Sunday, January 26, 2020

Why is it so hard to improve reading achievement?

This post is a response to what I saw on Twitter this morning by Timothy Shanahan.

His post today was;

            Why is it so hard to improve reading achievement? What aren’t we doing right?

I have made many comments on Timothy’s blog posts and he cherry picks comments he is comfortable with and ignores the others which he cannot respond to.

I have maintained since 2010.

i.                     Phonological awareness deficit is not the cause of dyslexia. A majority of kids classified as dyslexic are actually instructional casualties.
ii.                   The main reason why kids shut down from learning to read is the fact that phonics is not taught correctly.

Here are two of several posts I had written on my communication with Timothy via his blog posts.
Spend a little time reading them thoroughly and then grill me.

Is Timothy waiting for research reports to say that consonants should not be taught with extraneous sounds?

and part two


Luqman Michel said...

Of course, when we talk about raising reading levels we not only need to teach phonics but also teach vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. But it starts off with teaching phonics in the correct manner right from kindergarten and grade one. We can’t teach them phonics the wrong way and then when a large number of kids cannot read, we blame Phonics as the culprit or worse still label these kids who can’t read as dyslexics.

What does Timothy Shanahan mean when he says: “As far as I’m concerned, anyone who wants to increase literacy, I’m on their team”?

Luqman Michel said...

Dr. Timothy Shanahan: The schools have managed to do it. You look at 1971 literacy levels and you look at 2003 literacy levels and you come away saying man, there’s no difference. We’ve held the line. Our schools are terrific. And there’s truth to that, that’s not a fake picture.
That’s our situation. It’s an incredible tension where parents and politicians and media are demanding a better job be done with our kids and the schools are saying we’re doing as good a job as we ever have and we’re working really hard at it. People are getting angry at each other.

My comment: I want to just remind you that these guys who are doing this series of interviews are PhD holders.

You may read more in my blog post at