Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

When data trumps evidence…

At one Florida school, the obsession with meaningless data has caused harm to many students. Last year, hundreds of students in reading classes were forced to use the “Reading Plus” computer program as a core program. The results on the state graduation test (still FCAT for these Juniors and Seniors) showed a passing rate of 20%. Dismal at best.

One teacher took about 160 students and never used the program once. The teacher only had the students engage in self-selected reading, book talks and book discussions. The state test passing rates for these students was 77%.

You would think that this year all students would be able to join the community of readers and avoid “Reading Plus.” Foolish mortal!

Citing the need to gather “data,” the school continues ( this year)to require the computer program for most students while that one brave teacher is still allowed to save 160 kids.

160 saved and 600 lost.

The obsession with data defeats evidence. What the hell are we doing to kids?


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