As we indicated it might, the United Federation of Teachers' executive board has just passed a resolution recommending a voter referendum on term limits. Tomorrow at a Delegate Assembly, the resolution goes before the delegates — teachers and other UFT members representing each city school — who could add amendments. For now, here's the fifth of six resolutions the delegates will see: Resolved, that at this moment of economic crisis, UFT affirms its fundamental belief in the importance of respecting the democratic will of the people, and calls for the submission of any change in the term limits law to popular referendum. We'll post the full text of the resolution as soon as we have it. Update: Read the resolution after the jump.
A few weeks ago, I passed on some readers' questions about the Core Knowledge Reading Program to Matthew Davis, who is coordinating a pilot of the program in New York City elementary schools. He got back to me today with some answers. Ira asked whether the program addresses syntax, since he finds that his students are very weak in understanding grammar and sentence structure. Matthew Davis: In the Listening and Learning strand, the children will be hearing sentences with a lot of syntactical variety, including longer sentences than they would generally encounter in early reader type books they read on their own. We hope this oral experience of the language of books will help the students develop a sense of syntax. Also, beginning in grade 2, the Skills strand will address grammar and syntax explicitly. We expect to do some sentence-combining type of exercises to practice syntactic expansion. Details are being refined as I write. Smith wanted to know how content is selected and sequenced, and how this program differs from what elementary teachers do already.