Balanced Literacy and other pedagogical fads that guide educational discourses and decision making reflect the fact that large educational organizations do not trust the teachers capacities to evaluate how children learn, and how to plan and select methods and materials to respond to those learning differences. And furthermore, without saying it, they do not trust the abilities to learn of those children who do not meet their class values or rigid standadization of the disciplines, quite often set up in poorly organized hierarchies.
Phonics: trying to change how children speak before finding out what they know about symbols results from believing that speech determines the capacity to comprehend written systems. Not so! Most Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico who use the "r velar" know what "carro, perro" mean when reading these words. Most children in Argentina who say "posho", when seeing the written version know that they are reading about the bird. The zeta phoneme (impediment) does not interfere with most Latin-Americans when reading "cielos andaluces. Yet, the controlling fools and self indulgent trendy pedagogues implementing balanced literacy would spend and waste hours, days, weeks trying to change the kids speech patterns because they believe mastery of phonological standards is a prerequisite to learn how to read and write. ¿Y los mudos?
During many years, visiting and observing how teachers in Spanish (many of them Latinos) classes interacted with the students, I was able to document how class and, quite often, xenophobia influence educators' implementation of specific educational practices. It was also discovered that many of these educators know what balanced literacy says, but do not know its criticims, alternatives, and much less know about the history of the written word, its literatures and how children respond to symbolic systems: his/her own during early years and then the communal stadardized ones, in spite of the obstructions imposed by "los burocratas que controlan las polîticas educativas."
( if you do not know Spanish and was able to understand the last phrase in the previous paragraph, then you have demonstrated that phonology has "una correlación con el sistema que conforma la lecto-escritura" but it does not have "una relación causal"; and if you are concerned about the placement and place of the final period in a sentence, then you need help)