Matthew Effect Is A Concern
Look up Matthew Effect on the Internet. Basically it refers to the observed result
that children who fail to read at grade level start slipping — not only in the skill of reading but also in other respects, demonstrating diminished love of reading, diminished love of learning as a whole, diminished self-esteem, etc.
In other words, they become “disabled” and incrementally become “more disabled” due to poor reading ability or poor or absent teaching of reading skills. In medicine this
acquired disorder is called an iatrogenic outcome, induced by the treatment — an infection, complication of treatment, etc.
What a coincidence.
I’m from Canada and a friend just happened to be in Las Vegas when this story broke. This is what she wrote:
“You know, if a Martian were to visit Clark County and try to find out what to do about the board's poor literacy results, it would probably take the Martian about an hour to learn that additional spending and trying harder haven't worked elsewhere, while abolishing Balanced Literacy and instituting systematic phonics has worked elsewhere. One has to wonder why these truths elude the new superintendent of the Clark County School District.”
Well, your superintendent certainly has it right about the Grade Three turnaround point: “We know students have to be successful by the end of third grade.”
The news story goes on: “Skorkowsky set one overarching goal that must be met by students, even though the details of getting there remain unclear. All children must show grade-level reading skills by the end of third grade, the pivotal point where students transition from learning to read to now reading to learn. “
What about pinpointing the problem closer to the Reading Program? Why not consider systematic phonics in elementary years instead of Balanced Literacy? Will this upset the “consultants” in Head Office?
[published Apr 22, 2014 on Las Vegas Review-Journal http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/education/school-district-chief-pledges-full-review-all-spending ]