Read to Achieve isn’t improving the reading performance of students, and this teacher figure he knows why:
…it was obvious from the beginning that Read to Achieve lacked the educator’s touch. The initiative attempted to improve reading by increasing the volume of assessments in grades K-3 and ratcheting up the threats of retention, essentially punishing children for not being able to read well enough in early grades. It’s not the approach an effective teacher would take. — Justin Parmenter, English teacher at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I don’t have the answers, but if you’re interested in improving the reading lives of students, there are free professional development opportunities through the state School Improvement Plan. Link here.
I recommend the Reading Research to Classroom Practice. This is the reading education class you should have had in college, but didn’t.
For most students acquiring written language is not a struggle. But for 5 to 20% of our kids, direct instruction of phonics is needed. My college professors were all Whole Language advocates. I learned quickly that some students don’t soak up literacy skills, and they need much more interve3ntion.