During the April 19, 2021 Nampa School Board meeting, there was a Consent Agenda – Action Item vote taken on 17 items. All 17 items are voted on in ONE VOTE. The public doesn’t hear each agenda item in this list. A quick vote is simply taken. One of those items was “Approval of Reading Intervention Materials”. There were 4 different Reading Intervention Materials scored. This made me very curious so I began to investigate. The following is a small piece of what was presented to the Board by the District, “The recommendation for a solution is that we select Lexia. It had the high evaluation score and is the second lowest price. The scoring highly aligns with our needs per the bid specification. Therefore, we are seeking approval to purchase a 4-year license of Lexia from ESSER Funds.”
I have listed a few of my notes concerning the 4 reading curriculums that were addressed:
“A well-defined SEL program is more important than ever.
Today’s students face challenges as they form relationships, develop their identity, and face adversity. Integrating social and emotional learning into the classroom gives educators powerful ways to connect with students through meaningful conversations that can improve behavior, increase student success, and inspire learning that lasts a lifetime.”
ESSER III Money – Be sure to click on the link inside the ESSER III paragraph to view money distributed to states.
Not Racist Movie – “I’m Not Racist…Am I?” – “What if this next generation could transcend racism? One year, 12 teens, on a remarkable journey to face racism and white privilege, and to have the conversations most of us are too afraid to have. Once they push through naivete, guilt and tears, what they learn may change us all.”
Look Deeper: Race
“Edgenuity®, in partnership with Point Made Learning, is proud to offer Look Deeper: Race, a powerful 6–12 interactive online curriculum designed to engage students with thought-provoking conversations about bias, race, and racism.”
“Having meaningful conversations about race and racism is a crucial component of whole learning, emotional intelligence, and student success in the classroom and beyond.
Developed by Point Made Learning and based on their award-winning documentary I’m Not Racist… Am I?, this engaging digital learning course guides students and educators through examination, conversations, questions, and reflections about systemic racism in the United States.”
2.) Lexia – Lexia Core5 Reading for grades K-5 states, “Core5 was developed with a mission to mitigate that gap. Built on Structured Literacy, Core5 is intended to help provide equitable learning opportunities for all students, as well as to transform student learning for success and well-being.”
Podcasts are provided for the educators. One podcast discusses:
“Defining the science of reading
Recognizing literacy as a human right
What the science of reading is NOT
‘Science’ separates what the science of reading is
What we have learned; What we still have to learn
How to be good citizens for the science of reading
Creating equity and much more!”
Other podcasts such as “What Does Equity Mean to You?” and “New Digital Personalized Approaches to Equity”.
More quotes from Lexia, “With equitable results across all sub-populations”, “Towards Educational Equity: Empowering Literacy Teachers”, “Standard English Is a Myth: Bringing an Asset-Based Approach to Accents”- “This Education Insight explains why standard English and its “non-accent” are myths; outlines the detrimental effects of stigmatizing accents; and provides ways to address accent bias in the classroom to bring us closer to educational equity.”
3) IStation – “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are paramount to success in any business, and that is particularly true for an educational technology company like Istation.”
4) Renaissance – “Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We recognize that to accelerate learning for all, we need to build a Renaissance for all. Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion shapes what we do each day—and drives a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization.”
They vow “To create a bias-free and equitable talent acquisition and employee development process. To promote educational equity by ensuring our products adhere to strict guidelines for content appropriateness—and reflect the diversity of today’s classrooms. To create an inclusive and attractive company culture for underrepresented employees.”
According to the following information found on the Board documents, the Nampa School District spent $465,833 on Lexia for a 4 year contract. Below is all the pricing listed in these documents:
Renaissance 1-yr $ 103,012 2-yr $ 199,744 3-yr $ 300,197 4-yr $ 404,681 5-yr $ 513,195
Lexia 1-yr N/A 2-yr $ 253,983 3-yr $ 354,833 4-yr $ 465,833 5-yr $ 576,821
Edgenuity 1-yr $ 131,420 2-yr $ 262,840 3-yr $ 389,760 4-yr $ 516,680 5-yr $ 643,600
iStation 1-yr $ 175,914 2-yr$ 318,577 3-yr $ 427,988 4-yr $ 538,948 5-yr $ 634,056
I know some will say that it’s impossible to find a Reading Curriculum that is free from the SEL/DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion), etc. but they are wrong! There are great curriculums that teach reading without any political agendas.
I wonder if the ESEER money can be used on nonpolitical agenda reading curriculums or if these four above curriculums were encouraged by the money?
I’m certain that not all educator or parents intend for these reading materials to teach any agenda. They are trying to do the best they can just to teach children to read. These education programs do a very good job to make this “agenda material” look very nice. Please remember, the devil is always in the details. It is long past time for us to fight for programs that teach reading NOT all the other junk.