It said that the reason for the problems many American children have reading is davka the modern teaching methods, memorizing words--rather than phonetics. In the last half a century, the "experts" have been unwilling to admit their mistakes and try all sorts of "combination methods." They insist that their method is good, even though results aren't.
Unfortunately, Israeli educators imitate every failed method, and even Hebrew, a totally phonetic language, has been taught non-phonetically in many schools for over 25 years. My 3rd daughter was lucky, because she was in the last year to learn the old way. When I tried warning the principal and teachers here, they ignored me. I wasn't a "real" teacher, and I had no pedagogic status or credentials.
It wasn't until a few "crops" of boys, who had learned the "new way," reached Bar Mitzvah and problems, remember this is Israel where Hebrew is the native tongue, learning how to read the Torah, when the authorities finally began to admit that "maybe something's wrong with the new method."
In today's schools, discipline and routine aren't what they once were, combining with innovative, rather than tried and true teaching methods, and the fact that kids (and teachers) sleep much less than pre-VCR/DVD and "open until midnight" malls and supermarkets "conspire" to make it very difficult to learn to their full potential.
I did my best to protect my kids from the "experts," and now I worry about my grandchildren.