Instructional Coach Kyle Thayse Wisconsin Education Committee Testimony; Q&A; Lucy Calkins


mp3 Audio Entire hearing video.

An interesting excerpt, regarding their use of the discredited Lucy Caulkins Reading Curriculum (see Sold a Story):

Senator John Jagler. Thank you. I, as I talked to, to my local administrators, [00:21:00] um, I’m fascinated. Curriculum choices that have been made and continue to be made.

[00:21:06] And I’m, I’m, I’m quite honestly surprised you, you, you double down on one of the bad actors, uh, not my words, I’m not an expert, but identified Lucy Calkins in this units of study as one of the bad actors, a bad actors in this, um, whole fight on the science of reading. Why did you go there? Why did you go back to, to you, you know, went back to her version 2.0, which her critics would say, were only done because the spotlight was being shined on her by, by others.

[00:21:42] Kyle Thayse: I knew this question was coming today, so I kind of prepared myself. I thought that that was gonna be asked. So, um, you know, there was, there’s a couple, a couple of reasons. I think as a district, we, we, we made that decision. Um, and I’ll be honest, I was, I was, I was for it. Um, and, and a lot of it is, The, um, the [00:22:00] professional development that, um, I feel like we were able to lead through the district outside of the curriculum problems.

[00:22:08] Kyle Thayse: The what, what the curriculum brought to the table as far as the growth of our teachers, the tightness, the, the tightness, and the, uh, the collegial conversations about learning that happened on a daily basis in, in our classrooms. It was brought upon by that, by the models of that. and, um, above that second grade level, we, we don’t have, there’s, there’s no real issues, you know, with the curriculum.

[00:22:32] Kyle Thayse: It’s, it’s, it’s robust, it has great topics. Um, kids are exposed to a lot of different vocabulary with within it, and even at the lower levels it is too. Um, we did identify those problems that were in there and, uh, we didn’t, we didn’t take the full leap of faith right away. We purchased first the, the manuals and, um, I tasked myself with reading.

[00:22:50] Kyle Thayse: Every kindergarten manual, every first grade manual said to me, those were the two most important, uh, manuals. Every unit in that manual to identify in there, do, do I find [00:23:00] any of this at all? And, um, there was one little spot that I was concerned and I thought we were gonna have an issue. . Um, but what ended up happening was the, that part of the unit was actually more of an emergent reader.

[00:23:10] Kyle Thayse: Early, early literacy before students are even learning sounds, portion of the curriculum, um, where students were, were learning. Uh, the, the pattern part of the book was more of the memorization, the storytelling part where kids learn how stories go. This is like 4K, early kindergarten curriculum stuff. And, um, And past that, there were, I, they, there was the use of decodable texts.

[00:23:30] Kyle Thayse: There was, um, there was not any of the use of, of of, of the, uh, use the picture to solve the word. There was, um, a lot, uh, actually I would say almost triple the amount of lessons on phonics and emmic awareness within the actual reading curriculum. I mean, this is outside of the phonic tum that we already used.

[00:23:46] Kyle Thayse: Um, so once we saw that all in there, um, the price tag on a whole new curriculum, uh, the professional development that goes along. Um, and, and, and the time that it would take, uh, we thought we would be able to move faster as long [00:24:00] as the right tools were in there and we felt the tools were there.

Additional testimony: Mark Seidenberg Kymyona Burk DPI

3 Minute Summary by Senator Duey Stroebel