As a psychologist with over 25 years of experience, working in an urban setting with the most challenging and difficult mental health cases involving children, I came to recognize the role of school failure, and particularly reading difficulties in the complex stories of the children and families I tried to serve.
I am particularly interested in the failure of most Universities and schools of education to properly teach the known science of reading, and how that impacts school systems, particularly those in urban areas. I am not a researcher, but I am an informed consumer of research and I like to help others digest and understand the science of reading so that they can make better decisions.
I think facts and information are our only tools, and while we must wield them carefully, we should not be afraid to call out the failures and injustice we see. Too much decision making is driven by the delicate feelings of adults who, however hard working and well-intentioned, have protected their colleagues and friends over the interests of our most vulnerable children. We are investing the lives of little children in bad decisions, in order to avoid the shame and discomfort of admitting we were wrong. This is not unprecedented. It has happened many times before, in many places, surrounding many decisions. But, like all of those other times, this must end. Any other result would be immoral. The victims are, after all, children.
Dr Steven Dykstra