August 18, 2008

Laetrile and Open Court

Stephen Krashen follows the evidence and notices something peculiar. Laetrile used to be prescribed to fight cancer but after studies showed that it couldn't be proven effective, it is now illegal. Now that studies have proven that the Open Court Reading program also could not be proven effective, why is it still required in some districts?

Matt has some more on this.

*italic text is edited as per comments (one from Dr. Krashen himself!)


Mathew said...

It's important to note that the study Krashen references does NOT say that Open Court is says that there isn't enough evidence to conclude that it is either effective or ineffective.

Teacherninja said...

Exactly right. Exactly the same language used in the Laetrile reports. Laetrile won't cause harm--it just won't cure cancer. Open Court won't hurt anyone--it just won't help them learn to read, either. Thanks for reading.

skrashen said...

Mathew is right:
Both reviews simply say that there is no evidence one way or the other. There is no evidence that Laetrile/Open Court are effective and no evidence that they are not effective, because controlled studies are not available. No evidence of harm or benefit.
I think both groups have a narrow view of science, by the way.
Steve Krashen

Teacherninja said...

Thanks for the clarification and the comments. Keep up the great work!

Ed Zimmerle said...

I don't believe Laetrile was ever prescribed as a cancer treatment. There were studies in the 1970's as well as tests on terminal patients. A co-worker of mine used Laetrile in once such study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Studies concluded it was ineffective. That in no way invalidates the rest of your argument; however, opening with a false or misleading statement can make readers unfairly discredit the rest of what is said.

Teacherninja said...

Thanks for the comment, Ed. I don't know if it was ever officially prescribed, but there were many people crossing borders to get their hands on some despite the spurious research.