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|NUMBER 188||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||SEPTEMBER 2001|
'Turbo Reader' is new tool in fight against illiteracy
ALTON, IL Education is now widely recognized as the number-one issue in America, and educators, parents, politicians and media pundits are all clamoring for "reform." Yet most education reform models and literacy programs use the same failed Whole Language method that created the crisis in the first place. With illiteracy rates at least 60% among disadvantaged youth and 40% among all youth, grassroots volunteers are taking matters into their own hands. These volunteers are hailing a brand new teaching tool called Turbo Reader, a phonics instruction system developed by Phyllis Schlafly.
Volunteer tutors in St. Louis are already taking Turbo Reader on their weekly visits to inner-city schools, where they teach children to read after school hours. "Unfortunately," says volunteer coordinator Lois Linton, "the need is great and the laborers are few. Parents need to be asking why the schools aren't doing the job."
Last month, a science teacher in the St. Louis public schools called in on a nationwide talk radio program to complain that half of her 8th-grade students can't read. She said the school administration puts "tremendous pressure" on her to "accommodate" these students. She is required to "read the tests to them or read the tests onto a cassette so they can listen to them, to give them more time to take the test, and to allow them to turn in papers late."
This teacher, who asked that her name be withheld, admitted that she has to "cut the amount of subject matter for 8th-grade science" by more than a third because of her students' reading difficulties.
Many experts have found that students' failure to learn to read is directly related to the lack of phonics instruction in the schools, yet the Whole Language method persists, often under the guise of a "balanced" or "comprehensive" approach. (See Education Reporter, May 2001 and July 2000.)
St. Louis teacher and reading tutor Rosanne Donato calls the new Turbo Reader "the best phonics system I've ever seen," and recommends it for "anyone of any age who is looking for reading improvement." Donato emphasizes that "reading problems affect students in all areas academic, social, and emotional."
Author Schlafly is well qualified in phonics instruction. She taught each of her six children to read using phonics and, in 1994, she introduced her highly successful First Reader phonics curriculum, which has been used by thousands of parents, tutors and elementary school teachers.
Turbo Reader takes students of all ages in a logical sequence from sounds...to words...to stories. After a few weeks of instruction, users say, reading skills improve and students can read big words.
For more information, call 1-866-TRY TURBO or point your browser to www.turboreader.com.