Friday, September 27, 2013

How The New Curriculum + The Common Core = Less Reading

As I've mentioned before, I volunteer at my daughters' public school, entirely parent-run library.  This year, as we sat down with the administration to arrange the class schedule, we were informed that teachers had been approaching the administration and requesting that they only bring their classes to the library every other week, rather than every week.  The reason?  The new curriculum.  Whether it's due to the curriculum itself requiring more time, or the fact that the teachers are - rightly - overwhelmed by being handed a new curriculum with no time to review it before using it (in fact, our school did not even have the ELA curriculum on the first day of school and as of now is only in possession of Unit 1; rumor has it that other units are not even written yet!), it is just sad that the alleged raising of standards results in teachers feeling that they don't have time to allow their students - many of whom do not or cannot go to the public library - to choose their own books.

One last word about the Common Core.  I got a peek at the kindergarten ELA curriculum the other day.  The curriculum our school is using is Ready-Gen by - who else? - Pearson, it of the completely mismanaged G&T testing.  It includes such gems as having 5-year-olds draw pictures of past-tense verbs like "quacked" and "flapped"  (the first unit is on ducks), words like "distance" (not a short or long distance, just distance), leaves little space for the children to write, and what space there is are lines that are too small for typically-oversized kindergarten handwriting.  I almost cried.

How is the Common Core working out in your school?

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