by Javier C. Hernandez
"Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants schools to adopt aspects of a method that the Education Department turned away from several years ago.
"During her almost six months as chancellor, Ms. Fariña, a veteran of the school system, has reduced the role of standardized tests, increased collaboration among schools and shepherded through a new contract for teachers that includes more training and more communication with parents. But her push for a revival of balanced literacy may have some of the most far-reaching implications in the classroom.
"Ms. Fariña, who relied on balanced literacy as a teacher and a principal, said in an interview last week that she did not believe it was at odds with the Common Core, a more difficult set of learning goals that has been adopted by more than 40 states.
"She said she thought the strategies of balanced literacy were particularly useful for children who arrived in classrooms with little knowledge of English, including immigrants. “They’re going to feel frustrated, alienated,” she said. “You need to put them on something they can accomplish and do fluently.”