I'm going to write a few blog posts between now and the election about reading. I have lots to say about CBE's Literacy Strategy I'll break my thoughts into chunks, and share 'bit by bit'.
You can expect to see some pointed criticism of the Literacy Strategy. I think that's okay, since together, we can influence needed change. I am not just criticizing but offering solutions. I will be part of new Board of Trustees that accomplishes what the public wants - such as virtually every child learning to read.
The various Strategies developed by CBE Administration are contained within the Three Year Education Plan. The Board of Trustees approves these plans. The new Board of Trustees will have the opportunity to exercise some influence over this Strategy (and others).
At first glance the Literacy Strategy might look fine. It has lots of positive emotion. It's "aspirational" in tone. It suggests we'll reach great heights! Who doesn't want joy for children?
Careful analysis however, leaves lots of room for concern. The biggest problem for me is that in my opinion it isn't very strategic.
I think that a strategy should be a set of inter-related plans. When put into action (and adjusted as needed) those plans should efficiently get us to a particular "big picture" goal. There should be no question what the goal is, or what will be needed to get to the goal.
CBE wrote this "outcome" for the Literacy Strategy:
Each CBE student will participate in intentional, joyful literacy learning and progress and achieve in their learning programs
So let me ask you this? If each CBE student did participate in intentional, joyful literacy learning but progressed and achieved at a slower pace than they currently are, would the strategy be successful?
How much progress and achievement does this outcome aim for?
Now, you might think that I'm just being picky. Surely the specifics must come later, right? Well, I'll write more next time, once you've had a chance to read the Literacy Strategy which is found at pages 7 & 8 of the 2016-2019 Three Year Education Plan which I've linked for you. Do please notice however, that the measures of Achievement are the same as we've been using for many years. There are no new specific measures or targets in the Strategy itself.
So - a couple of things for you to wonder about before my next post.
First, where do you see specific mention of reading? (I can't find it)
Next, how we will know if students are getting what they need for reading? (I don't see any way to tell, do you?)
Third, what does the strategy tell you about about which students do or do not need additional support in Literacy? (No targeting of assistance to those who need it - just broad strokes.)
Fourth - how parent and public friendly is the language. Is it written in plain English and obviously meant to be easy to understand? Just because it is a document primarily for educators, does that mean it needs to be written so that it isn't easily readable by others?
And finally - what public input do you think has been used in developing this Strategy? (Hint - the answer is none!)
Until next time - I encourage you to look at the strategy and decide if it has the ring of common sense and "getting us where we need to go". Is it a solid map for teachers and parents?
And please, don't forget to research all your candidates and decide who will represent your concerns the best. Who has the knowledge of both governance and learning to speak for you. Please plan to vote on October 16th!