Beth is the sister of our friend Jane. She teaches in Cleveland and focuses on children who can't read. She's fully up to date and reading research; in their systematic structured phonemic based program they teach the vast majority of their non-reading students to read -- with perhaps 1 in 50 resorting to a "word recognition" program. Her thought on schools that are still oriented to "whole language" was "get out now".
Talking to her is like finding water in the desert (kudos to Bob for insisting we bother her). The big surprise though was that the program favored by her school district comes from our back yard -- the place I go to work every day -- Bloomington Minnesota.
Here's some text from the Project Read web site (emphases mine w/ some corrections to their web typos):
Project Read©/Language Circle© is a research based mainstream language arts program for students who need a systematic learning experience with direct teaching of concepts and skills through multisensory techniques.
Project Read© has five curriculum strands:
... Project Read©/Language Circle© is designed to be delivered in the regular classroom or by special education, chapter one, and reading teachers who work with children or adolescents with language learning problems. Project Read© is recommended as an early intervention program for grades one through six, but is equally effective with adolescents and adults.
- Reading Comprehension – Report & Story Form
- Literature Connection
- Written Expression
Project Read©/Language Circle© is cost effective. The cost per Project Read student is about 10% of the cost of funding a special education "pull out" program. Project Read's principles of systematic learning, direct concept teaching, and multisensory strategies reach the alternative instructional needs of students, thereby reducing the number of students referred for special services.