I thought this was a timely NYTIMES essay by a parent who is asking some of the same questions we are in 541. Here is an excerpt from his essay:
“Several years ago, just as New York’s testing program was being implemented, my twins were in seventh grade and came home with letters saying that a new reading course was being added. I was delighted to see some innovation. I assumed they’d spend the year making their way through the rich selection of middle school and young adult novels and nonfiction books out there. Not until back-to-school night did I realize what was actually going on. The “reading” teacher had a stack of workbooks. They were going to be reading short essays and answering questions: a full year of test prep.”
I am left asking the same old question–what don’t we get about this reading thing? I don’t think it takes a genius IQ or years in the classroom or multiple degrees after our names to get this. Why are we still engaging in this debate? We KNOW what makes readers.
Somehow we all learned to love to read and to make reading an integral part of our day to day lives.
If we did that because of worksheets, workbooks, and/or test preparation “materials,” I’d sure like to know that!! KES