Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
What happened to New York City’s school reforms? Sol Stern blames bad, faddish curriculum choices.
So right. Last fall, the chancellor did a really smart thing–he implemented an identical elementary school curriculum in all city schools. Why? Because kids move so much. This way they’ll be able to move from school to school and still be on track academically.
But what curricula did he choose? The most faddish language arts stuff he could find. And a math curriculum, Everday Math, that has shown good results in upscale, suburban schools, but mixed results in urban schools.
Why these two? Who knows? Although there’s a good bet that faddish Columbia Education prof Lucy Calkins (is that how you spell her name?) talked some NYC bigwig into this balanced literacy thing at a cocktail party.
Slight quibble: Everyday Math sucks rocks, everywhere. If suburban kids are somwhat less damaged because their parents can fill the gaps, that still doesn’t make it an even marginally acceptable curriculum.
The only news is that anyone sincerely believed anything else would result. I can see the NYT headline: Minute passes – another one born.
Since education is only tangentially the responsibility of the New York public school system – budgets, scheduling, personnel and policy all being more important – squandered resources and squandered opportunities are inevitable.
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