Archive for January 6th, 2006

6th January
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, January 6, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

The word from the Tweed Courthouse is that most of the extraordinarily lucrative contracts to train the city’s teachers how to teach reading and writing will now be given to one vendor — the Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University Teachers College, led by Lucy McCormack Calkins.

If true, Tweed is investing even deeper in the radical ideas of Ms. Calkins just as the pendulum, here in America and abroad, has begun to swing away from her philosophy. Ms. Calkins is described by Sol Stern, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, as “a doyenne of progressive-education pedagogy in America. Her ‘writing process’ approach … is based on the romantic idea that all young children are ‘natural writers’ and should be encouraged to start scribbling in journals and rewriting composition drafts without worrying (or being taught much) about formal grammar and spelling.” (more…)