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Since numbers are involved, I can't resist!
Caveat: As a general rule, I disdain turning hard decisions into
popularity contests. But let's count those votes more accurately
and interpret the results more carefully.
According to the union leadership -- and general experience --
20% of the teachers would typically vote against a contract for
other reasons. So it would be fair to guess that of the 31% no
vote, only about 12% `voted for' staggered reading!
Now this doesn't mean only 12% of our teachers favor staggered
reading. One can favor a position, yet be unwilling to vote down
an entire contract over that one point. Or think that `send a
message' votes are lame. But we CAN estimate that 88% +/- don't
support it with much vigor or conviction.
On a more personal note, we liked staggered reading when our kids
had the program, but we might have preferred more hours of
By grade 3, we found the poor quality of WRITING instruction was
our biggest problem. Many teachers augment the standard material,
to their credit; but for some, the results are . . . `uneven'.
(Perhaps writing isn't their strength.) So those extra hours
could be well spent on an expanded writing program.
Of course, this presumes one believes the promise of more hours
of instruction. Given the credibility of the source of the
promise, it seems wise to ponder this. Without a real increase
in teacher input, the extra hours may result in little or no
The magic is in the kids & teachers -- not the building.
> P.S. I do give weightage to the fact that a whopping 31%
> of teachers favor staggered reading.
Without a fundamentally strong foundation in reading, I don't care how many
extra hours, days or weeks are given to broader education in the early
elementary years, the children will not be as prepared to learn. With the
exception of PE, every single subject , including writing, is based upon
learning by reading. If you don't comprehend what you are reading then you
will have difficulty the rest of your life (not education, LIFE).
Perhaps this is the Boards way of getting rid of all the immigrants that
have flocked to Fremont because of educational excellence. Perhaps they
believe that without these people it will be easier for them to act on whim.
I am glad that the last of my children is past the third grade.
From the Alameda Newspaper Group as distributed by Robert Nakamae:
Jones, on the other hand, says the elimination of staggered reading will
allow for an additional hour of full group instruction every day, "the
equivalent to 22 days of instruction per year." It will allow more vigorous
curriculum, and it will give teachers more prep time.
What good is more vigorous instruction if the children cannot read at grade level?
Jones says trustees issued public notice in January of their intention to
extend the school day. Eliminating staggered reading is the best way to do
that, and teachers and parents have had plenty of time to voice concerns,
When did she first solicit input on eliminating staggered reading? Is she saying that her public notice in January of an intent to extend the school day was notice that she was going to reduce staggered reading?
Why is it that Ms. Jones pronouncements don't have the ring of common sense that makes us all say, "Why didn't I think of that?" as most brilliant ideas do? Dare I say that it is because the ideas are somewhat less than brilliant?
Ms. Jones, it is about our kids education. Not you, not your personal agenda, it's our kids and having you in this position continues to baffle and scare me.
Dear All ~
I have been out of the "loop" for a while but now, checking in, I am
interested in this discussion of staggered reading. Forgive me if I am out
of touch with the direction of the discussion as I share our experience with
the staggered reading program.
I have a unique perspective in that my older daughters have had both a
staggered schedule and non staggered day in third grade, AND in recent years
AND close together. My (now) eleven year old, was without staggered reading
in third grade in a class of 30-1. My nine year old, had staggered reading
this last year in 3rd grade in a class of 20-1. In both instances I thought
that staggered reading in third grade was not necessary. The children are
better behaved and able to learn without the lower ratio. They understand
how school works so there aren't the behavior challenges you find when they
are in first grade. I would prefer a longer day without staggered reading.
However, I do think that staggered reading should be supported in first
grade. The transition from Kindergarten is a big step. To go to a full day
schedule I think is too much in this first year when kids are just trying to
tackle how school works. And it is too important that they have a strong
foundation in reading during this first year so that by third grade it is
Thanks for listening ~
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This is interesting; somehow I got the impression somewhere along the thread of this discussion that eliminating the staggered reading was tied in somewhere with FUSD's overriding goal of equity and was being done because many schools like Chadbourne have already eliminated it--so is'nt this somewhere on the Equity Commission's radar, especially to see that even if the program is eliminated, students who would have benefited from the program and need the extra reading time will still have acess to it? Was the Equity Commission involved in this decision? I know PRAA, which is supposed to be the parent communication wing, was not, so it looks like we really have a lack of communication bewteen FUSD and the communities needs as usual.
I must agree with Robert that I am more and more inclined to sincerely believe that FUSD is just way too big and smaller schools districts would benefit everybody with better communication between th administration and the communities visions and needs. I am trying to look beyond my personal experiences and see what the 31,000 students need and I am sure there are a large number who need the extra reading attention.
Do we know if the way the teachers spend the extra instruction time is at their discretion or there are specific guidelines or mandates?
The first I heard staggered reading discussed, that I remember, was at
meetings like PRAA where parents were standing up to say that they didn't
think it was fair that their children had fewer instruction hours due to
I heard it brought up by disgruntled parents.
As far as what happens now with the new minutes I don't know. But I think
it is an interesting question and I look forward to hearing what the plan
>From: Letha Saldanha <letha@...>
>To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: [mission-sd] RE:Staggered Reading
>Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 16:23:31 -0700
>This is interesting; somehow I got the impression somewhere along the
>of this discussion that eliminating the staggered reading was tied in
>somewhere with FUSD's overriding goal of equity and was being done because
>many schools like Chadbourne have already eliminated it--so is'nt this
>somewhere on the Equity Commission's radar, especially to see that even if
>the program is eliminated, students who would have benefited from the
>program and need the extra reading time will still have acess to it? Was
>Equity Commission involved in this decision? I know PRAA, which is supposed
>to be the parent communication wing, was not, so it looks like we really
>have a lack of communication bewteen FUSD and the communities needs as
>I must agree with Robert that I am more and more inclined to sincerely
>believe that FUSD is just way too big and smaller schools districts would
>benefit everybody with better communication between th administration and
>the communities visions and needs. I am trying to look beyond my personal
>experiences and see what the 31,000 students need and I am sure there are a
>large number who need the extra reading attention.
>Do we know if the way the teachers spend the extra instruction time is at
>their discretion or there are specific guidelines or mandates?
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