Reading Recovery—It’s Expensive And Ineffective—Perfect For Public Education

https://grantcoulson.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/incentiveseverywherepicturecorrect1.jpg?w=444&h=288

    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives. It’s not their money, of course they’ll waste it.

    Wherein we see “experts” argue about the validity of Reading Recovery in teaching reading to hard-to-teach students. Note the absence of data.

Reading Recovery ‘harmful’

Mar 29, 2015 by External Resource

Dr Louisa Moats a leading United States literacy expert

A leading United States literacy expert has launched a scathing attack on Reading Recovery, telling a Department of Education event that aspects of the remedial reading program are “harmful”.

Dr Louisa Moats told Education Department staff on Tuesday that it was “indefensible” to spend money on the program, which is designed to help struggling Year 1 readers.

Her comments coincide with new figures that show only 10 per cent of Victorian government primary schools offered the early-intervention program in 2014, down from 25 per cent the previous year.

“The whole approach is based on ideas that have not held up to scientific scrutiny. So it is indefensible to keep on spending money on this,” Dr Moats said in a video that was uploaded to YouTube.

Speaking at the Department’s Treasury Place building, Dr Moats said if she had a child with a learning disability she would refuse to let them take part in a Reading Recovery lesson.

“The instruction is directing their attention away from what they should be paying attention to. It’s just not ok, it’s harmful.”

The early-intervention program gives poor readers in Year 1 daily, one-to-one, 30-minute sessions with a trained teacher. It was developed in New Zealand but now runs in Australia, Britain , United States and Canada.

The department’s website said “Reading Recovery has a strong tradition of success with the lowest-achieving children”. In 2014, 119 government primary schools in Victoria ran the Reading Recovery program.

Learning Difficulties Australia council member Alison Clarke, who is also a speech pathologist, said Reading Recovery was not achieving its goals.

“It is not teaching kids to de-code it’s teaching them to guess,” she said.

She said Reading Recovery did not give children a phonological awareness – an awareness of sounds in words – or spelling patterns.

“Some of the activities in Reading Recovery set children back. The whole look at the picture and guess. I teach children to sound out and then they come back from Reading Recovery and they are looking at the picture and making things up.”

Dr Moats was brought to Australia by the group and visited the department to speak to staff, stakeholders and academics about learning disabilities. She raised concerns about Reading Recovery following a question from the audience.

In 2012 the former state government stopped funding Reading Recovery tutors, with schools having to absorb the cost out of their own literacy budgets.

The program has courted controversy in Australia, where academics are divided on the program’s merits.

Monash University associate professor Janet Scull said the program was a success and boosted children’s literacy skills.
“One of the criticism is it doesn’t address phonological awareness and that is not found. It addresses the teaching of phonics through both reading and writing. It helps children notice of a range of information sources in text.”

Dr Scull, who has done extensive research on Reading Recovery and also trained tutors for the program, said reading difficulties were a complex issue and there was no single solution.

She said the program worked with the bottom 20 per cent of children in a school.

Her views were echoed by Melbourne University Professor of language and literacy education Joe Lo Bianco. “Reading Recovery is a great asset. It helps all teachers to focus on the explicit things they can do in literacy.”

<end>

     No data support Reading Recovery. It’s expensive and ineffective and thus, the perfect educational program.

    The most telling argument against Reading Recovery is that no one in the private tutoring business uses it. When your business depends on it, educational theory promulgated by public education, is the last place one would look for useful programs.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies

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