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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the hooked-on-metrics dept.

A recent educational policy change in the UK had children be taught phonics at a young age. Recent statistics (PDF) released by the Department for Education shows that this does appear to be working, although closer analysis shows that there is still a gap based on gender, region and social deprivation.

Teaching children to read with phonics has been a central plank of recent “Govian” education policy. A new set of statistics shows that 74% of children in the first year of primary school now meet the expected level on a phonics screening check, rising to 88% in Year 2 – a marked improvement on two years ago.

But dig down behind the numbers and it’s clear that there are still big disparities in how children perform on phonics tests based on region, gender and whether they qualify for free school meals.

Introduced in 2012, the purpose of the phonics screening check is for teachers to check that young children in Years 1 and 2 can apply a system to “decode” the sounds of words, some of which are “nonsense words” and make no sense in the English language.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:32PM (#100753)

    So it was true when the commercials said, "Hooked on Phonics worked for me!"

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by isostatic on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:44PM

    by isostatic (365) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:44PM (#100757) Journal

    My 2 year old son has loved alphablocks since he was 6 months old, watches it every week.

    I don't understand why phonics are so new though, 30 years ago I learnt to read using a system that was very similar to phonics, I can't imagine how else you would.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Sir Garlon on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:23PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:23PM (#100911)

      I was taught phonics 35 years ago. How I hated it! I had learned to read at home. Being ordered to parse and pronounce nonsense words was bewildering and offensive to my young mind. It killed my joy of school entirely. Even today the word "phonics" fills me with loathing. It must have frustrated my teachers that I was failing phonics and yet on state tests I was reading 3 or 4 years ahead of my grade. (Nothing says "you suck!" to a teacher like a bright student who is doing poorly in class.) They thought I was a lazy, insubordinate git and treated me accordingly. In fact, I was just resistant to doing confusing things that are obviously stupid to anyone who already knows what he's doing, so I became a passive-aggressive little nightmare.

      In hindsight, that experience was perfect preparation for a career in software engineering.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 2) by weeds on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:24PM

      by weeds (611) on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:24PM (#100931) Journal

      Sorry if this sounds like one upmanship, but... thare aren't many benefits to being an old guy in this crowd.

      This is truly not a new idea. I learned to read with ITA [wikipedia.org] a little less than 50 years ago. I can't say if I learned to read faster or was a better reader because of it. I can say that I was never very good at spelling (I do think there is a correlation there) and I'm the only person I know that can read the pronunciation guide in the dictionary as easily as the text! The grade school I went to did not keep the program for more than a couple of years.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:47PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:47PM (#100758) Journal
    Being born in a country with a phonemic orthography, by the age of 5 I didn't need my mother read me the bed story. I also didn't need to waste years in school with such spelling-bees nonsenses.
    English is just crazy, some say there are 41 significant speech sounds or phonemes. In the traditional English writing system they are spelled over 500 ways.

    I take it you already know
    Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
    Others may stumble but not you,
    On hiccough, thorough, lough, and through?

    Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
    To learn of less familiar traps?
    Beware of heard, a dreadful word
    That looks like beard and sounds like bird,

    And dead: it's said like bed, not bead --
    For goodness sake don't call it 'deed'!
    Watch out for meat and great and threat
    (They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

    A moth is not a moth in mother,
    Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
    And here is not a match for there
    Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;

    And then there's dose and rose and lose --
    Just look them up -- and goose and choose,
    And corek and work and card and ward,
    And font and front and word and sword,

    And do and go and thwart and cart --
    Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
    A dreadful language? Man alive!
    I'd mastered it when I was five!

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:18AM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:18AM (#100768) Journal

      The problem is not so much with the language, (although it certainly has its problems) as much as it is with the archaic spelling that we cling to, as you point out.

      There has been a re-occuring push to re-spell the English language [wikipedia.org] over the years, which is always quickly bitchslapped by the English teachers, for whom the history of a word was more important than either current or past meaning.

      Even the Economist [economist.com] touched on the subject some time ago.

      Every time it gets suggested some people want to dump a ton of new letters into the alphabet, and others just want to respell words with the existing alphabet but remove some sounds from some letters. It all descends into finger pointing and name calling and the whole thing goes nowhere.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:27AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:27AM (#100771) Journal

        The problem is not so much with the language, (although it certainly has its problems) as much as it is with the archaic spelling

        True, I should have use the "English spelling is crazy" title.

        It all descends into finger pointing and name calling and the whole thing goes nowhere.

        Rational as it may sound, it is my honest opinion the spelling reform of the English language will never happen: take metric vs imperial case.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:10AM

          by frojack (1554) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:10AM (#100822) Journal

          take metric vs imperial case

          That conversion is happening before your very eyes, and you've failed to notice it simply because no government edict happened.
          Sure, it will take a generation, but so what? There is literally no rush. Still check your cupboard, your car, just about anything. Its gone all metric while you were despairing the lack of a forced march.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:50AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:50AM (#100832) Journal

            Sure, it will take a generation, but so what? There is literally no rush. Still check your cupboard, your car, just about anything.

            Homework - if:

            1. for some 20-30 form of weight/distance/volume takes a generation to reduce it to 2 fundamental metric units (+ uniform and easy rules of dividing by ten to form subunits)
            2. furthermore, the 2 fundamental units have been used by a substantial amount of population for quite a long time

            estimate how long it will take to reduce 500 alternate orthographic forms to 41 phonemes, within the supplementary context of a non-existing agreement of which form should became the canonical one.

            My reckoning: you might as well avoid the "building the consensus" phase and jump directly into implementing a "phonetic Tengwar mode" for English [mansbjorkman.net] (no, not the already proposed modes [omniglot.com], they are only orthographic modes - transliterations not phoneme representations).

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:30PM

          by BasilBrush (3994) on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:30PM (#100989)

          Rational as it may sound, it is my honest opinion the spelling reform of the English language will never happen: take metric vs imperial case.

          That's a very US centric opinion. Most of the rest of the world, including the English speaking parts, have either completed metrication or are well on their way. It's taking decades (or even centuries if you start counting with the French adoption), but thats's a lot less time than "never".

          --
          Hurrah! Quoting works now!
      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:51AM

        by sjames (2882) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:51AM (#100833) Journal

        This is the sort of thing that tends to happen from the bottom up, but even there we would have to silence the prescriptivists.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Common Joe on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:40AM

        by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:40AM (#100883) Journal

        If anyone is interested, the German language went through a re-spell about a decade ago and one can study what the exact repercussions were. I'm learning German now. Personal observation: I think it affects teachers and students the hardest, followed by the people who are too busy putting food on the table to figure out what hell happened. As the population ages, people who don't grow up with the new spelling will have a harder time in business. I still see things misspelled around town from time to time. I lucked out as I started studying German after the spell change.

        Keep in mind that my opinion is my own and I'm terrible in human languages so I could be very wrong about how everything turned out. In the Wikipedia article you gave, there is a link [economist.com] about the German spell change. Not very scientific, but it gives a little better view of it than I can.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by sudo rm -rf on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:23AM

          by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:23AM (#100891) Journal

          German is my first language, so I'd like to toss in a few personal experiences:
          First of all, many of the new rules became optional in 2006, so both the old and the new spellings are allowed. I got used to the new rules pretty quickly, because they make definitely more sense.
          For example the verb "aufwänden" (to make an effort) comes from the noun "Aufwand" (effort) and before the first reform in 1996 it was written "aufwenden" (with an e).
          Contrary to this, most words with an "a" in it get when inflected an "ä" (eg. habe -> hätte). So this was streamlined. (Note: optional)

          Anyway, one of the top arguments for reforming was less exceptions mean easier learning for children and foreign language speakers. I think it worked out quite well.
          The difference between german and english spelling is of course, the phonetics play a much bigger role in the latter.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by naff89 on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:52AM

      by naff89 (198) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:52AM (#100774)

      The (often humorously awful) inconsistencies in the English language are the natural consequence of a language that has developed while spanning the world across. In order to accommodate the wide variety of languages that feed new words and meanings into English, it has to also accommodate a wide wide of phonemes and word constructions.

      None of these differences are random; I guarantee that every single word in that poem has a fascinating history explaining where it came from and why it's spelled the way it is.

      This variety makes English an oft-confusing, but extremely versatile and powerful language.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:53AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:53AM (#100784) Journal

        This variety makes English an oft-confusing, but extremely versatile and powerful language.

        Sorry, but no... in this regards, English is no different from other currently spoken languages. Perhaps it may have an even lower versatility than some others (as it need to rely on borrowing words as such; take Schadenfreude for example. German may be more versatile by its word-composition).

        (just from curiosity: do you have the practical experience of a language other than English?)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Kell on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:58AM

          by Kell (292) on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:58AM (#100797)

          I'm sorry, but "schadenfreude" is an English word. We are English. We will take your lexicographic distinctiveness and add it to our own. Resistance is futile.

          --
          Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
        • (Score: 1) by coolgopher on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:15AM

          by coolgopher (1157) on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:15AM (#100865)

          As someone who technically doesn't have English as the primary language, but rather Swedish, it is my view that English is a far more nuanced and versatile language. Except maybe when discussing winter weather. Swedish does have a great deal of words for describing miserable weather to a high degree of specificity. Or it could be that Australian English hasn't imported the full suite of words from the old country, for natural reasons...

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:20AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:20AM (#100890) Journal

            for describing miserable weather to a high degree of specificity.

            (grin)

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:29AM

          by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:29AM (#100880) Journal

          Perhaps it may have an even lower versatility than some others (as it need to rely on borrowing words as such; take Schadenfreude for example. German may be more versatile by its word-composition).

          Every language has its quirks. I'm a native English speaker and I'm learning German now. I would not consider German more versatile. German can be very picky about how words go together and where words go in a sentence. Their article usage (like "the", "a", an") is so insane that a significant chunk of the population will never learn to use it correctly in the official way.

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:13AM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:13AM (#100800)
      There's a guy named Sean Bean... I hate him.
      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:31AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:31AM (#100803) Journal

        There's a guy named Sean Bean... I hate him.

        Now, really... try call him Boromir, it may come easier.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:37AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:37AM (#100804) Journal
        BTW, I had troubles for quite a long time with the pronunciation (while reading it) of McLaughlin (vs laughing).
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:20PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:20PM (#100909) Journal

      The above-quoted text is but an excerpt from The Classic Concordance of Cacographic Chaos [idallen.com] which is also known as The Chaos. It "represents a virtuoso feat of composition, a mammoth catalogue of about 800 of the most notorious irregularities of traditional English orthography, skilfully versified (if with a few awkward lines) into couplets with alternating feminine and masculine rhymes."

      The Chaos is a poem which demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. The first known version of The Chaos appeared as an appendix (Aanhangsel) to the 4th edition of Nolst Trenité's schoolbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen (Haarlem: H D Tjeenk Willink & Zoon, 1920).

      The history [idallen.com] reads as of a detective mystery where parts were lost and recovered and other parts contributed to form the 274-line poem we have today. If you are at all interested in how this amazing piece came to its present form, you will not be disappointed.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:40PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:40PM (#100963) Journal
        Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks in heaps.
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Thursday October 02 2014, @06:28PM

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @06:28PM (#101071) Journal

          Though English admittedly has a tremendous number of idiosyncrasies when it comes to spelling, I feel compelled to point out that the German language's choice of gender for each and every noun well nigh supersedes even that!

          A table is a 'he' (der Tisch) and a girl is an "it' (das Madchen)!

          I studied German for 3 years in high school and still can maintain a causal conversation. Still, the gender thing made things *way* more complicated that it seemed was necessary.

          Do you have any insights as to why/how things came to be that way?

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 1) by PiMuNu on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:17AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:17AM (#100825)

    > Recent statistics (PDF) released by the Department for Education shows that this does appear to be working,

    The cited report is highly circular.
    * The report shows that children who are taught phonics get better at phonics.
    * The report shows that there is a correlation between phonics ability and reading ability; but it has been shown that there is a correlation between e.g. reading ability and maths ability, doesn't mean learning maths will teach you to read.
    * The report shows a 1% improvement in reading ability based on .
    * The report does not show that this is significant; for example there is no estimate of noise from say the previous 10 year results. Probably the study size large enough for this to be statistically significant, but there may be confounding factors that introduce noise; in fact this is quite likely.

    So this report is useless.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by wonkey_monkey on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:15AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:15AM (#100843) Homepage

    Teaching Phonics Working for Most Children

    Headlines Continue Promoting Bad Grammar, Punctuation

    Come to think of it, why are the children teaching phonics? Shouldn't the teachers be doing that?

    had children be taught phonics

    Talk Like A Pirate Day was two weeks ago!

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:46PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:46PM (#100913)

    IANAT (I am Not a Teacher) but my parents were, I have close friends who are teachers, and both my sister and my stepsister are teachers.

    The fact that students' performance varies by gender, region, and economic status is to be expected. Minimizing such variation so all students can achieve is more than anyone can expect of any curriculum. It requires strong pedagogy, adequate resources, adroit management, and parental support.

    Phonics didn't magically fix the inequities of society. Film at 11. I fail to see why anyone would expect it to. Yes, the figures show that girls still outperform boys in the UK on reading in years 1. The salient fact is that both girls and boys under the phonics curriculum are performing better than their respective genders were three years ago.

    I suppose the press just hate to print good news so they have to find a fly in every pot of ointment. In this case it's quite a distortion, and not the only one in TFA:

    the gap between those eligible for free school meals and other children is a staggering 16%

    16% is slightly less than one part in 6. The only thing staggering is the reporter's unfamiliarity with student achievement statistics and/or general incompetence with numbers. What you really need to know in order to determine whether your curriculum is fair to the poor is what was the difference in performance before Year 1 and is that disparity larger or smaller at the end of the year. Presumably those measurements are not available.

    She goes on to say in the very next sentence:

    But when we take into account the same group of children’s performance a year later in Year 2, the gap narrows to ten percentage points.

    So after one year of school, poor children are measurably catching up to middle-class children. Umm -- good! Again, nothing to see here.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Virindi on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:23PM

      by Virindi (3484) on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:23PM (#100929)

      Such a strong focus on equality of outcome ends up under serving the better performing kids. I've seen this first hand: all attention is put on the kids who are struggling, while the ones who are average or above are placed in a holding pattern and given years of busywork while learning much slower than their capacity. In turn, this causes middle class parents to pull their kid out of public school and put them into private school, which adds more fuel to the cycle.

      By designing your system so that under performing kids catch up, schools end up holding back the ones who were doing well. This is just as big of a problem, but nobody seems to care about it because often the parents can just pull the kid and send them to private school. But sometimes they can't, and the student just gets screwed by the system. So, you end up with the smart poor kids learning very little compared to their middle class peers. That's exactly what you wouldn't want under your philosophy...

      Instead, equal focus must be given to each advancement level without any goal of equalization of outcome. That way, poor kids who were just doing badly because they didn't have teaching from parents but who are actually smart, will catch up, but those who were already ahead won't waste their whole schooling time waiting for others to catch up to them.

      • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:05PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:05PM (#100947)

        I fully agree with your remarks. This is why education is such a management challenge -- not all students are the same. Not the same in starting ability, not the same in rate of learning, and as much as we may hate to admit it.

        I was fortunate to be in school in the US (New York state, specifically) where there was such a thing as "gifted education." The idea was to provide some in-school enrichment to smart kids so they would not get frustrated with school, burn out, and fail to reach their potential. I am a big believer in gifted education because without it I could have burned out, quit school, and probably gone to prison instead of university. The wasted potential of bright kids who were ruined by school is a staggering tragedy.

        It's not my philosophy that you can neglect the better-preforming students. It's just an implied goal from TFA that they want low-income students to catch up. That is a worthy goal and is not necessarily opposed to also serving bright children. I don't claim that education is a zero-sum game and in order to advance the interests of underprivileged students, you necessarily have to neglect the high-achieving students. Some people do feel that way but I am not one of them.

        As you say,

        Instead, equal focus must be given to each advancement level without any goal of equalization of outcome.

        The goal, in my opinion, should be maximization of outcome for each individual. The point I was trying to make earlier is, no matter what condition your schoolchildren were in when they arrived, teach each of them as best you can and if you are doing that right, you should expect to see the performance differences by gender, income, etc. shrink over the years.

        People get confused about this, but there is a subtle difference between trying to make everyone equal, and measuring the marginal impact of a differentiating factor to detect (and correct) systemic bias.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:55PM (#100917)

    Found at: http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/xen [yourdictionary.com]:

    "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling"

    For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

    Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

    Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

    Note: Though there are many on-line sources giving incorrect attribution to Mark Twain. The above link notes:

    Actual source: A letter to The Economist (16 January 1971), written by one M.J. Shields (or M.J. Yilz, by the end of the letter). The letter is quoted in full in one of Willard Espy's Words at Play books. This was a modified version of a piece "Meihem in ce Klasrum", published in the September 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine.[10]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:13PM (#100925)

      For the curious, here is a link to a copy of the 1946 piece: "Meihem in ce Klasrum [angelfire.com]" by Dolton Edwards.

  • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:46PM

    by BasilBrush (3994) on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:46PM (#100998)

    A new set of statistics shows that 74% of children in the first year of primary school now meet the expected level on a phonics screening check, rising to 88% in Year 2 – a marked improvement on two years ago.

    This does not mean it's working in the sense of teaching children to read more efficiently than previous methods. It only means that children who've learned phonics score better on tests of their phonics skills than kids that were not taught phonics, or were taught phonics during a period of transition. Likewise if hopping were to be mandated as the one true methodology for sports lessons, kids in future would definitely score better in hopping tests. But they would not be more likely to go to the Olympics.

    --
    Hurrah! Quoting works now!