Education Letter to the Editor

Is ‘Ineffective’ Curriculum OK, Or a Form of Discrimination?

March 04, 2014 1 min read

To the Editor:

I just read two articles in the Feb. 5, 2014, issue. One covered the Vergara v. California lawsuit, which alleges “discrimination of a youth having to be placed in front of an ineffective teacher.” The other was about curriculum materials for the Common Core State Standards.

In the latter, Scott Hartl, Expeditionary Learning’s chief executive officer, says, “There has been a tremendous wave of innovation and new-product creation that eventually will get sorted out by real-life market forces,” which will “show us the results.”

I believe that means students, for an unspecified number of years, will have “ineffective” curriculum materials that effectively “discriminate” against youths being forced to use them, much as the Vergara case involves discrimination against students placed with ineffective teachers.

Is anyone going to take ineffective materials to court? Hmmmm.

Tests and curriculum materials that are inferior appear to be OK, left to market correction, but schools and teachers are taken to court. Students have no choice about materials. (And, teachers can improve themselves.)

What a wicked way to treat our children.

Could it be possible that teachers would be better teachers with better curriculum materials? Will we ever stop the insanity?

Susan Kelewae

Massillon, Ohio

The writer is an adjunct education instructor at Kent State University and the University of Mount Union, both in Ohio. She taught art in public schools for 36 years.

A version of this article appeared in the March 05, 2014 edition of Education Week as Is ‘Ineffective’ Curriculum OK, Or a Form of Discrimination?