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#1441374 --- 03/24/14 08:50 PM When Standards Aren't Standardized
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
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THE BLOG
The Fatal Flaw of the Common Core Standards
Diane Ravitch03/24/14 09:16 AM ET
Across the nation, parents and educators are raising objections to the Common Core standards, and many states are reconsidering whether to abandon them and the federally-funded tests that accompany them. Arne Duncan, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable vocally support them, yet the unease continues and pushback remains intense.

Why so much controversy?

The complaints are coming from all sides: from Tea Party activists who worry about a federal takeover of education and from educators, parents, and progressives who believe that the Common Core will standardize instruction and eliminate creativity in their classrooms.

But there is a more compelling reason to object to the Common Core standards.

They were written in a manner that violates the nationally and international recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these "standards" should have no legitimacy.

Setting national academic standards is not something done in stealth by a small group of people, funded by one source, and imposed by the lure of a federal grant in a time of austerity.

There is a recognized protocol for writing standards, and the Common Core standards failed to comply with that protocol.

In the United States, the principles of standard-setting have been clearly spelled out by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

On its website ANSI describes how standards should be developed in every field. The American National Standards Institute:

"has served in its capacity as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for more than 90 years. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies, the Institute remains a private, nonprofit membership organization supported by a diverse constituency of private and public sector organizations.

"Throughout its history, ANSI has maintained as its primary goal the enhancement of global competitiveness of U.S. business and the American quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and promoting their integrity. The Institute represents the interests of its nearly 1,000 company, organization, government agency, institutional and international members through its office in New York City, and its headquarters in Washington, D.C."

ANSI's fundamental principles of standard-setting are transparency, balance, consensus, and due process, including a right to appeal by interested parties. According to ANSI, there are currently more than 10,000 American national standards, covering a broad range of activities.

The Common Core standards were not written in conformity with the ANSI standard-setting process that is broadly recognized across every field of endeavor.

If the Common Core standards applied to ANSI for recognition, they would be rejected because the process of writing the standards was so deeply flawed and did not adhere to the "ANSI Essential Requirements."

ANSI states:

"Due process is the key to ensuring that ANSs are developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders. The open and fair ANS process ensures that all interested and affected parties have an opportunity to participate in a standard's development. It also serves and protects the public interest since standards developers accredited by ANSI must meet the Institute's requirements for openness, balance, consensus and other due process safeguards."
The Common Core standards cannot be considered standards when judged by the ANSI requirements. According to ANSI, the process of setting standards must be transparent, must involve all interested parties, must not be dominated by a single interest, and must include a process for appeal and revision.

The Common Core standards were not developed in a transparent manner. The standard-setting and writing of the standards included a significant number of people from the testing industry, but did not include a significant number of experienced teachers, subject-matter experts, and other educators from the outset, nor did it engage other informed and concerned interests, such as early childhood educators and educators of children with disabilities. There was no consensus process. The standards were written in 2009 and adopted in 2010 by 45 states and the District of Columbia as a condition of eligibility to compete for $4.3 billion in Race to the Top funding. The process was dominated from start to finish by the Gates Foundation, which funded the standard-setting process. There was no process for appeal or revision, and there is still no process for appeal or revision.

The reason to oppose the Common Core is not because of their content, some of which is good, some of which is problematic, some of which needs revision (but there is no process for appeal or revision).

The reason to oppose the Common Core standards is because they violate the well-established and internationally recognized process for setting standards in a way that is transparent, that recognizes the expertise of those who must implement them, that builds on the consensus of concerned parties, and that permits appeal and revision.

The reason that there is so much controversy and pushback now is that the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education were in a hurry and decided to ignore the nationally and internationally recognized rules for setting standards, and in doing so, sowed suspicion and distrust. Process matters.

According to ANSI, here are the core principles for setting standards:

The U.S. standardization system is based on the following set of globally accepted principles for standards development:

Transparency

Essential information regarding standardization activities is accessible to all interested parties.

Openness

Participation is open to all affected interests.

Impartiality

No one interest dominates the process or is favored over another.

Effectiveness and Relevance

Standards are relevant and effectively respond to regulatory and market needs, as well as scientific and technological developments.

Consensus

Decisions are reached through consensus among those affected.

Performance-based

Standards are performance based (specifying essential characteristics rather than detailed designs) where possible.

Coherence

The process encourages coherence to avoid overlapping and conflicting standards.

Due Process

Standards development accords with due process so that all views are considered and appeals are possible.

Technical Assistance

Assistance is offered to developing countries in the formulation and application of standards.

In addition, U.S. interests strongly agree that the process should be:

Flexible

Allowing the use of different methodologies to meet the needs of different technology and product sectors;

Timely

So that purely administrative matters do not result in a failure to meet market expectations; and

Balanced among all affected interests.

Lacking most of these qualities, especially due process, consensus among interested groups, and the right of appeal, the Common Core cannot be considered authoritative, nor should they be considered standards. The process of creating national academic standards should be revised to accord with the essential and necessary procedural requirements of standard-setting as described by the American National Standards Institute. National standards cannot be created ex nihilo without a transparent, open, participatory consensus process that allows for appeal and revision.
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#1441430 --- 03/25/14 09:11 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
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what prompted going to common core?
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#1442308 --- 03/30/14 03:06 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: bluezone]
cwjga Offline
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Loc: NY
[quote=bluezone]what prompted going to common core? [/quote

The Liberals Obama and Duncan. With their Federal take over of the education system.

I have to say it is fun watch liberals fighting liberals. grin
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#1442319 --- 03/30/14 05:24 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Common Core and high stakes testing enjoy bi-partisan support which I believe, in this case, is an indicator of ruling class policy.



Common Core backer: For public schools, it’s great. For my private school, not so much.
BY VALERIE STRAUSS
March 30 at 11:56 am



One of the big disconnects in Common Core advocacy is that a lot of the people who think the standards are vital to the future of America and want to see them implemented in public schools everywhere send their children to private schools that have not adopted the Core.

President Obama comes to mind: His daughters attend Sidwell Friends School, a private school in Washington that not only doesn’t have the Common Core but doesn’t subscribe to other Obama education reforms (like linking teacher pay with student test scores). Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation funded the creation of the Common Core, send their children to an elite private school in Seattle that doesn’t teach by the Core (and doesn’t seem to care a whit about some of the other education reform policies Gates supports).

Apparently they don’t follow what education historian and advocate Diane Ravitch wrote is the most famous line ever written by John Dewey:
“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.”

This all brings us to Candice McQueen, who until recently was dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education. It was announced in January that she had been promoted to a senior vice president at the university, overseeing the College of Education and Lipscomb Academy, a pre-K-12 private school affiliated with the university. As the Lipscomb education dean, McQueen became a booster of the Common Core and often testified in its support — at the request of the Tennessee Education Department, according to this Nashville Public Radio story.

But shortly after taking her new job, she sent a letter to Lipscomb Academy’s parents who were worried that she would implement the Common Core standards at the private school. According to the Nashville Public Radio story, the letter said she has asked faculty to familiarize themselves with the Core standards but that this did not mean in any way that the school would adopt them. It quotes from the letter:
“I will continue to be part of the ongoing CCSS conversation. However, this should not be extrapolated to indicate or predict the adoption of CCSS at Lipscomb Academy.”


Asked by WPLN why Common Core wouldn’t be used at her school, McQueen referred back to her letter.
“We make decisions about what’s going to be best within the context of our community,” she said. “I would say that’s absolutely what we’re going to do now and for the future.”
The story also notes that most of Nashville’s private schools don’t follow the testing regime or the standards that are used in public schools, although this is not singular to Nashville. It is also true in the greater Washington area and everywhere else around the country. I recently published an open letter to Obama from Bertis Downs, a parent in Athens, Ga., who wrote in part:

The policies currently promoted by your Department of Education are actually hurting– not helping– schools like ours. It is clear we will reduce schools’ efficacy if public education remains fixated on tests that only measure limited concepts – tests that regularly relegate less advantaged children into the “bottom half” and limit their access to broader education.

Why does the law distill the interactions of our teachers and students over the course of a year into a high-stakes multiple choice test? Is this really a valid system of accountability for teachers, based so heavily on their students’ test scores? If so, why are so many public school parents, teachers and students pushing back against it? And why aren’t the private schools insisting on it?

Good questions.
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#1442414 --- 03/31/14 06:53 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: twocats
Common Core and high stakes testing enjoy bi-partisan support which I believe, in this case, is an indicator of ruling class policy.



Common Core backer: For public schools, it’s great. For my private school, not so much.
BY VALERIE STRAUSS
March 30 at 11:56 am



One of the big disconnects in Common Core advocacy is that a lot of the people who think the standards are vital to the future of America and want to see them implemented in public schools everywhere send their children to private schools that have not adopted the Core.

President Obama comes to mind: His daughters attend Sidwell Friends School, a private school in Washington that not only doesn’t have the Common Core but doesn’t subscribe to other Obama education reforms (like linking teacher pay with student test scores). Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation funded the creation of the Common Core, send their children to an elite private school in Seattle that doesn’t teach by the Core (and doesn’t seem to care a whit about some of the other education reform policies Gates supports).

Apparently they don’t follow what education historian and advocate Diane Ravitch wrote is the most famous line ever written by John Dewey:
“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.”

This all brings us to Candice McQueen, who until recently was dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education. It was announced in January that she had been promoted to a senior vice president at the university, overseeing the College of Education and Lipscomb Academy, a pre-K-12 private school affiliated with the university. As the Lipscomb education dean, McQueen became a booster of the Common Core and often testified in its support — at the request of the Tennessee Education Department, according to this Nashville Public Radio story.

But shortly after taking her new job, she sent a letter to Lipscomb Academy’s parents who were worried that she would implement the Common Core standards at the private school. According to the Nashville Public Radio story, the letter said she has asked faculty to familiarize themselves with the Core standards but that this did not mean in any way that the school would adopt them. It quotes from the letter:
“I will continue to be part of the ongoing CCSS conversation. However, this should not be extrapolated to indicate or predict the adoption of CCSS at Lipscomb Academy.”


Asked by WPLN why Common Core wouldn’t be used at her school, McQueen referred back to her letter.
“We make decisions about what’s going to be best within the context of our community,” she said. “I would say that’s absolutely what we’re going to do now and for the future.”
The story also notes that most of Nashville’s private schools don’t follow the testing regime or the standards that are used in public schools, although this is not singular to Nashville. It is also true in the greater Washington area and everywhere else around the country. I recently published an open letter to Obama from Bertis Downs, a parent in Athens, Ga., who wrote in part:

The policies currently promoted by your Department of Education are actually hurting– not helping– schools like ours. It is clear we will reduce schools’ efficacy if public education remains fixated on tests that only measure limited concepts – tests that regularly relegate less advantaged children into the “bottom half” and limit their access to broader education.

Why does the law distill the interactions of our teachers and students over the course of a year into a high-stakes multiple choice test? Is this really a valid system of accountability for teachers, based so heavily on their students’ test scores? If so, why are so many public school parents, teachers and students pushing back against it? And why aren’t the private schools insisting on it?

Good questions.



I should have given more detail in my answer to BZ. So for those uninformed the common core was developed in response to race to Race to the Top. The Obama initiative to give taxpayer money to only those states (schools) that did his bidding.

Good article, nice that it references Obama and Gates, two democrats, or at least social liberals as Gates describes himself.

And to answer the question, "why aren’t the private schools insisting on it?"

The answer is because private schools have the ability to get rid of bad employees.



Edited by cwjga (03/31/14 06:55 AM)
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#1442449 --- 03/31/14 08:20 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 32017
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: cwjga
Originally Posted By: twocats
standards are vital to the future of America and want to see them implemented in public schools everywhere
And to answer the question, "why aren’t the private schools insisting on it?"

The answer is because private schools have the ability to get rid of bad employees.



Originally Posted By: newsman38
Can a lawsuit by nine students topple teacher tenure? The nine student plaintiffs in the case – known as Vergara v. California - are challenging two main areas of state law: permanent employment and dismissal statutes the plaintiffs say make it difficult to get rid of bad teachers, and the seniority-based layoff system, which they say makes it hard to keep good, less-senior teachers during difficult times.


must be the 'teachers' do not want standards for themselves...

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#1442539 --- 03/31/14 03:23 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
"The answer is because private schools have the ability to get rid of bad employees. "

Surrrre...that's why all those right to work, non-union states adopted Common Core.
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#1442542 --- 03/31/14 03:53 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: twocats
"The answer is because private schools have the ability to get rid of bad employees. "

Surrrre...that's why all those right to work, non-union states adopted Common Core.


No the states adopted common core to Satisfy King Obama and Duke Duncan and get the "Race to the Top" money.

I would bet that public schools are not insisting on it either.
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Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1442923 --- 04/02/14 12:55 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
cwjga Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
A quote from a teacher at a local district.

"What an AWESOME day! EVERY kid in my school was there today with a smile on their face. No "opting out", no crying, no whining, not ONE complaint...just Excitement to show NYS how GREAT and SMART they are!! We made today a celebration! Attitude is everything y'all! This Testing Fairy's Work is done!"

Looks like a school that made it about the kids and not about them.

Good for them.


Edited by cwjga (04/02/14 01:13 PM)
_________________________
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#1443156 --- 04/03/14 07:28 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Aaaaaaannnnd the Propaganda Fairy's work is done here.
Nice work.
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Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

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#1443180 --- 04/04/14 06:45 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: twocats
Aaaaaaannnnd the Propaganda Fairy's work is done here.
Nice work.


Thank you.

It was nice to see that at least some involved in public education still put the children first. I am surprised though, the way everyone else was whining and crying about how terrible it all would be for the kids that any school could get all their kids through it and not one had a break down.
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Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1443308 --- 04/05/14 03:45 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Day 3, Grades 3-5.

Author: Anonymous, Administrator, Other | State: NY | Test: State test: Pearson | Date: April 3 at 11:53 am ET
An administrator of a suburban public school, I take seriously my responsibility to students and teachers. I try to greet each person that I encounter each morning with a smile, and a genuine curiosity about how they are doing. Today, though, it’s just too hard.

As I write this, third, fourth and fifth graders throughout the school and across the state are confronting an unfair ELA assessment. I just walked our hallways and peered into testing areas that are filled with row after row of eight, nine, ten, and a few eleven-year-olds flipping pages back and forth, annotating text, and building essays out of bullet points. More than a few are crying.

I’ve read the feedback that teachers across New York have offered these past two days of the Common Core aligned ELA exam. I have the same sympathy for them, and their students, as I do for our school’s own. Their experiences, combined with today’s mistreatment of students that children are suffering at the hands of misguided test makers, have moved me to speak out. I would be negligent if I didn’t.

Imagine a Little League coach putting a team of third-graders in a game against the local Varsity team. Surely, someone would take issue with that. How, then, can I not take issue with third-graders being tasked to read and respond to text about technical instruments with which most adults are unfamiliar?

Imagine asking a toddler to identify their motivation for, say, grabbing a fistful of cookie and crumbling it onto the floor. Surely, someone would take issue with that. How, then, can I not take issue with fifth-graders being tasked to read and respond to text about the cost-benefit analysis of tangible and intangible things as it relates to human behavior?

Day 3 of the Common Core NYS ELA is absurd. The third grade test includes an excerpt from a book that, according to Scholastic, is written at a Grade Level Equivalent of 5.2. Its Lexile Measure is 650L, and it’s categorized as a Level X Guided Reading selection. Yet, it appears on a test that has been written for third grade students.

Day 3 of the Common Core NYS ELA is incongruous with Common Core Learning Standards. The same third grade test asks students to identify how specific paragraphs support the organizational structure of a selected piece of literature. The Reading Standards for Literature in Grade 3, with respect to Craft and Structure, state that Grade 3 students should be able to: Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections. It is not until Grade 5, according to The Reading Standards for Literature, that students should be able to: Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

Day 3 of the Common Core NYS ELA is ill-conceived. A short- answer question that appears on the Grade 4 exam calls upon students to explain why a specific piece of text is effectively written. Regardless of what the Reading Standards say, or don’t, about evaluating text, how in the world can a test be created around such an entirely subjective question?

An administrator of a suburban public school, I take seriously my responsibility to students and teachers. It seems to me that the most responsible thing that I could have done this morning would have been to excuse teachers and students from being bullied by an absurd, incongruous and ill-conceived test.
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#1443344 --- 04/05/14 10:04 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
And yet

"What an AWESOME day! EVERY kid in my school was there today with a smile on their face. No "opting out", no crying, no whining, not ONE complaint...just Excitement to show NYS how GREAT and SMART they are!! We made today a celebration! Attitude is everything y'all! This Testing Fairy's Work is done!"
_________________________
Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1443349 --- 04/05/14 10:29 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
_________________________
Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1443350 --- 04/05/14 10:40 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
_________________________
Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1443491 --- 04/06/14 09:16 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Originally Posted By: cwjga


We agree on something. Mark it down. wink
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Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

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#1443496 --- 04/06/14 09:44 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: cwjga]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Originally Posted By: cwjga
And yet

"What an AWESOME day! EVERY kid in my school was there today with a smile on their face. No "opting out", no crying, no whining, not ONE complaint...just Excitement to show NYS how GREAT and SMART they are!! We made today a celebration! Attitude is everything y'all! This Testing Fairy's Work is done!"


And yet we aren't listening to the students:

> Dear Time Out from Testing folks,
>
> My daughter Eliya, a seventh grader at MS 447 in Brooklyn, wrote the following poem on the back of her testing booklet yesterday. She liked it, copied it down on scrap paper, and would like to share it widely. Please feel free to use this in any capacity you’d like (with her name on it).
>
> Best wishes and thank you for all your hard work,
>
> Dohra Ahmad
>
> April used to be poetry month,
> Where we’d learn about rhythm and rhyme,
> But now that standardized tests have set in,
> They tell us we just don’t have time.
>
> There was ‘Poem in Your Pocket’ day,
> Where you share your unique voice,
> But now creativity’s gone away,
> Now it’s nothing but multiple choice.
>
> They say tests show how smart you are,
> And teach you all you know,
> But how does filling in circles,
> Help anyone learn and grow?
>
> In class, when we could be thinking,
> Learning how we can go far,
> We’re categorized by the grades we get,
> Like those numbers are all we are.
> - Eliya Ahmad, age 12 (written on back of ELA testing booklet, April 2, 2014)
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#1443499 --- 04/06/14 09:54 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Quote:
They say tests show how smart you are,
> And teach you all you know,


I sure hope the teachers aren't telling her that. They aren't intended to do either.

They're intended to show how knowledgeable you are, and whether you've learned what you were expected to have learned.
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#1443512 --- 04/06/14 11:39 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
Quote:
They say tests show how smart you are,
> And teach you all you know,


I sure hope the teachers aren't telling her that. They aren't intended to do either.

They're intended to show how knowledgeable you are, and whether you've learned what you were expected to have learned.


It was written by a seventh grader who probably spends so much time on testing that she has come to equate that with school and learning.
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#1443536 --- 04/06/14 03:23 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
They do indicate what you have or haven't learned in school, regarding some or all of the learning requirements. I just say that they don't tell you how smart or dumb you are, or teach anything, and aren't intended to. I also hope her parents didn't tell her that they do. I think that by 7th grade she should know the purpose of a test, and how to describe that purpose, without conflating things. She did say "they say".
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#1443543 --- 04/06/14 04:00 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
They do indicate what you have or haven't learned in school...


These tests don't.
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#1446546 --- 05/05/14 01:31 PM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4684
Loc: West End
Originally Posted By: twocats

Across the nation, parents and educators are raising objections to the Common Core standards.


Yup. Another public school teacher walking the talk.


The New Conscientious Test Objectors at International High School in NYC!

By Jesse Hagopian
I AM AN EDUCATOR

May 1, 2014

A couple of days ago a New York area code popped up on my cell phone. I didn’t recognize the number—but when a teacher on the other end of line said that she was organizing a testing boycott at her high school, I certainly recognized the situation.

Emily Giles, a teacher at International High School at Prospect Heights, told me about a standardized test that was disrespecting the schools’ English Language Learner (ELL) students’ cultural and linguistic diversity. She told me about ELL students who were brought to tears during the fall pre-test administration of the exam because of the level of English used was far above the level of beginner ELLs—and thus provided very little useful feedback for the teachers. Emily told me about a test that some 50% of the parents were already set to opt out of. And she told me of the dedicated educators who were no longer willing to see their students humiliated or their profession degraded by the abuses of the NYC ELA Performance Assessment Test.

Similar conditions arose in Seattle last year when my colleagues at Garfield High School refused to administer the MAP test—and succeed in making the test optional for high schools. When I spoke to Emily, it was clear that she and her coworkers had already set in motion all the key components to a successful direct action campaign against the tests. We discussed how there are no guarantees about the outcome when you engage in civil disobedience, but that because her colleagues had built such a strong base of support among teachers and parents, if the staff truly felt that they could not administer this test in good conscience, I thought it was worth taking this stand for her students.

I checked in with her last night as she was preparing for the press conference today to see how she was holding up. I remember the fear vividly—the cold sweats and sleepless nights—I had when we prepared to announce that Garfield would refuse to administer the MAP test, and I figured she could use some support. What she told me let me know that these teachers are ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple. She said,

I’m feeling a little nervous, very excited, and completely inspired by the people I work with. I’m feeling really happy and honored to work with people who are so passionate about what they do, and care so deeply what happens in our classrooms and the lives of the young people we work with.

From Seattle, to Chicago, to New York City, teachers are defending their students and reclaiming their humanity by refusing to be reduced to a test score.

Today is May Day—international workers’ day. There is no better way to celebrate the struggles of workers today than by supporting these courageous educators at the first high school in New York City to boycott a standardized test by signing on to the petition in their defense.

Today is also my late Grandfather’s birthday. Happy Birthday Grandpa Chuck! Chuck was a conscientious objector during WWII. I said to him once near the end of his life, “Weren’t you afraid of how your peers and society would look at you for not going to fight in the war? That must have been a hard decision.” He paused before he spoke and I have never seen my gentle, soft-spoken grandfather look so fierce. To be honest, his look gave me a scare. Then he replied, “No it wasn’t hard at all. What would have been hard would have been to kill someone.”

That same gentle fierceness of spirit burns within the conscientious test objectors at International High School at Prospect Heights.

Don’t give up. And when you reach the end of your life, you will look back in certainty at having made the only choice you could have: Following your convictions in pursuit of justice.


I AM AN EDUCATOR BLOG
http://iamaneducator.com/2014/05/01/the-...-school-in-nyc/


Jesse Hagopian teaches history and is the Black Student Union adviser at Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test in 2013. Jesse is an associate editor of the acclaimed Rethinking Schools magazine, is a founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE), was recipient of the 2012 Abe Keller Foundation award for “excellence and innovation in peace education,” and won the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of Year” award and the Special Achievement “Courageous Leadership” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

Jesse is an author, activist, and a regularly requested public speaker at community forums, panel discussions, rallies, debates, public hearings, and on college campuses.Jesse is a contributing author to 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History and Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation (Haymarket Books).
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"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
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#1447271 --- 05/12/14 06:51 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9806
Loc: NY
Obama screwed up everyone's health insurance, no surprise that he screwed up (even more) education.



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Almost, Peggy, But This Time Not Quite
Chester E. Finn, Jr.
May 09, 2014
For no current-affairs commentator do I have greater respect than Peggy Noonan, whose sagacity, common sense, plain-spokenness, and “big picture” view of things are as welcome—and rare—as the clarity and persuasiveness of her prose.

When it comes to the Common Core State Standards, however, she’s only about 60 percent right.

She’s right that the architects and promoters of these standards had—and have—the best of intentions, both with respect to millions of kids who now receive a mediocre-to-dismal education and to the long-term vitality and competitiveness of the nation itself.

She’s right that the “proponents’ overall objective—to get schools teaching more necessary and important things, and to encourage intellectual coherence in what is taught—is not bad, but good.”

She’s right that, as with every ambitious effort to reform every large, complex system in the history of the world, those proponents—I’m one of them—underestimated the implementation challenges.

She’s right that they—we—haven’t always been as thoughtful and respectful as we should regarding the concerns and convictions of parents and others on the ground. (She uses the word “patronizing” and that’s also right, at least in part.)

But she’s not right to offer absolutely no alternative—unless, of course, she’s content with American K–12 education the way it is, which I know she isn’t.

And she’s not right to fail to note that the Common Core would have been—at least at this point in time—a sort of ambitious pilot program involving a smallish number of states that were serious about the implementation challenges, until the feds blundered into the middle of it with “incentives” that turned it into a sort of national piñata. (It does, however, remain absolutely voluntary for states, and I will shed no tears when those that don’t really want to put it into conscientious operation in their schools stop pretending that they will.)

And she’s not right to overlook how much of the pushback that she cites comes not from “harried parents,” but from formidable interest groups that really don’t want to change how they’ve always done things, whether or not such change would be good for kids or the country. I have in mind textbook publishers, test-makers, teacher unions, and political opportunists of every sort, lately and most prominently of the “tea party” persuasion, who will do and say anything to take down Obama and everything he’s for.

Like Peggy, I once worked for President Reagan and, like Peggy, I don’t have much use for today’s incumbent in that honored role. But that’s not supposed to get in the way of changing our clunky education system so that tens of millions of kids learn more. Maybe even more than they and their parents realize they need to learn.
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Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1451276 --- 06/20/14 08:11 AM Re: When Standards Aren't Standardized [Re: Teonan]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 32017
Loc: USA
the 'teachers' union used its power so that 'teachers' do not have to perform at their 'job'

the 'teachers' only have themselves to blame for common core
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