If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

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If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:53 pm

Bruce Deitrick-Price writes:

If Bill Gates really wants to help education….

Jan 5, 2016

Bill Gates is one of America’s greatest business geniuses. But when he turned to education, his magic touch vanished.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bill-gat ... k-articles

Bill Gates should now put together a group of the best phonics experts and create the ultimate reading instruction. This could be called Gates Reading. He could make another fortune.

I'm also concerned about a lack of joined-up action and thinking here in England:

The Education Endowment Foundation is ploughing a large sum of money, and some interventions trialled through the EEF, into the North East region of England.

https://educationendowmentfoundation.or ... th-east-l/

What we need to see, however, is the 'report' which summarises the state of play (with specific detail) of the 'mainstream' systematic phonics provision in the schools in that region.

This 'report' may well exist - I don't know - it could be that I'm just not aware of it. I shall investigate this further and if anyone knows about the existence of such a report, please let IFERI know.

Before ploughing money into specific intervention projects, true accountability would amount to at least these two developments:

1) A full analysis of the 'mainstream' phonics, language and literature provision in the schools concerned - and who would be best placed to inform such an analysis?

2) An appreciation of which phonics programmes and practices have NOT been researched by the Education Endowment Foundation - which, arguably, are in danger of being ignored or neglected in preference to the programmes which have been researched by the EEF.

I've raised this issue of the need for an analysis of first-time phonics teaching previously when an intervention was funded in another region in England apparently to good effect, to fully understand why the children concerned required 'intervention' in the first place?

Where is the report to analyse the situation of the first-time provision?

When I found out more about this particular 'intervention', it looked to me like an extremely weak and inappropriate intervention for the children concerned - and not in line with what the mainstream systematic synthetic phonics provision SHOULD have looked like. Sir Jim Rose has recommended that, first and foremost, intervention needs to be in line with mainstream phonics provision and practice.

See this article and the 'readers' comments':


I'm not suggesting for one moment that there will never be children who require more intensive provision than others, but I AM suggesting that this issue is, arguably, still more about the quality and content of the first-time (mainstream) phonics teaching provision - which should include vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension - but which is not always the reality. We REALLY need to know and understand the existing practice in England's schools before ploughing money and EEF intervention programmes into the mix.

So - back to the issue of 'who' should be consulted with regard to poor progress in literacy:

Here in England, the two phonics programmes that I am associated with were thoroughly scrutinised for the government's match-funded phonics initiative (2011 to 2013) - along with the accompanying training provision - for mainstream and for intervention. A handful of other systematic synthetic phonics programmes and their training provision also passed muster. Would these programmes' authors not be a good place to start in terms of 'putting together a group of the best phonics experts' to report back on their findings in schools - both using their specific programmes and generally?

Here is the great 'disconnect' because no-one in 'officialdom' has approached me, or all the other programme authors, to report back on our wider findings and detailed findings - and, instead, the job of moving the country forwards has become institutionalised by a very 'corporate' looking organisation provided with huge amounts of public funding. I'm in the process of finding out who else amongst the country's (arguably) leading phonics programme authors and specialists have been consulted to look at the delivery of their programmes and the provision of phonics more generally.

I have now been told by a representative of the Education Endowment Foundation that there is no need to investigate 'phonics' as phonics provision is already evidence-based. Well - that sounds like a rational argument - but it isn't.

The provision of 'phonics' is so fundamentally important as high-content, high-quality phonics is essential when it comes to the generally less articulate, slower-learners, learners with a range of learning difficulties, learners for whom English is an additional language - and so on. This means that it is important not to PRESUME that mainstream schools have delivered high-content, high-quality phonics but to ENSURE that our infant and primary schools provide the highest quality possible. So, is there a report in weaker regions with an analysis of the phonics provision?

So - phonics is still key.

Who is most likely to know and understand whether schools are providing good-enough phonics content?

The programme authors/trainers/consultants of the phonics programmes already informed by science and featured in the government's match-funded phonics initiative one would have thought.

But for the Education Endowment Foundation (and others) - these programme authors with their specific expertise appear irrelevant, it seems, to the state of literacy in the North East.

By the way, we do know in England that not all teachers know, understand or apply the full 'Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles' according to three surveys by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER, 2013, 2014, 2015) commissioned by the Department for Education here:

https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/YOP ... 2_home.cfm

Note the key findings in the 2014 report:

Key Findings:

Teachers were positive about phonics as an approach to teaching reading, and its contribution towards early reading development. In the majority of schools, however, other strategies alongside phonics were also supported.

Teachers were asked about changes to phonics teaching that had been made as a result of their experiences of the check the previous year. The most frequently reported change by both survey and case-study respondents was the introduction of pseudo words into phonics sessions.

Exploratory analysis of National Pupil Database (NPD) data suggests that most children who achieve level 2 in reading and writing at key stage 1 have previously met the expected standard on the check at the end of Year 1, but there is a substantial minority (over a quarter) who have not.

Has the Education Endowment Foundation looked into the state of play in the schools in the North East of England regarding the persistence of the 'multi-cueing reading strategies' and the consequence for slower-to-learn children?

Kevan Collins heads up the Education Endowment Foundation. In the parliamentary inquiry in 2005, Kevan defended the 'searchlights' multi-cueing reading strategies when England's National Literacy Strategy guidance for reading instruction was being challenged by the UK Reading Reform Foundation and others.

Susan Godsland (IFERI committee member) and I predict that England's results for the Year One Phonics Screening Check will stall out between 80% and 85% at best whilesoever England's teachers continue with an eclectic mix of some systematic synthetic phonics but 'multi-cueing searchlights reading strategies' for word-guessing - and their continued use of reading books which enforce children to guess at words or to try to memorise whole words and sentences through familiarity with the books. The national average result in 2015 was 77% of England's Year One children reaching or exceeding the benchmark for the phonics check (that is, 32 out of 40 words read correctly or plausibly in the case of the pseudo words).

The continuance of mixed methods with weaker phonics practice will let down the very 'pupil premium' children that the EEF is tasked with helping - see here:


The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) exists to fund the development and evaluation of cost-effective and replicable projects that seek to improve the educational attainment of pupils who are eligible for free school meals.

Our focus is on supporting projects that show promising evidence of having a measurable impact on attainment or a directly related outcome.

We are interested in testing projects’ effectiveness through robust independent evaluations, where appropriate as randomised controlled trials.

If they are shown to have an impact, they should be able to be replicated and scaled up to improve outcomes for other disadvantaged pupils.

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Re: Bruce Deitrick-Price: If Bill Gates really wants to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:37 pm

I've long since been raising this issue of the relationship between what is actually provided in our schools for 'first time' phonics teaching with intervention practice here:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/for ... .php?t=847

We have to ensure first-time reading instruction is fully evidence-informed and high-quality.

It is clearly too easy to look for 'within child' issues and 'socio-economic' issues at the expense of looking at the actual provision of first-time teaching.

This is a HUGE issue in the reading debate.

Percentages of children with 'dyslexia' and 'special needs' can directly reflect the teaching methods in the schools.

That is why, in America, Australia and in New Zealand, the percentage of children with 'dyslexia' is likely to be much higher as these countries are dominated by 'whole language' practices at the expense of providing high-quality, content-rich Systematic Synthetic Phonics provision.

There are now some schools in England where teachers have aimed, and succeeded, in teaching all their children to read by the time they are six and seven who are not in 'leafy suburb' circumstances - see here:



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Re: Bruce Deitrick-Price: If Bill Gates really wants to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:21 pm

https://educationendowmentfoundation.or ... -literacy/

Now, in theory, then, in England, there are a handful of systematic synthetic phonics programmes that have already been officially scrutinised and schools have been encouraged, and partially funded by the government's match-funded phonics initiative, to opt for one of these programmes and to use cumulative, decodable reading books.

This does not prevent schools from using their in-house phonics programmes or other phonics programmes but these were not highlighted by the initiative and funding was not available for them.

My point here, however, is based on evaluating and comparing schools' alternative choices with those programmes already fully scrutinised.

This principle of 'evaluating and comparing' should also, arguably, be applied to any 'new' intervention programmes and practices.

I suggest that the issue of weak literacy is so important that, at this stage in England's development, and at this point of knowing already the findings of a body of research on reading instruction, that there should be some ACCOUNTABILITY and EVIDENCE of the process of evaluating and comparing with existing high-quality phonics and reading instruction programmes.

What I would want to see from the Education Endowment Foundation, then, is evidence of this scrutiny in the form of reports showing the process of the evaluation and comparison and accounting for both the contents and the guidance of existing programmes compared to the content and practices of the 'new' programmes.

If this evaluation and comparison is lacking, then we are in danger of going around and around in circles whereby 'new' programmes are not necessarily of higher-quality or more evidence-informed than existing ones.

What this implies is that a lot of money and 'authority' could be thrown into lesser programmes and practices than those that exist already.

Now, if that is the case, what a crime for the children.

If anyone has any information about reports of 'evaluations and comparisons' please let me know.
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:49 am

I've already flagged up this 'Schoolhouse Consulting' blog posting via the IFERI forum, but I'm doing so again on this thread as it is entirely relevant:

https://educhatter.wordpress.com/2016/0 ... ment-19558
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:57 am

This Ofsted inspection report of some schools in Stoke-on-Trent, England, is an example of the analysis that is needed for the provision of phonics, reading instruction and the reading culture of schools. I've included this link here because of the accompanying commentary that I provide in this thread to highlight significant features of the report:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/for ... okeontrent
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:54 am

I've previously highlighted this blog posting from the 'Horatio Speaks' blog with reference to both the Education Endowment Foundation and Reading Recovery but I'm posting it here as it has some relevance to the 'findings' (the summary reports) and possible ethos of the EEF in applying their work wider afield in the North East project:

A convergence of interests

https://horatiospeaks.wordpress.com/201 ... interests/

There is an unfortunate convergence of interests becoming apparent in the recent research gold rush which raises questions about the quality of the educational debate – or, more accurately, the quality of research input into the debate about where education should be going.

Is there a pattern here? It seems obvious to me. Is it a conspiracy of some kind? A conspiracy is entirely unnecessary to bring about a favourable slant in a report on a weak set of data. But I do think there may be a convergence of interests here, where research findings of ‘the right sort’ can be presented in one way in the headlines, while the fine print says something rather different. It is all about who writes the reports and who they are aligned with. For example – and this is not an aspersion on character, but a question about sympathies between organisations – a researcher from the Institute for Evidence in Education was seconded to the Education Endowment Foundation last year – a researcher who described himself at the National Literacy Trust conference in January as ‘Reading Recovery trained’. Is there a connection between this and the mismatch of headline and detail in the EEF report? I can only ask the question, but the patterns I have seen suggest that strong links between research groups can lead to some strange outcomes.
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The EEF description of 'phonics' is weak and flawed

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:03 pm

Do leading personnel in the Education Endowment Foundation have a bias towards the 'searchlights reading strategies' (the multi-cueing strategies that the Chief Executive of the EEF, Kevan Collins, defended in the parliamentary inquiry into reading instruction in England in 2005)?

Do the EEF personnel fully understand the entirety of a reputable systematic synthetic phonics programme and what its implementation includes?

It looks like at least some leading personnel may have a Reading Recovery background (definitely a multi-cueing reading strategies approach), so let's have a look at what the EEF says in its summary write-up about 'phonics' and I'll add my comments along the way:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.or ... it/phonics


Phonics is an approach to teaching reading, and some aspects of writing, by developing learners’ phonemic awareness. This involves the skills of hearing, identifying and using phonemes or sound patterns in English. The aim is to systematically teach learners the relationship between these sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics emphasises the skills of decoding new words by sounding them out and combining or ‘blending’ the sound-spelling patterns.

This is a very weak and inadequate description of the phonics in relation to what phonics provision should 'look like' in schools in England.

How effective is it?

Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional four months’ progress. Research suggests that phonics is particularly beneficial for younger learners (4-7 year olds) as they begin to read.

The statement above makes no sense. What does the figure 'four months' progress' actually mean - using what assessment/s and relative to what? Compare this 'four months' progress' statement with the progress made according to Dr Marlynne Grant's report of two studies with pupils of various profiles. Go to pages 6, 7 and 8 in the report below and look at the children's chronological ages compared to their reading ages (word level) and their spelling ages, using standardised tests, at the end of Reception, Year One and Year Two. I suggest that an analysis of results from phonics provision in the North East should take into account the findings from following a truly systematic synthetic phonics programme such as Dr Marlynne Grant's shows here:

http://www.rrf.org.uk/pdf/Grant%20Follo ... 202014.pdf

Teaching phonics is more effective on average than other approaches to early reading (such as whole language or alphabetic approaches), though it should be emphasised that effective phonics techniques are usually embedded in a rich literacy environment for early readers and are only one part of a successful literacy strategy.

What is meant by the 'alphabetic' approach? I query this because synthetic phonics as it is known in England is about teaching the 'alphabetic code'. This statement is therefore not clear.

For older readers who are still struggling to develop reading skills, phonics approaches may be less successful than other approaches such as Reading comprehension strategies and Meta-cognition and self-regulation. The difference may indicate that children aged 10 or above who have not succeeded using phonics approaches previously require a different approach, or that these students have other difficulties related to vocabulary and comprehension which phonics does not target.

This statement above is very misleading. It does not matter what is the age of the learner, if they have a weakness in alphabetic code knowledge and the blending (synthesising) skill, then that is the gap that must be addressed for the sake of their life-long literacy, learning, job prospects and self-esteem.

When people encounter an unknown word in reading material (unknown because they don't recognise the word and also it is not in their spoken language), then the only way to come up with a pronunciation for the new word is some form of phonics - that is, translating the letters, letter groups, and/or word chunks into sounds. The person can possibly deduce the meaning of the unknown word when it is presented in context, but without a pronunciation, that word cannot be added to the person's oral vocabulary. Thus, phonics knowledge is not an either/or scenario. If children have reached the age of 10 and they are struggling with their reading, then the teacher needs to assess whether their stumbling block is language comprehension (spoken language) or technical ability to lift new words off the page, or a combination of both (the Simple View of Reading diagram is very helpful for illustrating the relationship between the technical skills for reading - what ARE the words? and the language comprehension skills - what do the words MEAN?)

The Simple View of Reading and the Simple View of Writing:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/The ... _model.pdf

Far too many teachers believe that 'phonics doesn't suit some children' or 'phonics hasn't worked so far, let's try something different' and this is a fundamentally flawed understanding about the processes involved in teaching reading and learning to read. It may well be that the 10+ year old pupil needs more intensive practice of reading, or that they need more opportunity for repetition to build up fluency and confidence - but it is not a case of 'who have not succeeded using phonics approaches'.

The EEF is misleading to state, 'these students have other difficulties related to vocabulary and comprehension which phonics does not target' because phonics provision should target vocabulary and comprehension -but a close look at schools in the North East would discover whether phonics provision fails to target vocabulary and comprehension or not. Bring on the report of findings in the schools.

For children over 10 'who have not succeeded using phonics approaches previously, it is misleading to suggest that they 'require a different approach' (meaning, 'not' phonics). Further, 'phonics approaches' is a very inadequate way to describe phonics provision and implies that it is adequate to consider all 'phonics approaches' under the same broad brush stroke. This is not true. We are in the era of identifying what it means to provide phonics in a rigorous, systematic, explicit and content-rich way. This is why the EEF is entirely misguided to consider that the job of research is over for investigating phonics programmes and their variations.

I observe phonics lessons as part of my work, and I can describe first hand that phonics programmes and phonics provision do not look at all the same from school to school or even from class to class in the same school.

Qualified teachers tend to get better results when delivering phonics interventions (up to twice the effectiveness of other staff), indicating that expertise is a key component of successful teaching of early reading.

So, again, what is the picture of phonics provision - for first-time and for intervention - in the schools in the North East of England? I agree that 'expertise is a key component of successful teaching of early reading' but, what is the situation in the schools themselves, where is the report of observations? What needs to be addressed in the schools? Does first-time teaching and phonics training need to be addressed for example before rolling out specific interventions as the answer to weak literacy?

How secure is the evidence?

Overall, the evidence base related to phonics is very secure. There have been a number of studies, reviews and

Several robust studies of phonics programmes in English have been published in recent years. The findings show that phonics programmes can be effective in English schools, but also underline the importance of high quality implementation. Recent evaluations of Switch-on Reading, a programme involving phonics components delivered by teaching assistants, and Fresh Start, showed that both had an average impact of three additional months’ progress. However two other programmes, both targeting struggling, older readers, did not improve reading outcomes

The interventions should be focused on children's needs - and if the mindset of the EEF is that children older than 10 have not succeeded with 'phonics approaches', then this is very worrying if that is what the children, or some of the children, do indeed need - regardless of age.

People in my field are approached by Secondary school personnel all the time regarding learners of 11+ who are still in great need of high-quality phonics teaching and content. How can it be that such a huge, corporate research organisation such as the EEF is writing such weak statements about phonics, referring to 'four months' progress' without any explanation as to what this means, and suggesting that phonics is OK for early reading but that beyond 10, children need something else rather than the phonics approaches which they did not succeed with earlier?

What are the costs?

Overall, the costs are estimated as very low. The costs associated with teaching phonics arise from the need for specific resources and professional training. Evidence suggests that the effectiveness of phonics is related to the pupil's stage of reading development, so it is also important that teachers have professional development in effective assessment as well as in the use of particular phonic techniques and materials

The costs for children are very high if those who need the most rigorous phonics provision are not receiving it. If a region in England is looking particularly weak compared to others, then the first port of call would be to examine the phonics provision for reading and spelling instruction of the mainstream teaching and also of the existing intervention provision.

It may well be that the region provides high-quality, content-rich phonics provision in every school, and maybe the children are up to speed with their knowledge of the most complex alphabetic code in the world and their blending skills for reading and oral segmenting skills for spelling - such that they now need 'something else'.

If this is the case, where is the report to illustrate this transparently?

What should I consider?

Before you implement this strategy in your learning environment, consider the following:

Phonics can be an important component in the development of early reading skills, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, it is also important that children are successful in making progress in all aspects of reading including vocabulary development, comprehension and spelling, which should be taught separately and explicitly

THIS IS A TOTALLY FLAWED STATEMENT. It's not that phonics 'can' be an important component in the development of early reading skills, phonics IS an extremely important component in the development of early reading skills.

Furthermore, if the EEF personnel were knowledgeable, they would know that a high-quality systematic synthetic phonics programme includes vocabulary development, comprehension and spelling. This does not preclude teachers from teaching vocabulary explicitly, and spelling additionally, outside of the main phonics lessons - and language comprehension should be part of every lesson, every day across the curriculum anyway.

It is plain wrong for the EEF to state, however, that the components of 'vocabulary development, comprehension and spelling....should be taught separately and explicitly' as if they are not part of phonics provision because they should be!

The teaching of phonics should be explicit and systematic to support children in making connections between the sound patterns they hear in words and the way that these words are written.

The teaching of phonics should be matched to children’s current level of skill in terms of their phonemic awareness and their knowledge of letter sounds and patterns (graphemes).

Yes - but the 'teaching and learning cycle' for phonics provision, certainly when provided through a reputable systematic synthetic phonics programme, should include much more than the EEF description above.

Phonics improves the accuracy of the child's reading but not the comprehension. How are you planning on developing wider literacy skills such as comprehension?

This statement above is flawed. Yes, phonics does improve the accuracy of the child's reading, and that in itself unlocks the child's language comprehension. Without being able to decode the sentence, 'the dog is black', the child cannot comprehend the sentence. If the child understands about 'dogs' and colours, then the relationship for reading is a combination of both technical decoding and existing language comprehension.

Of course teachers need to address children's language comprehension all the time, and how books 'work', but the whole tenor of this description of phonics and its relationship with language comprehension and spelling by the EEF is inadequate and misleading.
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:11 pm

IFERI committee member, Gordon Askew, writes about older learners who are not reading proficiently and points out the red-herring of 'needing something different' from phonics:

http://ssphonix.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/ ... etely.html

Monday, 29 December 2014

And now for something completely different

I am often asked about the role of phonics in 'catch up'. Some learners are in KS2, KS3 or beyond and, sadly, have not yet got very far at all with mastering basic reading. Teachers and parents understandably want to know how best to help them, to start them on the reading journey, or at very least to enable them to become functional readers.

One of the pronouncements I hear most frequently in respect of these learners generally goes along the lines of: 'They have been doing phonics for years and it hasn't worked for them. Now they need to try a different approach,' or 'Phonics does't work for everyone. These kids obviously need something else.'

Unfortunately such thinking is a massive red herring, and can have disastrous results, depriving learners of the very teaching they most desperately need to achieve the desired 'catch up'.

There are two strong reasons for saying this...
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:13 am

There is growing interest in this topic.

I received an email yesterday from someone who captured the issue very succinctly thus:

"the corporate march forwards with ‘interventions’ in the absence of ensuring that we have quality systematic synthetic phonics mainstream provision," and "the EEF ploughing huge amounts of money into the North East on the basis of ‘intervention’ for those programmes that they have researched to the neglect of programmes they may not have researched."

As I am clearly one of those people who will use a thousand words when ten will do, I thought this was a good place to summarise the heart of the issue.
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Re: If Bill Gates (USA) and Nick Gibb (England) really want to help education

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:16 pm

With reference to a Twitter conversation about Reading Recovery, Susan Godsland drew attention to Professor Diane McGuinness's comments re a particular RR report.

You have to scroll right down to see Diane's comments but, whilst reading them, I thought how relevant they are to the issues I have raised on this thread about the relationship between mainstream and intervention provision.


So, I am copying the comments written on Susan's site and I am highlighting in red those comments particularly relevant to this thread:

International research on long- and short-term outcomes of Reading Recovery, and comparisons with other programmes: Julia Douetil, Reading Recovery Trainer and National Coordinator. IOE.

Professor Diane McGuinness examined the document above and her comments follow:

1) You cannot compare a programme that teaches children 1-to-1 for up to 80 hours, with a group of children that had no individual tuition, and certainly NOT 80 hours worth. This means that in most cases, the so-called "control" group is not a control group at all - it is simply the kids left in the classroom. For RR results to be considered valid, these two groups must receive the same tutoring time using TWO different methods. Otherwise, all this proves is the one-to-one tutoring is better than classroom teaching. I note that in some instances the claim is they did have a proper control group, but one would have to read the original paper and not a brief summary to find out.

2) All studies "published" by the organization that is promoting RR (I.O.E.) are also invalid, or at least suspect, no matter what they find.

3) I could find no study that used a REAL synthetic phonics programme for the same number of hours one-to-one, as the RR comparison group received. But I may be wrong. I would have to read them in the original.

4). There is the continual problem that they fudge their data over and over again, eliminating about 40% of the children from the original "experimental group" for failure to progress, and then not mentioning it. You can only see this in their tables and not in the text. In order to make this point stick, one would have to read each of these studies in their original form, and not in these truncated versions. So reading this review is not helpful in pinpointing what really happened. The definitive studies which point this out, are on the list of studies they provide. Several large, well-controlled survey studies are discussed in my book: Why Children Can't Read. These find little to no effect, and/or major design flaws in the research - one consistent one is dismissing so many children from the study. .

5). There is also a major question that I would like answered, and that is - when children begin with a good synthetic phonics programme, WHY THEN are they shifted to a programme (RR) which contradicts everything the children have been taught so far? Surely the REAL test for what works is one-to-one teaching with the same programme they were being taught. If they get JP/PhonoGraphix (Bristol schools) why then, don't they get one-to-one tutoring using these programmes?? What would happen if they did? It would be FAR FAR cheaper to do it this way. So what is the problem?

6). Another point is what happens when children DO NOT get exposed to RR, but get a good programme from the start. One should really compare the data from children taught properly in the first place to the RR claims.
These are the data I presented at the 2007 RRF conference (see http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?t=3785 ), and this includes just about everyone's programme except for Ruth Miskin's.

A large number of these studies have nothing to do with Reading Recovery at all, though the title of this paper indicates that EVERY study is about RR. All these studies must be dismissed for lack of relevance. Also, I note in reading through these again, that some of the studies (those I review in my book) had a different focus than the writer of this review claims - so this is misleading at best. The writer of this review is an employee of the IOE. This mini-review has no "status" i.e. it is not an independent analysis carried out by someone who has no vested interest in the outcome.

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