APM series on reading instruction

How did journalist Emily Hanford figure out reading when it flumoxed so many educators?

During the late 2010s, Emily Hanford of American Public Media created an excellent series of reports examining reading performance, reading problems, and reading instruction. Ms. Hanford reported a clear-eyed and level-headed analysis of issues in reading. Using multiple different media (print, podcast, etc.), Ms. Hanford presented what probably counts as one of the premier journalistic examinations of reading instruction in my experience (and my memory goes back to R. Flesch’s 1950s blockbuster, "Why Johnny Can’t Read, and What You Can Do About it”).

If you’re a teacher, you should run these entries through your earbuds while you exercise or garden. If you’re a parent, listen, take notes, and ascertain the extent to which your children’s schools are doing what Ms. Hanford describes as good practices…then lobby for change. If you’re an educational administrator, please read-listen-analyze and then take charge and lead your schools to change.

Even though many readers of Special Education Today will already know about one or more of Ms. Hanford’s articles, I want to assemble them here both as a source of reference for readers and as an endorsement of so much excellent content.

Here is a chronological listing.

  1. How American schools fail kids with dyslexia | Hard to Read | APM Reports—11 September 2017

  2. Why aren't kids being taught to read? | Hard Words | APM Reports—10 September 2018

  3. How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers | At ...—22 August 2019

  4. A conversation with Emily Hanford on reading instruction in the U.S. ...—23 October 2019

  5. Many kids struggle with reading – and children of color are far less ... 6 August 2020

The gracious Ms. Hanford told me that some folx have difficulty finding the podcasts; she recommended the links from Apple shown after this paragraph as alterantives. Flash of the electrons to her for helping me with this.

  1. Hard Words https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hard-words-why-arent-our-kids-being-taught-to-read/id81914987?i=1000479637310

  2. At a Loss for Words https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/at-loss-for-words-whats-wrong-how-schools-teach-reading/id81914987?i=1000479637342

  3. A Conversation with Emily Hanford https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-conversation-with-emily-hanford-on-reading/id81914987?i=1000479637287

  4. What the Words Say https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-the-words-say/id81914987?i=1000487274272

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