The JGC/United Publishing Philosophy: Just because we found the world a certain way doesn't mean we have to leave it that way. Our goal is to help readers see beyond what is to what can be by opening minds and hearts with the power of imaginative literature. — John Gile, Editor & Publisher

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A Guide To Reading Success For Every Child

"Edna gets results. Schools using the approach she shares in Failure Is Not An Option report having students advance two to five reading grade levels in one school year. An assistant principal in Claxton, Georgia, reports that her school, in its fifth year of implementation, is achieving an average gain of 17 percentile points on the Reading Comprehension portion of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, an achievement far above the federal government's goal of one percentile point gain per year to qualify for federal funds."


Edna Goble Website

Editor's Note by John Gile

In Failure Is Not An Option, Edna Goble has provided the understanding and tools we need to meet what many call the single greatest challenge our nation faces — helping all children succeed in reading.

My work in schools across North America made me aware of our nation's literacy challenge long before the National Assessment of Education Progress reported only about 30% of our children are reading at the proficient level, meaning they can understand what they read and respond intelligently.

In state after state, district after district, school after school, I have found dedicated educators and parents working tirelessly to address and overcome the challenges they face in today's classrooms. I have seen promising programs that are helping some children, but that fail to meet the needs of others and leave many children behind. Failure Is Not An Option overcomes those deficiencies and provides an effective, research-based approach to help every child in every circumstance, regardless of his or her background and specific needs.

Failure Is Not An Option draws on Edna's 30-plus years as a teacher, a reading specialist, a curriculum coordinator, an assistant principal, and the founder of the "Teach Them To Read" training program for teachers.

Edna launched "Teach Them To Read" when she and other educators noted that many teachers who do not have advanced degrees in reading were not fully prepared for the realities they were encountering in their classrooms. An assistant principal for curriculum and instruction describes Edna's impact at her school: "As a result of Edna's training and recommendations for reading instruction materials, our teachers have become reading specialists. They can administer diagnostic reading assessments and interpret them for their class as well as for individual students. Because of their expertise, they can be more specific when determining what problems a student may be having in reading. The teachers are also much more confident when it comes to discerning what is appropriate instruction for students."

In other words, Edna gets results. Schools using the approach she shares in Failure Is Not An Option report having students advance two to five reading grade levels in one school year. An assistant principal in Claxton, Georgia, reports that her school, in its fifth year of implementation, is achieving an average gain of 17 percentile points on the Reading Comprehension portion of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, an achievement far above the federal government's goal of one percentile point gain per year to qualify for federal funds.

Failure Is Not An Option will help teachers help their students and it also will help parents. Just as informed patients can help their doctors diagnose and correct health problems more effectively, informed parents can help their children's teachers diagnose and correct reading problems more effectively.

Failure Is Not An Option is a refreshing antidote for the blame game so many communities play when they face reading failure. Parents blame educators and educators blame parents, while politicians blame both and both blame the politicians. Edna ignores all that, tells us all students can learn to read, though not all students learn to read using the same technique, then goes out and proves it. Failure Is Not An Option is not a panacea. It is not a quick-fix. It is the intelligent application of the right approach for the right student at the right time.

Edna's instruction is clear and effective, and so is her reminder why we must not fail our children: "Students who do not learn to read are at great risk. Research shows that 92% of all children in delinquency programs have severe reading problems. Reading problems increase the likelihood that a child will become a school dropout. There also are many documented cases linking suicide to poor reading skills."

Reading is the key that opens the door to everything our children want to learn and do and be. Reading is the key to their success and our own, for our children are our future. Truly, failure is not an option.

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Copyright 2009 by JGC/United Publishing, 815.968.6601. All rights reserved. Revised: January 21, 2010