I’ve had it up to my collar

Hold the bone.

Are there really this many districts in Massachusetts using poor elementary curriculum?


This many districts using basal series that bombed reviews by EdReports and the state of Louisiana?

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This many districts using something that isn’t even a curriculum???

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Seriously???? Massachusetts, you are supposed to be leading the pack on matters of curriculum and instruction. (More MA ‘curriculum heatmaps’ for math + ELA here).

I’m barkless.

So I’ll let the educator reviews bark for me.

Pearson Reading Street EdReports Review

A bloodbath (read here):

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Pearson Reading Street Louisiana Believes Review

“Tier III: Not Representing Quality.” Read it here.

Pearson Reading Street LA Believes

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys EdReports Review

Another bloodbath. See here.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys Louisiana Believes Review

“Tier III: Not Representing Quality.” Read it here.

HMH Journeys LA Believes

McGraw Hill Wonders EdReports Review

At least we are up to “partially meets expectations.” Because every teacher deserves partial support for their objectives, and every parent would be delighted to have their kids partially achieve the outcome goals we set for them. See here.

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McGraw Hill Wonders Louisiana Believes Review

“Tier III: Not Representing Quality.” Read it here.

McGraw Wonders LA Believes


Lucy Calkins / Teachers College Reading and Writing

You can’t find reviews of these materials on EdReports. Why? Because they aren’t a curriculum. They are a reading program and a writing program. Lucy Calkins’s own book says as much, and she refers people to other programs for foundational skills work like phonics. How people came to think of this program as adequate for K–5 literacy instruction is a mystery.

Where’s the howling?

How is there not a wave of teacher outcry about this situation? Do teachers just not know that there are better options out there? Do their unions not realize that teachers in these schools have been abandoned without decent materials?

I’m sure most parents have no idea. But they’d be up in arms if they knew their districts could be doing so much better. Same for voters / taxpayers, whose property values are tied to the quality of the local districts… and like it or not, quality is tied to those state testing outcomes, which are held back by these poor choices by districts.


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