Missed opportunities to make up for missed opportunities

Catherine & Katharine

On a recent morning, 10 fourth-graders huddled in a circle on the floor over magnetic boards, moving lettered tiles to spell out the one-syllable words their teacher, Katerah Layne, called out.

“Rub” said Ms. Layne. As the students shuffled their tiles, a couple confused the letters “b” and “d.”

“It’s OK to get confused,” Ms. Layne reassured the students.

Next, she called out the word “fish.” All of the students spelled it correctly. “We all got the ‘i’ sound. I’m so proud of you,” said Ms. Layne.

From a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Due in part to pandemic-related disruptions, half of Ms. Layne’s 25 students tested at kindergarten to first-grade reading levels. They’re in 4th grade.

But it’s hard to see how the pandemic by itself could have wreaked this much havoc on reading skills. As the article notes:

The district has faced a growing literacy problem…

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