Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Quotes From Kimberly

Here are some quotes that I've pulled off of Number 2 Pencil (see my blogroll at the left) over time. I had planned to do a piece on each one, but now I think I'll just put them all here to further demonstrate why I have so much respect for Kimberly and her writing.

"The notion that, somehow, children can be very educated and advanced and free-thinking and logical, yet unable to handle a test of basic reading, science, and math skills is so pervasive these days. Where did this meme come from? When did we decide that it was more important for fifth-graders to have these 'critical thinking' skills than to understand how many days there are in a year, or be able to summarize the main point of a three-page story?"

"And while we're at it, I'd like to offer $100 to the first person who can produce solid evidence (research in peer-reviewed journals, that sort of thing) showing either (a) that independent thought and curiosity are skills that cannot be taught in conjunction with the basic skills that tests measure, or (b) that measures of independent thought/curiosity are more predictive of adult success than are standardized test scores."

"Why is the assumption here that minority students who are smart enough to go to college require a 'safe haven' before they can perform the same classwork as other students? Will the next step be that such students require job set-asides so that they can be guaranteed of working in a 'safe haven' and relived of the responsibilities of having to work in the same structiure as everyone else?"

Logic, my readers, is a wonderful thing.


Harry said...

I just found your blog thanks to Joanne Jacobs. Now I have to share. It took me 11 years of teaching in my small "urban" school district before I became frustrated enough to find teaching methods that do work. I latched onto the Riggs method - www.riggsinst.org - and over the past five years, I've read Shakespeare with fourth and fifth graders, and Washington Irving with third graders. That's in addition to selections from Junior Great Books. I tried to share this with other teachers in the district. A few joined in, others wished me good luck, and still others told me to "shut up already about that phonics crap", so they could go on complaining that their students couldn't read the Science book. In any subject, basic skills are wonderful things.

NYgirl said...

So glad I came across your site on the Partial Transcripts blogroll. If only the idiots at the NYT could understand these simple facts. Logic always favors he right. Your students are very lucky.

Darren said...

Welcome to both of you. Hope you come back periodically!