Here is another wonderful article that came across my desk this a.m. This is about the science of reading and the lack of explicit, systematic instruction to teach kiddos how to read. The article reports "In an Education Week Research Center survey of more than 530 professors of reading instruction, just 22 percent said their philosophy of teaching early reading centered on explicit, systematic phonics with comprehension as a separate focus." We know that phonics is important but even more important is the way we teach it along with phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.
There are some school districts in our area that doing a great job at providing professional development for their staff and empowering them to teach in more effective ways, which is exciting. Let's hope that even more districts will do this as well.