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ElizabethB

Prison literacy rates, worse than I thought.

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I wrote a LinkedIn article and was researching the prison literacy numbers.  I knew they were bad from the last adult literacy survey in 1992, but the latest survey changed the reporting criteria, and while the average numbers are actually improved slightly, when you look at proficient readers, the numbers are beyond abysmal, the language and scoring metrics are different between the 1992 and 2003 adult literacy surveys. 

 

A quote from my LinkedIn article:

According to the latest adult literacy survey, only 3% of prisoners are reading at a proficient level. But, even among this population, there is still an education gap, with only 1% of black prisoners, 2% of Hispanic prisoners, and 3% of white prisoners reading at a proficient level.

 

 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/popping-school-prison-pipeline-liz-brown/

 

Here is the entire prison report from the literacy survey, they do the adult literacy survey very infrequently, there was one in 1992 and the most recent one that I have seen is this 2003 survey. 

 

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007473.pdf

 

 

 

 

Edited by ElizabethB

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I can believe it.  Somewhere around 10% of people have some level of dyslexia.  Even in really supportive communities, dyslexic kids often have behavioral difficulties starting in the first  few years of elementary school.  Little kids who can't "keep up" as they see things come easily to their classmates, so they stop trying, or seek negative attention, or get bored.  Not that that's always a root cause but I'm sure it is a factor.

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I can believe it. Somewhere around 10% of people have some level of dyslexia. Even in really supportive communities, dyslexic kids often have behavioral difficulties starting in the first few years of elementary school. Little kids who can't "keep up" as they see things come easily to their classmates, so they stop trying, or seek negative attention, or get bored. Not that that's always a root cause but I'm sure it is a factor.

Mike Brunner’s book “Retarding America: The Imprisnment of Potential†goes into this cycle in detail and cites research showing that at least some of the problem is causal, that the poor reading preceeded poor behavior. There was also a program done in the juvenile jails that taught remedial phonics that reduced recidivism and saved $1.75 for every $1.00 of program cost, but, sadly, the program was discontinued.

 

I knew literacy was a factor, but that is really high percentage, 97%, and at while true dyslexia is hard to remediate, at least some of those prisoners, like the majority of my remedial students, were likely just suffering from too many sight words and most likely could have been remediated fairly easily.

Edited by ElizabethB

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Is the reverse true? That if you can teach a child to read, their likelihood of going to prision dramatically decreases? Or are there confounding factors?

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Is the reverse true? That if you can teach a child to read, their likelihood of going to prision dramatically decreases? Or are there confounding factors?

The study from Brunner’s book found that after being taught to read, those in prison were less likely to go back to prison. And, there were several longitunal and meta analysis of studies showing causation, but no studies that I know of that show the likelihood of preventing prison in the first place after teaching reading, but I would expect that result based on the other studies.

Edited by ElizabethB

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That is an amazing idea. If a person wanted to really make a difference, it could be by being a reading tutor.

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That is an amazing idea. If a person wanted to really make a difference, it could be by being a reading tutor.

I have tutored for 24 years, it does make a huge difference in their lives! My average class improves 1.7 reading grade levels. The lessons I use are now online as my Syllables series, and I am working on a DVD version to reach more people and get people teaching them to at risk students. You could use YouTube red for now if you wanted to teach with them. It only takes 10 hours and the exercises are all free to print!

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Edited by ElizabethB

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I have tutored for 24 years, it does make a huge difference in their lives! My average class improves 1.7 reading grade levels. The lessons I use are now online as my Syllables series, and I am working on a DVD version to reach more people and get people teaching them to at risk students. You could use YouTube red for now if you wanted to teach with them. It only takes 10 hours and the exercises are all free to print!

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Thank you! I also started another thread about being a reading tutor. I think I may have found my new passion! Thank you for posting this today!

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In addition to presumably inborn disabilities like dyslexia, and the effects of poor teaching (and overcrowded classrooms, etc), it cannot be overstated that people in prison are significantly more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than the general public.

 

Everything was stacked against these people when they were little kids. It's not right, and it's not fair.

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Elizabeth, this is a new kind of slavery. 😕

 

If learning to read means maybe never going back to prison, obviously the first parallel that comes to mind is people keeping slaves illiterate because it's pretty hard to keep literate people slaves.

 

It's different now. We don't have as many people deliberately keeping others illiterate to insure a lower class. Although, without getting too political, it's not true that nobody has that agenda, and it is true that many serve that agenda without even knowing it.

 

Literacy is a civil rights issue. None of us (excepting yourself) are doing enough. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar

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That is an amazing idea. If a person wanted to really make a difference, it could be by being a reading tutor.

 

It's something I would really like to put an emphasis on when my youngest kids are done homeschooling. After seeing how hard kids are being pushed now at inappropriate ages to read and how they are labeled and directed into less rigorous paths as they get older if it's doesn't click immediately, it's something I'd really like to be involved in helping. Failing to read at 5, or 7 or 8 should not designate a person to a life as a failure. I'd like to help financially and physically with programs that make a difference, as well as educate parents that school expectations are not really always good expectations and they need to advocate for their kids on that front. 

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Elizabeth, this is a new kind of slavery. 😕

 

If learning to read means maybe never going back to prison, obviously the first parallel that comes to mind is people keeping slaves illiterate because it's pretty hard to keep literate people slaves.

 

It's different now. We don't have as many people deliberately keeping others illiterate to insure a lower class. Although, without getting too political, it's not true that nobody has that agenda, and it is true that many serve that agenda without even knowing it.

 

Literacy is a civil rights issue. None of us (excepting yourself) are doing enough. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

 

Well to take the slavery comparison further-- they DO use them as basically free labor and with the privatization of prisons, I think you could definitely have incentives towards that type of slavery growing in the future. Especially if their labor can be used towards government contract projects, which are already rife with corruption as it is. 

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Elizabeth, this is a new kind of slavery. 😕

 

If learning to read means maybe never going back to prison, obviously the first parallel that comes to mind is people keeping slaves illiterate because it's pretty hard to keep literate people slaves.

 

It's different now. We don't have as many people deliberately keeping others illiterate to insure a lower class. Although, without getting too political, it's not true that nobody has that agenda, and it is true that many serve that agenda without even knowing it.

 

Literacy is a civil rights issue. None of us (excepting yourself) are doing enough. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Mike Brunner was teaching in the prisons and getting the word out when I lost contact with him. Don Potter and Vanessa Peters are tutoring hundreds of kids and getting the word out, they both tutor for pay but help poorer students for cheaper or free.

 

Here are some quotes from my closing the gap LinkedIn article:

 

Vanessa Peters believes that phonics is even more important for black children. She explains why in “Why Black Children Need A Different Reading Program.†[10] I have used the program she developed these needs in mind, “Letter Sounds Save Their Soul,†and have found it a useful series for all remedial students.

 

Charles Richardson tutored thousands of students in New York before his death in 2008. His article “Reading: Phonics vs. Whole-Language†is available from Don Potter. In an article Richardson wrote for the Reading Reform Foundation, he wrote that “Early phonics appears to be more crucial for African-Americans than for other ethnicities, and once that is in place they do just fine.†[11] He goes into his research in that article, and also stated, “A friend who taught first grade in Jersey City many years ago, when the reading programs were all phonics, used to say, “The black kids are smarter than the whites!†[12]

 

That is almost enough to make you want to start a conspiracy theory! Addie Vinson tried to, she thought that good phonics methods were removed from the schools to keep black students down. Who is Addie Vinson and why haven't you heard of her or her conspiracy theory?

 

Addie Vinson was one of 7 children. She was born in a log cabin. The most likely reason you haven't heard of her conspiracy theory is because it was written in 1938 when she was 86 years old. Addie Vinson was born a slave. Her story is one of many recorded in the Slave Narratives. Here is her conspiracy theory in her own words and dialect, exactly as recorded in the Slave Narratives: "It was a long time atter de war was done over ‘for schools for Niggers was sot up, and den when Nigger chillum did git to go to school dey warn’t ‘lowed to use de old blue-back spellin’ book ‘cause white folkses said it larn’t ‘em too much.†[13]

 

Addie Vinson was right about the power of Webster's Blue Backed Speller. It is a very powerful phonics method--it was actually used to teach both reading and spelling. The best explanation of its historical use comes from ex-slaves like Addie Vinson talking about its use in the Slave Narratives. [14]

 

Webster's Speller has not been in wide use as a phonics method since Addie Vinson's day, but thanks to a re-formatted edition by Don Potter, it is gaining fans and is starting to be used by a variety of homeschool families.

Edited by ElizabethB

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Elizabeth, this is a new kind of slavery. 😕

 

If learning to read means maybe never going back to prison, obviously the first parallel that comes to mind is people keeping slaves illiterate because it's pretty hard to keep literate people slaves.

 

It's different now. We don't have as many people deliberately keeping others illiterate to insure a lower class. Although, without getting too political, it's not true that nobody has that agenda, and it is true that many serve that agenda without even knowing it.

 

Literacy is a civil rights issue. None of us (excepting yourself) are doing enough. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

 

This.

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I actually do know of Addie Vinson; reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, and other similar works, started me down a rabbit trail about literacy, slavery, and the slave narratives. This was years ago. I got interested in school disparity but did not wonder about prisons.

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I actually do know of Addie Vinson; reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, and other similar works, started me down a rabbit trail about literacy, slavery, and the slave narratives. This was years ago. I got interested in school disparity but did not wonder about prisons.

They are painful to read. I read all of the Arkansas volumes, all the literacy portions, and bits and pieces for each state’s volumes. I have known about the prison disparity since the first few years of tutoring but have not yet lived anywhere long enough to start tutoring in the prisons, it is an involved process. I have tried to start it up several times but always moved before I could start. At risk youth are easier to work with and find when you move frequently.

Edited by ElizabethB

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I have tutored for 24 years, it does make a huge difference in their lives! My average class improves 1.7 reading grade levels. The lessons I use are now online as my Syllables series, and I am working on a DVD version to reach more people and get people teaching them to at risk students. You could use YouTube red for now if you wanted to teach with them. It only takes 10 hours and the exercises are all free to print!

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

You are an inspiration Elizabeth!

 

Bill

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Thank you! I also started another thread about being a reading tutor. I think I may have found my new passion! Thank you for posting this today!

If you're interested, you could train in any of the phonics based systems - Spalding etc.

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Well to take the slavery comparison further-- they DO use them as basically free labor and with the privatization of prisons, I think you could definitely have incentives towards that type of slavery growing in the future. Especially if their labor can be used towards government contract projects, which are already rife with corruption as it is. 

 

This also started in many states long before the privatization of prisons.  Certain states in particular (Alabama and Mississippi I am looking at you!) have (fairly recent) history behind their prison systems that is simply shameful.

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It's not "new". That you could use prison labor was deliberately put in as a loophole in the Civil War amendments.

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I can believe it.  Somewhere around 10% of people have some level of dyslexia.  Even in really supportive communities, dyslexic kids often have behavioral difficulties starting in the first  few years of elementary school.  Little kids who can't "keep up" as they see things come easily to their classmates, so they stop trying, or seek negative attention, or get bored.  Not that that's always a root cause but I'm sure it is a factor.

 

On p. 27 of the report, Comparing the Prison and Household Populations, it notes that, "A higher percentage of prison inmates than adults living in households had been diagnosed with a learning disability (17 percent versus 6 percent)."

 

Of course, being the recipient of poor/misguided/outright racist reading instruction isn't a learning disability. It's a teaching disability.

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I know a lady who volunteers teaching literacy and basic maths to parolees. She feels that just having that intellectual challenge often breaks a cycle of negative thoughts as well.

 

I know that if I couldn't read to learn new stuff I would have a lot more issues with boredom and depression. So definitely can see how this could be a key piece of breaking the cycle even aside from the employment benefits.

 

If I ever have free time to volunteer after homeschooling this is an area I'd like to work in.

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  There was also a program done in the juvenile jails that taught remedial phonics that reduced recidivism and saved $1.75 for every $1.00 of program cost, but, sadly, the program was discontinued.

 

 

Of course it was  :sad:

 

 

Literacy is a civil rights issue. 

 

Such a good point. 

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Is the reverse true? That if you can teach a child to read, their likelihood of going to prision dramatically decreases? Or are there confounding factors?

Reading fluency at the end of 3rd grade seems tightly correlated to lower rates of incarceration later on. The kids who are struggling the most with reading at the end of 3rd grade seem more likely to be incarcerated later on in life.

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Reading fluency at the end of 3rd grade seems tightly correlated to lower rates of incarceration later on. The kids who are struggling the most with reading at the end of 3rd grade seem more likely to be incarcerated later on in life.

The older you are, the harder it is for your brain to learn new habits. Also, the longer you have been reading with sight word type habits, the stronger the guessing habit is.

 

It takes a lot of nonsense words to remediate older children, and syllables make it a lot easier to get to higher grade levels. Many people do not have the realize what is needed to remediate older children and adults, but it can be done with the right combination of materials. Since I added in more nonsense words and nonsense word fluency drills, my students have progressed even faster and I can now teach in 10 hours what used to take 18 with the same results. This document with some typical MWIA scores and also MWIA scores averaged by grade level from one of my classes shows the differences between a young student and an older student. The first grade girl whose results are shown on page 4 completely erased her slowdown on the MWIA and gained 3 grade levels after one class. The 4th grade boy on page needed two classes until he stopped guessing and got his MWIA slowdown to less than 10% (Full remediation is no slowdown at all, but many of the older students will always have a bit and remediation for them may be a 5 to 10% slowdown.)

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/Resources/UnderstandingMWIAscores.pdf

Edited by ElizabethB

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(Sorry, can't quote on this device) Elizabeth, do you know of any organizations working on this, where we can send money?

Mostly, no. It is complicated, I will post about it later tonight or tomorrow.

 

Are you most interested in prevention for the future or those currently in prison?

Edited by ElizabethB

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Mostly, no. It is complicated, I will post about it later tonight or tomorrow.

Are you most interested in prevention for the future or those currently in prison?

 

For me, prevention - I'm trying to work for school equality locally, so I'm already oriented toward better outcomes for children born in the wrong zip code.

 

Others in the thread, like Guinevere, sound interested in helping those currently in prison.

 

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge!

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I am a tutor for teens in a community college. Several students are in a low English level. I asked a student to read aloud to me. He was struggling and I felt that the assignment was probably overwhelming to him (to read this book and write a paper). The book probably didn't even interest him. Next time I saw him, like 2 weeks later, I asked if he'd read any more. He said no.

 

My opinion, it's bad enough when vocabulary is weak or grammar is poor -- even worse when reading takes too long. The pace of some readers must make reading such a tedious chore. I run into weird stuff here all the time. Why do people pluralize alphabet? We are talking about one alphabet. I had a mom come to me asking for help with her soon-to-be Ker. She said he knew his alphabets. I didn't have the heart to correct her. No, they weren't bilingual. The parents are passing down these things.

Edited by heartlikealion

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You are an inspiration Elizabeth!

 

Bill

 

Thanks, Bill!  

 

I have a question for you, hopefully you'll know or know someone who knows.  I have a pop filter and used it last time I made audio for DVD, but I had been recording just for YouTube and the audio was fine there without my pop filter, so I made the audio without my pop filter and it sounds terrible on the DVD. (I have no idea what I was thinking, my pop filter was sitting right there...) I have 10 hours of audio for my Syllables DVD version that either needs to be redone, or hopefully, just cleaned up somehow.  

 

I have a script written, so it won't be horrible to re-record, but it would be easier and faster if there was a program or filter I could use to clean up the audio, there are limited times during the school year I can record with good sound quality, I could get a bit of it done over the next few months but it would likely be summer until I could complete the re-recording.  I made the videos in Final Cut Pro and have Garage Band although I have no clue how to use it.  I wouldn't mind buying a program to fix the audio if it was $100.00 or less.

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(Sorry, can't quote on this device) Elizabeth, do you know of any organizations working on this, where we can send money?

 

The two organizations that I knew that were doing this, the original founders have passed on and they are now using the very slow methods of LVA, Literacy Volunteers of America, they teach about 1 sound per week so it takes 2 to 4 years to remediate to grade level tutoring once a week.  Some chapters also use a lot of materials with a huge whole word focus.  Chapters that use the Laubach materials are more phonetic, but move at a glacial pace.

 

My nonprofit does this, but we don't currently need any money, the "business" model is fairly self sustaining!  I have some future planned projects that will require money, what is needed right now is people to spread the word about phonics and people to teach classes using my syllables material in their local area. 

 

http://www.40l.org/help.html

 

One future project that I will need help with is donating Talking Letter Factory and Talking Word Factory DVDs to children in poor zip codes.  With our frequent moves, I know of a few organizations in several different states that give backpacks and school materials to inner city students that would happily add these DVDs to their backpacks for incoming K and 1st grade students if I could find a way to buy them in bulk for a discount or at cost as a donation in kind to a nonprofit, I would then buy them through our nonprofit and donate to the local organizations to add to the backpacks.

 

I have repeatedly tried to contact the company that owns the Leapfrog DVDs through both phone and e-mail, but there were acquired by a large overseas company and their main focus is now their electronic learning devices, not DVDs, so I have not had any luck.  I will need funds for this once I figure out how to buy in bulk.  (And help figuring out how to buy in bulk would be appreciated!)

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Thanks, Bill!  

 

I have a question for you, hopefully you'll know or know someone who knows.  I have a pop filter and used it last time I made audio for DVD, but I had been recording just for YouTube and the audio was fine there without my pop filter, so I made the audio without my pop filter and it sounds terrible on the DVD. (I have no idea what I was thinking, my pop filter was sitting right there...) I have 10 hours of audio for my Syllables DVD version that either needs to be redone, or hopefully, just cleaned up somehow.  

 

I have a script written, so it won't be horrible to re-record, but it would be easier and faster if there was a program or filter I could use to clean up the audio, there are limited times during the school year I can record with good sound quality, I could get a bit of it done over the next few months but it would likely be summer until I could complete the re-recording.  I made the videos in Final Cut Pro and have Garage Band although I have no clue how to use it.  I wouldn't mind buying a program to fix the audio if it was $100.00 or less.

 

Elizabeth, I've been asking around with a fellow film editor and doing some research on the issue, and it has pretty much confirmed my initial thought that dealing with mike plosives is tricky.

 

There is a high-end audio restoration program called iZotope RX 6 that would likely give you satisfactory results. However, it is expensive (requiring the $1200 "advanced" version or the $400 "regular" version plus an option purchase of the mike pop plug-in). And I'm sure requires an expert user. I do not have it.

 

I'm not sure what an audio post house that had this program might charge you. Due to the nature of what you are doing, someone might take mercy on you.

 

One thing that would lighten a 3rd party's burden (but increase yours) would be to make a timeline of all the audio and then make splices around each instance, and then have only that (much smaller) section for some to deal with.

 

After it was fixed, you could sync the fixed clip as a layer above the timeline of isolated pops and cut the fixed portions in the same places as the original clips. Then these clips could be put in the main timeline (at the cutpoints) and the bad clip could be muted (Command V in FCP, if memory serves).

 

That way they would not need to go through 10 hours of material.

 

Paying full freight at an audio post house might be prohibitively expensive if they are not up for doing a mitzvah. Worth some calls perhaps?

 

I wish I knew of an easy solution. Mike pops are vexing.

 

I also wish I had the tools to do it for you.

 

I suspect it would be less time consuming and less expensive to re-record, sorry to say.

 

Were this irreplaceable material there would be ways for a professional to salvage it in all likelihood, but.... 

 

Bill

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I wrote a LinkedIn article and was researching the prison literacy numbers.  I knew they were bad from the last adult literacy survey in 1992, but the latest survey changed the reporting criteria, and while the average numbers are actually improved slightly, when you look at proficient readers, the numbers are beyond abysmal, the language and scoring metrics are different between the 1992 and 2003 adult literacy surveys. 

 

A quote from my LinkedIn article:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/popping-school-prison-pipeline-liz-brown/

 

Here is the entire prison report from the literacy survey, they do the adult literacy survey very infrequently, there was one in 1992 and the most recent one that I have seen is this 2003 survey. 

 

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007473.pdf

 

 

When I trained in a program to help students in local public schools with reading, using an Orton Gillingham approach, we were told that several states do their long term planning for prison beds based on the scores of the current second graders in the state. Sadly, the line is that predictive. 

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Elizabeth, I've been asking around with a fellow film editor and doing some research on the issue, and it has pretty much confirmed my initial thought that dealing with mike plosives is tricky.

 

There is a high-end audio restoration program called iZotope RX 6 that would likely give you satisfactory results. However, it is expensive (requiring the $1200 "advanced" version or the $400 "regular" version plus an option purchase of the mike pop plug-in). And I'm sure requires an expert user. I do not have it.

 

I'm not sure what an audio post house that had this program might charge you. Due to the nature of what you are doing, someone might take mercy on you.

 

One thing that would lighten a 3rd party's burden (but increase yours) would be to make a timeline of all the audio and then make splices around each instance, and then have only that (much smaller) section for some to deal with.

 

After it was fixed, you could sync the fixed clip as a layer above the timeline of isolated pops and cut the fixed portions in the same places as the original clips. Then these clips could be put in the main timeline (at the cutpoints) and the bad clip could be muted (Command V in FCP, if memory serves).

 

That way they would not need to go through 10 hours of material.

 

Paying full freight at an audio post house might be prohibitively expensive if they are not up for doing a mitzvah. Worth some calls perhaps?

 

I wish I knew of an easy solution. Mike pops are vexing.

 

I also wish I had the tools to do it for you.

 

I suspect it would be less time consuming and less expensive to re-record, sorry to say.

 

Were this irreplaceable material there would be ways for a professional to salvage it in all likelihood, but.... 

 

Bill

 

Bill-

 

Thanks!! 

 

I had a feeling I was going to be re-recording, but wanted to check and see if there were options.  I don't know enough about audio to even figure out what to Google about fixing it, so I appreciate the help.

 

There are very few pieces of audio not affected, if I went through myself I would be fixing probably 90% of the audio clips (I actually record about 1 - 2 sentences at a time and attach them to the appropriate clip, so it is already fairly spliced) and to keep the sound consistent, it is easier to just re-record the whole thing; plus, I would spend as about the same time checking the audio as just recording.

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When I trained in a program to help students in local public schools with reading, using an Orton Gillingham approach, we were told that several states do their long term planning for prison beds based on the scores of the current second graders in the state. Sadly, the line is that predictive. 

 

It is sad, especially when many of them could have been fixed with better teaching methods.  (All are sad, but the easily preventable ones really break my heart, there is absolutely no good excuse for that.)

 

And, there is really not that good of an excuse for the truly dyslexic students that need an OG approach, it is time consuming, but it should save money in the long run, and even if not, is worth the cost in my opinion, and, I would think, the opinions of most people if they understood.

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You could probably crowdfund for your dvds.

They will be fairly cheap, and you only need one to teach a whole class. I am going to round up to the next dollar after the per unit break even price and sell them through Createspace on Amazon, I expect them to cost $8 or $10, with the profits going directly to the nonprofit’s bank account. That is how I priced the workbook, it is $6. So, most people should be able to afford it on their own. For teaching a large class, you can print the material for each student for $1 to $2 per student depending on ink costs or buy the workbooks.

 

I am currently set up to take donations for the non-profit directly, but do not have any current projects that require funding, the bit of excess from selling my current DVDs and workbooks pays for the operating expense of the website and the costs associated with accepting donations. When I work with local schools and churches, the organization and/or volunteers usually chip in money for the class materials, and I have used the nonprofit’s funding for the organizations that do not have funds to support class costs, there has always been just enough for what I need!

 

Here is the workbook, it is the same as the free to print PDFs that you can use but easier than printing for the price for just a few students, as I bonus, each one sold is a tiny bit to fund the nonprofit!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Syllables-Spell-Success-Student-Workbook/dp/1976403057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510602643&sr=8-1&keywords=syllables+spell+success

Edited by ElizabethB

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Bill-

 

Thanks!! 

 

I had a feeling I was going to be re-recording, but wanted to check and see if there were options.  I don't know enough about audio to even figure out what to Google about fixing it, so I appreciate the help.

 

There are very few pieces of audio not affected, if I went through myself I would be fixing probably 90% of the audio clips (I actually record about 1 - 2 sentences at a time and attach them to the appropriate clip, so it is already fairly spliced) and to keep the sound consistent, it is easier to just re-record the whole thing; plus, I would spend as about the same time checking the audio as just recording.

 

I just came back with a little more information. I was misinformed about needing the advanced version of iZotope RX 6, the "standard" version has the de-plovisive module built in. There is also an academic version for $199. 

 

I'm afraid to say that re-recording would probably be more rational. 

 

I so wish I could fix this for you.

 

Bill

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They will be fairly cheap, and you only need one to teach a whole class. I am going to round up to the next dollar after the per unit break even price and sell them through Createspace on Amazon, I expect them to cost $8 or $10, with the profits going directly to the nonprofit’s bank account. That is how I priced the workbook, it is $6. So, most people should be able to afford it on their own. For teaching a large class, you can print the material for each student for $1 to $2 per student depending on ink costs or buy the workbooks.

 

I am currently set up to take donations for the non-profit directly, but do not have any current projects that require funding, the bit of excess from selling my current DVDs and workbooks pays for the operating expense of the website and the costs associated with accepting donations. When I work with local schools and churches, the organization and/or volunteers usually chip in money for the class materials, and I have used the nonprofit’s funding for the organizations that do not have funds to support class costs, there has always been just enough for what I need!

 

Here is the workbook, it is the same as the free to print PDFs that you use but easier than printing for the price for just a few students, as I bonus, each one sold is a tiny bit to fund the nonprofit!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Syllables-Spell-Success-Student-Workbook/dp/1976403057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510602643&sr=8-1&keywords=syllables+spell+success

 

I meant for your letter factory dvds. Sorry, that was unclear.

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I meant for your letter factory dvds. Sorry, that was unclear.

Right, that makes sense. When (hopefully when) I get that figured out, I will raise funds for that and try to get as many people and as many cities as possible involved, I would love to get that cute little frog out to as many children in need as possible. The frog could probably close half the literacy gap by himself!! And, if people handed out my little sound charts with them, a bit more, it does not cost much at all to print my one page black and white sound chart.

Edited by ElizabethB

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I am a tutor for teens in a community college. Several students are in a low English level. I asked a student to read aloud to me. He was struggling and I felt that the assignment was probably overwhelming to him (to read this book and write a paper). The book probably didn't even interest him. Next time I saw him, like 2 weeks later, I asked if he'd read any more. He said no.

 

My opinion, it's bad enough when vocabulary is weak or grammar is poor -- even worse when reading takes too long. The pace of some readers must make reading such a tedious chore. I run into weird stuff here all the time. Why do people pluralize alphabet? We are talking about one alphabet. I had a mom come to me asking for help with her soon-to-be Ker. She said he knew his alphabets. I didn't have the heart to correct her. No, they weren't bilingual. The parents are passing down these things.

When I see alphabets I assume ESL, when I see Legos I assume USA.

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Elizabeth, may I ask why you say there are "limited times during the school year I can record with good sound quality?"

 

What issue(s) do have that limit you?

 

Bill 

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I just came back with a little more information. I was misinformed about needing the advanced version of iZotope RX 6, the "standard" version has the de-plovisive module built in. There is also an academic version for $199.

 

I'm afraid to say that re-recording would probably be more rational.

 

I so wish I could fix this for you.

 

Bill

Bill-

 

Thanks for looking into it for me, I really do appreciate it. They have a lot of cool products at their website that I have no real need for but look like they would be fun!!

 

It is amazing what you can get nowadays, I bet products like these were all a lot more expensive 20 or 30 years ago. (And many of them were probably not even available, let alone affordable, to an individual outside of the industry.)

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A good friend of mine who is serving a 3 year sentence would probably confirm something similar.  He is working as a tutor for other inmates that wish to get their GED.  My friend graduated high school and culinary school and has often felt inferior when it came to his education compared to his friends, but he says his education was leaps and bounds over what most inmates have received.  His greatest difficulty in tutoring though is that he suspects many are dyslexic or have other learning disabilities, and his resources are very limited in what he has to help them.

 

Also, an area adult literacy program has volunteers that does one-on-one tutoring.  One of the places they serve is the county jail.  This organization is always in desperate need to get enough volunteers to meet the desire for all those that want literacy tutoring.  The jail program is in the most need, not because people aren't willing to tutor there, but because the demand is so high and the "allowed" tutoring hours are not possible for those that work 9-5 or have young children (or schooling children) at home.

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Elizabeth, may I ask why you say there are "limited times during the school year I can record with good sound quality?"

 

What issue(s) do have that limit you?

 

Bill

I have some health issues that limit what I am capable of doing at certain times of the day, and my computer and microphone are set up in a common area that is only quiet at certain times. During the school year, the times that I feel the best are prioritized towards doing school, so that further limits availability. When I really need to record and have time and I feel up to it but people are around, I just send everyone out of the living room/kitchen, but then I also have to make sure the dishwasher or laundry are not running. My husband also now works part time out of the home and sometimes has to do loud things in that area, so I can’t run him out of the area in that case. The school year is also gymnastics and FLL season during some weekends, although FLL is now over and my daughter’s state gymnastics meet is the last weekend of March. Weekends will free up a bit after that.

 

The area is quietest and also less outside noise at the times I usually feel the worst, unfortunately...

 

If there is an easy way to record audio on my iPad with my Yeti microphone, that might help, although I might end up spending a lot of extra time at the computer figuring out where to put what audio clip depending on how the whole process ends up working. I also would have to figure out how to connect the Yeti and what app to use.

Edited by ElizabethB

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A good friend of mine who is serving a 3 year sentence would probably confirm something similar. He is working as a tutor for other inmates that wish to get their GED. My friend graduated high school and culinary school and has often felt inferior when it came to his education compared to his friends, but he says his education was leaps and bounds over what most inmates have received. His greatest difficulty in tutoring though is that he suspects many are dyslexic or have other learning disabilities, and his resources are very limited in what he has to help them.

 

Also, an area adult literacy program has volunteers that does one-on-one tutoring. One of the places they serve is the county jail. This organization is always in desperate need to get enough volunteers to meet the desire for all those that want literacy tutoring. The jail program is in the most need, not because people aren't willing to tutor there, but because the demand is so high and the "allowed" tutoring hours are not possible for those that work 9-5 or have young children (or schooling children) at home.

Do they know about my online phonics lessons? They are made so an adult can just sit and watch them on the computer. Also, my Syllables program is designed for larger groups, they could try a group class and see how it compares to their one on one tutoring, they might be surprised how much can be done with each volunteer working with 3 or 4 students when it is set up for that type of teaching, as my syllables program is.

 

For some of my classes, I had the volunteers who helped each take turns watching each other’s children and tutoring, that greatly expanded the number of volunteers available, but was easy to implement because there was a room set up for child care available right next to or very near the tutoring classroom, it sounds like that would be more challenging logistically in this case.

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Bill-

 

Thanks for looking into it for me, I really do appreciate it. They have a lot of cool products at their website that I have no real need for but look like they would be fun!!

 

It is amazing what you can get nowadays, I bet products like these were all a lot more expensive 20 or 30 years ago. (And many of them were probably not even available, let alone affordable, to an individual outside of the industry.)

 

My pleasure (other than the gnawing disappointment that I can't fix this for you myself).

 

On the second point, there is no doubt that technology has come a long way, both in terms of power and price.

 

I have some health issues that limit what I am capable of doing at certain times of the day, and my computer and microphone are set up in a common area that is only quiet at certain times. During the school year, the times that I feel the best are prioritized towards doing school, so that further limits availability. When I really need to record and have time and I feel up to it but people are around, I just send everyone out of the living room/kitchen, but then I also have to make sure the dishwasher or laundry are not running. My husband also now works part time out of the home and sometimes has to do loud things in that area, so I can’t run him out of the area in that case. The school year is also gymnastics and FLL season during some weekends, although FLL is now over and my daughter’s state gymnastics meet is the last weekend of March. Weekends will free up a bit after that.

 

The area is quietest and also less outside noise at the times I usually feel the worst, unfortunately...

 

If there is an easy way to record audio on my iPad with my Yeti microphone, that might help, although I might end up spending a lot of extra time at the computer figuring out where to put what audio clip depending on how the whole process ends up working. I also would have to figure out how to connect the Yeti and what app to use.

 

I understand.

 

One little tip I'd share is to make a makeshift tent/tipi that you can record inside of out of blankets, comforters, or any similar "thick" material. I will often use a ladder as the support if I don't have C-stands.

 

I've recorder people for broadcast doing nothing more than draping them in heavy coats. Especially with less sensitive microphones, it cuts a lot of noise (both ways) and also cuts unpleasant reflections. It will sound better than being in an open room (even a relatively quiet one).

 

I wish you good health and quiet moments.

 

Bill

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