Florida High School Principal Takes Books Away From Teacher

The Miami Herald ran a troubling story last week about a high school teacher who had literature textbooks that she purchased carted away because they did not fit with the Florida Standards.

Colleen Wright reports:

Audrey Silverman arrived at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High last week ready to finish “The Necklace,” the English class staple short story about the deceptiveness of appearances and the dangers of martyrdom with her gifted, honors ninth-grade students.

But when the literature teacher entered her classroom Thursday morning, 50 textbooks, including the teacher’s edition with years of annotations Silverman said she personally purchased, were missing from the baskets beneath the students’ desks. A student told Silverman she saw the books carted away the prior evening.

She filed a pre-grievance with her principal, Allison Harley, who in turn, Silverman said, opened an internal investigation into her use of school email. 

Silence dissent through intimidation, yeah, that’s what we want to see in our public schools. 

Wright continues:

Silverman, a 30-year veteran teacher whose scores deem her one of the best teachers in the state, has been using a textbook called “McDougal-Littell Literature” for a decade, although students were using an edition from four years ago. It’s got poems, essays, short stories, Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare — a curriculum she says challenges and rivets her students.

But the Florida Department of Education phased out that textbook five years ago and introduced new titles that districts could use. A committee of teachers picked “Collections“ by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a digital textbook that aligns with new Florida standardized tests that heavily emphasize nonfiction and informational texts.

While many schools are making the switch to digital curriculum, this is the first I’ve heard of a school taking away textbooks that a teacher purchased and was currently using. 

Tell me again how state standards don’t impact classroom instruction.

Read the whole article here. 

Has anyone else heard of this happening in a school?