Dr. Billy Molasso, Executive Director of RRCNA, discusses RR and how research demonstrates that it really works: An interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Dr. Billy Molasso, Executive Director of RRCNA, discusses RR and how research demonstrates that it really works: An interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Dr. Billy Molasso is the Director of RRCNA. In this interview, he talks about various issues dealing with Reading Recovery. He focuses on dispelling misinformation and myths about RR, which are currently being presented by the folks supporting the social media version of the Science of Reading. The facts are that Reading Recovery is research-based and has decades of research demonstrating that it works Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). Billy knows about that firsthand since he is the parent of a reading recovery child.

Let’s now look at the questions Billy dealt with during this interview.

Here is a link to the YouTube interview:

RRCNA’s Website LINK


Follow Billy on Twitter- @BillyMolasso

My Thoughts About This Interview.

In the past few months, I’ve discussed how many researchers and others have been pushing back against the social media version of the Science of Reading LINK, LINK. Billy Molasso has been prominent among those folks. On the one hand, the positive effects of RR on students are well-documented LINK. However, when a study was published indicating that the long-term effects were negative, Billy stepped in and questioned that study’s conclusions. He pointed out that particular study had a very high attrition rate. The final conclusions are based on only 25% of the total number of students in the study. I wrote a blog around what Billy had to say on that point LINK. That blog also talked about what others were saying about the misdirections and misunderstandings being promoted by the incomplete story told by some social media pundits.

I have written about the positive effects of RR many times LINK, LINK, LINK. I was trained in RR, taught RR, and found that the training has been invaluable to me throughout my education career. The Professional Development aspect of RR is sometimes overlooked, but it is powerful. RR-trained teachers learn various methods to help children (and yes that includes the various ways to teach phonics). RR-trained teachers are a valuable asset to any district. In the interview about her book Rubies in the Rubble, Jill Speering reported that the same folks who were trying to end a RR program at her district were concurrently trying to encourage teachers from that program to stay with the district because of the extensive literacy training those teachers had.

Let’s remember that RR isn’t for every student, but for those who it fits, it carries out its main function. That is to accelerate those students to catch up with the students in their building. When that happens, and the building has a working tier-one program, the effects of RR remain for the long term. Susan Vincent reported that fact in an interview I did with her LINK.

Recovery works. Recovery-trained teachers are an asset. Recovery has helped tens of thousands of children worldwide. I urge all educators to resist the attempt by some folks to eliminate their competition by outlawing recovery. Doing so will create a monopoly. Monopolies never help consumers. I hope everyone keeps all this in mind as we create legislation around the issue of how to teach reading. Thanks for listening.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka, the guy in the middle taking flak from all sides)

BTW more interviews coming up, including Jan Richardson, Gravity Goldberg and, later this summer P.D. Pearson

Copyright 2023 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely this author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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