So, when a school does not meet NCLB requirements they are sanctioned. There is a choice of sanctions in some cases, and in many, if not most cases, the choice of sanction is to adopt new curricular materials, and provide staff development for the new adoptions. Oh, and the choices of curricular materials are supposed to be research based (they are not!)
When superintends and principals foist new materials on, and make ridiculous claims to teachers, we teachers need to push back. The new adoptions, like old adoptions before them, WILL NOT WORK! Families need to do more to prepare their children for school. When we in the profession claim to be able to make headway WITHOUT parental-prerequisite-education-of-their-children, we do the nation a disservice; we cannot fix education with materials and money, we need better students, and that requires better parenting and early education.
Teachers work in different ways. Some stick to the curricular materials, and offer little of their own creativity (out of fear, lack of knowledge, etc;), and still others offer unique and wonderful ways to make education fun and interesting. The problem with requiring we use a new set of materials is that the materials (almost all of them written by former teachers who learned very well how to make a buck) are usually no better than the previous stuff, and more to the point, most of the stuff could be written by anyone who has been in a classroom.
Children need excitement and background knowledge to be successful in the NCLB era (well, always really). When we focus on "narrative text" and call it "small moments" we are just screwing with language, making common nomenclature moot, causing confusion. I can't stand using new terms, babied down as I call them, when we have perfectly good, understandable, common academic terms for these things. Kids can handle the truth, and deserve to know the real terms, and have them explained.
We are required to waste money on materials due to sanctions for not meeting NCLB requirements. It is time to repeal NCLB, allow teachers to take back the schools (because we actually DO know what's best), and keep expanding the horizons of the children we teach and nurture.
Oh, teachers, don't be afraid to hold parents responsible for their irresponsibility and crappy child rearing. Maybe there ought to be consequences for being a lame parent?
Oh yeah, every teacher I know voted for Obama! Hillary was touted by the union, but the members want Obama. Go take a look at his website and see what he has to say about parental responsibility and education. Every teacher ought to be for him!