In an important new publication, Whole-Language High Jinks: How to Tell When ‘Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction’ Isn’t from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, reading expert Louisa Moats describes how whole-language reading programs have made their way into classrooms under the guise of being scientifically research-based. Moats writes, “In fact, no studies show that whole-language programs are as successful as SBRR [scientifically-based reading research] programs in teaching children in the at-risk groups to read.”
Denver is cited as a city that has adopted “balanced literacy” as a substitute for truly research-based programs and saw its federal Reading First dollars taken away because reading scores remained flat after two years of the program.
The publication helps educators, parents, and concerned citizens learn how to spot non-research-based reading programs and to find the programs that have been proven to help struggling students learn to read. Read the study here.