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Changes Under Way at Schools

Ohanian Comment: The statement below appears in an article about policy change in the School District of Lee County (Fort Myers, Florida). I pulled out the one statement because it is worth thinking about long and hard, implying as it does, that schools expect children to enter kindergarten recognizing letters and sounds.

One Lee County elementary school is ahead of the pack.

September 24, 2003

Goal 1 Statement:
By the year 2007 96% of standard curriculum kindergarten students who take the Stanford-9 reading test will meet or exceed district reading standards.

Actions and Strategies for Accomplishment of the Target (including professional development, SAI, technology, Title I , Title II, Title V, and special instructional methods.)

Implement Reading First Strategies and Administer DIBELS Assessment (4 times/year)

Those Responsible Teachers, DIBELS Assessment Team, Reading Coach, Paraprofessionals

Resources Needed: Reading materials, Assessments
Reading First Grant, DRA's
Continue Teacher Directed Reading Instruction

Source of Resources: Teachers, Reading Coach, Reading Specialist, Curriculum Specialist, SRA Consultant

Additional SRA materials
Textbook funds, Title I

Implement Saxon Phonics Program
Curriculum Specialist, Teachers, Reading Coach, Saxon Trainer, Paraprofessionals
Teacher resource materials, Saxon materials Title I
Surprise. Surprise. You hire an SRA Consultant and then you need to buy more SRA materials. You hire a Saxon trainer, you need to buy more Saxon materials.

Question: Do we really want kindergartners testing--and pegged proficient and otherwise--the first month of schools?

Question: What is the validity of a standardized kindergarten test? Why are kindergartners taking the Sat9?

Kindergartners will see a new test that measures things such as their recognition of letters and sounds. They’ll take it during their first month of school.

— Jennifer Booth Reed




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