The so-called “reading wars” on how best to teach literacy are back in the news with the recent announcement that “balanced literacy” is back on the approved list for New York City schools to use.

I’m generally a supporter of balanced literacy, though have always included phonics in my ELL instruction.

Here are some more useful resources on the topic. Let me know what else I should add to the list:

New York Schools Chief Advocates More ‘Balanced Literacy’ is from The New York Times.

The Reading Wars Again (or Still) is by Marc Tucker at Ed Week.

How Lucy Calkins, literacy guru and Fariña ally, is fighting to define Common Core teaching is from Chalkbeat.

Balanced Literacy Is One Effective Approach is by Lucy Calkins and is one of several columns on the topic published by The New York Times as part of their “Room For Debate” series.

Here’s a Prezi that might be worth a look.

A Return to ‘Balanced Literacy’? is from Education Week.

In Defense Of Balanced Literacy is from KinderConfidential.

Hard Words:Why aren’t kids being taught to read? is from American Public Media.

The straw man in the new round of the reading wars is from The Washington Post.

Just how polarized are we about reading instruction? is by Dan Willingham.

Phonics vs. Balanced Literacy: A Classroom Comparison is from Ed Week.

Lucy Calkins, Creator of Reading Workshop, Responds to ‘Phonics-Centric People’ is from Ed Week. And you can read her full response here.


Research Matters / Cracking the Reading Code is from ASCD’s Educational Leadership.

An Old and Contested Solution to Boost Reading Scores: Phonics by Dana Goldstein at The NY Times seems to me to be one of the better pieces in “mainstream” media about the “Reading Wars.”

Three Important Things the “Reading Wars” (Tend to) Ignore is by Shawna Coppola.

The Hechinger Report has published two good articles about the “reading wars”: What parents need to know about the research on how kids learn to read and Four things you need to know about the new reading wars.

In Defense of Balanced Literacy is from The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

Lucy Calkins Says Balanced Literacy Needs ‘Rebalancing’ is from Ed Week.

Is there really a ‘science of reading’ that tells us exactly how to teach kids to read? is from The Washington Post.

The Science of Reading Should Make Room for Skepticism (Just Not for Ignorance) is from Ed Week.

Reading Remedies is from The Hechinger Report.

Navigating the Reading Wars With English Learners is from TESOL

The ‘Science of Reading’ and English-Language Learners: What the Research Says is from Ed Week.

What the ‘Science of Reading’ Should Look Like for English-Learners. It’s Not Settled is from Ed Week.

In the Fight Over How to Teach Reading, This Guru Makes a Major Retreat is from The NY Times.

Taking stock of the science of reading: A conversation with Amanda Goodwin is from Phi Delta Kappan.

I’ve embedded an important quote from it below:

When the ‘Science of Reading’ Goes Too Far is from Ed Week.

Reconciling Science Of Reading & Multilingual Student Instruction is from Education Impact Exchange.

How one school gets English learners to read by third grade is from Ed Source.

Q&A: What research says on teaching English learners to read is from Ed Source.


Research must guide how we teach English learners to read is from Ed Source.

Clarifying the Science of Reading is from Language Magazine.

What People Are Getting Wrong About the Science of Reading is from Ed Week.

The new “science of reading” movement, explained is from Vox.

Untangling the Debate Over Reading Instruction is from Cult of Pedagogy.

The science that’s missing from science of reading laws is from Chalkbeat.

The social science of reading isn’t so clear is from Slow and Boring.

This is interesting: Lucy Calkins has dissolved the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In its place, she has created The Mossflower Reading and Writing Project, which may be substantially different or may be just be the same as TCRWP without the name’s baggage. Calkins has also created a separate site called Rebalancing Literacy, which provides “Resources for Educators Who Want to Put Aside the Fake Reading Wars and Focus on Helping Kids.”

Reading Reform on the Ground: How SoR Policy is Showing Up in Schools is from The Shanker Institute.

Advocates for English learners and the ‘science of reading’ sign on to joint statement is from Ed Source.

unsettling the science of reading: who is being sold a story? is by Nick Covington.

Is the ‘Science of Reading’ Becoming Too Much of a Good Thing? is from Ed Week

Are You Interested in Literacy and Multilingual Learners? is from Jana Echiverria.

The Science of Reading and the Media: How Do Current Reporting Patterns Cause Damage? is from Literacy Research Association.

3 Ways to Ensure English Learners Benefit From the Science of Reading is from New America.

The Science of Reading and English Learners: 3 Takeaways for Policy and Classroom Practice is from Ed Week.

English learner advocates in California oppose ‘science of reading’ bill is from Ed Source.

Bill to mandate ‘science of reading’ in California schools faces teachers union opposition is from Ed Source.

Again, please send me more suggestions of resources to add to this list….