Rep. Lewis' curriculum proposal creates a crushing level of work for PA educators and takes valuable time away from teaching kids

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Rep. Lewis' curriculum proposal creates a crushing level of work for PA educators and takes valuable time away from teaching kids

Under current law and regulations, parents and guardians can access curriculum materials taught in their children’s schools

For further information contact:
Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (Oct. 6, 2021) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today approved House Bill 1332, legislation that will require educators to post all their instructional materials online, beginning in the 2022-23 school year.

The bill creates an unnecessary amount of work for educators without achieving much, and it takes valuable time away from teaching students, which is even more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current regulations already provide parents and guardians with access to curriculum materials, including academic standards, instructional materials, and assessment techniques.

Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), issued the following statement:

“PSEA supports the existing, long-standing rights of parents and guardians to access academic standards, instructional materials, and assessment techniques used in their children’s schools.

“Rep. Lewis’ bill is a mandate that requires educators to post online every instructional material they use in their classrooms. The proposal is so broad that it could mean anything educators use to help their students learn, from textbooks and PowerPoint presentations to pencil boxes and dry erase markers.

“This mandate would amount to a crushing level of work for educators at a time when they are navigating in-person instruction, addressing student learning delays, and meeting students’ needs during a global pandemic. It’s an absolutely unnecessary distraction from what is really important — teaching kids.

“The bill raises even more questions related to the online posting of copywritten material, quizzes and tests, and a continual online updating of lesson plans. Is this truly how we want educators to spend their time?

“The current regulations recognize through local school district policies that there is some physicality to instructional materials and that some materials likely shouldn’t be posted online. In addition, it provides all public school entities the latitude to consider the difference in instructional materials by subject and grades.

“Given that curriculum materials are already accessible for parents and guardians, educators wonder what Rep. Lewis is really trying to accomplish with this proposal? The last thing students need at this time is further politicization of their education.

“PSEA fully recognizes the importance of sharing curriculum materials with parents and guardians. We call on lawmakers to work with educators and school leaders to ensure this can be done in the most effective way possible.”

To illustrate how broad House Bill 1332 is, PSEA asked an elementary STEM teacher and a high school technology education teacher to share what instructional materials they use in their classrooms. This is how they responded.

Elementary STEM teacher: “Calendar pocket chart and numbers, coins, base ten pocket chart, pocket charts (many), cardstock (white and colored), velcro dots, Decodable books (Bob books, half pint, Geodes, Super charged), Heggerty manual, Fundations manual, Fundations magnet boards, Fundations consumable books, Pencil boxes, dry erase markers (on average 4 per marking period per kid), two boxes of crayons per student, markers for students and teacher, lined chart paper, blank chart paper, pencils 2-4 per marking period per student, STEM bins, Legos, books, dry erase boards, name tags, number lines for desks, wobble seats, scoop seats, stools, Chromebooks, Ozobots, code and go mice, Indi spheros, number blocks, linking cubes, unifix cubes, base ten blocks, bulletin board paper/boarder, hand held mirror, alphabet magnets, letter cubes and Playdough.”

High school technology education teacher: “Power point presentations, Nearpods, screencasts, lesson plans, guided notes, reading lessons (Cornell note taking, SQ4R, study guides, text marking), guided practice labs, lab reports, safety demonstrations, hands on projects, quizzes and tests.”

Askey is the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 178,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.