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Why Johnny Still Can't Read: A New Look at the Scandal of Our Schools Paperback – May 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (May 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060910313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060910310
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Leonard R Budney on May 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
``Why Johnny STILL can't read'' is even better than the original work, ``Why johnny can't read''.
The first book was mainly a primer on phonic reading, with enough about the phonics debate to justify following his program. The second book is devoted exclusively to the ongoing debate about phonics, and makes for fascinating reading--especially if you get steamed by incompetence, and are fascinated by conflict.
Some thirty years after the first book was written, Rudolph Flesch observes that things haven't improved in reading class. Kids still get through school functionally illiterate, and the perpetrators of this crime still claim that we need THEM to solve the problem.
Too bad it's out of print! Well worth reading.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Deitrick Price on June 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this excellent book Rudolph Flesch systematically destroys all the empty excuses offered by educators trying to hang on to Whole Word, most famously, "Your Child Isn't Ready," "We Do Teach Phonics," "No One Method Is Best," and seven others, ALL STILL USED TODAY.

Throughout his life, Flesch took on our education establishment and, in the short term, lost. Sure, his book Why Johnny Can't Read was a bestseller in 1956; and this second one on the same theme was a big bestseller in 1981. But Flesch was trying to save the country from what he viewed as a plague; and in that he did not succeed. He died depressed, thinking that the promoters of Whole Word had won. Indeed, this [...] actually reached its peak around 1995, almost a decade after Flesch died.

Read either of these books and you will be asking: How could Flesch's clear, concise and devastating analysis, presented in two bestsellers, be vanquished by the flimsy fallacy known as Whole Word??? Ah, that is a great question you ask there. Dare we mention that some publishers made mega-millions selling Dick and Jane nonsense? Or that some educators seem to have built stellar careers on the backs of functional illiterates? Can we speak of conspiracy? Let me just note one of the past century's most peculiar facts: as "progressive" educators worked tirelessly to discredit Flesch, our media and academics stood silently aside.

The saga continues. Today's educators use the phrase "Balanced Literacy," which seems to mean: as much Whole Word as they can get away with.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Bain on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Why Johnny STILL Can't Read" by Rudolf Flesch

This book is the sequel to Flesch's earlier book, "Why Johnny Can't Read"; but this book is a continuation and it is many things to many people. I used it as an aid for educating myself as a homeschooling parent.

More than this, Flesch's book is a brief history of the English language, explaining how English was taught in the past several hundred years, show why children learned English so easily in the past. At the time of the American Revolution, Americans were a very literate society. Many people read and wrote with fluency. Flesch tells what happened. The historical aspects of the English language is very exciting.

More than this, Flesch's work is an indictment of the relationship between large publishing companies and the public school system.

Other books of interest are those written by John Holt, and John Taylor Gatto
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David F. Ziffer on September 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book IS better than the original. It not only discusses the systemic failure of our teachers and schools to teach reading rationally, but also exposes the devious methods that incompetent teachers and districts use to dupe parents into believing that their children's school failure is the fault of the child. Any parent who hasn't read this book, along with his children, is just a sheep going to the slaughter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rudolph Flesch was the original whistle blower for the continuing problem of disproven reading techniques used in America's classrooms in recent decades. This sequel to "Why Johnny Can't Read" lays out the various studies and more importantly the REACTION to the studies, in the continuing war between advocates of Whole Word and advocates of Phonics.

The persistence of the enemies of Phonics is nothing short of amazing, and equally amazing is the fact that most parents are blissfully unaware that their young children are not being taught real phonics in school.

For a good example of phonics for 4-6 year olds see "An Ant - Learn to Read" by Kallie Woods.
An Ant - Learn to Read, Book 1, Home School Version
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