How an APM podcast became part of a national movement to reform reading instruction

A photo of an author and the podcast for "Sold a Story"
Emily Hanford is senior producer of the APM podcast "Sold a Story"
Courtesy Photos

One in three Minnesota fourth graders cannot read at a “basic” level for their grade, according to 2022 reading test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The question is, why do so many children struggle?

American Public Media senior producer Emily Hanford found answers in her podcast, “Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong.”  The podcast was released last fall and quickly became a must-listen for people involved in the national movement to reform reading instruction. 

The podcast digs into a key belief about how children learn to read that has held sway in schools for more than a generation, even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. And, it shows how common teaching methods used by schools across the country can actually make it harder for children to learn how to read.  

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MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Emily Hanford about the reaction to her exposé and new bonus episodes. 


Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.