Sunday, November 6, 2011

LAUSD needs to convert libraries to Test Prep Centers

notyetLAUSD wants to turn LAUSD Libraries into Test Prep Centers pending approval of the a contract with the right online service provider for our test prep materials.

In reference to why LAUSD is cutting librarians Dr. Deasy recently stated that in addition to budget concerns "research shows libraries don't teach literacy."  I get the budget thing, but why say libraries don’t teach literacy, unless you know where the real value of an LAUSD education lies.   We love literacy rates at notyetLAUSD and can’t wait to get those numbers bumping.  We are thankful to Dr. Deasy for finding this research to help make our kids college and career ready

We know libraries happen to hold more than just a bunch of words, they hold information.  More importantly they hold information that is organized.  We can argue about the value of the Dewey decimal system in the age of natural language search queries, but organizing information is a hugely important skill for college bound students.  If we are to prepare college ready students they are going to need to know how find and evaluate information.  The skills of a librarian are the most essential skills of a citizen of the digital age.   

What we see as the spark of genius in Dr. Deasy’s plan is that he is showing the leadership for career ready citizens.  NotyetLAUSD thinks this is truly inspired leadership to raise kids for a career path, not just in knowledge, but also in the skills of wilful suspension of self-enlightenment that left uncapped leads to too many liberal arts majors.  

Creating testing centers in the space once occupied by libraries is a great way to capitalize on the large space often sitting awkwardly in the center of a school.  We’re not sure if we should use Kaplan, Princeton Review, or one of the other up an coming test preparation suites that can be bought online.  Clearly the future is online and our test preparation materials need to move out of the paper world like libraries and move into the online spectrum.

LAUSD has already shown how a lack of libraries for teachers goes along with increased student performance on the Tests..   This district demands data-driven instruction and best practices, without providing any source for finding this information (a library with education journals).  LAUSD has the desire for data-driven and best practices but fails at providing the most basic education journals to its staff.  None-the-less test scores go up year after year without providing teachers a single education journal, this is just further proof libraries aren’t needed when scores are the focus.  

Dump a kid in an ocean of data and they drown.

Give them a search engine and they get sucked into the strongest current.  

Give a kid the basic skills of a librarian and they can navigate an ocean of data.  

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