What a week it has been for Lucy Calkins and her cult of failure. Aside from being vilified on these pages twice in one week, yours truly had inquired, when confronted with "the students are not reading and writing" by a self important person high up the NYC DOE chain with the answer, "so why are we using a program like TC then?" Of course that question was met with silence.
But then lo and behold what is it that is gracing the pages of in the Op-Ed section of today's Daily News? Simply, a great piece by former NYC teacher at PS 277 in District 7, Robert Pondiscio ( I wonder if I know him from back in the day).
Robert brought up some really great points in his piece; in fact he educated me a great deal. Without stepping on his toes, I would like to comment on some of the points he made.
....And the big news is that the Teachers College Reading and Writing
Project, a “balanced literacy” curriculum developed by literacy guru
Lucy Calkins, was left off the city’s recommended list.
It would have been safe and easy to stay the course, since the city has
spent tens of millions of dollars on this approach in the last decade.
Instead, the Education Department is steering teachers in a different
Here is what I wonder. Though it seems I might have some facts incorrect, it seems from what The Crack Team has picked up thus far it will still be a schools prerogative whether or not they stick with balanced literacy or shift to the new recommended curricula the DOE is introducing.
Say for instance a school, let's say a school in which the entire administration has been brainwashed into believing balanced literacy works, and the leader of said administration believes the leader itself is never wrong keeps balanced literacy, then what? Should the administration share with the parents not only why but announce that balanced literacy is staying. How can such an administration justify this when up to 70% (numbers that expected) of schools across the city are using the recommended curricula? Who will be held responsible?
The reason for the poor performance is that Calkins and her acolytes
have never fully understood the way kids learn to be fully literate.