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Topic: TITEC (revealed)
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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
TITEC (revealed)
Posted: Aug 8, 2000 9:09 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply
att1.html (22.0 K)


My apologies for this massive, pieced-together post. I found this research
project most enlightening, however, and given this morning's predictable
false accusations of racism from California's Grand Kleagle (I mean, the
Sage of Cal State), I thought it worth putting some of the connections out
in the open. I have nothing to add to this post and will return to ignoring
the cowardly rants and empty accusations from a man whose idea of "liberal
Democrats" these days no doubt starts with Lynne Cheney.

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No Excuses:
Seven Principals of Low-Income Schools
Who Set the Standard
for High Achievement
Samuel Casey Carter
Bradley Fellow

When Nancy Ichinaga became principal of Andrew Bennett Elementary in 1974,
95 percent of her school was illiterate. In only four years, she raised the
school-wide reading performance from the 3rd to the 50th percentile in the
State of California. After that, achievement kept on climbing, and for 20
years, her school has been one of the highest performers in all of Los
Angeles County. A mastery of reading in kindergarten is one of the keys to
her success.

"As elementary school teachers," Ichinaga says, "our primary mission is to
make children literate." Ichinaga has stuck to the principles she and her
staff agreed upon in 1974. They determined that they needed a good reading
program that had a systematic decoding component. In addition, they needed a
teaching method that would make all children accountable and responsible
learners beginning in the earliest years.

Beginning in kindergarten, all children in her school are taught to read and
write English and are promoted according to clearly defined standards of
achievement per grade level. Even kindergartners are held back if they don't
meet the promotion requirement. "One of our most successful interventions
has been to require kindergartners to know all the letter sounds and to be
able to blend three letters to read words," Ichinaga explains. The neediest
kindergartners are given an extra year before 1st grade to guarantee from
the beginning that promotion is tied to achievement. "These children
generally become successful 1st graders the following year," Ichinaga notes,
"thereby preventing any cycle of school failure from beginning."

The school is now bringing additional firepower to kindergarten in the form
of a supplementary computer program that claims to make up for 3,000 hours
of pre-reading experiences that children need to become successful readers.
In its first trial year, the program seems to have advanced four out of six
children who otherwise might have needed the extra year of kindergarten.

Yes, folks, you can BELIEVE that last claim because it was made by or about
Nancy Ichinaga and her Magic School! And not by fuzzy educrats, but by a man
working under the auspices of one of the most reactionary organizations in
the country!

Of course, "liberal democrats" who are experts in just who is or is not a
racist ["It is effectively elitist and racist to expect that denying the
same skills to those who do not have such benefits will
do as well just because Lou or MPG or Victor says so. Let's see your
- with the schools identified - that indicates that denying kids standard
arithmetic competence is not statistically detrimental to their educational
careers." Wayne Bishop 8/8/00], would NEVER judge something based on the
label. And certainly they would NEVER try to do a two-step on this example.
Let's see if we can piece out the logic.

1) Greg:: "As stated I can seen nothing good or bad. Somebody selling
software claims
using it some unspecified amount of time makes up for three thousand hours
of missed and unspecified "pre-reading" experiences the authors claim are
needed, and two thirds of the kids (said to be at risk) that have been
subjected to it "seem" to have advanced to first grade after only one year
of kindergarten.

Looks like marketing blather to me. Whether there is just smoke or fire
underneath is impossible to say."

2) Owen: "well, what is there to say?
somebody makes some wild claim.
big whoop.
the "3000 hours" is a nice touch,
with its no doubt totally spurious implication
that some meaningful measurements have been done.
actually it seems a little high
even for extravagant hoopla
since full-time (40 hours a week)
for a full (52 week) year is a mere 2080.
they oughta be able to do a whole lot more
than just skip kindergarten if it was true.
i doubt if it took my mom & dad 3000 hours
to get me reading at well beyond 1st grade level
even though, god bless 'em,
they read to (eventually *with*) me quite a bit . . .
christ, an hour a day for four years
(starting at age 2, say)
is still well under 1500 hours.
and how much time are kids supposed to spend
with the computer in this program anyway?
it's all so meaningless.
tech in the classroom? of course.
we saw some fine movies in my day.
_donald_duck_in_math_magic_land_, e.g.:
my first exposure to the golden ratio.
obviously there's plenty of cool stuff
to be done with calculators and microcomputers.
but lying about it should be mercilessly ridiculed.
as should throwing money at people who lie about it."

3) Wayne: "I would argue gently with "is impossible to say"; give us some
good objective
data and specific locations where it was collected so we can get some
independent confirmation and there might be some fire. I'd be surprised if
beats actually teaching kids to read but it could easily be better than
Language avoidance thereof."

Far be it from me to suggest that Dr. Bishop might be just a little bit full
of it on this one. I bet that old computer program is looking pretty darned
educational to him right about now. After all, it's part of the Bennett-Kew

So I guess either those old devil computers ARE capable of making some
significant contributions to learning, above and beyond serving as creators
of little consumers, or else Nancy Ichinaga isn't quite as wonderful as Dr.
B. once thought. Any way you slice it, crow is crow.

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