Re: Tasked with Tiptoeing Around the Solution

Here is another set of recommendations made by the Governor’s Urban Education Task Force that Justin discussed yesterday, as relayed by Linda Borg of the Projo

The report recommends that urban elementary schools offer 20 minutes of daily phonics instruction, set aside time every day for children to read individually and in small groups, and test students frequently to catch those who are struggling. Schools should teach vocabulary early and often. And when a child falls behind, that student should be pulled out of class for additional small-group reading instruction.
Take the phonics recommendation out of the mix for one second, which I understand can be somewhat controversial. Given what remains, what exactly is there that any good teacher from 50 years ago to now wouldn’t immediately recognize as a sound and necessary educational practice?
Now include the phonics recommendation — and ask what there is in the above recommendations that a good teacher from 30 years ago wouldn’t immediately recognize as a good idea?
If the members of the task force feel that these kinds of recommendations are important to the reform of public education, the real question they need to be asking is why as a society did we ever stop doing the basic and obvious things that work when it comes to educating our children?

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