From a transcript of a panel on reading instruction, here is Dr. Reid Lyon:
The biggest impediment to kids’ learning to read is not biological or genetic: it’s instructional. Instructional casualties account for the majority of that 50–60 percent of our poor kids who can’t read. It does not have to be that way. It’s as simple as that.
The whole transcript is worth reading. I tend to be pessimistic that education can make a big difference. So, although I favor vouchers, I avoid making it sound like I think they would produce miracles.
But I also know that we have never tried to take a scientific approach to determining what works and what does not work in terms of teaching. This panel gives a very optimistic view of what a scientific approach could accomplish. It’s really worth looking over, whatever your point of view.