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Whine. Whine: The perils of operating a website

Ohanian Comment: Here is an exchange in December 2005--about an item posted in March 2005-- that shows what someone like me, trying to run a website supporting teachers and children, faces.

The headline to this item used to be Where There's a Test, Test-Prep Profiteers will Follow. With threats of lawyers dancing in my head, I have changed it to Teacher Questions Texas Required In-Service. Although the complainer's threats are strictly bullshit, I have neither the time nor the patience for any more communication.

I am sorry if this is viewed as a copout, but I don't want any more police at my door.

Whine. Whine. I hope you realize how much of my time is eaten up by such crap. Althouth I can't claim time is money, since all this is donated time. . . still it really really ticks me off. The truth of the matter is that I am now perceived as a radical and no longer earn money from invited speeches, which used to be the source of my income. Whine. Whine.

Districts now invite people to talk about vowels and consonant blends, not about changing the system to benefit children.

People who speak out live in perilous times. But people who don't speak out have to live with themselves.

And if anyone if anyone would like to offer a signed critique of Book and Brain, I'd love to publish it. Remember: reviewers trash books, movies, and plays all the time. In print. It is still our right to have an opinion. I am in somewhat of a tricky position of not having seen the product under question. And it is too damned pricey for me to buy.

December 1, 2005

Carl Henry wrote:

I was interested in your article suggesting that the services supplied by"Book and Brain" were not helpful. Would you elaborate for me? The material seems like it would be of benefit. Thanks! Carl (teacher)

December 1, 2005

Hello Carl,

That item was submitted by a Texas teacher who wished to remain anonymous. I have never seen the material but it seems quite pricey.

Also, I'm always worried about test prep materials that drain a curriculum. That said, I am very aware of the tremendous pressures teachers face.

I wish you well.


December 2, 2005

Being that it was anonymous and that you cannot personally testify that Book and Brain is acting in a mercenary manner then it stands to reason that to label the heading suggesting that Book and Brain is such is slanderous and that you perhaps are party to a suggestion that isn't true. As the husband of Nancy Linden of Book and Brain I am requesting that you either remove the title that that is at best slanderous and /or the information concerning us. I am hoping that you will comply with this request. A copy of the web page and our emails is being forwarded to our attorneys, Baker Botts, LLP of Dallas. I hope we can solve this issue that encourages "straight talking" that is based on open and informed first hand, honest information and not "anonymous" slamming of a company that makes a difference in children's lives. Thanks Carl Henry

cc: Barton Showalter
Baker Botts, LLP

by a Texas Teacher
Texas teachers in lots of districts were required to spend a full-day workshop provided by Book and Brain Reading®. Participants were given a binder of text-prep materials and told that the test-prep methods are patented. Here is the description from the website:

Book and Brain Reading® was developed specifically for the TAAS test (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills). However research has shown that the skills needed for the TAAS test can be used for any other reading comprehension test such as the SAT, ACT, Stanford 9, Gates, GRE, GED, SRA, TASP or any other standardized reading comprehension test from levels K - Adult. The skills in Book and Brain Reading are also used in other content areas such as Science and Social Studies for standardized testing and in some elementary level Math problems. The concept of Book and Brain® will help students to understand, focus and find the correct answers needed for tests and other academic assignments as well.
Participation in workshops qualifies one for Gifted and Talented credit and for continuing professional education hours.

According to the website, Nancy Linden is the author of Book and Brain Reading®. Neither book nor author is listed on barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com

The website offers four secondary readers at $125 each and volumes at 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade levels for $125 each. According to the site, Second Grade, First Grade, Kindergarten, and Pre-K titles coming soon!

This outfit also offers Book & Brain University, where students and staff participate in training. For this, Book and Brain Consulting, Inc. offers student Notebooks, Highlighters, Diplomas, Paddles and T-Shirts, estimated to cost $30 per student. The T-shirts aren't required.

The Book and Brain Reading® website provides a list of school districts receiving their [patented] services.

— a Texas Teacher
private communication



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