The Most Popular Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science
By Sarah Schwartz
December 3, 2019
There's a settled body of research on how best to teach early reading. But when it comes to the multitude of curriculum choices that schools have, it's often hard to parse whether well-marketed programs abide by the evidence.
https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019 ... acked.html
An Education Week analysis of the materials found many instances in which these programs diverge from evidence-based practices for teaching reading or supporting struggling students.
At this point, it's widely accepted that reading programs for young kids need to include phonics—and every one of these five programs teaches about sound-letter correspondences. What varies, though, is the nature of this instruction. In some cases, students master a progression of letter-sound relationships in a set-out sequence. In others, phonics instruction is less systematic, raising the possibility that students might not learn or be assessed on certain skills.
Phonics is "buried" in many commercial reading programs, Seidenberg said. Teachers might be able to use what's there to construct a coherent sequence, he said, or they might not.
And frequently, these programs are teaching students to approach words in ways that could undermine the phonics instruction they are receiving.