There is no end to the debate over how best to teach kids to read, but at last there is growing agreement that phonics is the way (“We Know How to Teach Kids to Read,” The New York Times, Sept. 3). That’s because the whole word method has not lived up to expectations.
Although sounding out words letter by letter does not always work, it remains highly effective. Unfortunately, only 15 percent of programs training elementary-school teachers include actual instruction on how to do so. As a result, children from low-income families are particularly shortchanged. Their plight would be even worse if Ebonics ever caught on.
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