What's at the End of the Reading Rainbow?
According to one of the show's representatives,
[T]he funding crunch is partially to blame, but the decision to end Reading Rainbow can also be traced to a shift in the philosophy of educational television programming. The change started with the Department of Education under the Bush administration..., which wanted to see a much heavier focus on the basic tools of reading — like phonics and spelling.
Reading Rainbow fosters the joy of reading in children who have already mastered basic reading skills. These days, funders want television shows that teach students how to read.
I have a few questions: Can't we sustain both kinds of children's programming? Isn't there still a need for programming that nourishes the enthusiasm of children who already know how to read? Is this more evidence that we're allowing an exclusive focus on basic skills to crowd out so many other things that inspire intellectual curiosity?
Don't get me wrong. Basic reading skills are critical, and PBS programs that focus on these skills are indispensable. I just worry that we in education will suffer for our single-mindedness.
(Hat tip to Amy Fagan)
Click here to browse dozens of Public School Insights interviews with extraordinary education advocates, including:
- Actress/Mathematician Danica McKellar on girls and math
- Best Selling Author Kenneth C. Davis on engaging with history
- Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Danielson on providing health care at school
The views expressed in this website's interviews do not necessarily represent those of the Learning First Alliance or its members.
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