"A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Brooks Adams

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Scripts

My last post had an interesting comment from Sandy, a Title I reading teacher. They, too, are under lots of pressure to use scripted programs because they must justify the expenditure of federal funds to help kids read. "Research-based" is the new buzzword--but what does it really mean? Just like with drug and medical research, it matters WHO is sponsoring the studies. Can we really believe in a study that is sponsored and paid for by the publishing company that stands to gain millions from the sale of the program being researched? The common sense answer is no, but school districts seem to be suckers for these kinds of sales pitches. In Philly, and maybe in other places too, teachers often wonder if the programs are being selected because the sales people have some kind of "in" with the district. Are the people in charge buying programs (spending taxpayers' money)from their friends, relatives, former colleagues??? I know that this would surprise NO ONE in Philadelphia if it turned out to be true! How can the process be made more transparent? How can teachers become a part of the process, that after all, should be about helping our students--not lining the pockets of publishing companies?

1 comment:

  1. I worked in South Jersey for years before coming to Philadelphia. Every district I worked in gave the teachers considerable voice in choosing curriculum and text.

    It seems to me that by not allowing teachers to take part in choosing appropriate programs the administration shows no faith in the faculty's professional awareness or experience.