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Volume 3 #12 Nov.
The election is over, so it appears that the “No
Child Left Behind” program will be with us for the
next four years. Most of the criticism of the program is
that it is full of requirements for improving test scores
but has no money behind it, leaving strapped communities
to tap into already high property taxes. As a long-term member
of our school committee I can understand that argument!
But the kids who are left the farthest behind and always
have been, are the bright, but undiagnosed or ineffectively
treated dyslectics of this world. And the amount of money
we spend here (and I am sure it’s true in other districts as well)
on special education is mind-boggling. The government provides plenty of money,
but it isn’t used effectively- or to put it less charitably, it is badly
wasted on “inclusion”, “resource rooms”, and assorted
other worthless activities. The one thing the dyslectic kid needs, and the ONLY
thing he needs, is to learn to read well. All this other stuff is a waste if
he doesn’t learn to read by himself.
The irony of all this is that under the “No Child Left Behind” act,
its money can only be spent on “science-based” curriculums. Now the
one program that actually teaches a dyslectic child to read at grade level or
above also happens to be the only one that is science-based! And because it gets
results four or five times as fast as the best of the other phonics programs
on the market, it is by far the cheapest. There is absolutely no scientific evidence
that even the best of the other phonics programs make any attempt to address
the basic cause of dyslexia. This is because they are merely trying to teach
the child to read. But the problem is not that he can’t read. The problem
is that he can’t LEARN TO READ. You have to rewire his brain so that
it can learn to read first. How to do this is the science-based part of the
RfS program. The scientists in neuro labs have found that dyslectics do not
use the left angular gyrus in the brain when they are trying to read or spell.
But that is the area that is programmed from birth for the job. RfS is designed
to rewire the brain to use that area, and then to train it in the phonics and
other activities it needs.
The amount of government money that is spent on remedial
reading and special education is more than enough to finance
the teaching necessary to get dyslexics up to snuff. We don’t even need “No Child Left Behind” money.
In fact, if the 10% of the school population that is dyslectic were properly
treated, MCAS scores would go up, drop-out rates would go down, fewer young
men would end up in the local lockup, fewer people would
be on welfare, and millions would lead very different, fulfilling
This is a funny country.
If your student asks how you can tell whether a word ends
in –-cks, or --x, you point out to him that anything
that ends in the letter S is a plural word. Tacks means more
than one thumbtack, whereas tax means -- but you know that
part. Yes, he is supposed to know that the letter S on the
end of a word means plural, but you are dealing with slippery
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|Archives (2001 files in .doc format):
|April 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #3
|March 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #2
|February 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #1
|December 2003 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 1, #11
2003 - Vol. 3, #2
2002 - Vol. 1, #10
2003 - Vol. 3, #1
2002 - Vol. 1, #9
2003 - Vol 2, # 12
2002 - Vol. 1, #8
2003 - Vol. 2, #11
2002 - Vol. 1, #7
2003 - Vol. 2, #10
2002 - Vol. 1, #6
2003 - Vol. 2, #9
2001 - Vol. 1, #5
2003 - Vol. 2, #8
2001 - Vol. 1, #4
2003 - Vol. 2 #7
2001 - Vol. 1, #3
2003 - Vol. 2, #5
2001 - Vol. 1, #2
2002 - Vol. 2, #4
2001 - Vol. 1, #1