Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation, comments on Mark Seidenberg's analysis of illiteracy in the USA in Mark's book 'Language at the Speed of Sight
https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2018/06 ... lliteracy/
Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy
In the United States, only a fortunate few acquire reading proficiency. Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have barely budged since 2002. On the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the U.S. average reading score for fourth-grade students trailed 12 education systems and was not significantly different than 15 others. PIRLS test scores have also seen no measurable improvement since 2001. Similarly, the average score of 15-year-old students on the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reading test was lower than 14 education systems and was not measurably different than the international average—or from the 2003 average score.
In Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, And What Can Be Done About It, Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, takes these test results and other indicators of functional illiteracy seriously. Rather than dismiss the scores from reputable reading tests, he argues that they indicate deeply embedded and systematic shortcomings in how college teacher training programs prepare prospective educators.
It would be misleading to characterize the book as merely an examination of teacher education, pedagogy, or education policy. Seidenberg devotes much of Language at the Speed of Sight to discussing what he has spent a long and distinguished career researching: the science of reading.
In just a handful of chapters, he summarizes an immense body of scientific literature about the acquisition and development of reading skills, dysfunctions that may occur during the process, and the environmental, social, and cognitive barriers to mastery. He recognizes, however, that little of what researchers know about the science of reading informs the training of teachers or their instructional practices. In the final three chapters of the book, Seidenberg explores the disconnect between literacy science and public schooling, and what can be done to address it.