Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Posted by lpearle on 26 July 2006

In an editorial in today’s NYTimes (Demanding vs. Doing (login required), I read the following:

The story of the No Child Left Behind Act is all about the huge gap between setting standards and creating the conditions in which those standards can be met. One of the law’s most critical provisions requires that all public school teachers in core academic courses be ““highly qualified” by this year.

Note the phrase “core academic courses”. In other words, no librarians. No art teachers. Only those teaching English, Math, Science and Social Studies/History. Because that’s all we want our children to learn. Teaching them about how to find, evaluate and use information isn’t important, either.

How shortsighted is that? Students need to do more than just study for tests (high stakes tests, no less). They need to be exposed to other countries, other cultures (newsflash: we’re not the only country out there, and English is not spoken everywhere). And they need librarians.

It constantly saddens me that Laura Bush, famed ex-school librarian now serving as First Lady, has said and done so little about this issue. Here’s a perfect opportunity to have someone Highly Placed say something in our defense, and she’s mum. Maybe she should read these tidbits.

Seems to me that the more we (the People) insist that school is not just about testing, not just about the Three R’s, the better chance we have at getting the education system our students deserve.


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