Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Accelerated Reader

What a stupid, stupid program. The gist is that students read a book, take a test and score points. Each student's 'point' goal is supposed to be reflective of his or her ability.

I think it's stupid.

I don't believe in offering incentives for stuff kids are supposed to do. I also don't believe that offering incentives for reading makes better readers.

There's that stupid "book it" program that a national pizza chain does. Sorry, that's about selling pizzas, not about reading.

The kids who actually read? Their parents can't keep track of how much they read. Parents whose kids don't read? Their parents lie about how much their kids read...just so their kid's "reading" calendar isn't empty.

Here's the truth........

It doesn't matter if your kid participates in the reading incentive program. Chances are, the fact that such a program is on your radar means your kids are reading enough. If you have a child or a student who isn't achieving within those incentive programs, you've got some problems that a personal pan pizza, an ice cream sundae and balloons won't help.

You know if your kid is a reader. You know if your kid isn't. It's a waste to make some kids participate in these stupid programs and it's just plain mean to make kids who just aren't that into competitive reading be a part of this silly exercise.


Jennifer said...

I can totally see your point. Both of my kids love to read and read a lot. When Taylor was in fifth grade his reading level was 12.5 and up. His teacher insisted they read books in their range and take AR tests; well there aren't many senior in high school reading level books that are appropriate for a 10-11 year old! I went around and around with his teacher (the kid was reading books all the time, had a high vocab/comprehension but was just not mature enough to read high school material.) In his case, the reading program backfired, as it made reading (something he enjoyed) a matter of contention.
On the otherhand, I must admit, my daughter loves the incentives! (And is competetive about building up AR points)

Rixblix said...

I understand, Jen. #1 is competitive about his points, too. But that's not about making better readers. Which, in theory, is the whole point of the program. The same strong readers earn the incentives while the less strong readers (who need encouragement the most) continue to struggle.

Sarah said...

Hi there...I saw a comment you left on a blog I read and I clicked on your name. I am the mother of two sons with hemophilia and I never knew that girls had hemophilia? Thats kind of cool...not that you have it but that I know that now for when people ask me about what it is.:) I always say that NO girls never get it! I am the carrier and my father and uncle have it as well. Do you see Dr Tarintino? He's the best. Ok well just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog as well!! Thanks


Katie said...

Ugh! I hate dealing with AR. Shelby is trying to read a book that is a 6.4 to get more AR points. She is in 4th grade. And trying to talk her out of it is impossible...stupid AR!

Anonymous said...

Who or what sponsors or runs this AR thing?

Rixblix said...

AR is a program that a school buys and runs through the libaray. The books are all "leveled" and students read books on their level then take tests.

Floyd said...

I don't have a clue about this particular program, but back when I was a kid, the more books I checked out of the library and read, the more prizes I won. Turns out, the biggest prize was the development of a healthy need and desire to read that has lasted for all these years.

(cue after school special music)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rixblix -

I am a friend of IDNKM from Dallas and I read your blog from time to time. I received an email today about a Hemophilia survey from Schlesinger Associates, a national marketing research firm, and thought of you. They are a legit company. They do surveys on all kinds of different topics, not just medical. I have done surveys for them in Dallas. Plus, who couldn't use $75 bucks these days.
- - - -
They are interested in speaking with Hemophilia patients or their caregivers about their treatment for Hemophilia A/Factor VIII.

This is a telephone interview that is to take place sometime before October 24th. It will last 20 minutes and pay $75.

If this describes you and you are interested in participating, please copy and paste the link below into your web browser to go through a few qualifying questions.

- - - -
You fill out the form and if you qualify, they will call or email you back. I've never done a phone interview/survey with them before, only in person Q&A sessions at their office in Dallas. They don't try to sell you anything. It's a great way earn some extra cash.

You can check out their web site. The closest physical location to you guys is Chicago, but that's the beauty of a phone interview, you don't have to drive anywhere.

Schlesinger Associates - Dallas
JP Morgan Chase International Plaza 3
14241 Dallas Parkway Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75254
Phone: (972) 503-3100
Fax: (972) 503-3102

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

(smacks head)

there are so many examples of this. If you need the resource, you probably don't even wonder if it's out there. If you don't need it, that is probably part and parcel of a sense of entitlement (to help, to decent education, resources, good medical care, etc).