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Four Things You Need to Know About the New Reading Wars

The reading wars are back, reignited by radio journalist Emily Hanford of APM Reports, who in 2018 began arguing that too many schools are ignoring the science of reading and failing to teach phonics.

The debate has elicited passions, vindication for proponents of phonics and distress for defenders of a so-called “balanced” approach to reading instruction. I’ve been obsessed with the renewed controversy over how to teach reading, consuming research and talking to scholars and educators. As a journalist who regularly covers education research, I wanted to boil down the key points of what we know from the research on reading and answer the big questions that people have been asking me.

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