How to fix our elementary reading scores : Sutherland for Schools blog
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How to fix our elementary reading scores

by Ann Sutherland on 01/27/19

The National Assessment of Educational Progress  says Fort Worth 8th grade readers are significantly behind other large urban districts. 

Our scores were up during Superintendent Thomas Tocco's tenure, when we scored next to the top of major Texas urban districts.  I am told that his procedures emphasized an approach which empowered teachers to choose curriculum and classroom routines.

We know our kids hate the computer work.  Why are we continuing it?


Comments (8)

1. Grade2Teacher said on 1/30/19 - 03:52AM
I am 100% confident that we will not reach the 20x25 goal because of the cruel enforcement of Achieve3000 in 2nd grade classrooms. It is the biggest waste of time for students who come to second grade 1 or 2 grade levels behind. However, we are forced to put our students on and look at their negative Lexie levels. The time used for Achieve lessons should be given to some other reading program that actually covers phonics, and I do not mean SmartyAnts
2. Ann replies to Deeply Disappointed said on 1/30/19 - 08:25AM
The 100X25 goal, in my opinion, is an embarrassing exposure of the ignorance of our school leaders. No large group of students achieves universal literacy and a program directed at the most needy students shorts those at the upper end of the achievement level.
3. David said on 2/1/19 - 12:20AM
The problem is that your school leaders are totally driven by their school board members...who understand nothing about the different criteria for measuring reading levels, not to mention the changing "performance levels" of the state assessment system. There is never, and has never been, any comparability from one year to the next. It is all smoke and mirrors, and anyone who tells you blowing their own know where!
4. Ann replies (again) said on 2/1/19 - 04:23PM
David, are you perhaps a FWISD staff member who is being fed this fiction by a superior staff member who's been told "it's the board decision"?
5. Ann replies to David said on 2/1/19 - 10:17PM
I think most observers of the current FWISD board/management scene would disagree . . . see, e.g., the refusal to allow a vote on the 8-period day, the huge negative budget or the secondary staffing cuts. It's true that there was never a vote on the 8-period day or the staffing cuts, but the sentiment was pretty clear. And there was never any real discussion of Achieve 3000, or any real explanation for the apparent absence of serious phonics. We do have some ability to change smaller things.
6. Lets ask ourselves said on 2/8/19 - 08:11AM
I think the question that you should be asking is “How much are we paying for this program?” and “Who’s connected to the people that we are paying?” Why else would we implement something so blatantly absurd?!?!?!?!? I am guessing that you probably already have some idea on this. Of course it could be that we must keep to the status quo because as long as we have tens of millions tied to failing schools, then we must have a significant number continue to fail. Sad thing is that “Achieve” as a supplement benefits on-level readers or above-level readers. It is only detrimental to below-level readers. Any guess to the students that fit the bill? I would love to speak up on this but we both know how that would go.
7. Anonymous said on 2/9/19 - 10:51PM
Achieve doesn't teach kids how to read, the teachers do. Another concern is the amount of testing that is required. Interim tests, 3 week assessments, and benchmarks all collide. There isn't enough time to teach in between testing.
8. Do you have experience with Achieve said on 2/23/19 - 07:49AM
Achieve does not help students who are reading above grade level. It offers inappropriate questions for a lower age level only because their reading level is so high. Of course, we cannot ask a machine to do better, right? Oh wait ... we could. This program isn’t for the kids who are reading above their grade level either.

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