Sometimes I wonder about the term, "conflict of interest." In the case of the billion dollar federal grant program, Reading First, I have yet to see one media outlet report the actual amount of money that has changed hands due to a conflict of interest.
So what is worse:
1. A group of people that are emphatic about having children learn to read so they helped develop reading curriculum for a big company and end up on a granting agency board
Have you ever noticed the schools are always flocking to the newest and greatest in teaching methods or curriculum? Every few years some school districts will replace their curriculum with something new. Might as well, the books are slated for replacement anyways. What's the harm?
Actually, there is harm. Firstly, the teachers will now need to acclimatize themselves to a new curriculum. This will require time (cost) and training (cost). Oh, the hidden costs of new curriculum!
Next, the curriculum will need to have in class tests created (cost). Unfortunately, this often requires each teacher to make his or her own testing (cost).
Oh wait, don't forget special needs students! The curriculum will need to be adapted to their needs and learning ability (cost).
So on May 26, Bob Wright, GE Vice Chairman and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal, delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of 2006 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Wright is a 1965 graduate of the school. A total of 697 students graduated at this year’s ceremony, the college’s 160th.
It appears he gave a private speech which included:
"And two years ago, our first grandchild was diagnosed with autism, something that has changed my life in dramatic fashion.
Kind of interesting. I think we'll be hearing from folks with autism more as time goes by - mostly because I believe there are more younger ones than current adults. So kids around Calvin's age and younger (between 1 and 12) will have a autism-boomer population.
I don't know what it is about gizmos in helping kids with autism but there is getting to be a bit of a list. Here's one: Child Guard - wireless monitor that alerts you when your child begins to wander off. Yes, for $30 you can keep track. Of course, this might be a little better than a child leash.
This is the last part on the series about NCLB. It was interesting to see that educators see the absolute need for all kids (well, actually only 99%, which the article missed), should have basic skills in math and english, etc.
Behavior Analysts, Inc. will release a revised version of the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS-R). The protocol and guide are two books that can help parents and educators with the process of identifying specific skills that should be the focus of intervention for a child with language delays. ABLLS also helps to determine IFSP/IEP goals and next steps.
An interesting article that points out that if schools are struggling, it might be of their own doing - if they didn't start effective changes early enough, they won't be able to catch up to meet standards. Something that most reporters fail to note.
Giving up isn’t aim of No Child Left Behind
In this commentary, the first of a series, Andrea Neal reports from Fort Wayne.
So this article points out that a good program needs to be put into place early - early enough to see long term gains. And the changes might need to be pretty radical, not just more of the same. Another good article.
Radical change for failing schools
Second in a series
The most promising part of the No Child Left Behind Act is language requiring schools to use research-based practices. Yet it’s the least embraced by the educational establishment.