The Importance of Phonics from Time Magazine
We loved this article from Time Magazine!
"Now Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. “In Oakland, when you have 19% of Black kids reading—that can’t be maintained in the society,” says Weaver, who received an early and vivid lesson in the value of literacy in 1984 after his cousin got out of prison and told him the other inmates stopped harassing him when they realized he could read their mail to them. “It has been an unmitigated disaster.” In January 2021, the local branch of the NAACP filed an administrative petition with the Oakland unified school district (OUSD) to ask it to include “explicit instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension” in its curriculum."
This proves that we need to teach with more phonics!
"Weaver and his co-petitioners—including civil rights, educational, and literacy groups—want schools to spend more time in the youngest grades teaching the sounds that make up words and the letters that represent those sounds. His petition is part of an enormous rethink of reading instruction that is sweeping the U.S. So far this year, five states have passed laws that require training for teachers in phonics-based reading techniques, adding to the 13 that passed such laws last year. And in May, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that elementary schools in the biggest district in the country would be required to adopt a phonics-based reading program."
And now we need the rest of the states to do the same!
"This debate was supposedly settled in 2000, when the National Reading Panel, a big group of literacy experts that examined hundreds of studies on what instruction kids need to read, released a report. It recommended explicit instruction in the things Weaver’s petition asks for: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This was a victory for the phonics camps. But it is one thing to declare a war is over and another to parcel out territory."
The war is not over. But here at First Step Phonics we are doing our part! We'll get there!
Check out our First Books, the simplest phonics books for your new reader.