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Abstract/ Summary

Debate continues to rage in academic and research circles over beginning reading instruction. The controversies are heated and politically charged. Now, the so-called Reading War is boiling over into the popular press and stirring up unnecessary fears among parents and community members that schools and teachers may not be using the "best" method to teach reading. In Maine, reports about the Reading War are turning up with regularity in local newspapers and on radio talk shows and statewide newscasts.

However, Maine children consistently outperform their peers in other states on national tests of reading proficiency. Reading and writing scores on the Maine Educational Assessment have been steadily improving. A 1994-95 state assessment of Maine children's reading achievement at the beginning and end of first grade indicated that even at the beginning of schooling, most Maine youngsters are doing extremely well in reading and writing achievement.


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