Hi Jim,Dear J,
I teach sixth grade in California and have been forced to deliver the scripted Sopris West program, Language!, this year. My students will not be permitted to read a single line of print on their own this year, God forbid, a book. Nor with they write an original sentence. What is worse, the workbook drills contain daily doses of the worst propaganda imaginable. "Soldiers protect our Homelands. Soldiers expect nothing in return. Soldiers do not fire on friendly forces. Do exactly whatever the judge tells you to do." we orally repeat over and over. Why isn't anything being written about the propaganda imbedded in these programs? I'm horrified.
It is only by the actions and words of teachers like yourself that the Bush/Spellings miseducators and the edu-cronies like Louisa Moats get the hard boot out of our schools that they deserve. Indeed, you have a compelling moral obligation to band together with other teachers, parents, school board members, and university people in your community to put together a top to bottom reappraisal of your schools' curriculum materials, and to come forward with reading and writing curriculums that restore to children the right to exercise and develop their imaginative and critical capacities, i. e, to be educated.
Doing anything less is simply to accede to the anticultural thought-scrubbing jingoism that has been passed off as literacy curriculums since the Reading First thugs grabbed power over our schools in 2002. Thank you for your note, and I am eager to hear from you again--hopefully as the change we need becomes the change all of us will make happen.