"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

National Reading Panel Erred; Letter Incorrect
Published in Education Week, May 9, 2012

To the Editor:

I was astounded to read Linda Diamond's revisionist view of the last decade in literacy research ("Common-Core Standards in Reading Not 'Flawed,' " March 28, 2012).

Ms. Diamond maintains that the National Reading Panel's conclusions supporting explicit and systematic instruction "in the reading-foundation skills" is "well supported by research." Either Ms. Diamond is not aware of the furious criticism that emerged after the panel's report was published or she is ignoring it.

In a series of books, papers (published in the most respected journals in our field), and letters published in Education Week, Elaine Garan, Gerald Coles, and I, among others, argued that the National Reading Panel erred in its analysis and reporting of studies, omitted studies, ignored major issues in the field, and violated basic principles in appraising experimental research.

Despite its claims of being "scientific," the National Reading Panel report was simply bad science. Ms. Diamond is free to disagree with our conclusions, but she is not free to ignore them.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

1 comment:

  1. Steve Krashen was much too kind in his comments. The National Reading Panel endorsed methods of teaching reading that have resulted in zero improvement in the reading achievement of our nation's students. This result is not a surprise because the core elements adopted by the panel have nothing to do with the skills and strategies required for effective reading. Now the country has adopted a national core curriculum. How brilliant: instructional goals for children in Palo Alto and Boston will be the same as the goals for children in south central Los Angeles, Detroit, and Newark. Will this country ever have national leaders with real knowledge about education? Not as long as politics rule, and the most important qualification for serving as Secretary of Education is knowledge about basketball.