Minister, reading recovery requires more than Reading Recovery
An open letter to NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli
I have been impressed by your determination to enhance the effectiveness of teaching in NSW schools. Your recent policy initiatives designed to improve teacher quality, by requiring that future teachers meet higher entry standards and can also explicitly demonstrate their proficiency in literacy and numeracy, have much to commend them. The next step is to improve the quality of instruction provided, especially for those whose needs are greatest, children from Indigenous and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. These students commonly comprise the greater proportion of young students struggling to learn to read. I would like to draw your attention to the needs of these struggling young readers...
http://www.kevinwheldall.com/2016/01/mi ... -more.html
...Your Department of Education must think that I sound like a broken record because I have been complaining about the Department’s continued use of the Reading Recovery program for well over twenty years now. But I am hopeful that you will decide that it is finally time to take action. Please bear with me while I reiterate a few of the arguments I have raised in the past.
First, may I point out that my colleagues and I were commissioned by your Department to carry out a thorough evaluation of Reading Recovery as far back as 1991. You may not be aware of this because our research reports have not been formally released by your department to this day...
[My colouring and emboldening!]
Please read Kevin's whole post - this is such an important issue and raises questions, yet again, about the accountability of people who persist with both mainstream and intervention programmes and practices that are not based on the findings of a body of international research.
And, as Kevin points out, it is the weakest and most vulnerable children whose futures and lives are most at risk.
Kevin's letter and evaluation of Reading Recovery are also pertinent internationally because Reading Recovery is entrenched in other countries around the world. Serious questions have been raised about Reading Recovery over and again, in different countries and as a consequence of different reviews. One issue includes 'value for money' with regard to the huge expense of Reading Recovery intervention, but much more serious questions are raised about the nature of the 'research' of Reading Recovery, its efficacy relative to other possible interventions, and the fact it promotes multi-cueing reading strategies for guessing unknown words - a technique which has been discredited for many decades as it is potentially damaging for many learners.
Over and again, various researchers have urged that Reading Recovery needs to 'change' in light of the findings of the research on reading - but trying to ascertain any 'changes' which may be implied by RR personnel (as is claimed in England's context) proves somewhat impossible.
Professor Kevin Wheldall is an IFERI committee member and you can read about his experience here:
http://www.iferi.org/cmt-management-tea ... australia/
This topic is also posted on the 'Around the World: News and Events' forum.