I wish to respond to some inaccuracies in a letter regarding our students watching TV news programs as part of our curriculum. Our fourth grade classrooms watch a student news program called “CNN 10” on some mornings after recess. This program, previously called “CNN Students News,” is a 10-minute, commercial free, daily news program designed to help students think about current events with a Common Core lens. Our teachers always screen the program prior to classroom viewing.
As stated on the podcast: “The show’s priority is to identify stories of international significance and then clearly describe why they’re making news, who is affected, and how the events fit into a complex, international society. The show maintains a neutral position on controversial topics. It seeks to provide multiple viewpoints, clear illustrations, and general overviews instead of graphic descriptions.”
Learning about events in the broader world is essential to prepare our students for career, college and citizenship. Students are encouraged to gather and evaluate developmentally appropriate sources, including our public media sources, with the guidance of our teachers. Our goal is to help them evaluate evidence, identify and critically analyze problems, and to collaborate and work with others to help solve problems. We would be remiss if we did not teach these skills in our classrooms using relevant resources and strategies like student news programs.
The notion that our teachers are creating inappropriate learning environments for our children is simply not factual. All parents and community members are welcome to schedule a visit to our classrooms to observe the effective and appropriate teaching and learning that occurs daily at Muldown Elementary School.
Linda Whitright is the Principal at Muldown Elementary.