Yes, that's right, middle schools are no longer allowed to use novels in language arts classes. Instead, teachers must strictly adhere to Brooks' textbook. 

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I hope you understand the skepticism to the original post. It's quite a shift and thus far the rebuttal to questions is "Everyone knows it but may not be doing it."

I understand. Sadly, it's very typical of how policies are rolled out in APS, which is why so many bad policies are in place. If nothing else, please stay in touch with what's going on in your child's middle school and never be afraid to call stupid stupid. 

I say AMEN to "...stay in touch with what's going on in your child's middle school..." I'm a firm believer that there is a good education to be had in the public school system, but it takes WORK and INVOLVEMENT on lots of levels.

I'll Amen your Amen!

I'm shocked by reading this topic! How can you understand a novel, when you just have read some parts of it?  I understand that it is impossible to know all important novels and that you have to shorten everything and have to set priorities... but to read nothing? It's not surprising that children don't read anymore in their free time!

There is an allowed textbook, but not one that teachers wanted. That's the book that'll be used. Novels on the other hand are out until the SBA. Sadly, it's all part of the testing frenzy and our over reliance on them. Given that what can anyone honestly expect? Teach to the test and to hell with education. 

As you can see the schools plot their coarse for students from point A to point D by making more aware of the short sided goal to get more people to actually reach the goal and get recorded for it at point D and then they will measure this as success, pat themselves on the back and say, "look how smart we are to have improved the schools". However, in foreign country where students and teachers work harder not having all the perks of life we have here.....they study novels in mid school and may not get to point D in the mid school but having had the broader thinking of having read the mind enlarging thought processes of wading through some classic novels by the time they are in the final year of their school experience they are well beyond point D and possibly are at point Z as we may only make it to point G or so, having been mapped to get there by our directed learning curve based on progress made without basic novel driven imagination. They on the other hand had things enlarging their minds, such as novel reading instead of television and less point mapped progress but higher performance mapped traditional instruction to which they remained active towards, to reach levels beyond what our system is able to do. Our public schools perform precisely to the level of parental "interest and respect" afforded them at any given moment that it is measured at. When we don't like the is merely a reflection of the level of interest and concern that was put into it, by the familial user of the education system. If you are a parent with concerns for your children's education you will stay intimately involved in their education and will be example to them praising jobs done by student and teacher. However, many a parent can say nothing good about a teacher, or the profession, or the schools when in front of their own child, and then is bewildered by how poorly their child performs at the disrespected school system he has brow beat constantly, instead of finding the good in. If you are a parent, you are primal and primarily responsible for the education of your children and the attitude they carry towards that goal. No one else but you carries that responsibility and although you may find people in life that are great aids to accomplishing goals for your children's education you cannot get there by faultfinding of the schools, the teachers, or the educational system or any other difficulty of your existence. 9 times out of 10 you are the parent of a child that performs in a school setting in precisely the manner you engendered and expected and no one is to blame but the parent who establishes the initial learning attitude of the child. When all the parents in a school arrive at this level of attitude towards education it will go up in performance and standards and not one day earlier than that. How do you as a parent measure yourself against this standard?

Does your child have an environment and time set aside for reading that novel? Is that something you have made an expectation of every day at home?

Do you take the responsibility to see that your child has actually brought home the homework to be done and has done it?

Do you see the grades daily or only on report card day(too late)?


Thank you if you have waded into this this far be you a parent, educator, or concerned citizen.

Thank you for responding to this thread. I can't argue with much of anything you've said here. I only want to add that I do have parents who are very attentive to their children, but who are also desperately trying to put food on the table and a roof over their family's head. Thanksgiving, the holiday many of us will celebrate this week will in all likelihood find itself on their tables involving Vienna sausages and macaroni and cheese.  


These are good people.


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