MMSD Theory of Action for Change and Continuous Improvement

Superintendent Rainwater told MMSD board members Monday December 6, 2004 that some of the District’s goals are directed to educate teachers to do the right thing…support and train teachers…provide various levels of interventions for students that are not successful with the core curriculum.
In the case of reading, Balanced Literacy is the core curriculum and Reading Recovery is a first grade intervention teaching tool/approach that is used to help certain students be successful with reading.
The Superintendent commented that he believes the recent controversy surrounding reading is due in part to a misunderstanding of what the various definitions of Balanced Literacy, Reading First, Reading Recovery and Direct Instruction are.
From what I’ve read and understand about the debate and controversy, there are different approaches being used in the district when intervening to help a student who is not being successful with the core reading curriculum. Direct Instruction, which is a stand alone reading curriculum, is used by some reading teachers in the district as an intervention tool rather than Reading Recovery.
If results are available for both these interventions, I hope that the School Board takes the time to ask questions about what results we are seeing with different intervention approaches. Now that we have 80% of our children at proficient or advanced reading levels, the last 20% are likely to be particularly challenging for educators.
As I listened to the presentations last night, I couldn’t help but be impressed with two things regarding reading – strong community support and involvement through the Schools of Hope and other volunteers and continued reinforcement at all levels of the organization, beginning with teachers’ commitment to the students. When my daughter was in elementary school at Franklin and Randall Elementary Schools you knew that the principals and teachers were strongly committed to the Board’s reading priority.
Art Rainwater’s comments to the School Board can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
MMSD Theory of Action for Change and Continuous Improvement relative to the Academic Achievement of MMSD Students
Questions of Superintendent Rainwater