Open Court was an abomination

  • They paid LAUSD teachers to go to training for five days during their vacation.
  • Teachers could also go during the school year for three days and receive their regular pay while the district paid substitutes.
  • They paid Open Court instructors to fly into Los Angeles and stay at nice hotels.
  • They rented large halls in the hotels for instruction rooms and halls where they provided lunch for all of the teachers.
  • Each elementary school had a Literacy Coach who really was the Open Court Police.
  • They ran around the school visiting classrooms, finding fault, and reporting the teachers to the principal.
  • Initially 60% on an Open Court test was considered passing.
  • Open Court measured reading speed, even though there are students that read excellently but slowly.
  • Any elementary teacher can tell you that it is comprehension, not speed that is important in Reading.
  • Open Court taught fluency, not comprehension or creative writing.
  • Open Court was scripted and the teacher in third grade had to read, “I am confused,” even though teachers have always been the ultimate authority on information for students.
  • Open Court covered adjectives and adverbs on the same page.
  • For conversation, Open Court had the students punctuate sentences with dialogue in a workbook—before OC, I had my students write their own sentences with dialogue.
  • Each school year, every school had to buy consumable workbooks and photocopy countless thousands of pages instead of using lined paper and pencils as students did for centuries.
  • To this veteran teacher, Open Court belongs with the LAUSD legacy of waste:  MiSIS, iPads, Breakfast in the Classroom, Food Services, and schools built on fields with oil or chemicals that must be continually decontaminated.

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