Some statistics related to the level of education in the USA do not provide a bright picture. 2/3rd of the students in the country, studying in standard 4, are not fully able to read, even though reading is the most important skill for children. And in 1 out of every 5 adults, there is a lack of skills like reading, writing, and mathematics, which are crucial for basic literacy, and a lack of capability of doing a job. Despite a campaign which continued for 25 long years in the country, children are facing difficulties in reading anything.
The reading skills of the students of standard 8 are even worse than those of 1998. Experts believe that this situation is a result of the methods of study. With experiments related to neuroscience and other experiments, it has been known that the strategies used in the USA for reading are not successful. Around half of the American children are not getting the right directions for reading. As per experts, focus should be laid on phonetics. Ted Michelle, President, American Education Council, has stated that most of the children receive less training than required.
Now, this matter of reading proficiency in the USA is being politicized. The Republic Party had batted for using phoenix for studies. Back in 2000, it was said, on the Republican Party’s platform, that children’s studies should begin with Phoenix, this was when the matter got politicized further. At that time, President George Bush had started with the Phoenix strategy for speaking and learning under ‘reading first’. The strategy had faced opposition, and the ‘reading first’ programme could not be implemented successfully, and was not much impactful. Some experts have said that Phoenix has still not be inculcated into the curriculum fully. With other methods, children seem to get confused.