Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Background Resources Were Not Removed

I have been informed by David Fishback, chair of the Citizens Committee that developed the curriculum, that the sources quoted by Judge Williams in his memorandum are "background resources" which were not -- repeat, were not -- removed by MCPS.

Just to save confusion from my misinterpretation, here's what Mr. Fishback said in an email today:
Except where explicitly placed in the context of the curriculum (see the definitions section) none of the Teacher Resources listed in the November 9 report have ever been mentioned in the curriculum itself. None of the three items found objectionable by the court are referenced in the curriculum. There are other items listed as "key resources," but none of them are among the 22 from the CAC recommendation of November 2004. The MCPS staff did not remove any of the background teacher resources prior to the training and the anticipated piloting.

Hope that clears that up.

I considered removing the previous post, but I know the critics would have too much fun with that, and it did result in some interesting comments -- let's just say this post replaces the previous one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad we got that cleared up. I hope your anonymous supporters will offer some apologies.

Did you, perchance, ask Mr. Fishback if he would be removing the background resources as a result of the judge's ruling? Or do they plan to simply press ahead with the curriculum as is?

Also, what does "Except where explicitly placed in the context of the curriculum" mean? It sounds like he saying "they weren't mentioned except when they were."

May 11, 2005 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks to me like one interpretation would be, they weren't removed because they were never included... But it's a Rorschach, dude, you'll see what you want to see.

May 11, 2005 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

The committee of which David Fishback chairs can only make recommendations to BOE/MCPS. It is up to latter what they choose to do with what is/was recommended.

Now since it is in lawsuit mode...more so.

Kay R

May 11, 2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, this is not very clear. There are "background resources," and there are statements in the curriculum. Are you saying that each background resource has contributed at least one statement to the curriculum, but the references have not been published?

Let's say that's true (it's not). If so, then the CAC did a great job of selecting agreeable lines for the curriculum, since the only ones the judge objected to were hidden in the uncited resources themselves.

May 11, 2005 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In what way is a background resource NOT part of the curriculum? You act like the word "curriculum" means "what the teacher's outline says." It doesn't. The curriculum, by definition, includes everything from the outline/lesson plan to the handouts to the background resources.

To repeat: If background resources are not going to be repeated to the kids, then why are they given to the teachers at all? Is this some kind of little job perk that they get some extra education that they're not supposed to pass on?

May 12, 2005 2:06 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

The judge wrote, for instance (only one of many places this happens), "The Myths and Facts worksheet, which asks the students to answer whether a given statement is true or false, and then provides them with the answer, states..."

Now, wouldn't you think, reading that, that students answer whether statements on a worksheet are true or false? Don't you think the judge believes that students will be given a worksheet and asked to rate statements as true or false?

No, students never see the worksheet. They're not even told about it. Only teachers see it. That's not to defend the material in the resources, it's not that great, but it was never meant to be scrutinized like this, it was just so teachers could study up.

Clearly, the judge thought it was going to be used in the classroom. He thought it was part of "the curriculum."

And it's not.

May 12, 2005 4:41 PM  

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