Carnival of Education

This week’s Carnival of Education, hosted by Greg Laden of Evolution, features a post by Jo Scott-Coe of HorseSense and Nonsense on a California district’s no novels policy. Five years ago, non-honors English teachers were told to use only the readings in the textbook. Now the policy has been extended to honors English courses.

I’ve already heard that the “wiggle room” allowed by the district for Honors courses (to pacify instructors) will go something like this: Once you finish covering everything on the planning map, go ahead and use real literature; just make sure you teach the novels using materials provided by the Holt standardized curriculum . . . The same “compromise” was vetted five years ago for non-accelerated, non-Honors courses and guess what? There’s little real whole-book reading going on in those classes any more.

Riverside Unified’s theory is that teachers can’t use literature (or non-fiction books) to teach the standards.

About Joanne


  1. Searching google, I can’t find any reference to this story except for the HorseSense and Nonsense blog. This makes me wonder about the ‘truthiness’ of the story.

  2. The story does say this:

    The current shock of parents, Honors teachers, and students unfortunately comes five years too late. Coverage in the local press, along with indignant presentations to the school board, have as yet made no mention of the history and precedent already in place. I’d like to cheer for the protesters, but the disconnect remains a depressing commentary on the amnesia fostered by disinformation in school districts.

    but you seem to be correct. Have you considered asking the posters at HorseSense for more documentation?

  3. Click on above link for a bit more history on it.