August 30, 1998

"Three or four years ago the message from the central office to teachers was that they were not supposed to teach reading at all in kindergarten. Now, we know that is the worst thing you can do. We've come a long way."

-- Anthony G. Marchione, Baltimore County schools superintendent, in the wake of the release of test scores that showed dramatic improvements in reading among the school system's first- and second-graders as a result of new phonics-based reading program.

"Baltimore County's program is more in keeping with what the research says you should do. They are clearly moving to what's called a balanced approach, and that ought to bring better scores."

-- Samuel C. Stringfield, a research scientist with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization, commenting on the county's new "word identification" program and its test score gains.

"We have excellent teachers who are becoming comfortable with the very structured word-identification program. Now that they have the experience and the training, we're seeing the kind of results that we like."

-- Principal James Wolgamott, commenting on improved reading by first-graders at Essex Elementary School as a result of the program.

Pub Date: 8/30/98

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