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#1397705 --- 04/17/13 08:17 PM Common Core Kool-Aid
twocats Offline
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ArchiveFrederick M. Hess's Blog

The Common Core Kool-Aid

by Frederick M. Hess • Nov 30, 2012 at 10:05 am


In a number of conversations this week over at Jeb Bush's annual edu-fest, at AEI, and around DC, I was struck by the degree to which the Common Core seems to have become Dr. Pendergast's miracle cure for everything that ails you (seemingly including heat blisters). The exchanges were eerily reminiscent of the run-up to Waiting for Superman, when smart, enthusiastic people kept telling me how everything was about to change--how suburban voters would wake up and leap on the reform bandwagon. And it reminds me more than a little of conversations had earlier this decade or back in the '90s about how NCLB, school choice, or site-based management were going to change everything as well.

As best I can tell, none of those previous predictions came true. Now, I don't mean to come across as a tedious, "nothing works" naysayer. The Common Core is a different exercise from those earlier cure-alls, and it might play out differently. I honestly don't know where the truth lies. For one thing, as I've noted previously: I personally don't feel qualified to judge the quality of the Common Core standards; I don't think standards themselves matter all that much--all the action is in the stuff that follows; and I've seen a remarkable dearth of attention to how the Common Core will complement or clash with other key elements of the "reform" agenda (like charter schooling, new teacher evaluation systems, and school accountability).

Every time I ask about these things, I get watery, vague reassurances. Meanwhile, when I ask how exactly the Common Core is going to change teaching and learning, I'm mostly told that it's going to finally shine a harsh light on the quality of suburban schools, shocking those families and voters into action. This will apparently entail three steps:

First, politicians will actually embrace the Common Core assessments and then will use them to set cut scores that suggest huge numbers of suburban schools are failing. Then, parents and community members who previously liked their schools are going to believe the assessment results rather than their own lying eyes. (In the case of NCLB, these same folks believed their eyes rather than the state tests, and questioned the validity of the latter--but the presumption is that things will be different this time.) Finally, newly convinced that their schools stink, parents and voters will embrace "reform." However, most of today's proffered remedies--including test-based teacher evaluation, efforts to move "effective" teachers to low-income schools, charter schooling, and school turnarounds--don't have a lot of fans in the suburbs or speak to the things that suburban parents are most concerned about.

And this brings us to the crux of the matter. After failing miserably to convince suburban and middle-class voters that reforms designed for dysfunctional urban systems and at-risk kids are good for their children and their schools, Common Core advocates now evince an eerie confidence that they can scare these voters into embracing the "reform" agenda. And this conviction has become the happy Kool-Aid that allows would-be reformers to ignore the fact that they're not actually offering to tackle the things (like access to exam-style schools, world language mastery, music and arts instruction, and so on) that suburban parents are passionate about.

More to the point, the confidence that the Common Core will wake folks up in 2015, "changing everything," is an easy way to avoid unpleasant conversations about what it would actually take for the Common Core to connect with suburban voters or deliver on its promise (like, for instance, it might require the policy recommendations that have flowed from our "achievement gap mania" in the course of the past decade). The Kool-Aid allows would-be reformers to postpone facing up to hard truths. And it encourages proponents to regard their primary challenge as "messaging" the Common Core to parents and teachers, rather than grappling with these more substantive issues.

http://www.frederickhess.org/2012/11/the-common-core-kool-aid
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#1397739 --- 04/17/13 11:46 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
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You think the problem you're facing is testing, or it's the wrong test, or the wrong method of preparing for the test, or you think the problem is some other detail; it isn't. It's government, using coercive force to limit your freedom of choice regarding how best to teach.


Edited by VM Smith (04/17/13 11:49 PM)
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#1402937 --- 05/28/13 12:00 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
VM Smith Offline
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‘Common Core’ Nationalizes and Dumbs Down Public School Curriculum

by Ron Paul

Recently by Ron Paul: The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties






In addition to shredding civil liberties, launching a utopian global war for democracy, and going on a spending spree that would make LBJ blush, the so-called “conservative” Bush administration dramatically increased federal control over education via the “No Child Left Behind” act. During my time in Congress I heard nothing but complaints about this law from teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, students and parents. Most of the complaints concerned No Child Left Behind’s testing requirements, which encouraged educators to “teach to the test.”

Sadly, but not surprisingly, instead of improving education by repealing No Child Left Behind’s testing and other mandates, the Obama administration is increasing national control over schools via the “Common Core" initiative. Common Core is a new curriculum developed by a panel of so-called education experts. The administration is trying to turn Common Core into a national curriculum by offering states increased federal education funding if they impose Common Core’s curriculum on their public schools. This is yet another example of the government using money stolen from the people to bribe states into obeying federal dictates.


Critics of Common Core say it “dumbs down” education by replacing traditional English literature with “informational texts”. So students will read such inspiring materials as studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council. It is doubtful that reading federal reports will teach students the habits of critical thinking and skepticism of government that the Founders considered essential to maintaining a free republic.

Like Obamacare, Common Core (now dubbed “ObamaCore” by some) has sparked a backlash in the states, leading some to propose legislation forbidding state participation in the scheme. I hope these efforts lead to states not just opting out of Common Core, but out of No Child Left Behind and all other federal education programs as well.

Parents can also effectively “opt out” of programs like Common Core by seeking alternatives to government education. It is no coincidence that, as federal control over education increases, the quality of public education has declined and more parents have chosen to homeschool.

To support these parents, I have established my own homeschool curriculum. Unlike Common Core, we do not dumb down any of our offerings. Instead, the goal is to provide students with a rigorous education in history, math, English, foreign languages, and other core subjects necessary to a well-rounded education. Unlike the top-down model of nationalized education, the homeschool curriculum is deigned to encourage maximum input from parents and students. While the curriculum will reflect my belief, and interest, in Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of the struggle against state power, the curriculum is being carefully designed to not show bias toward any one religion. I hope all parents of any faith – or no religious belief at all – will feel comfortable using the curriculum.

I believe it is important for those of us concerned with education and liberty to fight our battles locally. We must oppose further encroachment on the autonomy of local public schools and work to roll-back existing interference, while encouraging and supporting the growth of homeschooling and other alternative education movements. The key to restoring quality education is to replace the bureaucratic control of education with a free-market in education. Parents should have the freedom to select the type of education that best suits their child’s unique needs.
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#1403015 --- 05/28/13 07:01 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
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I think all but a few states have adopted ObamaCore! ( love that!)
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#1403370 --- 05/31/13 09:17 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
bluezone Offline
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Originally Posted By: VM Smith
You think the problem you're facing is testing, or it's the wrong test, or the wrong method of preparing for the test, or you think the problem is some other detail; it isn't.


she has an excuse for her entire job

yet she still gets paid
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#1403371 --- 05/31/13 09:20 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
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Originally Posted By: twocats
I think ...


that would require some effort

leave that for the ones that can
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#1403380 --- 05/31/13 10:30 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: bluezone]
luckyduck Offline
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Registered: 06/15/11
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The "Common Core" program includes use of iris scanning of each child for various purposes down the road, primarily verification and data mining. Here's a great little story from Polk County FL of how one school district scanned the iris's of each student without parental approval or permission. Make sure you are talking to your kids each and every day about what is happening in there school!

http://rt.com/usa/school-scan-iris-students-023/

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#1403550 --- 06/02/13 01:02 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: bluezone]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
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Loc: Ship of Fools
Originally Posted By: bluezone
Originally Posted By: twocats
I think ...


that would require some effort

leave that for the ones that can


You speak for yourself, as is your right, but, while she and I disagree on some things, I like her, and I respect her. I think she's as intelligent as anyone need be, and probably more than most, and she's reasonable, respectful, and pleasant, even when we disagree.


Edited by VM Smith (06/02/13 01:19 AM)
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#1403607 --- 06/02/13 09:00 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
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Thanks for the compliment, VM. While I do try to contain my comments to the topic rather than attack people, I did inherit a wee Irish temper from my father and learned the art of sarcasm from my older sisters. ;\)

I also learned the art of planned ignoring from working with small children. That has probably served me best here in forumworld.
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#1403615 --- 06/02/13 11:03 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
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Loc: Ship of Fools
YW!

Quote:
I did inherit a wee Irish temper from my father


I understand. \:\) Scroll to "contents". Click on "biographical sketch". 1st line or 2.

My paternal ggg grandfather. Fifteen children. I think his favorite line must have been, "But the Lord commands it!" :

http://books.google.com/books?id=zD5MAAA...ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ


Edited by VM Smith (06/02/13 11:14 PM)
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#1404155 --- 06/07/13 08:59 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
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Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
You speak for yourself, as is your right, but, while she and I disagree on some things,


our taxes pay for her over generous pay and benefits
but yet the students are the ones that suffer

NYS spends the most on education but ranks 35th
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#1404759 --- 06/12/13 12:28 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: bluezone]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Originally Posted By: bluezone
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
You speak for yourself, as is your right, but, while she and I disagree on some things,


our taxes pay for her over generous pay and benefits
but yet the students are the ones that suffer

NYS spends the most on education but ranks 35th


I hear you; I think government education is the worst thing that has ever happened to education; it, and government, should be abolished. She and I disagree, fundamentally, in principle, but she's polite about it, and I try to be. But she didn't start gov ed., she just wanted to be a teacher, and that's where most of the jobs are. I think that there is nothing more important than education. In fact, it is too important for gov't to have its hands on it, because it screws up everything it touches.

But it's possible for me to think someone is quite wrong about something, and still like and respect her. And to act like I do, if she shows me basic respect, and she has, unlike several posters, who obviously hail from Planet Aholia. One shudders to think what sort of children they are raising, and how many hours (years) they will need to spend in therapy.

And in case you wonder, and fwiw, I've never met her.
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#1404786 --- 06/12/13 07:41 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
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Originally Posted By: VM Smith
but she's polite about it


you may want to read her posts directed at me

name calling is for 5 year olds not a teacher

it is odd that she can question tax dollars for other situations but if the school taxes are questioned then the poster is the evil one
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#1404802 --- 06/12/13 09:32 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: bluezone]
VM Smith Offline
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Loc: Ship of Fools
I omitted "ss" in one fairly novel word, in my prior post. I wasn't referring to you.
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#1404923 --- 06/12/13 08:48 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
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While we do disagree on some things, I also believe that government involvement is the worst thing to happen to education in this country. I do see it done well in other countries, so I can't say that it is government in and of itself. I believe that a capitalistic approach to education is bound to fail. Children are not widgets. All of our raw materials are not standardized, and tax money that should be used for education should not be allocated towards profits. Finally, in education, collaboration is much more successful than competition.


Oh, by the way, can I get an amen?!


Edited by twocats (06/12/13 08:48 PM)
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#1405017 --- 06/13/13 12:10 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
Teonan Offline
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Registered: 05/30/12
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Originally Posted By: twocats
I believe that a capitalistic approach to education is bound to fail. Children are not widgets. All of our raw materials are not standardized, and tax money that should be used for education should not be allocated towards profits. Finally, in education, collaboration is much more successful than competition.


Oh, by the way, can I get an amen?!


Hella yeah!



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#1405101 --- 06/13/13 08:40 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: Teonan]
young guns Offline
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Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 846
Loc: USA
Amen.



What happened to the toll money collected by the NYT
authority thought is was also to go to schools state wide or was I miss informed again? My idea of getting funds from the state would be to cut the state workers that just sit in a truck and watch all others work. That's just at the road crews then hit up a few senators that do nothing to help or promised to do things if they get elected. It all boils down to who is on the take in government level. NYS has way to many employees now compared to
federal workers and the retirement program is better than that of the federal workers
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#1405130 --- 06/14/13 03:47 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
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Quote:
Children are not widgets. All of our raw materials are not standardized,


Of course they aren't, and saying that government shouldn't be involved is not at all saying that educated people should, or even can be, produced on an assembly line, or anything resembling one.
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#1405137 --- 06/14/13 05:53 AM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
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Well put. The federal government's insistence on Common Core Assessments will further the attempt to standardize education for children who are anything but standard. The best teachers will still teach to the individual child because that is the only way true education works.

Just to clarify, I am not 100% anti-common core. There are many things in it that are aligned with good teaching; however, I am 100% against any method or curriculum that presumes that children are all starting at the same place and will grow at the same rate, or else.
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#1405220 --- 06/14/13 10:27 PM Re: Common Core Kool-Aid [Re: twocats]
Code Red Offline
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Registered: 06/17/06
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By the use of common core assessments, they are going back to the one room school house days. Everyone does not learn at the same rate. That is the basis for the grade system the schools use now. Children of the same age range are more likely to learn as a whole, than a class room full of different aged kids.But you will still have those few who even with kids their own age, learn faster or slower. This same principal holds true for kids today, with standardized testing. There is no perfect solution, if there was we would all be rocket scientists.
I for one would like to see the schools get back to readin, writtin, and rithmatic. And more US history, we need to learn the struggles we have already had, so as not to ever repeat them. I could care less about some of the other countries in Asia, and other places. The kids need to learn American History. Ut Oh, past my bed time, TC, I think you are on to the right Ideas, Bluezone, you can't always judge a person by the actions of a whole group. Some teachers are better than others. Some lack the compassion to do their job, but yet go to work in the schools every day. The fact that TC is willing to defend the schools and teachers, shows a compassion for their job. Something that is woefully missing in most of todays generations of workers. Their job is about money, and what can I do for a living that involves the least amount of work, for the biggest pay check. Hell we have a President giving us a great example of that. But sometimes you have a person who IS compassionate about their job, and does it because they enjoy that. " Enjoy what you do, and you will never work a day in your life". So if you want to paint most of the teachers as being in it for the money, and they imagined glory, use a smaller brush. Not all of them are that way, and especially TwoCats.

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