How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

There's an idea about how children learn to read that's held sway in schools for more than a generation — even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read. In this special, host Emily Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It's an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn't true and are now reckoning with the consequences — children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.

Beginning March 18, How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong will be available in Spanish. Contact your APM Station Rep if you're interested in carrying this special.


Emily Hanford is a senior correspondent and producer for APM Reports, the documentary and investigative reporting group at American Public Media. Her work has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times and other publications. Her reporting on reading has been cited by The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, the Brookings Institution and dozens of other publications and organizations.


One hour

Show Clock

2 segments, with one :59 break and a newscast window at the top of the hour.


ContentDepot File Transfer

Preview/Audition audio available: July 31, 2023
Promo spot available: July 31, 2023
Program rundown available: August 2, 2023
Date content will be uploaded: August 7, 2023


Broadcast Window

August 8, 2023 - June 30, 2024

Broadcast Rights

Affiliate stations may carry this program at no charge until June 30, 2024. Multiple broadcasts are allowed. Program must be carried in its entirety; no excerpting is permitted. Streaming Rights: Stations can either request an embed code for audio player, or they can get the audio from Radio Public. Prior to carrying this special, stations must confirm carriage with American Public Media..

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