professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Retaining Walls

Here is an excellent post by Paul Thomas on the practice of retaining kids whose reading scores do not meet the state "bar": Despite having the evidence that so many reformists believe should frame educational policy, many states have put retention policies into place. And, of course, some states are reconsidering these policies when the test scores indicate massive numbers of students would have to remain in 3rd grade according to the scores.

Recently, I posted a link to a TIME Magazine article that indicated reading skills and knowledge develop past that 3-4 grade milestone as well. But the discussion about retention is not the focus I want to bring to this post. Instead, I want to take yet another look at canned programs and how they harm readers. Here is the money quote for me: "If we continue to let AR ask the questions, we may very well lose the interest of our students and create literal readers who only want to ‘get points’ and be done with reading. That’s not teaching and that’s not reading." This is a quote from Renita Schmidt, and it should be stitched into a sampler and displayed in classrooms and libraries across the US. Here is a link to the full article by Schmidt:

Part of why I am posting again about AR has to do with the Facebook posts I am seeing with AR bulletin board displays. What I should be seeing are bulletin boards with covers of new books or recommended books. Even better, I would prefer to see DISPLAYS of books that invite kids to browse, select, and read. I would prefer to see videos of BOOKTALKS being delivered that might point kids to some good books to read.

I prefer the photo Ernie Cox posted this morning:

ernie crate

Or these images from Mr. Schu's library:

gn schu
schu library

No program, NOT ONE, can replace this. Which leads to the next blog post this week...Stay tuned.
Tags: ar, canned programs, reading, retention

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