EDUCATION Reading Right

Article excerpt

An objective evaluation of a reading program being used in some local public schools indicates that it is off to a good start and deserves further support.

At the behest of the School Board, Serve Inc. is doing a three-year evaluation of the Direct Instruction program currently being used in 15 schools. The first report covers the implementation of the program.

The consultants found that most of the Direct Instruction principals and teachers were overwhelmingly in favor of the phonics-based method of reading instruction used in the program because they have observed dramatic reading achievements among students.

"Even teachers with many years of experience reported success in teaching reading that they had not had with other reading methods," the report said.

This was supported by a statement from one teacher: "I support Direct Instruction 110 percent. After 37 years, this is the first time I have seen 28 children make progress in reading and push themselves to their limit."

On the other hand, some teachers in other schools object to the program because it is highly "scripted," meaning that it has a fairly rigid format they must follow. …