Reading & Literacy

Reading to the Test?

By Anthony Rebora — August 28, 2009 1 min read

Parents in Durham, N.C., are voicing concern that a new reading curriculum being implemented in the district’s elementary schools this year is overly test-driven and may dampen kids’ enthusiasm for reading, according to The News & Observer.

The curriculum, called “Reading Street,” was created by the publisher Scott Foresman in 2005 to help schools reach NLCB goals. According the News & Observer, it uses stories from workbooks and sets time limits for completion of tasks.

Some parents, particularly those at magnet school in the district, say the program is overly prescriptive and smacks of teaching to the test.

“I don’t feel that a top-down, corporate, admin-heavy approach is what’s going to improve learning for our children,” said one mother. “I feel that our children learn from qualified, inspired teachers.

District officials say the program, decided on after a literacy audit showed sub-par results, is intended to bring equity and consistency to reader instruction across the district. They contend, however, that it can be modified to reflect the reading programs of particular schools.

Teachers reportedly were notified about the new curriculum only last week.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.