I'm from the government, and I am here to help you 2nd and 3rd grade teachers -- The blind leading those with 20-20
[S]tate education officials [have a] plan which introduces subtle changes in the way children in the earliest grades are taught, and say "I think we've finally got it right."
The proposed public school curriculum for English and the language arts says that students need to know how to read by the end of third grade, so they can begin reading to learn. [OK, I agree this makes sense. What else?]
In kindergarten, for example, students will still learn the basics like naming and writing the letters of the alphabet and learning to identify simple words.
But they also will be expected to know specific skills. By the end of that year, they should be writing daily and beginning to distinguish fact from fiction in books that are read aloud. [Heck, Bush can't do this (I assume his CIA reports are read aloud to him). Kindergarten kids?]
In second grade, the old writing standards said a student should be able to write "a minimum of three sentences about a topic." The new expectations say a student should "begin to write a persuasive piece that states and supports an opinion." [I quit here -- I find that many lawyers, much less high school graduates, have trouble doing this. I'm not even going to that part of the article about the third grade. But I can't resist sharing the last sentence of the article.]:
"What we're seeing is a movement to help teachers in the classroom understand what it looks like when a child masters a standard," [someone] said.
[Spare me. Has anyone got a shovel. Thank goodness I am seeing Cathy Cox Saturday night. That's right, the one with the "C." The one with the "K" . . . Um, I don't know. And on this article, one thing I can say for sure is that I hope my wife Sally doesn't find my hard copy of the ajc and read this article. I will never hear the end of it.]
P.S.: I almost forgot a most important detail. The opinions expressed herein are those of the Cracker Squire, and do not [necessarily] reflect the views of the Coffee County School District. [Just covering my rear since I am school board attorney you understand.]
[Our district can't stand to get hit anymore than it already has. Although more pain from Atlanta is expected, so far state education funding cuts have hit us up by some $725,000 in FY 2003; $1,500,000 in FY 2004; and already $1.800,000 in FY 2005, with more state passing of the expense of funding education onto this and all local school systems expected during the current FY 2005 year. That's $4,000,000 and rising for a non-metropolitan school system. Ouch!!]