professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Sorry for the last post

No, I am not apologizing for the link itself. I think Doug Johnson's post is important given all of the discussion this week about programs and what works. However, I did not mean to post it without any commentary. So, Let me come back and talk more about the post. Here is the link again: Entitled the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations in Reading, Johnson's post has some important information we need to keep at our fingertips.

Let's begin with that great opening quote from Stephen Krashen: "In contrast, Kim (2004) estimated that just reading five books over the summer results in a gain of about three percentiles, about the same as the huge investment required by Read 180." Think about this as spring begins and the school year winds down. What if, instead of investing funds in programs, we took that money and purchased books for kids to take home over the summer? If you need some research to support that, check out Dick Allington's research here: and here:

And then there is this: "My goal as a librarian and teacher has always been to create "life-long critical readers." Citizens who not only can read, but do read.

Out of love of the act.
Out of a need to know the truth.
Out of the need to view the world through the eyes and souls of others.
Out of the need to be changed by what one reads."

P. David Pearson mused year ago that, with the emphasis on testing that we could end up with a nation of kids who CAN read (at least for the test) but do not like reading. How terrible would this be? And yet, how many kids have learned how to pass the tests but do not engage in reading as an activity outside of school? A LOT. Most of us tend to hang out with folks who are readers, but I suspect we all know others who elect not to read. Here are the latest stats from the Pew Research.

We need to be sure kids learn to read, certainly, but we also need to do what we can to instill a love of reading. No program can do that. Again, at the risk of beating that dead horse, a love of reading comes from reading, reading real books, reading books one chooses. It does not come from tests and quizzes and strategies. As my friend Donalyn says, as long as there are people who do not understand this, we need to tell them over and over and over.
Tags: reading
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