Updated: Apr 14
Would you like to know more about our Work Group? Do you wonder what kind of a group needs to be hidden if it is really truth? One does not light a lamp and place it under a basket. Rather, it is placed where it can provide light to the whole home. We must be careful of that which creeps in unaware and hides, even as of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Our board president wrote to me in early February:
Ryan, I’ll respond more after I re-read this and think about it more. But I do find your statement regarding what curriculum creators want to impart to students offensive I that it implies some hidden agenda. What you heard last night over and over is that curriculum needs to be designed to teach kids the right material so more of them can pass the state standards. Like it or not, we must teach to the standards. There’s no hidden agenda by curriculum writers! [Emphasis added.]
Our Superintendent also wrote in two separate emails about agendas in the school,
"Although it is wise to be skeptical of the motives of the large publishing houses, there is no need to be alarmed. Any curricular resource adopted in GCS is just that, a resource. We train all teachers with extensive professional development in how to use that resource to help students master state standards. Roger is absolutely correct in his statement about the standards. It takes all of our combined effort to teach the standards. We don’t have time for any underlying agenda. I have no other motive than to make sure every student in Goshen masters the state standards and has every opportunity to succeed. No one on the administrative team has any other motive. No principal has any other motive. We stay apolitical as much as we can and we stay focused on student support and success. The state legislature sets the state standards and we expend pretty much all of our energy and resources on creating a system that supports the mastery of those standards."
"The only resources we ever review in any curriculum cycle are only those resources that align with the state standards, which are set by the state legislature. We have a system for curricular materials adoption and this system employs a rigorous review of all materials against a rubric. Arguments could be made about the agenda of any curriculum publisher. I am letting you know and emphasizing that the administration here has no agenda other than helping our students master state standards. There are no hidden agendas and with teacher training, any individual teacher agendas (I don’t believe there are many) are circumvented through our systems alignment with teaching and learning. We use the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) framework. We use this framework with purpose and deliberation, monitoring instruction in our classrooms and student learning. The state standards are always the bedrock of all grade level and content curriculum. Some school districts are loose with this and then resources do become the curriculum. That is not the case in GCS, or at least we are moving away from the independent contractor model to a systems model, ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum that can be accessed by all students." [Emphasis added.]
Please note that the Goshen admin who was speaking in that video is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. This is from the very top of the administration.