ERIC Number: EJ774509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Reference Count: N/A
The National Reading Curriculum's Oobleck
Venable, James W.
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n9 p693-695 May 2006
Public elementary school teachers are in the fourth year of a mandated "national reading curriculum." A group of federally appointed experimental research scientists, known as the National Reading Panel (NRP), created a report, which is now the cornerstone for the Reading First document and a crucial underpinning of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). All of these federal actions have placed undue pressure on schools by channeling them into a reading curriculum based on systematic and explicit phonics instruction. These mandates have resulted in the creation of commercial programs that claim to use evidence-based reading methodologies that will close the achievement gap and end America's reading problems. Confident of their findings, many of those involved in the NRP believe they have put an end to the 30-year debate over how best to instruct children. In school districts across the country, however, the reading battle rages on, and most teachers are not buying the findings of the NRP. In this article, the author points out the parallels between the magicians in Dr. Seuss' "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" and the research scientists responsible for the federal intrusion into the reading curriculum.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Elementary School Teachers, Reading Instruction, Compliance (Legal), Policy Analysis, Criticism, National Curriculum, Educational Policy, Curriculum Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001