Education: Why Johnny Can't Read

When Bestselling Author Rudolf Flesch (The Art of Plain Talk) offered to give a friend's twelve-year-old son some "remedial reading," Flesch discovered that the boy was not slow or maladjusted; he had merely been "exposed to an ordinary American school." Author Flesch decided to investigate how reading is taught in the U.S. Last week he published his findings in a 222-page book, Why Johnny Can't Read—and What You Can Do About It (Harper; $3), that will shock many a U.S. parent and educator.

Only in the U.S., reported Flesch, is there any remedial-reading problem. In Britain, kindergarten children read Three Little Pigs;...

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