Regarding the Independent‘s article on the “new” phonemic curriculum proposed for S.B. Unified School Didstrict, it struck me as a story searching for a conflict.

For at least 20 years every teacher receiving a California teaching credential had to pass a rigorous test known as RICA, (Reading Instruction Competency Assessment). Anyone who has either prepared teachers for this exam, or taken it, knows that phonemic awareness is an essential component of reading instruction. It is not some “new” method, nor is phonics or phonemic awareness the only necessary component of reading instruction, hence the term “balanced” reading instruction. 

Another necessary aspect of reading instruction is “meaning making” or the notion that while each letter has a sound or several sounds associated with it, the reader must construct meaning from the text that is being read. Comprehension is as important as sounding out words using phonics. 

Let’s not get the reading “wars” started again. Let’s give teachers the discretion to use the methods they already proved that they know work, with their individual students.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.