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It's in the instruction, not in the "growth model."

Posted By: Dick Schutz on August 23, 2006
Teaching all healthy children to read any English text with understanding equal to that were the communication spoken is not an unattainable aspiration. But that is not the objective framed by NCLB, and the “growth model” that Armor endorses doesn’t address the objective either.

The wherewithal to attain the aspiration is two-fold.

First, product/protocol that acknowledges the Grapheme/Phoneme Correspondences which operationally define the Alphabetic Code. This matter is conventionally treated as “Phonics,” –a term that has lost all meaning. Few people are aware of the structure of the Alphabetic Code, which puts us in a position akin to doing biogenetic work unaware of the structure of the Genetic Code.

Second, Gutmann-scale indicators that can be used to determine individual status in reading text that embeds increasing Code complexity. These indicators can provide the basis for “dashboards” which make it possible to query the instructional status of reading instruction aggregated by the teacher, school, and district and by whatever bio-social categories are of interest. That’s a very tractable matter, but it’s a far cry from the IRT-scaled scores and arbitrary cut-offs of imputed “grade-level proficiency.”

NCLB legislates a “new Science of reading,” but it is oblivious to the Development required to generate the instructional and testing product protocols. The methodology/technology for producing each is extant but it is being disregarded by the top of Ed-chain. Meanwhile those at the bottom of the chain are being pummeled under the banner of “accountability.” Not smart. Not fair.

Dick Schutz
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 It's in the instruction, not in the "growth model." by Dick Schutz on August 23, 2006
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