California Sued After Failing To Teach Children How To Read
Published : December 8, 2017
As The Newman Report revealed this summer, the state government's own numbers show that more than half of California children in government school do not meet even the dumbed-down Common Core literacy standards. Among black boys, less than one in four do. Among Hispanic children, it's less than one in three. The math scores are a disaster, too.
A group of prominent California attorneys is now seeking to change that through the legal system. In essence, a spokesperson for the effort said they are arguing that the state, which is obligated under California's Constitution to offer a tax-funded education, is not upholding its legal obligations. Under the law, they must provide at least basic literacy, the attorneys say.
“California is dragging down the nation,” attorney Mark Rosenbaum with the nonprofit Public Counsel, which filed the suit, was quoted as saying in media reports. “We’re about seeking a quantum of education, so that all children learn how to read.”
Apparently California has almost half of the nation's worst-performing school districts in literacy and basic education. And that is quite a feat. Indeed, in places like Washington, D.C., a State Education Agency report shows more than two-thirds of adults — virtually all of them victims of dumbed-down government “education” as children — are functionally illiterate.
The new lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in conjunction with the law firm Morrison & Foerster, was filed on behalf a second-grade student who cannot spell even simple words such as “need” and “help.” Other plaintiffs represented similarly could not read or write, with some of them forced to listen to audio versions of their school books into their high-school years.
The goal, according to the suit, is court orders requiring “appropriate literacy instruction at all grade levels.” But the California Department of Education, one of the defendants, claimed in response to the litigation that California already has “one of the most ambitious programs in the nation to serve low-income students.” That speaks volumes.
The cause of the illiteracy crisis in California and the rest of America is simple. Basically, government schools are using quack methods to “teach reading” that have been known to produce illiteracy and reading disabilities since the 1840s when the methods were first used in the schools in Boston. These methods are commonly known as “whole word,” “sight word,” look-say,” and more recently, “whole language.” They all involve memorization of words rather than understanding phonics.
Of course, the solution to this crisis is simple, too. When students in one California district used the phonics-based Sing, Spell, Read & Write reading program by veteran educator Sue Dickson, for example, even non-native English speakers became fluent readers. The same was true everywhere the program has been used. Other programs such as Sam Blumenfeld's Alpha-Phonics and Phyllis Schlafly's First Reader do wonders as well.
The reason for this is also simple: reading English requires a mastery of phonics, something that becomes difficult to impossible if students are instead forced to “memorize” whole words as if they were symbols in and of themselves. The memorization creates a faulty reflex that can forever hamper proper reading.
California and any other state could solve the illiteracy crisis overnight if they simply ditched Common Core's “sight words” and returned to the tried and true method of teaching reading that worked for thousands of years: Systematic, intensive phonics. The real problem is that the education establishment already knows this. Parents, protect your children.