Monday, May 12, 2008

On Reading First

I've hesitated to write about the report out that evaluates the impact of Reading First on the comprehension abilities of children. Basically, the report says that teachers were doing more of what they were supposed to do according to Reading First guidelines, but that all of this had no impact on the comprehension abilities of 1st through 3rd grade students.

And then I read this, which equates Reading First and NCLB with Iraq. Lovely piece of writing.

My concern about Reading First all along, although I am an adolescent literacy type, not so much an early literacy one, is the way the scripted kind of instruction insults and inhibits teachers. Stager gets that spot on. And now we shall see how the focus on scientifically-based research folks handle the results of their own research!


Anonymous said...

Amen, amen and amen! I am continually amazed at the absurdity that passes for knowledge of education and children's learning styles, effective instruction, best practices, etc...whatever the latest buzzwords may be~ it drives me insane. My boss~coordinator of LA in our district~ has been quoted as saying that "education is not healthy for children these days." EGAD!!

Ted Nellen said...

Oh do I understand the passion of this issue, Dr Bad Ass. From those of us on the inside, the teachers, it is insanely aggravating. I learned many years ago that Educational Policy comes from Pedagogy and Politics. The main problem right now and for the past 20 years is that Educational policy is about 90% Politics. Ever since the first Governor's Educational Summit in 1988, the US govt and the state's governors have controlled educational policy with little if any pedagogy involved. In those three Governor's educational conferences, teachers were not present. Pedagogy was not included in determining educational policy.

Education has been controlled by politicians and we vote for these politicians. We have seen what happens when we vote for a candidate who promises things and find those promises are broken. This has been the case in educational policy as well as in the funding of Iraq. We made a statement as voters in 2006, and not much happened to change the path of the Iraq war or NCLB. We are still in the same bad situation in both cases. They maintain the status quo, they don't change it. They can't, no matter what they promise, because it is about the money. When corporations such as McGraw-Hill who has many politicians, esp the Bushes in their pocket, there is little we as teachers and citizens seem to be able to do. Keep in mind we are a capitalist country and money dictates how we live and it controls our politics and as a result our educational policy because there is gold in them thar schools.

It is so sad that it is all about politics and not pedagogy.