Reading Intervention Gone Horribly Wrong

By Bryan Toporek — January 22, 2010 1 min read
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Ever since her school scrapped freshman reading classes, Mei Flower has been struggling with the school’s new system of “reading intervention"— the Carbo method.

In the Carbo method, a student would choose his own reading material, read at his own pace, and discuss it with a teacher. There were fewer than 15 students in the class, and the teacher had at least one aide. Also, that is ALL the teacher did, reading intervention.
Instead, our school system shoved Carbo onto us with little-to-no training, demanded immediate results, gave us classes of 30 or more, and still expected us to teach up to three (3) other subjects. The Board also failed to realize that the problem with a self-motivated program is that many of our students are NOT MOTIVATED. Therefore, this program was a massive failure.

Instead of conforming to the Carbo method, Mei Flower continued to teach her way, with positive results. But that wasn’t enough for her boss, “Mr. A,” who’s forced her to follow the Carbo method this semester.

She describes the Carbo method in excruciating detail:

Let me explain His Way to you: During a world history class, another teacher has to give up half of his or her planning period to pull my students, one by one, out of class to read aloud from a workbook. The teacher does not track fluency, does not track comprehension, and does not track reading gains. What the teacher does is put a checkmark next to the student's name in order to prove to Mr. A that a "reading" "intervention" has taken place. Essentially, a tape recorder could do this job.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.