Democratic Analyst Scot Ross and Republican Strategist Bill McCoshen join for a conversation about how each side of the aisle is feeling going into the weekend before Tuesday’s election.
Alan Borsuk returns to discuss the “reading wars” happening in Wisconsin and across the nation.
Alan J. Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy at Marquette Law School, returns to the show to talk about the “reading wars” happening in Wisconsin – read his article on the topic here: ‘Science of reading,’ whole language,’ ‘balanced literacy’: How can Wisconsin resolve its ‘reading wars’ and teach kids to read?
A little more than a third of Wisconsin grade school students are reading at proficient or advanced levels, according to state test scores. In Milwaukee Public Schools, more than half are “below basic.”
So what can be done to make kids better readers? Columnist Alan Borsuk has been diving into the issue as part of the By the Book series on low literacy in Wisconsin and its causes and solutions.
Much of the debate centers around the type of reading instruction given to students. There’s growing support for the “science of reading,” which is often associated with phonics, or learning the sounds letters make and putting them together to make words.
Others support approaches such as “whole language,” which doesn’t emphasize phonics as much and instead focuses on recognizing and understanding entire words. The “balanced literacy” method combines whole language with some phonics but hasn’t led to substantial increases in reading success, Borsuk writes.
Here is a key section:
“Wisconsin has been slow to pick up on the science of reading momentum and, in this “local control” state where districts are on their own for many curriculum decisions, there is no state requirement to adopt a particular approach to reading instruction.
But more school districts are one by one, adopting the science of reading methods and teacher training.