A Response to EdReports’ Assessment of Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Writing

What’s the balance between teaching readers and teaching lessons with text-dependent questions? This is an important response to the ongoing debate. Thanks, @TCRWP. #TCRWP (Penny Kittle on Twitter)

Like EdReports, TCRWP is committed to supporting students’ growth. In this response, we will argue that EdReports has reviewed Units of Study to see if it matches the aspects of the CCSS which EdReports prioritizes, and not to see whether using Units of Study curricula produces student achievement. And we suggest that the teaching practices that EdReports values are not essential (and some are even counter) to meeting the CCSS and other iterations of standards. 

To do this, we prioritize things we know to be effective. We prioritize choice, as that allows for teaching which is more specifically responsive, more tailored to each learner, and it creates agency and engagement from teachers and kids alike. We wonder where the data-based evidence is that when teachers and students are given some agency and choice, less is taught and learned. We also value asset-based learning and believe that to teach in affirming ways, teachers and children need to be in a position to select texts for a myriad of reasons, not just by Lexile level, including choosing texts for their subject complexity, for their cultural relevance, and for the literary qualities.

From varsity to virtual with Teachers College, Columbia University |  Traction on Demand