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09 August 2013 @ 03:04 pm
Lining pockets, depriving kids  
Meet the latest answer to ALL you CCSS concerns. This product guarantees differentiated education for all, alignment with CCSS and is informed by empirical ecvidence. So says the introductory video and the web site that supports this new tool from Lexile and MetaMetrics: LIGHTSAIL. You can check it out here but be forewarned, do this at the risk of tearing out all your hair and losing what is left of your mind: http://www.lightsailed.com/

Here is CCSS for the tablet. Each kid has a customized "program" that guides her in her choice of books (lexile appropriate band, that is), gives her the CCSS standards which will be important when reading this book and then gives them time to "think" about the standard as they read. There is instant teacher feedback that will send a teacher hurtling across the classroom to crounch down at desk level to tell the child if the book is too hard or too easy and thus, immediately adjust instruction so that all teachers can now be excellent (presumably witout having to teach?).

This should be familiar by now: folks making money that could be used to hire more teachers, reduce class size, fund libraries, etc. Instead, here we have fundraisers, business folks, a TFA alum, and an odd assortment of a creative team (this one has ONE WHOLE TEACHER on the BOD) whose guiding principle #5 is: The key to effective education reform is CCSS. At least they are being open about it.

Watch the video and see how slyly teachers are made to seem the helpless, clueless, and average worker bees the ed reformers wish to portray us. Phrases like "many teachers have trouble with best practices," without mentioning what those practices might be. With this system all teachers will be able to see continuous data for each child along with a "likely" trajectory of their learning. The system does the thinking, in other words. Teachers are there until, what robots can e made to do that part of the intervention?

Lots of vagueness at the web site. What "informed empirical" research is being used? How does this approach differ from something HUMAN? How can we permit programs to select books for KIDS? How much do we relinquish to the machines before we are all just lackeys in the great technology takeover that will "save"and "reform" our schools?

This LIGHTSAIL does absolutely NOTHING (not.a.thing.) that good teachers cannot do right now. Except eliminate the affective, human element from the "equation." I am thankful my kids are out of the K-12 system, but I weep for the kids being subjected to this mechanization of teaching and learning. How about a slogan? Taking the "U" out of "education"? Keeping the messy human factors at bay so kids can be good little robots? Making teachers expendable?

And wait! Right now this is all about reading: the writing component is coming. Can't hardly wait.

Now, back to my book whose lexile is unknown, thankfully.
 
 
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suzmetsuzmet on August 9th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
ARRRGGG
Their "Industry Leading Partners" are Lexile and MetaMetrics!
The one experienced teacher on the team has 5 whole years of experience and during those 5 years, she "served as a lead teacher, a mentor teacher, a master teacher, a grade team leader, and a professional development provider." HMMNNNN.
URGGGGG, just URGGGGG>