Study: Student reading skills are lacking - Sentinel & Enterprise

An alarming number of third-graders continue to read below their grade level despite Massachusetts leading the nation on standardized reading assessments, according to a new report. Full Story
Reading Results

Lancaster, MA

#1 Jun 11, 2010
You could photocopy this article and the study and have it apply to any region of the country. Sometimes I think these studies are generated to fund these "non-profit" study groups!!
Common Sense

Fitchburg, MA

#2 Jun 11, 2010
The first comment is 100%. These studies are a waste of time and money. This study has been true forever. Just take a ride around any region, look at the conditions of the homes and you'll get the same results. This is why trying to close the achievement gap is such a futile effort. Face reality. Parenting is the key and without good parents the chances of success are diminished. Teachers and unions are only symptoms. The homes are the problem.
The Real Common Sense

Gardner, MA

#3 Jun 11, 2010
"Common Sense":

I agree that parents can be a part of the problem, but that's really more due to the fact that parents are discouraged from being in control of/responsible for their own children's upbringing. Schools- and state- keep taking over the roles of parents (and, ironically, this new "study" will only cause state to make even more rules and regulations to try to take over the role of parents- even though the more state and school-based control that there is, the worse it seems to be getting). What do you expect, if parents are constantly told that their input is not wanted or is sub-par- unless it is to help raise money for the local schools? You can't blame parents for what they literally are not allowed to make any decisions about... that's NOT using "common sense". To face reality, people need to understand that throwing more money at a failed system is not going to do anything more than waste money. As with many things, schools need to have healthy competition- and allow children and parents choices that fit the different types of families (and parents the freedom to make those choices)- or the schools will just keep taking and spending money in ways that may not acutally impove the situation. Many parents homeschool due to this reason, and most homeschooling children I know generally test better than schooled (certainly public-schooled) children, and they also enjoy learning, or at least understand the connection between learning and the rest of their life. Many times schooleed children only see education- schooling- as a short-term goal of getting a "good grade" or "passing" from one pointless level to another. There is no real and meaningful point or goal to learning. My own children- whom I homeschool- are in the 95-100% each and every year (we are not required to test, but we do, because it often helps them gain awards and join groups that value testing... I actually could care less, but I figure we can get some good things out of doing so). My children previously went to school, and after the first year or so after I pulled them out, they scored much lower. It was only after they had been homeschooled for a few years- and started enjoying learning for the sake of learning, and saw a real reason to care- that they then shot up to where they are. Their reading was also horrible, and it took years of re-teaching them to fix the horrible job their school has done with teaching them reading. The school believed in "whole language", so I had to reteach them using phonics. Phonics takes more effort for the teacher- and is harder, initially, for the child than the rote memorization of words- but it pays out much better in the end, when the child isn't dependance on Teacher or Parent to tell them how to pronouce each new word. I have tons more for examples, but the point is that most children could probably improve within a few years, if they were pulled out of school and taught by parents or tutors who could give them more personal attention, based on their interests and abilities, and not just random state (or Federal, as is sometimes the case) "standards".

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