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This podcast, Sold a Story, was produced by APM Reports and reprinted with permission.

There’s an idea about how children learn to read that’s held sway in schools for more than a generation – even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read. 

In this new American Public Media podcast, host Emily Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It’s an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn’t true and are now reckoning with the consequences – children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.

Related: Reading Matters: See more Hechinger coverage of reading instruction

Episode 3: The Battle

President George W. Bush made improving reading instruction a priority. He got Congress to provide money to schools that used reading programs supported by scientific research. But backers of Marie Clay’s cueing idea saw Bush’s Reading First initiative as a threat.

https://play.podtrac.com/APM-SoldaStory/chrt.fm/track/3G835/pdst.fm/e/traffic.megaphone.fm/CAD4705019959.mp3

This podcast was produced by APM Reports and reprinted with permission.

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