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02 March 2013 @ 02:04 pm
testing 1, 2, 3 ZERO  
I was sitting in a session yesterday with Donalyn Miller talking about books. She asked participants to talk about why they thought kids read less NF as they got older. One of the reasons proferred was that the tests for NF were tougher for kids and the books did not offer many points either. I think about how this will impact CCSS mandates about more informational text. Hey, maybe this is how we can kill either testing over reading or CCSS or both? Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

Seriously, though, this reason for NF not being read as much breaks my heart. Any time a program drives what kids will select on their own or what teachers will include in the classroom, I come back to the UNprogram. In the UNprogram, kids drive the choice (and teachers help, too, of course). We are not as concerned about lexiles and levels and points. We are concentrating instead about nurturing and growing lifelong readers.

How can we give teachers the support they need to reject the top down driven programs that are handed to them? Our colleges of education are trying to create teacher candidates who have the courage of their convictions. However, I know they need more. We need to make it safe for newly minted folks to challenge decisions that are made outside of the classroom.

BTW, while this post was inspired by comments at a conference in Missouri, I know this situation is not an isolated one. And I am not being critical of the teachers being told to use programs. But I am wondering how we can give them the power to reject programs they KNOW are not accomplishing their goals of creating readers.
Current Location: snowy Missouri
Current Mood: crankycranky