Written By onci on Monday, August 15, 2011 | 3:44 PM
A reading coach in Missouri told me a revealing story.
A nine-year-old boy, unable to read; showed up for remedial help. Pointing at “bead,” the tutor explained, “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” The puzzled third-grader looked up and asked: “What’s a vowel?”
Which prompts the question: “Has the state of Missouri lost its mind?”
Specifically, the school board members, administrators, superintendents, principals, politicians, civic leaders, and all the other people in charge of public education, all the people who let a smart boy reach the third-grade without being able to read. What process of deliberate non-education allows this?
“What’s a vowel??” Isn’t that like asking what’s a number, what’s a street, what’s an hour?
I blame all these officials, these Hard Hearted Hannahs, who seem not to care that reading is the one essential skill. What are these officials afraid of, that American children might actually become literate? That they might become engineers or skilled workers, people who can build a TV or something else to help us compete against the Chinese. On the other hand, such kids might learn to think for themselves. Perhaps some officials don’t want to take that chance....
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