Clarifying, A Little
And maybe this is because of Open Court. Now I've never taught it, but I teach the kids who've spent the last six years in Open Court classrooms, so maybe some of this is valid. I think Open Court and the adherence to standards it ushered in is responsibility for the relative rise of proficiency scores in our District. Relative being a key term here, because scores are on the rise across the state, so maybe we're all just running in place. I think Open Court is successful with kids who are ready to receive that instruction, and because kids are starting in Open Court, there are more who are ready. At the same time, Open Court does little to help those not ready for its level of instruction, never mind the shiny packets of "intervention" materials. So I think the median level of ability in heterogeneous elementary classrooms is on the rise, which means the level of instruction is on the rise, which means material becomes even less accessible to the struggling student, the SpEd kid, the ELL, the recent immigrant, or those super-fun kids who can check every one of those boxes all at once. There is a mandate to differentiate against the curricular offerings, and that requires knowledge, insight, courage, and resiliency to accomplish. So we see this odd combination of increased proficiency rates, while the most critically under-taught become more so.
Open Court, like neo-conservative economic policies, is serving to eradicate the middle class.