Thursday, May 25, 2006

Reading is fundamental

On the heels of Sharon Wright's presentation to the MNPS School Board on Tuesday where she pointed out that 80% of her special education charged were identified as requiring special services because they had not learned to read and that 40% of those were identified because they were not taught to read I find a new study about how teaching colleges prepare prospective teachers. [UPDATE: clarification at the request of BOE member Kathy Nevill on 5/31/06. The 80 and 40% statistics Ms. Wright presented were from the "Presidential Commission on Special Education, 2002 and not MNPS specific.]

The report, released on Monday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, looked at coursework and textbooks used at 72 leading colleges of education and found that most use what the council considers outdated, discredited approaches to teaching reading — especially for underprivileged children. From USA Today.

Other than their safety there is nothing more important than teaching them this foundational skill. Ms. Wright and her staff shouldn't have to spend time picking up what someone else dropped.

Here's the executive summary and here's the acutal study.


Anonymous said...

In a comment that you have posted you said that all of the questions will be answered. When will that be? So far it seems like you are dodging every question that is asked of you. Is that because you can not accurately answer the question or simply because you are uninformed? I have wondered where you get the idea that a person who homeschools their children should be able to make decisions for a school board which does not affect their children? The decisions of the board do not affect your child's education so why do you feel that you should have a say in how the district is run? Also, why are you against the background check? Is it because you have something in it that you think might jeopardize your position? You have no real contact with the school system. The problem with your point of view is that you base it on statistics and hear say. Your opinion is not based on your experiences with the school system it is based on what you are told or what you read. I think that is one of the top reasons that people are disagreeing with the fact that you have been appointed.

Anonymous said...

Kay, I am happy to see you participating in the process. You have every right as a Davidson County resident and taxpayer to be on the board.

I have two children, one in private school and one in Metro, so I've seen both sides of the issue. Each school has it's strengths and weaknesses. What is wrong with bringing to the table ideas from public, private, home, charter,etc. schools so the best practices can be adopted? Isn't diversity of opinions and viewpoints one of our strengths?

In my experience, I've seen more arrogance and elitism from the strong proponents of public schools than I've ever seen from the private schools. The attitude that prevents school choice, vouchers, more charter schools, and more competition, is what keeps us from seeing true progress and ultimately which will make it harder for the public system to gain wide spread support.

If the measure to require a referundum on property tax increases passes, how hard will it be to get an increase to school funding when roughly 1 in 4 or 5 kids is in private school?

Anonymous said...

FYI, today (5/28) S'town Mike at the Enclave blog has a quote from you regarding the sales tax referendum. While he provides a link to your whole article, the excerpt he shows doesn't in my opinion convey the essence of your comments.

As a rebuttal, he links to a comment from Chief Ronal Serpas in support of the tax increase. Ironically, Chief Serpas' daughter is in private school.

Kay Brooks said...

Yes, I know Mike's been busy reading through my blog and pulling quotes. There is over a year's worth of comments and concern about Metro schools published here. No other candidate has such a public paper trail. I may have missed one forum--but I haven't been silent or unavailable.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Brooks, you may not have been silent, but you also haven't been anything but critical. I still fail to see how you don't have a HUGE conflict of interest. Your choice to homeschool your own children is a personal choice. However, your active (and very public) dismissal of public education in support of homeschooling (or as you said, privately educating at home), is a totally different matter. I would be careful pointing people to your past posts in your blog or on your homeschool forums...someone might actually see what you really stand for.