parents, "we are now teaching your kids phonics." The only problem is that too oftenrepparttar 144059 "balance" is still about 80 percent whole-language, and 20 percent phonics, if and whenrepparttar 144060 teacher thinks phonics is "needed" in "special cases."

If you were a doctor and were treating a patient for a serious infection, would you giverepparttar 144061 patient a "balanced" cure of arsenic and antibiotics? That isrepparttar 144062 moral and practical status of "balanced" reading instruction where whole-language instruction still predominates, because whole-language isrepparttar 144063 arsenic of reading-instruction methods.

Parents, don't let public-school officials fool you with their glib talk of "balanced reading instruction." You need to personally investigate how your local school teaches your kids to read. The best thing to do is to test your children's true reading abilities with an outside, independent testing company. You may be shocked byrepparttar 144064 outcome ofrepparttar 144065 test. The Resources section of "Public Schools, Public Menace," lists many such independent reading-testing companies.

Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst. He is also the author of "The Welfare State: No Mercy For The Middle Class." Contact Information: Website:, Email:, Phone: 718-447-7348.

Government Grants Need Community Support

Written by Robert Smethers

Continued from page 1

Many agencies require, in writing, affiliation agreements (a mutual agreement to share services between agencies) and building space commitments prior to either federal grants approval or award.

A useful method of generating community support may be to hold meetings with city council members andrepparttar top decision makers inrepparttar 143918 community who would be concerned withrepparttar 143919 subject matter ofrepparttar 143920 proposal.

The topic for discussion may include a questions intorepparttar 143921 merits ofrepparttar 143922 government grants you are trying to get,

How to develop a contract of support forrepparttar 143923 proposal,

To produce data in support ofrepparttar 143924 proposal,

Or come up with a strategy to create proposal support from a large number of community groups.

When it comes to getting federal grants, networking in your community is always a good idea. People in your community may have some great ideas for getting free grants. Getting government grants without them is going to be almost impossible!

I am a college student and single parent who relies on federal grants every day. is a free information site created for the millions of people like me. copyrighted March 2005

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