I am dismayed about the “talking points” from the Pasco Association of Educators around “universal curriculum.” Curriculum is defined as a course of study which was provided for us with the adoption of the Washington State Learning Standards.
We have no choice but to teach that curriculum, but can make choices about the materials to support instruction in a thoughtful manner. If a district adopted materials every time standards changed, then millions of dollars would be spent and only publishing companies would benefit. This would be fiscally irresponsible.
Second, the whole idea of “universal curriculum” is a concern. Children are NOT “one size fits all” and what they need to learn should not be determined by a publishing company that says on a particular day you teach a particular page. Technology is now our world so what are we adopting — a book or online resources? When was the last time any of us went to a book to ask any question?
The school district has provided hours of training and compensation to teachers to develop lesson plans with the new standards. If teachers want to be role models, then teach and resolve your concerns in a collaborative manner.
Editor’s note: Kathy Hayden is the retired Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for the Pasco School District.