Skip to comments.Columbia University quietly slinks away from its responsibility for the illiteracy crisis it helped impose on generations of Americans
Posted on 09/18/2023 5:13:09 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Illiteracy is a serious and growing problem in the United States: 21% of adults were illiterate in 2022, and 54% of adults have a literacy below sixth-grade level. Illiteracy traps people (and nations) in poverty. This, despite the fact that the United States spends more money on primary and secondary education than any other industrial nation.
One of the main reasons our literacy skills are so abysmal is the rejection of traditional phonics-based pedagogy in favor of trendier, "ground-breaking" or "leading edge" methodologies pushed by prominent schools of education at prestigious universities. Educational fads pushed by highly credentialed advocates and widely adopted by public schools desiring to be regarded as at the forefront of education. There's no glory — and there are few budget increases — in sticking with tried-and-true methods that made earlier generations highly literate.
One of the major voices pushing disastrously ineffective literacy teaching has been the Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. For more than four decades, generations of students have been crippled in their literacy skills by the pernicious pedagogy pushed on them from Columbia's Morningside Heights campus in Manhattan.
Recently and very quietly, Columbia has closed down the Reading and Writing Project and put its founder and leader, Lucy McCormick Calkins, on an "indefinite sabbatical." I am not privy to the details of this arrangement, but normally, a sabbatical includes pay, at a full or partial level. But it does place Professor Calkins out of active teaching with the imprimatur of Ivy League Columbia behind her.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
The New York Post has a terrific editorial calling out Columbia for the incredible damage it has inflicted on the nation without any acknowledgment, much less apology or restitution.
See here :
Columbia University is trying to quietly walk away from a disaster it imposed on generations of American children.
The least we can do is call out the damage done.
Just before the Labor Day weekend, Columbia announcedthat it’s “dissolving” the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and sending its creator, Lucy Calkins, off on indefinite sabbatical.
For decades, Calkins and her colleagues pushed “literacy” programs based on ideology, not science; programs failed the children who most needed help.
Her “balanced literacy” approach gave short shrift to phonics — by teaching children to look at pictures and guess words, for example, instead of sounding them out — and failed to foster the building of knowledge and vocabulary vital to learning the love of reading.
The stupidest thing to come out of academia in the history of man kind
She has tenure so we can’t fire her.
So, we will pay her to sit on her hands until we can force her to retire.
Lucy McCormick Calkins
Huge mobs with torches and pitchforks should show up at her door.
Why did we ever put up with this academically lazy, nonsensical garbage in the first place? Are there no checks and balances in education now that the marxists have taken over?
This error had a highly disparate impact. Most people born to proactive, intelligent parents went to school already reading.
We (my siblings and I) were reading at age 3. My children were reading at age 3. My nephews were reading at age three. My parents were reading at age 3 .... And so on.
A high proportion of the middle class in any country is like this. This early reading thing is a highly socially stratified skill.
The issue with phonics vs whole language is teaching to illiterate small children in a classroom environment. And these are the children, largely, of the lower 80%.
Well, we are seeing, finally, something of a check on this particular garbage. Its certainly taken a very long time.
All those people subjected to this "education" will never rise above the level they're at now. They can't read well enough to do that.
I went to school from the '60s through the late '70s. When I was in early grade school we were diagramming sentences to learn the proper structure of the English language. We could not only read, we understood what we were reading. We were even taught penmanship and cursive writing.
“One of the main reasons our literacy skills are so abysmal is the rejection of traditional phonics-based pedagogy in favor of trendier, “ground-breaking” or “leading edge” methodologies pushed by prominent schools of education at prestigious universities.”
I told people that Phonics works and was DIRECTLY responsible for my kids being fluent readers by age 5. They laughed at me (behind my back, of course) and instead trusted the ‘experts’.
But I did get the final laugh in, as the ‘competition’ that my kids were subjected to was reduced by at least 90% in college and the job market, with the only decent competition coming from the kids of Asian immigrants - kids who had parents that knew better.
“Sight words - The stupidest thing to come out of academia in the history of man kind”
Actually ‘Whole Language’ was the STUPIDEST thing to be imposed on American kids (until we started cutting their dicks off, of course), but Whole Language was so DISCREDITED, even in the mainstream that the Leftists had to rename it - and so it became “Sight Words”, and with that, the Leftists who hate our children managed to keep their destruction going for another 20 years.
“So, we will pay her to sit on her hands until we can force her to retire.”
I have NO PROBLEM paying Leftists to spend their days in the Rubber Room...just keep them there, and AWAY from our society. The money paid to them is a pittance compared to the HUGE DAMAGE they do when empowered (as Ukraine is learning the hard way).
“Why did we ever put up with this academically lazy, nonsensical garbage in the first place?”
Because public schools are ‘free’, so parents are able to get their nice house, the F-150, or the boat that they DESERVE (and so their kids are forced to fend for themselves).
“Are there no checks and balances in education now that the marxists have taken over?”
Nope, the LAST CHANCE to prevent this crap came and went with the ‘Greatest Generation’, who were so busy trying to improve their material wealth, that they didn’t pay any attention to the horrendous things that were taking place around them.
It shames the kids who's parents can't read. 🙄
I too am a product of early 60’s education. Reading came rather easily to me once they showed us phonics and that came on the first day of 2nd grade, IIRC.
I was reading at college level by 6th grade and I LOVED to read. I read just about anything I could get my hands on.
Looking at pictures and guessing will never teach anyone how to read.
It’s really easy to dump the blame off on one person. No one challenged it, even while the good teachers were saying it was trash. How many state boards of education were duped? How many counties?
No sir, we all get to eat this due to collective apathy and few fathers attending PTAs or school board meetings.
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