New: Please Join us on Facebook! Death from Ritalin
The Truth Behind ADHD
Share with your Facebook Friends  

National Alliance against Mandated Mental Health
Screening and Psychiatric Drugging of Children
Children's Deaths Caused From ADD & ADHD Drugs
A special savings for anybody who orders Focus Formula either through our website or one of our facebook links. Enter the promo code: SAV20FOCUS to receive a 20% discount and free shipping on any size order.
A-Z Content
Education Articles
Panasonic Massage
Chair Divisio
Drug Information
We have 3 Stand
Alone Pages Below

1. Alternative

2. Homeopathy

3. Therapeutic
Boarding Schools

We have 10 National Directories Below
Chiropractic Neurologist
Hearing Specialists
Holistic Medical Doctors
Learning Centers
Osteopathic Physicians
Speech and Language
Vision Specialists
Relevant Sites
 Dr. Fred Baughman Jr. MD, he has been a adult & child neurologist, in private practice, for 35 years
Block Center
Wildest Colts
Gifted Children
Annie Armen Live
Peter Breggin, M.D.
Report Site Bugs. Email

The literacy war goes on

By Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld

I've just received the October 1999 issue of Educational Leadership, which is the official journal of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. It's the voice of the education establishment with all of its contradictions, controversies, educational disconnects and out-and-out lies. The theme of this issue is "Redefining Literacy." Which means that we will be told that literacy is not what we simple folk think it is. It's a much more complex matter, far beyond the ability of the layman to understand.

First, there are now all sorts of literacies: there is numeracy literacy, science literacy, technological literacy, and information age literacy. As for the teaching of reading, contrary to all this talk about the return to phonics, Whole Language is about as entrenched as ever, and any hope of teachers being taught how to truly teach intensive, systematic phonics in the primary grades is wishful thinking. What we are getting is "a synthesis of reading approaches," which has now become the norm. But those of us who have been fighting in the literacy war for decades, never expected the educators to do anything else but try to sabotage all efforts to get real phonics back in the schools.

Yet, these same educators tell us that "10 million U.S. students are classified as 'poor' readers. According to the NAEP 1998 Reading Report Card, 68 percent of 4th graders in high poverty areas fall into this category." Yet, Marva Collins, in her private school in Chicago, has 100 percent of the students reading well, despite the fact that these children come from high poverty areas. How come Marva Collins can achieve such outstanding success while the public educators can't? The readers of Educational Leadership might have learned something if Mrs. Collins had been invited to write an article on how well intensive, systematic phonics works in her school. But that's not what the education establishment wants to hear.

Instead, we get an article extolling the great virtues of Whole Language. In a piece entitled, "Whole Language Works: Sixty Years of Research," we read,

[H]olistic approaches to literacy clearly remain our best documented, most reliable, and most thoroughly proved ways to teach reading to the majority of children. Whole Language works. The proof is massive and overwhelming. Sixty years of research -- yes, real scientific research -- conclusively show it to be a superior way to help young people become skillful, lifelong readers and writers. This thorough and comprehensive research consistently validates the progressive approaches to teaching reading grouped under the name "Whole Language."

The proof is also massive and overwhelming that Whole Language has caused a literacy catastrophe among the school children of California. The March 7, 1996, issue of L.A. Weekly reported,

In the eight years since whole language first appeared in the state's grade schools, California's fourth-grade reading scores have plummeted to near the bottom nationally, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Indeed, California's fourth-graders are now such poor readers that only the children in Louisiana and Guam -- both hampered by pitifully backward education systems -- get worse reading scores.

It took a well-connected grandmother by the name of Marion Joseph to get the state legislature to do something about it. She found out about whole language from the way her grandchildren were being taught in their school. She contacted several teachers to find out what was going on. She relates, "I got, almost without exception, 'Oh my God, Marion, we are having a terrible time. The new reading method is not working.' If they tried to teach phonics or word attack skills to the kids who weren't getting it from the storybook and the invented writings, compliance officers came in from their district office and ordered a stop to it. It was terrible stuff, virtually a new religion, a cult."
So the California state legislature enacted a new law (California Assembly Bill 1086) mandating training teachers in phonics, so that they would be able to teach the children to read phonetically. But many teachers are resisting. In fact, at the 44th Annual Convention of the International Reading Association in San Diego earlier this year, a group of teachers wore black T-shirts with the words "Banned in California" printed across the front. An article entitled, "Redefining the Reading Wars" relates,

If a reading specialist or a researcher has a whole-language philosophy, he or she is not allowed "in." Instead, only those who emphasize phonemic awareness and decoding skills above all else are allowed to give workshops to California teachers. This McCarthy-like militance -- in effect, blacklisting -- is just one example of how some politicians, aided by the media's need for sensational news and topics, have kept the reading wars going.

Amazing how whole-language nuts can invoke McCarthy and blacklisting as preventing them from exercising their Gaia-given right to dumb down kids and create dyslexia! And there is no doubt that the process will continue. The dirty work will be done at the preschool level where children are taught to memorize sight words so that they will develop a holistic reflex, the precursor to dyslexia.

An article on Preschool Learners reveals, "[T]eachers know, and research confirms, that by the end of the year, kindergartners often can read some common sight words. By the end of 1st grade, children can be expected to possess a reading vocabulary of 300 to 500 words." What parents are not told is that learning that many words by sight will guarantee that the child will become dyslexic. For a holistic reflex prevents children from automatically seeing the phonetic structure of a word. It is that blockage that causes the condition we call dyslexia.

The only redeeming article in the entire magazine is an interview with Dr. Sally Shaywitz of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. She has studied the brain mechanisms involved in reading. About learning to read, she says,

The most comprehensive reading program explicitly teaches about the sounds of language. It teaches children that words can be broken up into these smaller units of language, that the letters represent these units of language -- phonics. ... All children can benefit from being taught directly how to break up spoken words into smaller units and how letters represent sounds.

But on page 41 of this same magazine, we are told by whole-language experts to "avoid, whenever possible, a focus on isolated skills, isolated letters, and isolated sounds."
There seems to be a serious educational disconnect between neuroscientists like Dr. Shaywitz and idiots wearing black T-shirts proclaiming they are being blacklisted for believing in whole language. Such is the confused state of reading instruction among our educational leadership.

2001-2010 National Alliance against Mandated Mental Health Screening & Psychiatric Drugging of Children. All rights reserved.

Home / About Us / Content / Mission / ADHD Help / Advertising / ADHD Message Board


hosted by outflow technologies providing business solutions to results through technology solutions.


Don't let psychiatry use their Crystal diagnosis ball on your child!
If you are being harassed to medicate your child for ADHD?
Tell Them Where To Go