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U.S. Accused of Pushing Commercial Products in Phonics Education

U.S. Accused of Pushing Commercial Products in Phonics Education

The Bush administration is a strong proponent of phonics as the best approach to teaching reading to American school children, and some educators feel certain companies that publish phonics based curriculum products are receiving preferential treatment by states seeking to improve performance and receive federal funding.

Some educators also note that the same companies that publish the standardized tests commonly used around the country to measure achievement are also publishing the reading programs in question.

"What they want is to have the publishers making teacher-proof materials, and of course it is big business," said Professor Lucy Calkins, founding director of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University. "The thing that is really scary is how do you prove that your reading program is a success? It's by kids doing well on the standardized tests made by the same publishers that wrote the teacher-proof programs."

The article, entitled "U.S. Accused of Pushing Commercial Products in Phonics Education" appeared in the September 10th edition of the Detroit News.

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