OK, this link is a low blow at Whole Language advocates, but it's really funny.
Time and time again, the phonics-based methods and Direct Instruction have been studied, and shown to be better than Whole Language.
Time and time again, these promising methods have been jettisoned from the curriculum. The reasoning varies, but it generally includes complaints that the methods "stifle creativity" in teachers.
Would that it were true - some overly flaky approaches should be stifled.