Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy and Reclaiming At-Risk Readers

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9780982200544: Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy and Reclaiming At-Risk Readers

In the tradition of Why Johnny Can’t Read written by Rudolph Flesch in the 1950’s, Leaving Johnny Behind provides a comprehensive examination of the barriers that work to deny children adequate literacy training. The book describes the obstacles faced by a school principal from Milwaukee’s central city when he attempted to implement research-based reading practices. Upon fur-ther examination, he discovered that the reading establishment generally rejects the prod-uct of legitimate science, choosing instead to engage in a never-ending interfusion of the latest innovations, modifications and gimmicks. This condition, the author observes, has a disparate impact on poor and minorities who presently lag behind their white counterparts by a whopping 30 percentage points. But unlike Flesch who stressed the differences between phonics and holistic prac-tices, Pedriana seeks common ground among reading practitioners. He notes that there is plenty in the data for both sides to love, and failing to take advantage of those mutual benefits is to mock our high-minded expressions of “children first.” While the book is of special interest to educators and home-schoolers, it has broader appeal as well, especially among those who are dissatisfied with their children’s literacy progress and those who are alarmed at America’s declining status as a world power. About the Author Anthony Pedriana is a retired elementary school principal who spent over 30 years working with children in Milwaukee’s central city. His frustration at the lack of reading progress by students from poor backgrounds prompted him to look beyond the conventional wisdom of reading methodology. Leaving Johnny Behind is the result of that investigation. Pedriana’s mission is to increase unity of purpose among all reading practitioners.

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About the Author:

Anthony Pedriana spent thirty-five years as a teacher and administrator in Milwaukee's central city. Since retiring in 2005, he has meticulously researched the discrepancies between reading ideology and reading science.


Anthony Pedriana has exposed a raw nerve. He has taken the educational world to task for its willingness to ignore scientific principles and thus create tragic patterns of school failure that will haunt children throughout their lives. This book is a must-read for teachers and those who must prepare them for the harsh realities of the classroom. (Janie Hatton)

Leaving Johnny Behind serves as a clarion call for the next generation of reading instruction and literacy skill development. Anthony Pedriana provides a clear view of the most effective approaches to reading instruction and how we can provide teachers the training and support necessary to transform virtually every child into a strong and confident reader. If we are to make long-term improvements to our schools, we need to start with Leaving Johnny Behind. (Patrick R. Riccards)

In Leaving Johnny Behind, Anthony Pedriana confronts the issue of how low literacy and academic failure create pathways to violent crime. It is a compelling narrative of a fictional Johnny, but a realistic portrayal nonetheless. This book should be on every teacher's reading list. (Cecile Guin)

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Anthony Pedriana
Published by Learning Dynamics Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0982200544 ISBN 13: 9780982200544
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Learning Dynamics Press, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0982200544

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