OUT OF 52 SCHOOLS IN COLLIER COUNTY, FL MASON CLASSICAL ACADEMY (MCA), A CHARTER SCHOOL, SCORED NUMBER ONE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, WITH 90 PERCENT OF ITS THIRD GRADERS READING PROFICIENTLY, WHILE ONLY 58 PERCENT OF THE OTHER THIRD GRADERS IN THE COUNTY WERE PROFICIENT.
Not only were 90 percent of its third graders reading proficiently, MCA third graders were in the top 2 percent in the state. MCA fifth graders were in the top one percent.
There are 50 public and two charter schools Collier County. MCA’s results were based on recent Florida Standard Assessment tests. Florida’s K-12 assessment system measures students’ achievement of Florida’s education standards, which were developed and implemented to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for success in college, career, and life.
What was their secret?
The school does not use Common Core national standards, where children memorize whole words in kindergarten before being introduced to phonics in elementary school. According to a June 28, 2017 article in FREEDOMPROJECTMEDIA by Alex Newman, “By then, (elementary school) with the whole-word reflex in place, much of the damage to there brain is done, at least for most kids.”
In a September, 2015 article in the Brown Center of Education Politics, David Whitman wrote that: “The conservative roots of Common Core are little known today. Even among reporters who cover the education beat, few are familiar with, and even fewer are familiar with, and even fewer have written about, the efforts of Ronald Reagans’ secretary of education, William Bennett, to develop and promote a model core curriculum while in office. Nor have they recounted, except in passing, the sweeping, self-described ‘crusade’ that Senator Lamar Alexander launched to promote national standards and voluntary national assessment when he was secretary of education in the elder Bush’s administration.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create and promote the Common Core State Standards over the years. In 2015, the foundation donated more than $42 million to several dozen organizations to support the Core.
Mr. Newman contacted the founder of MCA, Kelly Lichter and found out the students there were learning to read using a phonics program, whereas traditional public schools in the county “were being subjected to the whole-word fraud.”
But despite their success, MCA is being demonized. Mr. Newman writes that: “From the district superintendent and racist kooks on the left-wing fringe to the local establishment propaganda organ known as the Naples Daily News, owned by ‘fake-news’ giant Gannett, it seems like everybody is after MCA. Why would the local establishment target the one school that is at the top of the charts? Well, probably because MCA’s proven success exposes the educational establishment and its true agenda…and shows yet again the national illiteracy crisis is the result of quack pedagogy in government schools.”
Teaching phonics is teaching the relationship between letters and sounds so that the child knows the sounds of letters. According to PBS Parents, “when your kindergartender learns that the letter B has the sound of /b/ and your second grader learns that ‘tion’ sounds like /shun/, they are learning phonics.”
“When your child encounters the word ‘apple’ and did not recognize it, he/she would sound out each segment of the word ( /a/ /p/ /l/ ) and then blend the sounds to say the entire word.” (K12reader.com)
The National Reading Panel wrote that “Phonics is an essential ingredient in beginning reading instruction.”
It is most effective in kindergarten and first grade. The core of it lies in mastering the alphabet.
Synthetic phonics is now the accepted method reading in the U.K. and Australia.
Alex Newman also published an article on June 19, 2012 that despite spending the third-highest amount per pupil among the 100 largest school districts in America, “Six Baltimore Schools Can’t Produce a Single Student Proficient in English and Math.”
The schools include the Booker T. Washington Middle School, Frederick Douglas High School, Achievement Academy at Harbor City, New Era Academy, Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High and New Hope Academy.
Roughly 90 percent of students received the lowest possible score with only one student coming anywhere near proficient.
The results were uncovered by Project Baltimore. (http://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/6-baltimore-schools-no-students-proficient-in-state-tests/
Of course, much of this is do with the breakdown of the family structure, especially in black communities, single parenting, a single parent having two jobs, poor nutrition and the like, but Mr. Newman also argues that students are “victims of a dumbed down indoctrination program ‘masquerading’ as education.”
But the most important factor, he believes, “is still the quack methods used to teaching across America, sometimes known as the ‘whole word’ or ‘sight words’ or ‘look-say,’ as opposed to phonics.”