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Friday, April 8, 2016

Parents and Teachers get a rare victory in Duval County. Welcome back books!

Next year books will return to our elementary schools after what can only be described as a lost year for many of our students where books were replaced by black and white hand outs.  

From the times Union:

A year after Duval’s elementary schools switched from traditional math and reading textbooks to online materials and printouts, district leaders are beginning to add books back into the mix.
The school board Tuesday approved two measures which will cost nearly $2.5 million to buy books for the next school year. They are purchasing new phonics books and related materials for kindergarten through second grades and new “classroom libraries” for kindergarten through fifth grades.

This follows months of complaints from parents and some educators that youngsters need books in their hands to better engage in learning to read. Teachers also complained that black and white printouts needed to be in color.
Now later in the article Superintendent Vitti tries to make the argument that this year had been a success.
Also from the Times Union:
Vitti said the new books and workbooks are the result of teacher and parent suggestions; but they aren’t due to faltering academic performance by students.
Okay Superintendent Vitti if that helps you sleep at night lets just roll with it. Whatever the reason the return of books to our elementary schools is indeed a rare and much deserved victory for our children, teachers and schools.


  1. I wish he would stop citing mysterious data and give us hard numbers along with the source.

  2. I agree that books in children's hands is important. However, read between the lines. These books are tied to a phonics program which typically means they are contrived text and tap into only one cuing system which is only good for children who need additional help with phonics. We already have a phonics only intervention. Saying that these texts will help is true for some children, but it is not the equivalent of putting complex text in children's hands so they can learn how to become strategic readers even when the words are not some of the 76% of our language that is phonetic. Where are the people who know something about teaching children how to read?

  3. What about 3rd through 5th? Will they continue using these worthless handouts that charade as reading content? The UDHR is by far no where near appropriate for a 5th grader to use to LEARN how to read and improve comprehension. Heck, most adults don't even know what the UDHR is!!!!

    1. You are right. We have a long way to go.

  4. BAND AID for horrible curriculum! For some, this might be enough. Until Engage is GONE we HAVE PROBLEMS! Duval just goes from one reactive decision to is ridiculous!

  5. Yay for one small victory for our students!

  6. Don't believe all these lies & propaganda about Vitti. He loves the books! He even partnered with the public libraries so that all DCPS students can get library cards. Not that most students will actually go to their local public library outside of mandatory field trips. All part of his master plan to rid the county of media specialists.

  7. If they continue with the DuvalReads curriculum, then I don't see this as a victory for our children. I shudder to think what text they can possibly put in these children's hands that would supplement the horrible and developmentally inappropriate topics that have been taught so far in 1st grade...religion...Mesopotamia...American Revolution..Frontier Explorers...these topics have done nothing but frustrate, bore, and diminish my students' love for reading.

  8. They are not getting textbooks. The county is buying phonics books and math homework books. Kindergarten-5th grade are also getting an 80 book library. This is not a reading or math text