Adapted From: MercuryNews.com
By: Matt Levin
Three of four African-American boys in California classrooms failed to meet reading and writing standards on the most recent round of testing, according to data obtained from the state Department of Education and analyzed by CALmatters.
More than half of black boys scored in the lowest category on the English portion of the test, trailing their female counterparts. The disparity reflects a stubbornly persistent gender gap in reading and writing scores.
African-American boys are more likely to be suspended and drop out of school than other demographic groups, in California and elsewhere.
But the reading data is sobering. As early as fourth grade, for example, nearly 80 percent of black boys failed to meet state reading standards. Of all ethnic groups for which the state collects data, black boys trailed by the widest margin.
“Part of this may be structural, in having texts that aren’t relevant to the experiences and legacy of African-American boys,” said Chris Chatmon, founding executive director of the African-American Male Achievement program at the Oakland Unified School District. “When a lot of the curriculum you have access to isn’t familiar, or doesn’t acknowledge your past or your present, you have a tendency not to be engaged with it or want to read it.”
California public schools do not teach children to read.
The slogan “decoding is not reading” by proponents of the Whole Language movement, is not dead.
Phonics first, last or any time, when delivered expertly such s Read in 40 Hours or Less Workbooks, (not watered-down) at any age destroys illiteracy. All children, from all races and stations in life, learn to decode easily. It’s fun at all ages, and lights up the mind. If they miss the sensitive period, K-3rd, teachers are known to give up too easily.
Note: children who learn to read, but were not proactively taught immersive phonics, learned the phonetic structure of American English anyway. They figured it out on their own, or a peer or parent taught them. The less fortunate were rendered illiterate by a philosophy of whole language reading elites who claim they do not need to be taught to decode or encode.
If you believe “decoding is not reading,” consider this:
Once a person learns to decode, they can read anything, including the dictionary. They can read everything you can read – they can read like a Ph.D. Without decoding, however, they are non-readers for life.