Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Budget Cut Victim – Textbook Adoption

By on December 5, 2008

We just got word that we will not have our scheduled textbook adoption for ELA this year as planned.  I have to admit, it is disappointing.  I mean, yes it meant I was going to be out of the classroom for a number of days over the course of second semester.  But when I think about how damaged our current textbooks are, and the new content we’re missing out on, it’s just no wonder the achievement gap widens.

I work in a Title I school that is 49% Latino and 49% Asian.  I recently took a survey on computer use in the homes and while we complain about those students who stay up all night playing video games, the fact is that a huge percentage don’t have access to computers, email, keyboarding, etc…at all.  

New textbooks these day have technology and intervention components that we desperately needed.  These new textbooks offered internet literacy possibilities that are no longer ours.  Sure, we can supplement. We have up until now.  But it’s like Lucy and Charlie Brown and that darn football.  We had a 21st century textbook dangling in front of our face and it has now been taken away just as we were happily swinging our foot.

I know there are districts that haven’t adopted textbooks during the last two decades.  I worked at a school once that didn’t have textbooks at all.  But that isn’t what we aim for, that isn’t what strive for, and it shouldn’t be the level we allow.

The cuts that actively effect the standard of teaching in the classroom shouldn’t even be on the table.  Yes, I know that good teachers teach, regardless of the materials.  But why stack the cards against them?  

I don’t know where the cuts should come from, but the teachers have to have the materials they need to do their job.  Any thoughts, dear readers?  What’s on your chopping block?

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