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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

From Texas...

We can always count on the good folks in Texas to provide America with a roadmap to guaranteed educational stupidity and, yes, profits for groups like Pearson.
It's more than a stretch to believe the folks at Pearson really want to help children develop a life-long love of learning - they're in it, obviously, for the obscene profits they can reap from churning out educational products for younger and younger children. I'm not a gamblin' man, but smart money says we'll see a similar story about textbooks for preschoolers in just a few years.
And the accompanying text from KIAH-TV in Houston:
Remember when Kindergarten meant naps and a snack break? Well things are getting ready to change. Starting next school year, Kindergartners in Texas will have a new textbook to use in class. It's all part of an effort to reach students earlier.

Pearson, which supplies education materials in Texas, will provide both print and digital material for the new curriculum. The six-volume collection, called Reading Street Texas, allows students to learn and apply new skills, as they get ready to read. All materials are aligned to meet state standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

"Educators around Texas have for some time felt like Kindergarten should be the new first grade. Waiting until first grade to really start teaching children aggressively how to learn is the wrong thing to do," said Terry Abbott, Pearson spokesman.

The goal is to make the reading material fun for the students and help them to develop a life-long love of reading.
The sincerest condolences to my friends in Texas and the children of the state - may you find real books, libraries, and non-scripted materials in the coming year.

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