Teachers Embedding Standards in Basal-Reader Questions
Ohanian Comment: David Liben, Senior Literacy Specialist at David Coleman's Student Achievement Partners, has refined Coleman's message. He says, "In college and careers, no one cares how you feel. Imagine being asked to write a memo on why your company's stock price has plummeted: 'Analyze why and tell me how you feel about it,'
As though it were any teacher's job to teach future stock analysts how to write a memo.
This put-down of Reader Response stands by itself as sicko pedagogy, but the teacher should know that it's a cleaned-up version of what Common Core entrepreneur David Coleman told the audience at the New York State Department of Education building in April 2011. In a lengthy, extremely ego-driven presentation, Coleman offered a strong put-down of readers' literary experience (Bye-bye Louise Rosenblatt, David Bleich, and all the rest who say the reader is at least as important as the author):
"When you grow up in this world you realize people don't give a shit about what you feel or what you think."
You can watch a film of Coleman's presentation and read the transcript here
The filthy rich Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Education Leadership and Policy $5,068,671 to deliver "Common Core communications support." Hunt has made 32 videos to spread Coleman's poison to teachers across America. State departments of ed are issuing Coleman's message as an imperative. Put your state name and Common Core (or Hunt) video in a search and you will find what propaganda is available in your state.
Over and over in these videos, Coleman offers a strong message that the people in charge of the Common Core Curriculum don't give a shit about educator opinions.
When you read the full Education Week article below, you see that various staff people from Coleman's outfit Student Achievement Partners are running these workshops for teachers. . . under the rubric of the Council of the Great City Schools. Guess who gave this Council $4,660,988 "to promote and coordinate successful implementation of the new common core standards in major urban public school systems nationwide."
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Using guidelines created by Student Achievement Partners, educators worked on writing new questions that reflected the standards and on thinking differently about how they would prepare for class discussions.
Student Achievement Partners received $18 million from the GE Foundation for this sort of teacher brainwashing activity.
Pretty hard to combat $18 million but Heinemann is trying
The Education Week issue dated April 25, 2012, has a special New Yorker-type slick paper ad-cover--entirely from Heinemann. Here are are the slick, multi-colored contents:
- Full front page cover: Leveled Literacy Intervention: Red System, Grade 3, by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnel
- Inside front cover: More Fountas & Pinnel products: full page
- Inside back cover: Common Core resources you can trust:
*Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth & Christopher Lehman
*Best Practice, Fourth Edition, Bringing Standards to Life in America's Classrooms, by Steven Zemelman, Harvey 'Smokey' Daniels and Arthur Hyde
*The Common Core Lesson Book K-5 by Gretchen Owocki
- Back outside cover: Full page ad for Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement, by Calkings, Ehrenworth, & Lehman, which announces "The goal is clear. The Pathway is not."
Yes, the goal IS clear: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Kylene Beers, former president of NCTE, who is now identified as "consultant," ends her endorsement of this product with "Pathways to the Common Core sets you on a path for thinking more deeply about the standards, for teaching more inventively with the standards, and for helping students achieve the goals of the standards."
Cover your eyes. I have the need to say
F*** the standards.
Notice: No animal parts, hallucinogens, anabolic agents, erythropoiesis-stimulating Agents, growth hormones, platelet-derived preparations, glucocorticosteroids, beta blockers, dietary supplements, grants, consultant fees, bribes, or grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were used in the production of this column.
By Catherine Gewertz
Dozens of teachers and literacy specialists from across the country hunkered down at round tables, with laptops, pens, and paper, intent on rewriting the collections that wield tremendous influence over the way millions of U.S. children learn literacy skills: the big-name basal readers.
Trekking to a workshop this week from as far away as San Diego and Anchorage, the educators lugged the teacher’s editions of nine of the most popular basals in the nation. Those heavy volumes were scattered across the tables of a hotel meeting room as the teachers worked: titles such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trophies, Pearson’s Reading Street, and Macmillan/McGraw Hill’s Treasures.
Hailing from 18 school districts in 11 states, the group of about 70 came together in response to the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts, which demand that students hone their skills at understanding and analyzing a variety of texts. To do that, teachers must help them delve more deeply into what they read.
Sponsoring the workshop were two organizations with big stakes in the implementation of the new standards: the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools, which represents large urban districts, and Student Achievement Partners, New York-based nonprofit whose founders led the writing of the English/language arts standards. The two groups recognized that in order to reflect the standards’ expectations, teachers must begin asking different kinds of questions than most of those suggested in the teacher’s editions of the popular basal readers.
Catherine Gewertz, with Susan Ohanian comment
Education Week online
April 26, 2012
Index of Common Core [sic] Standards