A case that Education Week reported this month caught my attention. Although it doesn’t involve Oklahoma, it is noteworthy because of its subject matter: a defamation lawsuit that a curriculum company filed against a parent over the parent’s criticism of the company’s content.
Schools have policies or procedures governing library materials selection and new curriculum. Within those guidelines is generally a means by which parents may protest or express concern about a school’s implementation of something the parents find objectionable. This is standard procedure for schools everywhere.
In the present instance, a parent group in Wake County, NC had been vocal for months about a new math curricula from publisher Mathematics Vision Project (MVP). The company sued one of the parents who had been most outspoken over the open source curriculum. The parent, Blain Dillard, had started a public blog centering around his issues with MVP after he became concerned about his son’s challenges in math when the school implemented MVP.
Why is this case important? Well, depending on its outcome, it could have the potential to stifle parents’ statements and observations about student curriculum. It could affect how schools look at vendors with whom they contract. One might question whether a lawsuit of this type is a good idea in the first place, given that these companies are selling to schools, where parent input is necessarily going to be a component in the overall operations plan.
I'm talking severe weather season, my friends! We here in Oklahoma know all too well the fear this time of year brings and the devastation that can occur.
In an effort to meet the ever-changing needs of our members, the Teaching & Learning team works hard to offer diverse, focused services that are, as always, free! Besides our online courses, twice-a-month webinars and our customized on-site professional development, we offer five regional professional developments over two days, five times a year.
The whole summer--yes, the ENTIRE summer--sounds like a lot of time for planning and reflection. But as we all know, before you can turn around it’s the night before you return to your pre-school professional development days.