Solving our country’s literacy crisis will involve a lot more than simply publicizing the large body of evidence suggesting many schools are not deploying the best method of teaching reading. It also will include battling school districts and educators invested in the status quo.
“The people in charge of the systems we have benefit from [them]” activist Kareem Weaver explained recently during the “Solving America’s Literacy Crisis with the Science of Reading,” panel discussion at ExcelinEd’s National Summit on Education in Salt Lake City. “Are we going to actually serve all of our kids, or is that just a buzzword?”
Weaver is a member of the Oakland, California, NAACP Education Committee and co-founder of the reading advocacy group FULCRUM Oakland. He was joined by panelists Emily Hanford, senior correspondent, producer and host of American Public Media’s podcast Sold a Story; and Kymyona Burk, senior policy fellow at ExcelinEd and former executive director of Jackson, Mississippi, school district’s Office of Teaching and Learning. The session was moderated by Derrell Bradford, president, 50Can.
“When you believe in something, it’s hard to unbelieve in it,” Hanford said. “Schools have invested a lot of money in this stuff and it’s hard to move away.”
To hear more of this provocative discussion about the science of reading, please click here.
Mark R. Lowery is managing editor of Ed Post. He is a veteran journalist who has managed national magazines and worked for major newspapers, including New York Newsday, the Detroit Free Press and the Plain Dealer. He previously served as editorial director of October Research.