Nancy Bailey: There Can Be No “Science of Reading” When Libraries and Librarians Are Disappearing

[Having just finished John Carreyrou’s magisterial book on the Theranos Scandal, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupI consider myself au courant on the self-delusions of tech entrepreneurs–but then, one need only listen to Mark Zuckerberg everytime he opens his mouth to understand this dynamic. Here, from Diane Ravitch’s Blog, is yet another example of such self-delusion with potentially grave consequences. I have begun to think society as a whole should treat tech entrepreneurs like children who must hear the word no, emphatically, several times a day.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

In the past few months, there have been a number of articles about “the science of reading,” all touting the importance of phonics. I don’t know that there is a “science of mathematics” or a “science of history,” or a science of teaching any other subject. Although I have a long record in support of teaching phonics, I have long recognized that many children read without the help of phonics, many learn by being read to by their parents, many start reading because the grown ups in their lives make it important to them.

Nancy Bailey points out a central problem with the “science of reading.” The disappearance of libraries and librarians. The ed-tech industry has jumped on the “science of reading” bandwagon because it believes that a computer can teach sounds and symbols as well as a human teacher, maybe better, through repetitive exercises.

Nancy, as usual, says…

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