Archive for March 5, 2012

Phonics vs. Whole Language

Fifteen years ago Mr. Charles Richardson, founder/chairman of The Literacy Council, wrote an article titled “Reading: Phonics vs. Whole Language” that sadly remains all too relevant today. It can be seen at, but here is an edited excerpt:


The principal of Barclay Elementary, an inner city in Baltimore, fought hard to remove Whole Language and import the phonics-based program used in the prestigious Calvert School nearby. With the Calvert curriculum in place for four years, test scores soared from the 30th to 60th percentiles, and special-education referrals went down by three quarters.
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