July 1, 2007
New York Times
"Dr. McQuillan, who came to Connecticut from Massachusetts, is blunt about the need to improve reading scores, especially among minority students. “The reading wars between phonics and whole language are over, and what works is not a matter of opinion,” he said, indicating that a phonics-based approach is the most effective.
“There’s a lot of data about what makes sense and good policy for reading, and it is stunning how often it is ignored.” He hopes to require training in reading education for those elementary school teachers who need it, and to raise course requirements for education majors who wish to teach in the primary grades.
All this will be a challenge in a state that is notoriously slow to change."
I've got high hopes for Dr. McQuillan, Connecticut's new commissioner of education. I love that he sees through the hype and wants to do what works. Let's hope he tackles math next. And soon.
One day in the not so distant future I hope to read a quote from Mark McQuillan that says something to the effect of "The math wars between traditional and constructivist math are over, and what works is not a matter of opinion. There's a lot of data about what makes sense and good policy for mathematics, and it is stunning how often it is ignored." Wouldn't that be nice?
I can only hope.