Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers

G. Reid Lyon

Dr. G. Reid Lyon is chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH.

Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
Reading for Meaning
Meet the Experts
Roots of Reading Roots of Reading
Sounds and Symbols Sounds and Symbols
Fluent Reading Fluent Reading
Writing and Spelling Writing and Spelling
Reading for Meaning Reading for Meaning
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Meet the Experts
Reading Rocks!
Empowering Parents
Becoming Bilingual
Reading and the Brain
A Chance to Read
Toddling Toward Reading Toddling Toward Reading

An Interview With G. Reid Lyon

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Assessment and testing are critical...
Assessment and testing get a bad rap when we talk about reading in particular and education in general. But it's critical, it's non-negotiable. In order for us to make sure that the majority of kids in this country read, our data tell us that we've got to be able to find kids early who are at risk.

That's going to take some testing. And the type of testing that we use to identify kids at risk is a screening situation. We apply screening measures which are short in length, fun, common sensical, but at the same time give us a very strong window on who might have a tough time in first grade, second grade, third grade.
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Education is a public health issue...
Education is not only an educational issue; it's a public health issue. When our children don't learn, and in particular when they don't learn to read, they are disenfranchised from any chance at a strong productive life, and that leaks over not only into their occupational and vocations success, but it leaks over into their lifestyle and the hopes and dreams they carry to their children.

It's a cyclic process, where the rich will get richer. Those who learn how to read, for example, in fact get richer. The poor, indeed, get poorer. And the reason we are in the position we are in having so many children not learning things as critical as reading is that we have not respected our teachers well enough to train them appropriately, to give them the amount of time and information that we know exists and that can actually change lives.
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