Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Success is not enough

A successful reading program is being eliminated in Chicago. If DI is so boring as claimed by some, why not have a good dose of DI mixed in with regular reading?

Excerpt from Chicago Sun-Times:

City schools to ax scripted reading program despite gains
February 21, 2005
BY KATE N. GROSSMAN Education Reporter

Last December, the Chicago Board of Education called the news media to a small school in Woodlawn to show off the best and brightest of its "rising stars."
The Woodlawn Community School boosted reading scores by 20 percentage points in one year after rededicating itself to a controversial, scripted reading program called Direct Instruction, the principal proudly explained.

Now, the board says DI must go.

A Chicago Public Schools committee reviewed six research-backed grammar school reading programs recommended by the state and picked all of them, except Direct Instruction. The 40 or so schools using DI can continue if they've shown success with it, but no new schools can adopt the program.

1 comment:

Quincy said...

From later in the Sun-Times Article:

"It's very politically charged because it's not what you want to work," said Ben Ditkowsky, a former DI coach. "There is a tendency for people to focus on the teacher being creative and on feel-good activities that seem to ought to work rather than determining what really works."A perfect example of what I talk about in my piece "The Paradox of Education." (
In fact, I'll bet that students who've had DI end up better readers AND more creative writers than those whose reading and writing education has focused specifically on creativity.