On the "One teacher's experience" post Anonymous 8:13 wrote:
Let's look at the 12th grade curriculum. Are you familiar with what seniors are reading right now? Do you think the book by Wideman deserves to be in a scholastic curriculum? Do you think Invisible Man needs to be a part of the curriculum? Does it make sense to continually push the racism card, whether it be books and stories detailing the slave days, of Civil Rights, etc? Is this doing more to widen the gap between races or to bring people together? Is there an agenda at work or just a bleeding heart approach? Hasn't every ethnic group suffered some sort of persecution in this country? Why are we not reading about it?Does it make sense that so many good writers whose messages transcend race and gender have been pushed aside in favor of being politically correct? Come on fixit, expand your horizons.
January 9, 2009 8:13 PM
Anonymous 10:33 said...
Anonymous 8:13, I have been suggesting to several parties for a few years now that our literature selections at all grade levels are too focused on African-American themes. I bring it up every year at PSCC meetings, and meetings of parent groups. I have told this to curriculum coaches,english teachers, principals and at least one director face-to-face. My opinion is that it does nothing to build better relationships between students in classrooms. Cover the material once, not again every year. I also asked direct questions about some of the middle grade novels selected. They are too dark in feeling. If you were not depressed before reading a few, you will be afterward. They have won awards, some, but the grade level is already a sensitive few years, why keep repeating the "sad" message? I think this is why a lot of kids abandon reading. They hated the books they "had" to read. I once suggested that teachers picked the books they wanted to use to teach the standards and then compare how those kids did on a PSSA with other kids. I bet the teacher who was given some authority over what she taught made better lessons from the material.
Back to the achievement gap issue. Our curriculum is now being written by PPS techers with help from some department at Pitt, right? Somebody is providing a starting point. Too much is being determined in response to the ruling based on the lawsuitfiled in the early 90s by the Advocates for African-American Education. The new civics program was a nice PR move, putting a focus on Pittsburgh in the big year's celebration, but will it help students be better citizens? If part of being a better citizen is being a more cooperative and responsible student?
January 10, 2009 10:33 AM