Harry Wong
Oct 2017
Vol 14 No 3

Why Johnny Can’t Read – The Distinction Between Vowel and Consonant Generalizations

By Teachers.Net Community

The following was posted  by Mark Andrejevic to one of the more-than 150 Teachers.Net mailrings:

My mother — a longtime teacher has posted an article that refutes the current tendency to blame reading teachers for a system that is, in many respects, beyond their control. She outlines what she sees as the problem and one possible solution. She is interested in feedback from people involved in teaching reading, so I thought I’d circulate the link and ask those who are interested to take a look at the article.

Here is the introduction:

“Recently it has become popular among a number of politicians and philanthropists who consider themselves education reformers, and even the general public to blame teachers for the undeniably low reading scores and lagging performance in America’s schools.  Geoffrey Canada (CEO of The Harlem Children’s Zone, and the major figure in the much-hyped movie Waiting For Superman) claims that once teachers get tenure and are assured of reasonable working conditions and salaries, they stop exerting themselves in the classroom and just let the children teach themselves.  This view of teachers has resulted in calls to abolish teacher tenure and dismiss those teachers whose students earn the lowest reading scores.

Anyone who has taught in an inner city urban school knows that most teachers work very hard indeed. For the great majority of teachers these negative judgments on their work are discouraging, frustrating and close to libelous.  But the most frustrating part of this scenario is that the real cause of failing schools and low reading scores is neither the teachers, the parents, nor the children, but the continuing disarray in the field of American  reading instruction.  It has been many years since American teachers were free to teach children this essential academic skill as they thought best. Today teachers put their job at risk if they deviate from the currently approved method while simultaneously being blamed for that method’s poor results, which in turn influence every aspect of education.”

The complete article is available online at:

I hope this is of interest to the list.
All the best,
Mark –



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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 and is filed under *ISSUES, March 2012, Teachers.Net Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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