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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

NCTE claims that toxic sludge is good for you

Council Chronicles, Sept 2011, part 1: Toxic sludge is good for you

Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian

We are probably among the 1 percent of NCTE members who have read every word of the current issue of the Council Chronicles. We think it is unprofessional and a violation of the position that NCTE itself has taken on the Common Core. NCTE has spent our money, from our dues, to pay professional writers to write PR pieces in support of policies that many NCTE members object to.

The lead article in the journal was written by a professional writer, not an NCTE member, not an educator, and is a defense of Common Core that, at best, can be described as a public relations article, in the style of "Toxic Sludge is Good for You." This article could have been written by the US Department of Education staff. The NCTE does not officially support the Common Core, and a sense of the house motion was passed at the last NCTE meeting opposing NCTE support for the Common Core.

The Council Chronicle included only a brief mention of the Save our Schools March, buried on page 30, an event that promoted a message very different from the one promoted by the editors of the Chronicle. The Save our Schools march was a major event that was reported in the national media and many NCTE members were active participants.

The Chronicle has rejected previous attempt to present positions opposed to the activities of NCTE, and it is unlikely that they will present responses to the articles that appeared in this issue. We therefore take the only route open to communicating with NCTE members and post our detailed comments here. We will discuss the lead article, the interview with Arne Duncan, and the Policy Research Brief that winds up promoting the Common Core, and well as the fact that PresIdent's column, on the important topic of libraries, was pushed to the back of the issue.

Permission given in advance to share this post and any subsequent posts with anybody.

The posts will also be available on schoolsmatter.info, susanohanian.org, and linked to from twitter.

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