"It's a sad day for Florida, and for the rest of the country, when academic rigor seeps into the kindergarten classroom, and the joy of learning seeps out."
That post was inspired by this remarkable New York Times piece about the retirement of perhaps the nation's best kindergarten teacher, Laurin MacLeish, because of the impact of high stakes testing in Florida on the traditional kindergarten experience. As I wrote then, Ms MacLeish decided to call it quits after reading "an article in the local paper about a kindergarten teacher praised for cutting out fun activities for reading drills... ."
Now maybe the standardized "writing" curriclum adopted by the distict for Portland's kindergartens is "fun". I don't know. But as a teacher, I know I resisted any attempts by administrators to impose on me "canned" and scripted lessons. I always figured that I was smart enough and imaginative enough to come up with my own approaches for teaching my students the skills and knowledge demanded by the district's flexible curriculum guides. I further trusted that student test scores would reflect well on the methods and materials I used.
I wonder how many Ms MacLeish's there are among Portland's kindergarten teachers?