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06 October 2010 @ 05:32 pm
Some have questioned the outpouring of protests on Twitter of late against challenges to books, most notably the recent ones to SPEAK, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, and SLAUGHTER-HOUSE FIVE. I see it as something more than a response to Dr. Scroggins and his rant against anything in which he does not believe or agree. I saw it as a sort of last straw, something added to our already overladen backs. What are the other straws? Ellen Hopkins being dis-invited from her appearance here in Houston; Sherman Alexie being banned; parent objections to THE HUNGER GAMES. I know that this summer I gave several interviews for NCTE about books and reading and choice. One quote made the rounds like wildfire (about GLBTQ books).

Add to these pieces of straw the ones being piled on teachers by everyone out there who knows better than we do how to fix the problems of education: WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, EDUCATION NATION, OPRAH on tenure. It goes one from there. Add to these pieces the ones piled on librarians who are facing cutbacks not only in book budgets but in operating hours and in staffing.

I think that many of us who are now part of SpeakLoudly are tired of letting the straw fall from our backs. We are weary of giving in and giving up and going along. Something touched a responsive chord. And is that not better than having Lindsay Lohan being the trending topic for a change? So, to those who might think this is a tempest in a teapot I say that it was not this one incident that set off the tempest--there is much more to SpeakLoudly than one incident. So, I am packing up the SpeakLoudly buttons into smaller packets so I can distribute some of them in my NCTE bound luggage. In the meantime, there is plenty to SpeakLoudly about between now and November.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Dariadariaplumb on October 6th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
I think you're absolutely right about this last round of challenges, attacks, and ignorance being the straw that broke the camels' backs. It's too much, this constantly being told that we (teachers) don't know what we're doing and that someone else knows better. I am a professional damn it! I have two degrees in my chosen field, I've spent 17 years in the classroom, and I regularly attend professional development. Yet apparently I can't be trusted to make decisions about what is going to happen in my classroom. And then they want to use a standardized test to evaluate how well I do my job?

Here's another piece of straw for you. Today I got an e-mail from the parapro who now works in our district's middle school library asking for recommendations for books for high level readers in the middle school so they can purchase some books and maybe even the AR tests that go with them. Now, I don't fault this woman (she's doing the best she can), but it makes me scream that (1) we've cut the jobs of the people who would already know which books to give to teens and (2) we're way more concerned about reading levels than interest levels when trying to connect kids to books. And don't even get me started on AR! Why actually talk to kids and find out what they want to read when it's so much easier to use a computer program to figure out what books they should be reading? Oh, that's right, it's because, just as long as they can pass the AR test, we don't care if they actually enjoy reading. Aaaargh! If I didn't love my kids so much, I'd be looking for a different profession.
Faerlyn: banned booksfaerlyn_darkelf on October 7th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I just sent CRACK home with a student today, a point for the good guys!