So Long, and Farewell

You know when you have those moments when you say “goodbye,” to someone? And then you continue to walk in the same direction? Well, we’re about to have one of those awkward moments. Cause I feel like saying goodbye, but I’m not actually going anywhere in the blogging world. However…

As far as I’m concerned, my Politics of Reading class just ended. Yes, we still have presentations to finish and present. And there are one or two more blog posts to come, but I want this post to be a salute to all the questions that I have now and all of the new ways that I’ve been pushed to think since this semester began.

And given my train of thought, what makes the most sense for that? A string of quotes and commentaries from past posts and class notes. They will generally be in chronological order. Please mind the gap when I make logical jumps!

“In the beginning it was all black and white”

  • A quote that sounded right, courtesy of Seneca


“Who has power? Who should have power? – I have no blessed idea”

“Where does information come from?”

“Teachers as enactors of policy, not creators””


“Reforms as short ephemeral bursts that ultimately return.”

“There are broken linkages between vision and implementation of policy.”

“How do reforms get institutionalized? Political support (aka power) and timing.”

“Why do reforms fail? – Too much paperwork; changes cultural beliefs about what school is; interconnected systems.”

1/28/15: The Power of What If

“But good intentions, at least in education world, don’t always have the desired results. Most, if not all, of the elements of our education system that have become the norms, or the grammar, of schooling were created with good intentions.

“But who knows, maybe there’s a perfect wish out there after all. And someone is waiting to grant it. In the meantime, I say we brainstorm – alone and with others – about what needs fixing. How can we make the necessary revisions to the grammar of schooling and leave our kids and education professionals better equipped to do what that they do best?”


“How do the politics of reading begin? With Brown v. Board (of Topeka, Kansas)”

“Era of Conditioned Learning; Era of Natural Learning; Era of Information Processing; Era of Socio-Cultural Learning; Era of Engaged learning”

2/18/2015: What’s Love Got to do With it?

“Have you ever procrastinated with doing something until the very last minute, rushed to get it done, swore to yourself that you’d never do it again, only to betray your oath and found yourself scrambling at your next deadline? Procrastination is a fun thing: have fun now, and regret it later.”

“I’m just thinking, but how do you convince someone to wholeheartedly do something that’s difficult? How do you help someone do what’s best, even if it’s not what comes natural?”

No Date: NRP, though

“Who wanted the NRP Report – Congress.”

“The Big 5: PA, Phonics, Fluency, Vocab, and Comprehension.”

“Proportion of studies included in the NRP that met criteria? About 2%, very influential for the amount that it covers of all studies…”

2/25/15: Scripted Curriculum, Friend or Foe?

“I’m sure for other reasons, but by the end of that introduction to SC, I was convinced that the devil was in the details, so he decided to write an extensively rigid curriculum.”

“Does it have to be good/bad, friend foe? Could scripted curriculum sometime be both, neither, or something entirely different?”

  • Hall’s lovely response

3/4/15: The Evolution of Reading

“Once again – I didn’t have much power in those situations. I didn’t choose to learn. I didn’t choose what to read. I couldn’t even choose when I wanted to read (unless I wanted to read more – though, why would I ever do that?).”

“And then one day, my mother bought a Pokémon book for me. And I loved it soooo much!”



“Students who need the most support often have teachers/courses with less flexibility to adjust to their needs.”

“AYP – Doesn’t allow schools to adjust to their needs.”

“Opt-out Movement: Happening NOW

3/18/15: Say What? Standardized Testing

“Apparently, students have the freedom to refuse to take a standardized test (without penalty).”

“It came as a complete surprise to me. As a product of No Child Left Behind … Drill and kill, or be killed – was more of how it seemed to go.”

“I’m not criticizing the movement, but I’m just not sure what it means (or will ever mean) for all families and students. Only time will tell, I suppose.”


“Policy doesn’t have to be on a large/government level; can also be class and school level policy.”

“Why have scripted curriculum? Teacher support.”

3/25/15: Reading About Scripted Curriculum

“In my reading for class tomorrow, I learned about scripted curriculum and private stakeholders, and it made me feel like I had to do something.”

“How much power do teachers really have? Were things ever any different? Should the federal government put more focus on dealing with other systemic issues that root issues like poverty (compared to deficits in standardized test scores in reading)?”

“Regardless, one of my most salient discoveries/take-aways from this reading was that teachers can’t improve and adjust to their students if they’re rigidly relying on a scripted curriculum.”


“Leigh makes a really nice comparison of the Walking Dead.

Alexandria -> Surviving Outside

Scripted Curriculum -> Actual Teaching”

4/1/15: The Motivation to Read

“Our perceptions towards reading are influenced by our environment: in some circles this is referred to as an ‘Ideological Approach’ to reading.

(The alternative is the Autonomous Approach pays less attention to the social nature and looks at reading objectively in all of its parts: phonemes, decoding, that sort of thing.”

“Aren’t both important? YES! Of course! The trick is finding a balance and making sure that students are able to flex their mental muscles and assimilate the new words, texts, and materials into preexisting knowledge stores.”


“Assumption of reading comprehension: Once you get to a certain age, it’s assumed that you understand what you’re reading, but texts and comprehension get more difficult as you advance.”


“Like most topics related with kids, it varies.”


“Do you think standardized testing is necessary? No – it creates differences where they don’t exist.”

It’s been a great time! Thanks everyone!!

[Casper Rhay]

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