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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher, DCPS has got it wrong about reading

From a reader/teacher/parent:

He (Vitti) has just tied our hands and tripled the workload. I am interested in what principals and teachers at the elementary level said that we should go the Engage NY route rather than a research based and proven text. I haven't met a single teacher who would rather have worksheets than a text. 

I just don't understand this madness. I don't understand any of it. Our district continues its downward slide in scores across multiple grade levels and subjects. We quit utilizing research based materials with documented success. We have a school board that extends a contract before we have results that would warrant that extension. We have a union that is a dream to work with according to administration but non-existent according to teachers. Parents expressing outrage over how a school is being run into the ground yet news sources that seem to dismiss or not even notice there is a problem. We are switching to using technology for the majority of instruction yet our schools lack the infrastructure to support it. It sounds insane!!! 

As a teacher, I am disheartened by all of this madness. My hands are being tied and I am not being allowed to do what I went to school to do. I am not being given a chance to really teach anymore. My heart breaks for these kids that really do want to learn because we aren't providing them with everything they need. We are not getting the job done and our scores demonstrate that. 

As a parent of two children within our system, I am even more bothered by the fact that they may not be getting all that they need when it comes to their education. I can fill in the gaps as much as I can on my own but my fear is that will not be enough. My fear is that there will be too many gaps for me to fill in. My kindergartner will be expected to learn from a bunch of worksheets?!?!?!? That seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me. I pray that I am wrong but scores don't seem to indicate that I am. 

Don't get me wrong. I believe the use of novels for teaching reading is a step in the right direction. However, the novels should be carefully selected for each grade level, keeping in mind not only the standard you wish to teach but also whether the content is appropriate. 

I think the powers that be forgot that the texts often used in a basal come from novels that were award winning at one point. They often get the students interested in reading the novels from which the stories came. Were the basals perfect? No but I doubt a sheet of paper with a passage is enough.

1 comment:

  1. The powers that be, The School Board, are trained (indoctrinated) by the Superintendent and his team as soon as they are seated.....has been this way for years. Current School Board President has been associated with administration for years.....marriage changed her name....she also worked for years for the Education Foundation.....much is the same...I'm not sure that the players are different. It's all about money.....sometimes very hard to follow.