I believe learning to read is a progression that starts from birth. I believe parents should start to foster a love of books early by starting to read to the child first, even when they are very young. As they grow and develop they can start reading small worlds and slowly work their way up. Legitimately I would say it is better for a parent to use this slow, steady approach rather than leaving it up to the school systems.
While I agree that fostering a love of books at an early age is important, It does not mean that children who are not given that support at an early age will not learn to read. Children who are read to and spoken to early in life and regularly may read sooner because they have an understanding on words and a bigger vocabulary, But with high quality and intensive intervention/education children can close that gap and become successful students and readers.
There is no ideal way to teach a child to read. Different children learn in different ways and at different times. Sometimes a combination of several teaching techniques works best. Some children learn to read phonetically and other children learn to read by memorizing sight words. Some children learn by doing a combination of both. It is the teacher's responsibility to teach what is working best for the individual child.
In my opinion, there is no "true way" to teach a child how to read. There are many different methods that can be used. Whether it's in schools, at home, or just in general, there are several different ways that a child can learn to read. No two children are ever exactly the same. One child could learn completely differently than the other.
There is no set way that is best to teach children. Each child is different and have their own gifts and their own problems. They will continue to try to make kids into robots where one solution will fix everything but that is not the case. We need to treat kids as the individuals they are.