A while back we were having a very important and detailed discussion about missing and mangled textbooks on a post entitled, “The textbook mystery continues… and gets even weirder“. Students seem to be short on them. The “Pilot textbook program” our former superintendent, Dr. Atkinson implemented was halted by the new leadership. (Could this be where Thurmond came up with some of his millions in extra savings?) We never heard any more discussion and our questions were never answered as it got buried in the extraneous turmoil that followed. But we are still very concerned about textbooks, and parents being heard and teachers being supported – especially in light of the fact that teachers are in a legal battle with school leadership and the board over their abruptly halted matching pension contributions. Halting payments and programs seems to be the order of the day in DeKalb schools–at least halting the things sorely needed by teachers and students in order for learning to occur. The new car purchases for administrators seemed to breeze right through.
At any rate, below is a repeat of our opinion on the issue from the comments of that earlier post:
Apparently there is a really big disconnect (probably caused by very little communication) between what is going on in the classroom according to these latest teacher comments and what parents think is going on in the classroom. What Sarah asked for was completely within reason and represents what many parents would like to know. What in the heck is this Textbook Pilot Progam? It’s reasonable for parents to ask this. It’s too bad these administrators couldn’t make a presentation to enlighten everyone and get everyone on the same page of understanding how and why learning in DeKalb is occurring in the ’21st’ century. If it’s that big of a change, it should have been explained. (Gee, how about a DCSS blog?!!) That said, it is interesting that colleges all still use textbooks. Very expensive ones at that…
On another note, when administrators and teachers ask for parental involvement, how exactly do they see that? I think parents see it as tutoring, teaching and reinforcing the actual lessons being taught, thus the desire for a textbook or some kind of online access to the text. It’s not about baking brownies and making copies anymore. Are teachers thinking of some other kind of ‘partnership’? What do teachers see as parents roles in the children’s education? Are teachers really ok with having to cobble together their own resources or would you really like to have a curriculum and textbook to follow? What’s this about the new way to teach is to teach students how to research? I do applaud that, as research/deduction skills seem to be severely lacking in young people today. However, don’t you also need some kind of knowledge base from which to make informed conclusions? You do need to know what is true when you go out on the internet to do research.
Teachers, weigh in please… and parents too. Let’s try to find a common ground.