Wednesday, December 29, 2021

“The Truth About Reading” Is Missing Truths and Backstory by Nancy Bailey (Part 1)


Here is a post in Nancy Bailey’s blog. It is a comment on a trailer of an upcoming movie  “The Truth About Reading”.

Nancy says among other matters: 

The trailer involves half-truths and falsehoods, condemning teachers and public schools for children and adults who fail to read.

Adults who can’t read leave unanswered questions.

What reading deficits did they come to school with, if any, how big were class sizes and, were remedial reading classes an option?

He’s against calling children learning disabled (I agree), but he disputes learning disabilities, saying he bought into a lie that something was wrong with his brain. He never mentions dyslexia.

In the trailer, Emily Hanford, a journalist, who has written about teachers who she and others claim never learned how to teach reading correctly, mentions No Child Left Behind and standardized testing.

Those behind Reading First promised that these evidence-based reading programs, like today’s Science of Reading, would fix reading problems in children. They added that by 2014 every child would read at grade level.

It’s 2021, and, of course, that never happened.

My comment:

The trailer has both Faith Borkowsky and Emily Hanford and that is enough for me to know it has to be falsehoods and misinformation.


I wrote a recent post on Faith Borkowsky on her idiotic support of a link that said that dyslexia is the result of kids being taught to memorise sight words. If that does not sound idiotic then nothing would. LINK

You can take a look at my posts on Emily Hanford here. I wrote to Emily in 2017 and she promised to look into my discovery that kids disengage from learning to read due to confusion as a result of consonants being taught with extraneous sounds but she never did. That has aroused my suspicion as to who is behind the scenes of this movie under production. The producers are those with a vested interest in the Science of Reading.

The following are some of the comments on Nancy Bailey’s blog post.The comments in red are added by me now and not on Nancy's blog post.

Luqman Michel says:         


December 26, 2021, at 6:56 pm


If teachers have been teaching phonics for as long as you (Nancy) can remember, then why is it that the % of kids leaving school as illiterates is still high?


Nancy Bailey responded:

December 26, 202,1 at 7:01 pm


There are many variables as to why children have difficulties learning to read. But phonics has been around for a long time. I taught phonics to students with disabilities in a resource class of small numbers. But now many students are in general ed. classes with 30. Some children with auditory processing difficulties don’t do well with phonics. Every child needs to be carefully evaluated as to why they aren’t doing well in reading.


My comment now:

I too was taught phonics when I went to school in the late ‘50s. However, unlike today, we were taught the correct pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants.


Students with Auditory Processing difficulties don’t even account for about 1% of the population, so who is Nancy trying to kid? About 20% of kids leave school as functional illiterates. 


As mentioned several times in my blog posts, the main reason is the wrong teaching of the pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants. Those of you who have yet to listen to the 3 reasons why kids disengage from learning to read please listen to my YouTube videos at


The Anglosphere has been giving the same standard answer as given by Nancy – “THERE ARE MANY VARIABLES AS TO WHY CHILDREN HAVE DIFFICULTIES LEARNING TO READ.” What are the variables?


For decades children have been leaving school as functional illiterates and educators like Nancy are blind to the fact that kids are unable to read due to the teaching of pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants.


Here are a few comments from back in October.

Sam says      

October 20, 2021 at 9:41 am


The “drive” is made clear; students need to learn how to read. That is what kids go to school to learn. To read. Data is clear; A large percentage of the nation’s children are not reading proficiently. Teachers are not being prepared in many programs to teach all the foundational reading skills in a way science indicates brains learn how to read. That is why so many state laws have been passed to increase teacher knowledge of reading. Many teachers don’t know what they don’t know, particularly about dyslexia nor how to remediate reading struggles, leaving students and families struggling to get help. The fact teachers aren’t prepared to help students pushes districts to find solutions that are computer-based and companies ready to fill that need – heard of Amira? If districts don’t have appropriate solutions families move children out of the district to help their children learn to read. That’s what this story is about. It chooses not to mention 3rd-grade retention, because it’s not the issue of the film.

Nancy’s Response:

Thank you for your comment and opinion, Sam, but I must disagree. Teachers have been teaching children to read for years. And they have worked hard to better understand children with disabilities since 1975 and the passage of the All Handicapped Children Act.

As a reading resource teacher, my district pushed phonics years ago. It helped students but so did reading out loud and a variety of reading activities.


My comment now:

As mentioned by me in several of my blog posts, I teach all my students phonics and they begin to read within 4 months of 3 one-hour lessons per week. I also teach them to rote memorise Dolch words and once they have learned to decode I teach them to use context clues where necessary. Then I teach them patterns and analogies. 


Yes, teachers have been teaching children to read for years but along the way, they have forgotten how to teach sounds represented by letters correctly.


Donna said: 

November 5, 2021 at 6:34 am


Nancy, the science is clear on how to teach kids to read. For the past 30 years, a whole language approach has taught kids to read by memorizing with no reliance on the smallest units of sound in the word. The result has created millions of adults who struggle with reading and spelling. The National Reading Panel got it right. The problem is that so many colleges of education never got the message and don’t want to get the message which continues to perpetuate this problem. Your blog misses the mark.


My comment now:

If the science was clear on how to teach kids to read why are there kids leaving school as functional illiterates. Donna is blaming whole language when millions of kids are struggling to read even when phonics is being taught. Donna sure has missed the mark too.


Nancy Bailey says  

November 5, 2021, at 9:45 am


I appreciate your comment, but I’m afraid I have to disagree. Phonics has not been missing from the curriculum. My third-grade class in the late 50s did phonics, and I worked with children student teaching in the 70s with phonics. Please read about Reading First which focuses on phonics. Students learned to sound out words but they couldn’t comprehend what they read!


I find the SoR alarming and it doesn’t address the massive push to make children read earlier than ever. It is definitely not settled science.


My comment now:


The SoR has been around for more than 40 years. LINK. So, what is this hype about SoR all about?




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