First Prize

Hard Words: Why Aren’t Kids Being Taught to Read?
Public Service (Small Staff)

Entry Credit

  • Emily Hanford and Chris Julin, APM Reports

About the Entry

Decades of scientific research show that virtually all kids can be taught to read. But many teachers don’t know this science. Hard Words is a radio documentary/podcast episode that investigates why.

Comments from the Judges

“Amazing work. A remarkable amount of reporting has been well synthesized into a fascinating hour of audio. The piece doesn’t shrink from making a strong argument, avoiding any risk of just showing us ‘both sides.’ The impact the work had is impressive.”

“A very polished account of why the reading war should be over, and how teacher holdouts are holding their students back. It’s a pleasure to hear the voices of both teachers and students discover and learn and come to success; and the adults to occasionally say they were wrong. This package will be influential.”

“This was a groundbreaking story and one that contributes greatly to a national conversation about the foundation of educating children in this country. … A true public service for anyone who cares about education, including parents.”

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