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Confronting a Threat to Scientific Progress: Skepticism

Scientific progress is at its highest point in history, yet advances in health, environmental protection, and other fields face a major threat: distrust from some members of the public. Although 97% of scientists agree that global temperatures are rising and changing ecosystems, less than 75% of American citizens do. And a shocking number of parents distrust the safety of childhood vaccines, despite the fact that fabricated claims about the risks have been thoroughly debunked.

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More than Words: The Cornerstone of Reading Comprehension

Learning to read is one of the most fundamental, and yet most complex, tasks for young students. Despite many national initiatives to boost reading instruction, an alarming number of children still struggle: on a test sometimes called “the Nation’s Report Card,” (the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP), almost half of fourth and eighth graders were rated as below proficient in reading in 2015. Part of the reason it’s so challenging to become proficient is that reading

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Educational Technology Is Not Making the Grade

Digital technology has revolutionized our homes, cars, and workplaces, but it hasn’t changed much in one surprising area: schools. The problem isn’t that schools lack access to technology, but that the expensive technology they have isn’t effective. In 2014 alone, U.S. schools spent close to $10 billion on educational technology, yet research on the benefits for students is “disheartening, at best,” according to Kimberly Lawless, who reviewed dozens of studies on the topic in Policy

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To Make Every Child a Reader, Teach Them All Differently

It’s hard to believe that questions about how children learn to read could cause a war, but in the 1970’s and 80’s, that’s exactly what happened. During the “reading wars,” proponents of the phonics approach believed beginning readers needed to focus on sounding out letters and words, while whole language advocates argued for immersing children in interesting texts and focusing on meaning, with the faith that reading specific words would follow. That debate has long been settled

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