There are few acts more racist than the collusion of government, elected officials and unions in our public education system to cripple Black childrens’ opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just 14% of Nebraska Black eighth graders scored at grade level or above in reading on the 2015 Nation’s Report Card, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The distribution of the range in IQ is the same throughout the population, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic level.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds attended the Black Lives Matter rally last week to hear from students how he can make their college experience more inclusive, welcoming and better. (Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star (LJS) 11/22/15)
Though research has shown for 100 years that children must first be taught to read using only phonics, the education establishment insists on using known failed strategies. Harmed most are those who historically were legally barred from reading instruction. The ability to read well was recognized as the road to Liberty and a threat to the institution of slavery.
Education fraud is revealed as educators attribute reading failure to poor family structure, poverty and skin color. Former slave Frederick Douglass’ autobiography is a powerful testimonial of his achievements, which were only possible because he was taught how to read. As was customary in that environment, he was separated from his mother as a toddler. His mother often walked 11 miles in the night to lie down with him as he slept, then rise for the journey back to the fields by dawn. Douglass’ accomplishments included his work as an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln and he proved instrumental in the movement for Womens’ voting rights.
What All Lives need is phonics and only phonics, reading curriculum and instruction upon their first exposure to school. Our failure to train teachers and staff in the 5 pillars identified by the National Reading Panel integral to reading fluency is a mystery. Reading fluency requires:
- Explicit instruction in Phonemic awareness
- Systematic Phonics instruction
- Methods to improve Fluency
- Teaching vocabulary words
- Reading comprehension strategies
Ineffective reading strategies including: Whole Word, word flash cards, word guessing and balanced reading change the architecture of the brain and cripple the child’s ability to learn to read well.
The fraud has a broad reach. An organization to help dyslexic children learn to read recognized Stanislas Dehaene as an authority in the field and suggested his research. Yet, that same organization failed to include Dehaene’s later book, in 2009 the groundbreaking, Reading in the Brain. It is a fascinating book which maps the phonics brain connections necessary for reading, a left hemisphere activity. The neural connections present in fluent readers are first created as letters and the sounds they make are learned well for instant recall, automaticity. In addition to ignoring the scientific foundation of reading in the brain, the dyslexia gathering promoted Reading Recovery, known for over a decade as a failed strategy.
The 2015 NAEP eighth grade reading scores for all Nebraska students reveal just 38% score at or above grade level. These scores have been flat for decades and suggest the majority of Americans who graduate high school are functionally illiterate. Is there a connection between our failure to teach reading well and American white males 45-54 dying at an alarming rate mostly due to the existential despair exhibited in suicide and addiction? (Editorial LJS 11/16/15)
We examined the sexuality curriculum co-authored by the teachers union that is used in Lincoln Public Schools. Do unions also influence the retention of curriculum which promotes reading failure? Learning failure results in system expansion. Why are we not doing what we know works for all children to master reading in a few months?
We have many excellent teachers and dedicated public servants but do Government unions’ unduly influence the hiring and retention of individuals ill-suited to teaching or public service in general? In a Lancaster county lawsuit, Ronald Nattress claimed 3 corrections officers shoved him out the courtroom door, slammed him into a wall, forced him to the floor, restrained him with handcuffs and a leg brace, carried him to an elevator, forced his head into the wall 3 or 4 times, strapped him into a restraint chair and tasered him 5 times before returning him to jail. (Kevin Abourezk, LJS 11/17/15) Nattress prevailed in his lawsuit.
Black Lives and All Lives deserve the sound foundation necessary to achieve: the ability to read well early in life. Frederick Douglass’ ability to read well enabled him to achieve despite an early life and environment of unspeakable horror.
To safeguard your child of any race from miseducation, consider the Nebraska Academic Savings Account which requires effective reading and math instruction. Hopefully our legislature values ALL childrens’ lives and will support this learning option which provides education dollars directly to parents/guardians.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela 1995 Nelson Mandela was taught how to read well.