"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Pearson Deception

Oh boy, Pearson has reached a new low in their most recent plugging of Scott Foresman's Reading Street. A press release on the PRWeb makes this claim:
Pasadena Unified School District's Rosebud Academy Charter School, with an enrollment that is 74 percent African-American and 21 percent Hispanic, is one example of how this new curriculum from the education and technology company Pearson is making a difference. School Director Shawn Brumfield said, "After just one year with the California Reading Street program, our students' scores are significantly higher than other schools in the district. We attribute these gains to the fact that this program is aligned directly to our California content standards, including strong language arts components and, especially, the building of vocabulary skills." She added, "Pearson's California Reading Street program also has an English language component that has proven critical in helping our English learners jump ahead in all areas of reading - from vocabulary building to comprehension to reading fluency."
We're not given the whole story about the Rosebud Academy Charter School. The charter school just began its second year in operation, adding a second grade to the existing Kindergarden and first grade. Last year, the school had a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio with only 14 students. SEVEN TO ONE! Most California schools hover around the 25:1 mark. Do you think these incredibly small classes had anything to do with student learning? Can we really use a group of 14 charter school students to evaluate a reading program? If you work for Pearson, evidently, such deception is just part of the job.

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