Hochul Discovers Students Need Phonics, Vocabulary Lessons


On Wednesday, Gov. Hochul introduced a framework to overhaul New York’s statewide reading curriculum because the reading scores are so low.

She is pushing a phonics and vocabulary program as if it were a brand new discovery. It’s how children have learned since the 1800s.

In the last school year, fewer than 4 in 10 black and Latino students statewide scored proficient on the third grade English Language Arts, state test scores show.

It doesn’t matter if they are black or Latino. If they can’t read, the problem is the education they are getting.

Hochul’s office said the state’s new plan would gear school curriculum toward the so-called science of reading approach. The science of reading is a phonics-based approach, which emphasizes the sounds of letters in helping children learn to read.

The “new science of reading” program, as Hochul calls phonics and vocabulary instruction, is how most people learned how to read over the decades.  Any integrated language program should include phonics instruction, comprehension, and vocabulary lessons.

According to the NY Times, the governor proposed spending $10 million to retrain teachers in what is known as the “science of reading,” which involves teaching children to sound out words, decode them, and understand their meaning, as well as helping them expand their vocabulary. She called for programs at the State University of New York and the City University of New York to educate teachers in these methods.

Phonics should always be a part of any language instruction. It’s helpful for all children, and some children can only learn phonics-based approaches. That’s particularly true of children who have poor family assistance or handicaps.

Last year, fewer than half of New York’s third graders were proficient on state reading tests. That’s just incompetence.

They have suddenly discovered the age-old practice of the science of reading. That involves teaching children to sound out words, decode them, understand their meaning, as well as helping them expand their vocabulary. Wow.

New York was number one in reading skills, but they fell into 32nd place in the nation. That’s just disgraceful.

So, New York State will spend $10 million on something that should have been automatically done. How many children have not learned to read because of their incompetence or because the schools aren’t teaching teachers properly?

The New York Times claims that teachers are very frustrated because they’re losing control over how they teach. Well, they weren’t teaching if they weren’t teaching phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary. However, this information is according to Hochul and the NY Times. It could be inaccurate.

According to the New York Times, teachers were trained in “balanced literacy.” It allegedly encourages independent reading and includes some practices experts say are problematic, like teaching children to guess words using pictures.

It took them all this time to realize it wasn’t working and that they needed to teach foundational skills like phonics. They also only recently discovered that children need more systematic teaching.

Are you kidding me? I am an educator of thirty-three years, and I’d like to know how they thought having children only guess words from pictures would be adequate and systematic teaching (repetition) isn’t necessary.


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