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Thursday, December 15, 2016

What frustrates teachers in Duval

There was an article the other day about a curriculum audit.

The article is kind of non-descript. The only thing I found really interesting was that Education Directions has scored yet another contract from the district (where are the bodies buried education directions?). A few years back they were contracted to turn some of our high schools around and all they really did was make teachers miserable and tell them what they already knew while collecting a hefty pay check.

A few hours later though I received a note from another teacher and they told me that the curriculum review wasn't anything that the district couldn't have done itself and for a lot cheaper than hiring these education mercenaries.

From the Times Union:

 The audit explored only the English Language Arts for elementary schools in Duval County, and is being completed in a three-phase process.

The first phase examined instructional materials, datasets, curriculum guides and products used within Duval County, while the second phase will see how those items are implemented throughout the district.

Call me silly but don't we already have people, and a lot of them that are already supposed to be doing that?

Look I get it, we want to do right by our kids, but shouldn't we know if we are doing that before we start doing what we are doing? What would have happened if they came back and said, geeze Louise Duval the curriculum is a disaster? I mean it is December and the year is half over.

And see that's the thing, it is a disaster, and the district just refuses to ask the right questions. Does it align with the standards, yeah I bet it does, but it is a good curriculum for a district with a reading problem, teaching with a bunch of copied hand outs?

The vast majority of teachers I have spoken with say no and even hate EngageNY, they think it is inappropriate for our kids and doesn't come close to serving their needs, but the admin can now go, hey, it aligns with the standards wink, wink, it must be good.

We're spending thousands and thousands of dollars on lip service and that's dreadful.

My teacher friend also pointed out that they "...have to pay for the copies because my school can no longer afford to do so, there is no ELA high school curriculum and we're basically required to work hours and hours of unpaid overtime  but hey lets spend money on something we should already know to get the answer the administration wants. What a waste."

Welcome to Duval County.


  1. How Ironic that some of us teachers have been participating in JPEF's fall roundtable about teacher leadership, which we are told was a suggestion by the superintendent. If he really wants us to be leaders, why is this curriculum shoved upon us with a threat of do it or else? If he wants us to lead, why won't he let lead?

  2. Whoops, need an 'us' between the next to last and last word in my comment.

  3. Interesting that Dr. Holli Fears left the district to pursue a job with Expeditionary Learning. Now we have a disaster of an elementary ELA department without leadership. Teaching ELA in DCPS is a nightmare! Please someone just get elementary schools a basal textbook with supplemental materials that actually teach reading strategies and foundational skills; like grammar, spelling, and writing. Right now all we have in K-5 is test prep printable material. It's a shame that any company would come in and say that Duval Reads is worthy to stand alone as a core curriculum. It is supplemental at best, and it is solely for test prep!

  4. Wow! Can we have some discussions on Irranetta Wright being made Chief of Schools? I am dying to hear the comments and to make my own. Please!!

  5. There was an outside review done on the curriculum when it was being used in NY. Same standards, same K-2 Core Knowledge material. It was not aligned and could not stand alone as a core reading curriculum then and it can not now.
    Yes, these Desensy men were in our schools making teaching better and they were paid well to do just that. Interesting it did not make a difference and now we ask them what we should do. Who do they know? It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the read aloud curriculum may have some questions thrown at kids that touch the basics of the standards but there is ABSOLUTELY no instruction going on as it relates to standards.
    Also, the teachers and coaches serving on the district adoption committee did adopt a basal as aligned to the state statute requirements for selecting a core curriculum, but it was not what the administrators like Vitti, M. Davis and Crotty wanted so they pulled together as many biased committees together until they got the answer they wanted. So much to say on this issue.