Why a U.S. Government Agency Covers Up Proven Educational Methods While Millions of Children Become Illiterate
It is naïve to pretend that science is free of bias and of political involvement. If it were, there would be no need for lobbyists in Washington from groups like the chemical and defense companies. “Science” may be conducted more for their benefit, than for its indisputable proofs. When influenced by “big tobacco”, some studies actually suggested that cigarettes did not cause cancer.
Across the course of history, scientists have been reviled for breaking faith with the conventional wisdom. Copernicus, Galen, Galileo, Semmelweiss, Darwin and many, many others have felt the wrath of power mongers who fear the change that new discovery brings. Sometimes, as in this case, the attacks are sophisticated, but nonetheless brutal in their effects.
Across North America today, there are 15 million students who are sufficiently behind in school that they can be considered illiterate. A high school student drops out every 16 seconds, usually out of frustration and hopelessness of anything resembling academic success. They proceed to fill our prisons, our unemployment lines and our welfare rolls.
For the last 40 years, there is and has been extensive research that points to methods that has been continuously successful at erasing illiteracy. These methods, Applied Behavior Analysis, Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching have been consistently unreported by the What Works Clearinghouse, the federal government’s educational disseminator of “effective” programs. This agency carries out “research” on available programs and includes or excludes them on the basis of their findings. Their recommendations become the guide for state governments and school districts to use in selecting educational programs.
According to author, Jean Stockard, for some completely unexplained reason, the What Works Clearinghouse arbitrarily decided to ignore any and all studies that were 20 or more years old. In so doing, they ignored two of the largest, most extensive studies ever done in special education; Project Follow Through and The Sacajewea Study. Now that’s good science wouldn’t you agree? Truth apparently now has a best-before date. 20 years tops. Who knew? Maybe the Law of Gravity will be repealed and retired.
In the 1970’s, Project Follow Through definitively established Direct Instruction as the most effective method of teaching basic skills to children at risk – bar none. It led in every category of the 1.2 billion dollar, 20 year research study.
The Sacajewea Project showed the doubling of basic skills in one year for thousands of students across 22 states when simple Precision Teaching measures were added to classroom practices.
Thousands of Applied Behavior Analysis studies that successfully managed classrooms suffered the same fate of being thrown under the bus.
As a result, the beneficial effects of three proven methods have been covered up because they run counter to the current philosophy and belief systems of a taxpayer-supported agency.
WWC understands the changes that promoting these methods would almost immediately bring to public education. Transparent accountability would become the order of the day. Parents could readily assess the academic progress of their children, or conversely, the lack of it.
Eighty percent of special education students would be taught sufficiently well in the primary grades so as to never need special education services… and that’s just the first couple of dominoes falling. Think about it. Who stands to gain? And equally importantly – Who stands to lose? And finally, what can be done about it? Pass it on. Help lift the cover.
For the record
For the last 40 years, I have used these systems within and without the public schools. They have consistently provided success for at-risk students. Since going into private practice 40 years ago, I have always provided my clients with a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. They are perfectly capable of looking at the data on a chart and determining if progress is being made. If they doubt the data, they can actually run the same test independently of me or my staff. It provides complete transparency for everyone. Would you or anyone you know benefit from such methods?