Is there really a ‘science of reading’?

Thus began the fight over teaching phonics or “whole language” — and more recently what is known as “balanced literacy.” We’ve also been hearing declarations that a “science of reading” proves that employing phonics in a particular war is the best and right path to teach young children how to read.

The following post looks at this broad issue and whether there really is a “science of reading” that has finally settled how reading should be taught.

It was written by David Reinking, professor emeritus at Clemson University and a former president of the Literacy Research Association; Victoria J. Risko,

Read More

Teacher: What’s missing from calls for summer school to stem ‘learning loss’

At the moment, the option being raised more often than others seems to be some form of summer school, with several governors, including those of Virginia and California, raising the issue. University of Virginia cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham wrote a piece in the New York Daily News about why he thinks it is the best option.

This post about summer school and how to address the issue of lost student learning is from an admittedly exhausted veteran teacher, Larry Ferlazzo, who has some ideas about the current debate and what is missing from the conversation.

By Larry Ferlazzo

Many people

Read More

Fiction or nonfiction? What kids really like to read.

The three write about social justice, science, engineering and other topics. This was first published in Publishers Weekly and I was given permission to publish it.

By Cynthia Levinson, Melissa Stewart and Jennifer Swanson

As nonfiction writers for young readers, we were dismayed — though not surprised — by his statement that “the books students choose to read are almost always fiction.” We frequently encounter adults who mistakenly believe that when kids hear “nonfiction,” they think, as Mathews wrote: “Nonfiction? You mean textbooks. Ugh.”

We wish he could accompany us on a school visit — live or virtual — because

Read More

Tackling America’s child-care crisis – The Washington Post

Congress passed a coronavirus relief bill in late December that included $10 billion for child care — which, according to the nonprofit Center for American Progress, could help many child-care providers survive for a few months if the funds are distributed “quickly and efficient.”

“But without further relief and the promise of sustained investment in the child care sector, America could be facing a child care shortage so severe that many parents may not be able to rejoin the workforce, hindering an economic recovery,” the center said in a report.

This post offers some guidance to the Biden-Harris administration on

Read More

This Week at DE: Week of January 24

My name is Laetitia Morrisson and I’m Director of Partnerships here at Discovery Education. As always, we would love to hear from YOU on what you want to see from us. If you’re new to Discovery Education, or maybe new to virtual learning, we did want to remind you of a few valuable resources in Discovery Education Experience to explore.  

The “Getting Started Guide to Virtual Learning” channel is a good refresher for how to effectively communicate and share resources with students. There are tips for how to access grab-and-go activities, assign content or searching our Help Center Read More

That didn’t take long: Biden removes Trump’s ’1776 report’ on U.S. history from White House website

It also likened American progressives to European fascists and contended that the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. had devolved into “identity politics.”

On Wednesday, Biden signed the “Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” which, among other things, disbanded the Advisory 1776 Commission. Trump had created it in November and ordered it to issue a report calling for “patriotic education.”

Section 10, Part C of Biden’s executive order says unceremoniously that the Nov. 2 executive order that Trump had signed establishing the commission “is hereby revoked.”

Not long

Read More

Read Biden’s executive order on safely reopening schools

Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers

January 21, 2021 • Presidential Actions

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, to ensure that students receive a high-quality education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to support the safe reopening and continued operation of schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Every student in America deserves a high-quality education in a safe environment.

Read More

Trump’s ‘patriotic education’ report excuses Founding Fathers for owning slaves and likens progressives to Mussolini

Posted on the White House website on Monday, the national holiday to honor the civil rights leader, the White House said the report was aimed at countering what it said were efforts “to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one.”

“It is very hard for people brought up in the comforts of modern America, in a time in which the idea that all human beings have inviolable rights and inherent dignity is almost taken for granted, to imagine the cruelties and enormities that were endemic in earlier times,”

Read More