SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: A Call For Principals And Administrators That Advocate Balanced Literacy To Be Terminated Immediately

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Call For Principals And Administrators That Advocate Balanced Literacy To Be Terminated Immediately

We here at SBSB bashed Lucy Calkins and her cult of Teacher's College Reader's and Writer's Workshop on these pages and rightfully so. However, in going through our writings we have discovered we have left one demographic out of our cross hairs. The principals of the schools that enable, or rather disable, the student's of their schools chances to ever read.

We here at SBSB call for charges, removal, and eventual termination of any principal that chooses the TC method of Balanced Literacy as their curriculum in their schools. With the Common Core standards facing us down as educators, why would any principal in their right mind choose TC?

In the New York Times of March 11, 2012, it was reported that;
Children in New York City who learned to read using an experimental curriculum that emphasized nonfiction texts outperformed those at other schools that used methods that have been encouraged since the Bloomberg administration’s early days, according to a new study to be released Monday.
Again, another black eye for Lucy Calkins, TC, Balanced Literacy, and her adherents.

According to studies done by The Crack Team here at SBSB, Balanced Literacy is fine if the students come into school with the skills to read already. If not, these students because of Lucy Calkins are plain shit out of luck. If this is not corporal punishment what is? Therefore we here at SBSB advocate that all principals pushing TC should be brought up on corporal punishment charges post haste!

Remember, this is a system put into place by Joel Klein and Uncle Mike Bloomberg ostensibly to throw teachers under the bus. With the Workshop Model of "NOT" teaching students literacy, it has become very easy to write teachers up for any little nuance away from using the tenets of TC along with the subsequent and predictable drop in test scores that are foreseeable. It becomes easy for these teachers to be easily removed and brought up on incompetency charges. Lucy Calkins and her "program" were USED for how lacking it is. A great scripted program to use to target teachers. This all is a recipe, all unreasonable and designed, to help administrators target teachers.

As one SBSB groupie shared with The Crack Team;
"I could not believe how low the reading levels of my students are this year compared to 10 years ago. TC is an instrument to be used to destroy kids. TC  is used to crapify schools!"
We need to face cold hard facts as educators. LUCY CALKINS IS A SCHEISTER, A GONOFF, A FRAUD!

Schools are diverting money from where it is needed to pour thousands of dollars into the pocket of Lucy Calkins and Teacher's College, rather than spending the money on where it is needed most such as textbooks and skills books. THIS IS HURTING THE CHILDREN OF NYC!

More curious to us here at SBSB is why the NYC DOE on its website contradicts and does not even mention the "greatness" of Balanced Literacy.

Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension are stressed. These are not stressed through Balanced Literacy.

 Even more perplexing is this;
All schools in the NYC Reading First initiative use an Anthology Collection developed by the Harcourt School Publishers. These materials offer explicit, systematic instruction in the essential elements of reading.
Oh, oh Lucy! Seems as if people are paying attention to the crook behind the curtain.

Lucy Calkins and her cult at Teacher's College and in the NYC DOE are damaging the students of NYC in a reprehensible and damaging manner. Because of these people, we are losing an entire generation of kids who will not be able to read properly, let alone write a sentence. It is time that these people be stopped within the confines of the law and legal system without a minute to waste.


Anonymous said...

I entered nursery school knowing how to read.

I had learned from looking at all the lettering that appears during TV shows and commercials, listening to what announcers and actors were saying, and having my parents read store names and signage to me during shopping trips.

I was also a big fan of comic books and MAD Magazine. I started out by looking at the pictures, and then my parents would read the dialog to me. (Where else could you come across characters such as Mr. Mxyzptlk or Calderham Y. Squeeb in the 1960s?)

In first grade, I liked the "Fun With Dick and Jane" series, and breezed right through the books. I was probably reading at a fifth or sixth grade level at the time, having previously encountered words such as "amoeba" and "Metropolis" in comics, and "hexachlorophene" in TV commercials.

It sounds as if Lucy Calkins and her disciples have taken all the joy out of reading. What's happened to the simpler days of Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff, and all their friends?

Why aren't TV and movie scripts, along with the accompanying tapes or DVDs, being used as resource material in reading programs?

Here is a great website for acquiring free reading material in the area of film and television:

Chalk Duster said...

TC and LC need to go. Stop telling me what to teach and how to teach in my own classroom. LC doesn't even represent balanced literacy because it's...BALANCED which means that whole language (aka osmosis if done in isolation) and phonics are equally used. The issue isn't even the quality of the program itself. It's the imposition of ”teaching strategies” created by gurus like Caulkins and.Danielson and Fontinus and Pinnell that sites the gross lack of trust in teachers to implement their own strategies with their own students. Why would I want to use the teaching methods of someone I've never met, someone who doesn't know my kids, sometime who maybe even has never taught, forced down my throat? some of the techniques might be ok but please leave me the fuck alone and let me do my job.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that this workshop model, scripted curricula, Danielson's rubrics, differentiation, data, etc are ALL being using not to SUPPORT teachers, but to TARGET them.

It allows administrators, even inept ones, to target a teacher much more easily.

Unknown said...

Lisa Delpit addresses this issue in her work, here’s a link to one of her best:

There are some worthy instructional approaches in the TC model, but it is irresponsible to use it without modifications that are responsive to diverse students' needs. If NYC administration is using the TC approach to bully teachers and perpetuate illiteracy by insisting on robotic application, shame on them.

NYC teachers should have the professional freedom to utilize the good in the approach: love of literacy, exposure to the authentic process of writers and readers, exposure to ACTUAL BOOKS instead of abridged stories in textbooks, advocating use of leveled text so no child is put in front of text that they cannot access or have outgrown. Teachers should also be supported to modify the approach to support SKILLS instruction, to support ELLs (this includes kids, in my mind, who speak English at home that is not Standard Academic English), to use contrastive analysis and critical analysis of how (and which) language is valued by our dominant culture.

Our kids who are not succeeding and who come from marginalized communities are not stupid, they don’t come to school with limited intellectual capacity. In fact, they are often not succeeding precisely because they are smart enough to see that school is NOT for them. They are not supposed to be successful and feel that they belong there. They are supposed to fail, to become imprisoned or part of the underclass. Why? Because that is the status quo and the status quo serves many people well. It serves those of us that have achieved moderate success, this means you if you are able to read my post because you are literate and have access to a computer and the internet. And the status quo serves the oligarchy, the puppeteers that are yanking our strings. Cut the strings, radicalize your students, teach them to think critically about the what is the TRUTH and how many TRUTHS there are. As much as you are able, close your door and forget about the mandates from the puppets and do the work your kids need.

Love from California where we face similar issues to those you face in NYC but we don’t freeze our asses off.