[NLA] The "next half"
Deborah W. Yoho
dwyoho at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 19 10:15:44 EDT 2002
Thank you David, for elaborating, but I'm still not convinced that
instruction has necessarily improved, although I would not presume to
assert I know better than you that is hasn't. For me, the jury is still
out. It makes sense that the "first half" is more likely to need what is
already available, but that doesn't mean that what's available is better.
I agree that diagnostic information is important to teachers, but that
doesn't mean they use the information. I am a veteran of the Special Ed
world, and I can tell you no one is tested more than the special ed
student. Yet I truthfully never saw a special ed teacher do anything
meaningful with the results other than to file them away. I can see that
teachers would be more "mindful" of monitoring progress, but once again,
what is the link of this "mindfulness" to improved instruction? As for a
"yardstick", theare is nothing useful about the NRS' artificial assumption
that everyone, or even a certain percentage of the group, will progress at
least one level in one year. In the end, I keep arriving at the conclusion
that listening to the learners' voice is the only route to improved
instruction, combined with training about how to listen for that voice as
well as how to translate expressed needs into instructional practice. And
the NRS doesn't do that, at least not yet.
If the NRS could be revised (and according to Tom's observations there are
plans to consider doing so) I would advocate for some type of mechanism
that holds programs accountable for incorporating both the learner and
professional development into a process for continuous "quality assurance"
(ooops! I am chagrined to find myself using a concept from the business
world after all!).
> [Original Message]
> From: David Joost <JOOST_D at hccs.cc.tx.us>
> To: <nla at lists.literacytent.org>
> Date: 06/18/2002 10:02:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [NLA] The "next half
> Implementation of accountability does send the most in need or "next
> half" to the back of the line. No one is happy about it. Only more
> money for more services can bring them back into the system and we know
> they are there. Hence our logic for an appeal to decisionmakers.
> The reasons service is better for those students that remain are:
> 1. Students that persist are more likely to need what we offer: basic
> academic skill improvement. They are less likely to need services we
> cant afford to offer.
> 2. Teachers are more mindful of actively monitoring student progress
> because of reporting requirements.
> 3. Because of more thorough assessment and orientation procedures, the
> teachers and the student are better able to understand the student's
> academic proficiencies and deficits and thereby more directly address
> 4. Finally, determination of progress and level completion provides the
> teacher and student with a yardstick of periodic accomplishments.
> The question about what caused the drop in enrollment seems to have
> been resolved.
> The question now is how do we get the funds to reestablish service at
> least at the levels that existed "before the fall".
Deborah W. Yoho
Moderator, NIFL-Health Discussion Group
Executive Director, Greater Columbia Literacy Council
921 Woodrow Street Columbia, SC 29205
803-765-2555 dwyoho at earthlink.net
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