Nearly 40% of all fourth graders in this country cannot read at grade level, and this number rises to 60% for children coming from poor families. This gap in learning increases as students go through grade school and is a primary reason for school failure. Ironically, this problem comes at a time when there is research to demonstrate that nearly all children can learn to read if taught using research-based instruction. Here, the authors describe the principles of this research in language that non-educators can understand and educators can use. It discusses how to recognize whether the research on reading is being used appropriately, and if not, how to make that happen. Through the eyes of parents and educators who have succeeded in their own struggles to change the educational system, the book provides the reader with the tools and knowledge for transforming the way reading is taught in their children's classrooms. This book takes the reader step-by-step through an understanding of the research on reading and ways in which a single, determined person can make a difference in the learning ability of every student in our nation's schools. Part One is a series of chapters written by individuals who discuss what they experienced during these battles and what made them successful. Part Two is written by a series of experts who describe how they have overcome the challenges involved in creating widespread change in school systems. The appendix is filled with resources-people, places, sample tools, a glossary and bibliography to help the reader.
Parents and teachers working together can be an unstoppable force in solving our children's reading problems. This book will guide all who want to strive for a nation of readers.--Robert Chase, past president of the National Education Association