Does your school district have a well constructed phonics curriculum that all teachers follow?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Does your school district have a well constructed phonics curriculum that all teachers follow?

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Almost three quarter of teacher reported that their school district does not have a well constructed phonics curriculum. With declining literacy rates, it seems that this type of program would be beneficial. In years gone by, students were taught reading and spelling by rote memorization. The emphasis has switched in recent years to phonics as a better way to increase understanding.

However, without a well thought out and implemented plan, teachers can be left scrambling to set up their own program. This isn't in the best interest of the student or the teacher. Teaching plans will change from year to year and teacher to teacher, leaving the students confused. If school districts were to take the lead and provide a program and an implementation plan students would have the consistency they need to succeed in a phonics curriculum.

Teachers would also be in a position of being able to support one another in this plan. Knowing what the student would be receiving next year and what they were taught last year as part of the plan allows teachers to better identify students who are falling behind. Knowing what parts are working and what parts aren't is also part of being able to provide the best education possible.

It would be interesting to see if districts that have a phonics curriculum in place have better literacy rates than those without. Are the teachers more satisfied in their work with structured guidelines to follow? Maybe the opposite is true and teachers feel stifled by the requirement to follow a set plan. That information isn't available here so it's pure speculation but it's interesting.

The trend towards phonics and away from rote memorization is based on research. If this research is valid and the educational system as a whole has embraced it, then they need to go one step further. Using this research to develop programs that are effective is the whole idea behind embracing the research in the first place. Stumbling blocks might be the time and money needed to plan and implement such programs but in the long run, the benefits would be worth it.