Opinion
Reading & Literacy Letter to the Editor

A Model for the Reading Crisis

April 09, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The March 13, 2019, issue’s front page article on textbooks (“New Texts Failed to Lift Test Scores in Six-State Study”) and the back-page Commentary about reading instruction (“We Have a National Reading Crisis”) together tell a powerful story: Our teachers are not being adequately prepared and textbooks cannot make up for this shortcoming by themselves. The result is, as the back-page headline screams, a national reading crisis.

What’s a nation to do? From 36 years of partnering with schools in Chicago and a respectable review of reading and teaching research, I propose a simple model for what every teacher can and must do every day with and without textbooks: Provide the right amount of instruction for each student, use engaging methods, and deliver the right content.

The right amount of instruction for each child acknowledges that some students need more and some need less. Billy might need 30 more minutes per day to catch up on the skills that Suzy already possesses. Engaging methods keep students’ attention on the teacher and the content, like teaching in a small group or using drama and music. The right content can come from a textbook, but few cover it all. This means teachers must know what all the right skills are (hint: for reading, it’s not just phonics but also fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and more), and then find multiple sources to plug gaps.

Good teachers have figured out how to make these three things happen, so Billy, Suzy, and every student can move ahead successfully.

Karl Androes

Executive Director

Reading In Motion

Chicago, Ill.

A version of this article appeared in the April 10, 2019 edition of Education Week as A Model for the Reading Crisis

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy Q&A Can Taylor Swift Get Students to Love Poetry?
A college professor will train middle and high school teachers on how to use Swift's lyrics in their curriculum.
8 min read
Singer Taylor Swift performs on stage during her Eras Tour at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on June 7, 2024.
Taylor Swift performs on stage during her Eras Tour at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on June 7, 2024.
Jane Barlow/PA via AP
Reading & Literacy Photos Drama and Delight: The Faces of the National Spelling Bee
The 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee came down to a high-stakes spell-off. Here's a look at the faces behind the event.
1 min read
Shrey Parikh, 12, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., reacts to a fellow competitor's word during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on May 30, 2024.
Shrey Parikh, 12, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., reacts to a fellow competitor's word during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on May 30, 2024.
Nathan Howard/AP
Reading & Literacy Q&A A New Plan to Raise the Lowest Literacy Rates in the Nation
Daily summer reading instruction for thousands of students is part of a bigger plan to improve literacy in New Mexico.
5 min read
Arsenio Romero, secretary of New Mexico’s Public Education Department, addresses the audience at the Albuquerque Earth Day Festival on April 21, 2024.
Arsenio Romero, the New Mexico secretary of education, speaks at the Albuquerque Earth Day Festival on April 21, 2024. Romero is leading a statewide effort to improve literacy.
Courtesy of New Mexico Public Education Department