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Sold a Story

English, Cultural, 1 seasons, 14 episodes, 9 hours 11 minutes
Millions of kids can't read well. Scientists have known for decades how children learn to read but many schools are ignoring the research. They buy teacher training and books that are rooted in a disproven idea. Emily Hanford investigates four authors and a publishing company that have made millions selling this idea.
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[BONUS 2] The Impact

Across the country, school districts are dropping textbooks, state legislatures are going so far as to ban teaching methods, and everyone, it seems, is talking about &quot;the science of reading.&quot; Things have been changing since Sold a Story was released. In this bonus episode, we tell you about some of the changes and what we think about them.  Read: Legislators look to change reading instructionMore: Donate to support Sold a Story and other reporting from APM. EXTENDED READING Blog: <a href="
18/05/202324 minutes 29 seconds
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[BONUS 1] Your Words

Messages poured in: voicemails, emails, tweets. We got a lot of messages from people after they heard Sold a Story. In this bonus episode, we bring you some of their voices. A 10-year-old figures out why he has struggled to read. A mom stays up late to binge the podcast. A teacher confirms what he&#39;s suspected for years — he&#39;s not really teaching kids how to read.   Read: Messages from our listenersMore: Donate to support Sold a Story and other reporting from APM.
11/05/202325 minutes 36 seconds
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[GUEST EPISODE] Brains On: How Do We Learn to Read — and Why is It Hard?

This week we have an episode of a show called Brains On. It’s a science podcast for kids from our colleagues at APM. In this episode, Emily joins the Brains On hosts to talk about how people learn to read. Grab the kids in your life and listen to this special episode made for kids and curious adults. More: Support our show: Donate to APM Reports
11/04/202338 minutes 4 seconds
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[RERELEASE] What the Words Say

There are kids like C.J. all over the country. Schools tell their parents they are reading at grade level, but the kids are not. And whether they ever get the help they need can depend a lot on their family income and their race. In this documentary, originally published in August 2020, host Emily Hanford shows that America’s approach to reading instruction is having an especially devastating impact on children of color. Read more: Children of color are far less likely to get the help they need Support this show: Donate to APM Reports
06/04/202353 minutes 4 seconds
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[RERELEASE] At a Loss for Words: What's Wrong with How Schools Teach Reading

Molly Woodworth had a secret: She couldn’t read very well. She fought her way through text by looking at the first letter of a word and thinking of something that made sense.  Reading was slow and laborious. Then she learned that her daughter&#39;s school was actually teaching kids to read that way. In this documentary, originally published in August 2019, host Emily Hanford reveals that many kids are being taught the habits of struggling readers. Winner of a Gracie Award and finalist for an EWA Public Service Award.   Read more: How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers Support this show: Donate to APM Reports
30/03/202353 minutes 19 seconds
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[RERELEASE] Hard Words: Why Aren't Our Kids Being Taught to Read?

Jack Silva had a problem. He was the chief academic officer of a school district in Pennsylvania, and more than 40% of the kids in his district were not proficient readers. He didn&#39;t know much about how kids learn to read, but he knew he had to figure it out. Originally published in September 2018, this documentary helped ignite a national conversation about the science of reading. Winner of an EWA Public Service Award. Read more: Why aren&#39;t kids being taught to read?Read in Spanish: Translation by Aptus Support this show: Donate to
23/03/202352 minutes 20 seconds
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[RERELEASE] Hard to Read: How American Schools Fail Kids with Dyslexia

The parents knew something wasn’t right. The school said everything would be fine. But their kids weren’t learning how to read. In this documentary, originally published in September 2017, we look at why kids with dyslexia have a hard time getting the help they need in school. Read more: How American schools fail kids with dyslexiaQ&amp;A: What is dyslexia, with neuroscientist Guinevere Eden Support this show: Donate to APM Reports
16/03/202353 minutes 35 seconds
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6: The Reckoning

Lucy Calkins says she has learned from the science of reading. She&#39;s revised her materials. Fountas and Pinnell have not revised theirs. Their publisher, Heinemann, is still selling some products to teach reading that contain debunked practices. Parents, teachers and lawmakers want answers. In our final episode, we try to get some answers. Map: How states approach reading instructionOrganize: Sold a Story discussion guide Read: Transcript of this episodeSupport: <a
17/11/202241 minutes 41 seconds
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5: The Company

Teachers call books published by Heinemann their &quot;bibles.&quot; The company&#39;s products are in schools all over the country. Some of the products used to teach reading are rooted in a debunked idea about how children learn to read. But they&#39;ve made the company and some of its authors millions. Map: Heinemann’s national reachRead: Transcript of this episodeSupport: Donate to APMMore:
10/11/202247 minutes 22 seconds
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4: The Superstar

Teachers sing songs about Teachers College Columbia professor Lucy Calkins. She’s one of the most influential people in American elementary education today. Her admirers call her books bibles. Why didn&#39;t she know that scientific research contradicted reading strategies she promoted? Read: Transcript of this episodeSupport: Donate to APMMore:
03/11/202233 minutes 18 seconds
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3: The Battle

President George W. Bush made improving reading instruction a priority. He got Congress to provide money to schools that used reading programs supported by scientific research. But backers of Marie Clay’s cueing idea saw Bush’s Reading First initiative as a threat. Read: Transcript of this episodeSupport: Donate to APMMore:
27/10/202241 minutes 9 seconds
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2: The Idea

Sixty years ago, Marie Clay developed a way to teach reading she said would help kids who were falling behind. They’d catch up and never need help again. Today, her program remains popular and her theory about how people read is at the root of a lot of reading instruction in schools. But Marie Clay was wrong.  Read: Emily Hanford’s reading listRead: Transcript of this episodeSupport: Donate to APMMore:
20/10/202251 minutes 41 seconds
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1: The Problem

Corinne Adams watches her son&#39;s lessons during Zoom school and discovers a dismaying truth: He can&#39;t read. Little Charlie isn&#39;t the only one. Sixty-five percent of fourth graders in the United States are not proficient readers. Kids need to learn specific skills to become good readers, and in many schools, those skills are not being taught. Read: Emily Hanford’s reading listRead: Transcript of this episodeSupport: Donate to APMMore: <a href="" class="defau
20/10/202232 minutes 47 seconds
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Coming Soon: Sold a Story

Sold a Story is a six-part series beginning with two episodes on October 20. More:
13/10/20222 minutes 54 seconds