SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Call For Lucy Calkins to be Arrested, Prosecuted, Convicted and Sentenced

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Call For Lucy Calkins to be Arrested, Prosecuted, Convicted and Sentenced

We here in the past month or so we have taken, and deservedly so, Lucy Calkins to task for her systematic compliance in ruining the lives of NYC's students.

Tonight we welcome a special correspondent attached to The Crack Team with a post on how Lucy Calkins and her cult of failure have ruined not only this guest blogger's students, but the reading process as well.

Administrators advocating for Teachers College Reading and Writing are either completely clueless and lacking common sense or are simply corrupt administrators just playing the game.

Students who have been completely immersed in TC, are having great difficulty in upper grades in reading comprehension and fluency largely due to the fact that they were deprived of phonics instruction in the earlier grades.

My first graders are not  permitted to copy anything from a chart or board. They are not permitted to get formal instruction in Phonics or Grammar. They are not permitted to read from any anthologies. They are not permitted to have skills practice books of any kind. They are not permitted to have "Spelling" words or tests.

What are they permitted to do??

They are permitted to read on their own or with their equally clueless reading partner so that they learn to read "naturally". They are permitted to sit on a filthy carpet most of the day and take notes in their Reading and Writing notebooks. They are permitted to get a short list of "Word Work" words every week that are completely unchallenging. They are permitted to "turn and talk" to the person next to them on what they're thinking during the minilesson. They are permitted to make sure they memorize their reading and writing goals in case the principal comes in to ask them. They are permitted to spend 4 to 5 weeks on a "unit of study" that consists of the most worthless mini-lessons imaginable. They are permitted to have an endless supply of post-its so that they "jot down their thinking
." They are permitted to publish a piece of writing completely loaded with spelling and grammatical errors and have a "celebration" to showcase this to administrators and parents.

Get the picture?


Anonymous said...


Just think back to how you were taught to read, and use your own common sense!

The students need age-appropriate, interesting material.

Most of you are sophisticated enough, at least I would hope so, to recognize rotten ideas and procedures when you see them!

You don't need to follow Lucy Calkins' "edicts"!

Utilize the school library, or, if there is none, take out some resources from a public library. If you need to look at books on reading pedagogy, you can probably find those, too, in the education section.

Check out interesting stories on the Internet.

My elementary school used the Scott Foresman series of readers, SRA, McCall-Crabbs, Weekly Reader, Junior Scholastic, Scholastic paperbacks, and regular newspaper articles -- just to name a few of the resources available.

Polo Colon said...

I don't know about legal prosecution, but at least the court of public opinion should have Lucy Calkins on death row for the incompetence she perpetrated on New York City. I can testify to how her corrupt methods screwed both teacher and students for nearly a generation here in New York City Public Schools! But don't give her all of the credit. There were a bunch of other co-conspirators of the educational fraud, led by the incompetents, Mike Bloomberg and Joel Klein in the first stage, followed by Black and Walcott in the next. Their house of cards continue to fall away and many who followed and promoted their program of deceit have escaped conviction. Calkin's "Workshop Model" was a convenient guillotine for the Administrators-Gone-Wild who arbitrarily, maliciously and capriciously persecuted victim teachers who stood up to their lies, incompetence and arrogance. With this schematic, they could get any teacher fired on any of the aspects of this insidious plot!Their "gotcha squad" at the ATU (Administrative Trials Unit) at Tweed even developed a chart to walk inept administraitors on the step-by-step method of getting rid of problem teachers. THEY ARE BOTH SHAMEFUL AND SHAMELESS, BUT MOREOVER, MORALLY BANKRUPT FOR SIGNING A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL AND SELLING THEIR SOULS FOR FILTHY LUCRE. Oh, and please don't excuse Randi and the Rainbows at the UFT for walking the best teachers to the gallows.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Calkins really needs to make a statement like Charlotte Danielson(about the Framework) did to condemn how TC has been used by the NYCDOE to destroy teachers' careers.

Anonymous said...

But why would she?

She's got a cottage industry of Reading Workshop trademarked book series. Multiply a few hundred of her books for a district across hundreds of districts across the nation.

She could be netting a million.

Linda Henigin said...

Sorry, but I have to ask whether any of you have actually taken her training courses? Her methods are actually quite rigorous and can target the exact needs of your kids. Teachers have to work hard and be smart to do it right, but I assume you are hard workers and smart people, right? Your characterization of her methods is simplistic and incomplete, and indicates very little familiarity with what she actually teaches.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with the above comment. In order for this program to effectively work, the TC reading and writing workshop the only subjects taught throughout the day. There is no room for anything else, or a well rounded education for that matter. The TC Units of Study reading program doesn't expose children to a rich variety of reading genre. An anthology that is sectioned into themes and offers every type of genre under each theme category is a far better approach. Anthologies also expose children to types of literature they might never have been exposed to. Children also need to learn traditional spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They do not get it from looking at a book and figuring out how an author uses conventions.

Anonymous said...

TC was selcted as the Literacy "curriculum" because it creates an evironment in the school conducive to targeting teachers and allows even inept admin to destroy teachers

Anonymous said...

Agreed!! New to NYC DOE, not new to teaching & have been criticized by my administration for my un-TC-like methods of teaching! Never mind I was never given any formal training/direction on the "curriculum"! Talk to a half a dozen people @ my school & you will get a half a dozen different interpretations of the components of the curriculum. Yet, teachers are being evaluated/judge on this arbitrary criteria.
I could go on & on but why waste my time!! The TC "curriculum' is a sham!!

Anonymous said...

I have been teaching the reading and writing workshop ala TCRWP for years and am greatly impressed with the high quality of work my students produce. Further, I have attended summer institutes at TCRWP for years and am in awe of the marvelous training they provide. It greatly saddens me that a select few have decided to bad-mouth Lucy Calkins and her organization. The vicious comments are in bad taste and are totally unnecessary and without merit.

Anonymous said...

I used Lucy Calkins last year for writing in Kindergarten and 100% of my students scored at mid-first grade level or higher. We worked on writing for one hour, four days a week. The other day I taught writing form, sight-words, and conventions. These are not taught within the program and need to be taught separately to meet common core. Our school uses Storytown for reading. Lucy Calkins is an amazing program that meets and exceeds expectations. Just in case you were thinking I had a class of all gifted children, I don't. I had 23 students including 3 special ed., 6 with VERY troubled backgrounds, and only five of my 23 are read to at home, some come to school hungry, one came to me in January knowing only 8 letters on an IEP. It is a fantastic program. I really question the negative comments. Good teachers will see dramatic growth using this program.

Anonymous said...

No. Depriving young students of intensive and systematic phonics instruction is CRIMINAL. Marva Collins showed us what worked. Stop listening to the "whole language" and "balanced literacy" charlatans! I taught for years at a 100% impoverished, exclusively black school. ALL of my students outperformed their wealthy suburban counterparts every year-because of RIGOROUS PHONICS INSTRUCTION. Best practice is PROVEN.

Anonymous said...

Balanced literacy and guided reading programs that do not include explicit and systematic phonics instruction are failing students everyday across this country. The students who don't benefit from BL are the most at risk. Lucy Calkins advocates for instructional programs that are ineffective and inequitable for at risk impoverished students. Shame on the schools of higher education that continue to ignore the reading research.