Feb 12, 2018
Says who? Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive scientist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that’s who. Seidenberg has been studying the science of reading, and in his new book, Language at the Speed of Sight, makes recommendations for fixing America’s reading problem. Only a third of America’s primary and secondary school students are reading at grade level, and Seidenberg argues that education schools aren’t equipping teachers with the scientific knowhow to effectively close the reading gap.
What’s the solution? That’s where that “army of tutors” comes in. Seidenberg calls for school districts to significantly scale up tutoring services for struggling readers. Part of the problem, he says, is that poverty and lack of access to quality education prevent poorer students from receiving the reading intervention they need. To help close the gap, Seidenberg also recommends that college graduates who enter teaching programs like Teach for America should be placed as tutors, not classroom teachers.
Sounds like common sense. To educators, perhaps. But with President Trump calling (again) for cuts to federal education funding, including for Title II teacher training and after-school programs, successful tutoring initiatives like Reading Partners – and the students they greatly assist – may face an uncertain future.
The bottom line for tutors… American children need radical intervention to boost reading levels, so they can function and thrive at school and further down the track. The growing body of science and initiatives nationwide point to “an army of tutors” as an integral part of the solution.