Phonics should return to all primary schools"According to...


March 12, 1998

Phonics should return to all primary schools

"According to estimates, a child taught by the Whole Language Method should be able to memorize 1,554 words by the end of the fourth grade.

"Children taught using Intensive Systematic Phonics can read 24,000 words by the end of the fourth grade."

This statement is from Patrick Groff, emeritus professor of education at San Diego State University and author of more than 300 books and articles on reading education. He is is among the experts not quoted by The Sun and boards of education.

Thirty states have returned Systematic Explicit Phonics to their school districts or are doing so (sometimes over the objections of the well-intentioned school boards that were at least partially to blame for the situation).

The parents of millions of children withdrawn from public schools in the United States because of shameful illiteracy rates now have hope that their children may be able to re-enroll (not yet true in Maryland).

Phonics from kindergarten through fourth grade is an excellent way to teach children to read. It should be a primary part of all school courses.

Nancy Murphy

Thomas H. Murphy

Bel Air

JHU narrow-minded in Bibelot decision

Rejecting a lease for a Bibelot bookstore across from the Homewood campus, the Johns Hopkins University is again demonstrating its narrow-minded disdain for the outside community.

Unlike what surrounds most college campuses, the area closest to Hopkins, from 29th to 33rd streets on and between Charles and St. Paul streets, is almost totally devoid of entertainment spots, restaurants and coffee shops, collegiate clothing stores, and music and art outlets where the academic crowd, their neighbors and visitors can casually go to browse, buy and


A book and card shop closed years ago. The streets around Homewood are nearly dead after dark.

Assuming this Bibelot would be patterned after existing suburban locations, it would be a marvelous asset to Hopkins' off-campus neighborhood: a plethora of books, records and periodicals available day and night in a (relatively) safe, comfortable and attractive setting with occasional lectures, readings, book signings and a convenient coffee shop.

Barnes & Noble, which runs the campus bookstore from the basement of Gilman Hall during limited day hours, does not have a logical or legal leg to stand on.

Hopkins nevertheless honors the company's protest about what should be welcome competition.

As a result, the agent who was counting on an anchor store has backed out from seeking retailers for any of that ideally situated university-owned space.

This is a shame, further lowering Hopkins' grades for sensitivity and business acumen.

Elsbeth L. Bothe


Tripp protecting her character?

I had to laugh at the Feb. 26 article about Linda W. Tripp's ethics -- that she is protecting her character by refusing to lie ("Tripp's ethics shadow Clinton").

Instead, she wired and betrayed her "friend" Monica Lewinsky and could bring down a president.

We have lived in a climate of hate in this country for the past six years, such as I cannot remember.

I think Linda Tripp thrived in this environment.

Annie P. Wagner


Pub Date: 3/12/98

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