SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: BREAKING NEWS!!! Lucy Calkins and Her Failed Experiment Are Out at the NYC DOE!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

BREAKING NEWS!!! Lucy Calkins and Her Failed Experiment Are Out at the NYC DOE!!!!

Like the Tenctonese (Newcomers) finally able to live free, the persecution of NYC's over 1 million  students finally ceased with a whimper rather than a thud.

The NYC DOE is;
...recommending a set of math and English curriculum options for grades K-8 and will spend the coming months supporting principals and teachers in becoming familiar with these new materials. 
Now break out the champagne. None of these options involves Teacher's College, Lucy Calkins, Reader's Workshop and Writer's Workshop. (Is it just me or am I the only one thinking of the celebrations on Coruscant at the end of Return of the Jedi?)

According to the NYC DOE;
For English Language Arts, the Department is recommending that schools select either NYSED’s Core Knowledge or Pearson’s ReadyGen for grades K-2, either of which could be used by a school as a stand-alone curriculum or paired with the Fundations phonics program. For grades 3-5, the DOE is recommending that schools either continue with ReadyGen or select NYSED’s Expeditionary Learning curriculum. Expeditionary Learning is also recommended for grades 6-8, along with Scholastic’s Codex While varying in style and structure, these programs—like those the DOE is recommending in math—hew tightly to the Common Core’s instructional shifts: they include a balance of rigorous fiction and non-fiction texts, build students’ academic vocabulary and knowledge across content areas, and engage students in using evidence from texts to make oral and written arguments.

The Department of Education believes that the selected programs represent the highest-quality Common Core-aligned curriculum materials currently available. They include brand new curriculum materials and materials that are being updated to fully reflect the shifts required by the Common Core standards.

While we here at SBSB cynically assume that these curricula are probably crap, or at the very least, need to be proven, we applaud the fact that Lucy Calkins has probably seen her last case of abusing children in NYC. But we are encouraged by seeing the word PHONICS mentioned and look forward to the day that 8th graders in NYC will have decoding skills. No longer will TC be responsible for making the students of NYC "dumber than wood" as one qualified educators once shared with me.

What of all the students who are suffering through a year, not to mention their entire lives in the NYC public schools, in which they learn nothing due to the incompetency of Lucy Calkins? Who will give them back their lives? Who will give them back all those precious wasted years of not learning and being able to read and write?

Who will give back the careers of teachers forced to teach the horrible Balanced Literacy approach that was used as a sword against them rather than a blanket to protect them? How many sick, twisted principals got off knowing that they set up VETERAN teachers to fail by forcing a known and failed method of teaching our most troubled youths to read, write, and appreciate the written word?

A generation of NYC children will pay the price of a failed experiment. But Lucy Calkins and the $5 million she received last year from the DOE, as well as the close minded administrators that implemented her cult of learning, will not pay the price.

Lucy Calkins and her Balanced Literacy abused children. As teachers, as educators, we are mandated reporters. Is it not mandatory for us to notify the Child Protective Services in Albany or ACS in NYC?

We here at SBSB wish to take some credit towards the eradication of Lucy Calkins. It was here on this very blog that we feel assisted in exposing what Lucy Calkins is and isn't.

So long and be gone Lucy Calkins. Please, stay far away.


Polo Colon said...

Thank God Calkin's ways are now seen for the obscene educational scourge it's been since its inception by the inept Klein & Bloomberg incompetent rip-off of the people of NYC and beyond (since many other education morons promoted and replicated the disaster elsewhere!) I am so glad that their scheme of money-making "education" crap has been royally flushed down the toilet bowl of infamy! Shame on Columbia University for promoting her to kiss up to Bloombucks! And good riddance to Joel Klein as well!

Anonymous said...

The problem is, RedyGen isn't a comprehensive program. It's a "to be created" Tech program. It's very unlikely to be able to serve as a Core program, at best it's a stop-gap against a future NYC full reading adoption. So schools will either need to continue with Balanced Literacy or adopt a publisher's Core Reading program - Journeys, Wonders, Reading Street, Super Kids etc.

Bronx Teacher said...

Yes, that it is possible, but from what we've heard principals will not be allowed to pay for TC training, coaches, etc....

Anonymous said...

Nope - they absolutely still can pay for TC. I attended the citywide Network meeting on Wednesday.

Zulma said...

Calkins made her money at the cost of providing true educational programs. This is good news that her program is out but how many children have long-term, repressed educational needs because of her?

Anonymous said...

The DOE estimates that only 70% of schools will take their recommendation---so TC will continue to be stuck on our shoes like dog turd.

Ms. Tsouris said...

My son is a victim of this education scam. His AP Lit teacher is offering tutoring in writing skills. That should have been done in fifth or sixth grade, not his last year in high school!!!

Anonymous said...

The Core Knowledge K-2 program has been piloted in NYC with very good results and is open source (from NY State DOE) but will be a headache to implement due to the massive number of pages. Hopefully there'll be a solution so schools can choose it rather than Pearson and Scholastic.

Polo Colon said...

The rubber rooms were filled to caacity with great teachers who were judged on the impossible gotcha Lucy Calkins methodology, which was a bonanza for incompetent vicious, malicious and capricious incompetent administrators, because they could get ANY teacher on any aspect, for example, of the workshop model.

We should not forget that at the root of this wanton and abject failure was the incompent mayoral control promulgated by the likes of Bloomber, his henchman, Klein and now, his sycophant, Walcott, another incompetent in a long line of education dunces!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!...I love you guys...what a mess for me to have had to implement this LC crap in my classroom and never felt comfortable doing it...I was made to feel I was a bad teacher when all along I knew exactly wj
hat you guys have expressed here...I am sharing this site on facebook, because I know that there are many other who have felt this way but were made to feel as if they were stupid. Teachers instictly knew this was wrong but forced to do it their way....I now feel so much better about knowing I wasn't wrong...Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Wow, have you even looked at the suggested curriculum, such as Expeditionary Learning? Spending days reading Native American Constitutions or Gettysburg Address... over and over and over. Not being able to bring prior knowledge to the text? People learn new information by linking it to their schemata. It's seriously the most boring program on earth. Workshop may not be the easiest to teach, but I'm curious how you all think these new programs will play out, especially for the students that can't read the text.

Kyeatta Nailah said...

The suggested curriculum that has been piloted in other districts is a back to the basics curriculum. It is a curriculum like harcourt and the stuff that we had to learn in the 80's and 90's that helped us to be culturally literate, and be informed educated citizens. Unfortunately if you have only been teaching for 0-5 years, or since 2004, you may still think that Teacher's College is the truth. You don't know any better, and you are used to relying on your own knowledge to impart knowledge to children. No teacher used to teach from their own heads. No teacher back I the day, had to write the curriculum & write curriculum maps. That was done by folks who took jobs at text book writing companies. Writing Curriculum was a different major in College than teaching in the 90's. Teaching is delivering the curriculum & making it come alive. So many new teachers are victims of being brainwashed by Teacher's College. When I was in school, we didn't have google. We had to learn information, remember it and apply it to our lives in the real world. If the teacher we had wasn't the greatest teacher on the planet, the text book & the curriculum was what kept them on target. Let's face it, many teachers are not geniuses who remember everything, every minute fact that they have learned in their entire lives and be able to answer many deep higher order thinking questions that clever children have off the top of their heads. Teachers had the text as a guide to help their students dive into the rich information and vocabulary that is present, in a textbook that someone did real research to compose and write. What's sad is that they never stopped using textbooks in Chicago, New Jersey (in Newark even), the schools on the Upper West Side, Little Neck, or Douglaston or in Flushing, Queens. Call a friend in District 26Q and ask them how long they have been using "Ready Gen" and then check the AYP in that district. I'm just saying....WAKE UP!

Anyway...I'm ranting, but if you came into the educational system as an educator during the Teacher's College Duping drank the Kool-Aide and will need to be awakened to the truth and Re-programmed to teach properly. It's going to hurt as the truth always hurts.

Anonymous said...

Is Danielson next?

Anonymous said...

It is heartbreaking to read this page, as a teacher of the workshop method for many years now I have seen how it has inspired and lifted students to new heights. The rhetoric spouted on this post is disturbing to the deepest level.

Bronx Teacher said...

Then why not refute what was written point by point?

Marc said...

Wow - too much venim.
For all of you who don't like Lucy Calkins or her writing model - don't use it, but also don't trash it. If you have found something better let us know. I did not see any constructive alternative suggestions.
The fact is, as someone already mentioned, there is no one way to teach writing.
The benefit, and genius, of LC is that she has provided us with a through structure that many classroom teachers are looking for. Take this structure and modify it as you wish.
It has all of the components needed to encourage young writers.
For those teachers who are not using the Writing Workshop model, what are you using instead?
So let's not trash LC entirely. Learn to recognize it's value and apply it where you think it is appropriate, because for many who are lost in the world of writing, it is a great roadmap.
Marc Ladin

Bronx Teacher said...

And what type of community do you teach in?

Anonymous said...

I have been a primary teacher for 25 years. Much of that time spent in first grade, and now kindergarten. I am so happy to hear from other people who think Lucy Calkin's ridiculous reading and writing workshops are not only ineffective, but downright damaging to young children. She knows the research shows that her programs are nothing more than drivel, and yet she continues to pump it out. This makes her nothing more than a charlatan and a thief! She has made her fortune on the backs of children and teachers. Many of us in CT are still forced to use her abusive, incredibly ineffective tactics on our children. I cannot wait for the uppy-ups in our districts to finally wise-up to the LC charade and get rid of it for good. Thanks to LC, we now have a whole generation of students who have been told year after year what fantastic readers and writers they are... the problem is in truth they are practically illiterate, because we haven't taught them anything! We have also abused our youngest students year after year by forcing them to do things that were utterly developmentally inappropriate. We set them up for failure, and we robbed them of the proper education they deserved. Worst of all, we stole their childhood by forcing them to do things they were just not developmentally ready to do, instead of allowing them time to be children. LC also crushed the innovation and creativity out of our best teachers with her prescriptive nonsense. Her materials are insulting and degrading to educational professionals. Teaching is slowly becoming a lost art. Thanks to administrators who drink the "Lucy Calkins" Koolaid, good teachers are literally forced into bad teaching. We went into education because we genuinely love children. It is heartbreaking to feel like you are abusing the children you love by having to dole out LC garbage day after day. No wonder the great, professional, creative, inspiring teachers are leaving the profession. After a while, they just can't spoon-feed their students the "workshop" garbage one more day. In good conscience they cannot keep harming the children they care about, so they leave teaching. So sad. For the sake of the children... let's all hope this is the beginning of the end of Lucy Calkins and her minions.