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Georgia has always had a bad reputation. On top of that, in the last 10 years there have been some major cheating scandals. Ask yourself, why? Probably because the performance of the students is sinking to an embarrassing low, so the school officials have to cheat in order to protect their own reputations. But why has the situation gotten so bad?
One of the striking things about Georgia is that most of the public schools have their own websites; and many of these websites brag about their use of Dolch words (a.k.a. sight-words). This is a remarkable phenomenon. It's as if Rudolf Flesch never existed. It's as if one study after another for the last hundred years didn't announce that phonics is the necessary ingredient for successfully teaching reading.
It's as if we went into a modern city where people were fighting a plague and found that nobody in that city washes their hands. At that point you understand why they are having a plague. But why won't they wash their hands?
Similarly, after all we've learned from the reading wars, why are there still public schools trying to suppress phonics? What a dumb thing to do.
This article is entitled "Is Georgia the dumbest state?" It would be of interest to anyone concerned with the epidemiology of educational failure.