Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy and Reclaiming At-Risk Readers
In the tradition of Why Johnny Cant Read written by Rudolph Flesch in the 1950s, Leaving Johnny Behind provides a comprehensive examination of the ... Show synopsis In the tradition of Why Johnny Cant Read written by Rudolph Flesch in the 1950s, Leaving Johnny Behind provides a comprehensive examination of the barriers that work to deny children adequate literacy training. The book describes the obstacles faced by a school principal from Milwaukees central city when he attempted to implement research-based reading practices. Upon fur-ther examination, he discovered that the reading establishment generally rejects the prod-uct of legitimate science, choosing instead to engage in a never-ending interfusion of the latest innovations, modifications and gimmicks. This condition, the author observes, has a disparate impact on poor and minorities who presently lag behind their white counterparts by a whopping 30 percentage points. But unlike Flesch who stressed the differences between phonics and holistic prac-tices, Pedriana seeks common ground among reading practitioners. He notes that there is plenty in the data for both sides to love, and failing to take advantage of those mutual benefits is to mock our high-minded expressions of children first. While the book is of special interest to educators and home-schoolers, it has broader appeal as well, especially among those who are dissatisfied with their childrens literacy progress and those who are alarmed at Americas declining status as a world power. About the Author Anthony Pedriana is a retired elementary school principal who spent over 30 years working with children in Milwaukees central city. His frustration at the lack of reading progress by students from poor backgrounds prompted him to look beyond the conventional wisdom of reading methodology. Leaving Johnny Behind is the result of that investigation. Pedrianas mission is to increase unity of purpose among all reading practitioners.