Why are American students' reading, writing, and history scores so low? Why are the scores of minority students declining? Why have basal readers, the primary tool for teaching reading in schools, lost their literary standards? These problems have little to do with whole language or phonics; in fact, it's not the method teachers employ that wholly determines academic success, says Dr. Sandra Stotsky -- it's the material they use to teach. And she shares her unexpected findings on reading primers to reveal how a strong political agenda has dumbed down children's basic skills.
Losing Our Language demonstrates that, as basal readers have become grammatically more simple, there has been a steady downward trend in children's analytical powers, general knowledge, and overall literacy. Dr. Stotsky recommends that we teach students to read from the best literature available -- and not necessarily from the most ethnically diverse selections we can find.
This cutting-edge book, featuring examples from the readers themselves as well as insightful interviews, will open eyes in school districts across the country by showing that today's version of multiculturalism and superior basic skills are mutually exclusive ideals.