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Common Core? - Page 6

post #101 of 481
Don't we want what is best for our children? I am finding that common core is not and my daughter is crying in class over timed tests. My 8 year old. I am just trying to inform you of the other side of common core; the side that we don't know about. If you read Kris Neilsen's book Children of the Core it will give you a head start in that direction. I'm just trying to inform nothing more. I am done with this topic and just wanted to inform and thought this might be a good way to start that because I am one of the new members of the grassroots against this thing for my and all children.
post #102 of 481
Our state just adopted CC standards and they are much more rigorous than the standards we has before. A strong understanding of fractions, decimals, conversions, etc... is required and they go beyond learning by rote. I have not noticed an problems and this is the first year dd hasn't been subjected to timed tests so I am happy with it so far.
post #103 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

Don't we want what is best for our children? I am finding that common core is not and my daughter is crying in class over timed tests. My 8 year old. 

 

In our state there are standardized tests. Have been since I was a kid. For my DC (who is 12) the testing changed in 3rd grade - before CC. In our district students in 1-2  took the Stanford 10 and then in 3rd grade they took a more expansive timed test starting in 3rd grade called the Maryland State Assessments. In my state if you attributed an increase in testing stress and timed testing to CC, you would be wrong.

 

NO ONE here is going to tell you that crying over standardized testing is OK. It's not. But your are the mother and focusing on grassroots movement against CC is not what is going to have the most immediate effects on your child's well-being.  You need to speak with your children's teachers and principal. 

 
I am worried that a lot of what you're observing in your DC's school have little do with CC and your focus on that is preventing you from the type of activism that will effectively advocate for your children. 
post #104 of 481

Also, Slbrooks, there is the option to pull your child from testing. I have friends who do this. My bias is that it probably requires good communication with the school and real, honest intentions in terms of child well-being and ethical concerns over testing (over political ideology) but this is an option for you. 

post #105 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

Forgive me, perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but aren't the CC standards just a set of core expectations?

 

No, although they are billed as that, they are really a lot more than that. Common core dictates *how* students are to be taught and are backed up by highstakes testing (which is linked to funding) with higher cut scores that have been used in the past. In some content areas/grades, no one has seen the tests or knows what the cut scores will be. Plus, many people's jobs and salaries depend on the students doing well on the test, so there are lots of fear based decisions being made. Basically, this is a massive education experiment that the US is conducting this year. No one really knows how it will all play out.

 

Regarding highschool math....up til now, Algebra II has had a fairly set clear set of understood expectations, although it has never been qualified on a national level. Common Core Algebra II is different, and many high school teachers feel, dumbed down. Common core math emphasizes group learning, chatting about math, and a discovery approach. Districts are extremely pressured to use "common core" aligned text in hopes of doing well on the standardized test, but many math teachers are finding that common core aligned text do not teach to the level of understanding of traditional text. (some things, students just need to be taught and then practice.) There is a massive conflict between those whose jobs is it is ensure that students score well on the test, and those whose profession it is to teach highschool math. At this time, their primary goal simply is not the same. 

 

My DD is in honors Algebra II at a school that always tests very well. Her teacher, as well as most of the math teachers at the school, are refusing to follow the new standards because if they do, their students will not be ready for the math they have always taken the next year. It is massive situation, with the highest ranking school in our district in a war with the district officials, who are being leaned on by the state officials. The only reason that things have gotten to the point that they have is BECAUSE the school has such a solid academic reputation. But following common core would mean that the best and brightest math students won't be able to go forward in math in ways they have in the past, regardless of what you call the class. Because common core doesn't mean just covering things on a list, it means having the students sit around chatting and see if they can discover math on their own. So our school, with a very solid math program, the teacher are refusing to use common core aligned texts. I suspect that a lot of this will shake out in a couple of years, but for those students caught in the middle of it, it's a mess.

 

I work at an elementary school in the city which has many challenges and low test scores to go along with it. There, no teacher EVER says anything negative about common core because doing doing so is taken to mean that you don't believe that poor minority children can achieve as much as suburban white kids.  One thing that is missing from this thread is how common core is affecting students from low socio-economic groups and english language learners. From what I see, I am quite certain the common core will cause the highschool drop out rate to increase over the next few years.

 

One size fits all education doesn't work, and the while I am a little concerned over highschool math (I have a math bright highschooler preparing for a stem field, so this isn't a great time for her to get caught in an educational experiment) I'm far more concerned for kids at the school where I work. They get enough messages that they they won't amount to anything, and we try to counteract that every day. Common Core isn't helping. The district required texts* require TONS of homework, which many of our kiddos don't get help and support with, so we have them do it in what should be their recess. It sucks. Our state mandates how many hours a day a student who isn't proficient in English must study English each day, and it doesn't leave time for much else, but those kids get tested on common core too. The kids I feel the worse for are the one's with IQ's in the 70s. Under 70 gets opted out, but IQs of 70 and up are required to take the test and the assumption is that they can meet the standard. Have you ever done math with a child with an IQ of 72? I'm quite sure that who ever came up with all this BS never has. So, sometime next summer, most of these students: kids with no support at home, kids who barely speak english, and kids will low but normal IQs will get an official document from the State showing the myriad of ways they aren't college or career ready. Yee Haw. Won't that get them all excited about learning? 

 

 

(Those test scores and how they compare to monied suburban schools, where all the kids speak english and most have college grads for parents, are thought to reflect how well I and my co-workers do our jobs shake.gif).

 

 

* districts are making fear based decisions, and things are so top down that parents, teachers, and even principals have no input.

post #106 of 481
Thank you linda you explained it well. I didn't want to explain this but I will I am a noncustodial mom and have to have physical custody of my daughter to opt her out of her 3rd grade test. Believe me I would if I had physical custody of her. Like I said my friend who has kids going to the same school as my kids is homeschooling her 2nd grader. That is how bad that school is taking the common core. My next step actually is to email the 3rd grade teacher.

Oh what's funny is we didn't even discuss the ELA standards and how they have a recommended book list of pornography and how an Arizona school actually read from the book and it was outright porn. There are other problems with the ELA standards like teaching an UN document for 5 days.
post #107 of 481
Pl
Quote:
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

Thank you linda you explained it well. I didn't want to explain this but I will I am a noncustodial mom and have to have physical custody of my daughter to opt her out of her 3rd grade test. Believe me I would if I had physical custody of her. Like I said my friend who has kids going to the same school as my kids is homeschooling her 2nd grader. That is how bad that school is taking the common core. My next step actually is to email the 3rd grade teacher.

Oh what's funny is we didn't even discuss the ELA standards and how they have a recommended book list of pornography and how an Arizona school actually read from the book and it was outright porn. There are other problems with the ELA standards like teaching an UN document for 5 days.

Please post a link to this list of pornography.
post #108 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

Oh what's funny is we didn't even discuss the ELA standards and how they have a recommended book list of pornography and how an Arizona school actually read from the book and it was outright porn. 

A brief search only brought me to sites that seemed to have a pretty heavy handed agenda for anything related to this story but I did find this: http://seventhtype.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/fact-vs-fiction-on-common-core-literature-requirements/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

One size fits all education doesn't work, and the while I am a little concerned over highschool math (I have a math bright highschooler preparing for a stem field, so this isn't a great time for her to get caught in an educational experiment) I'm far more concerned for kids at the school where I work. They get enough messages that they they won't amount to anything, and we try to counteract that every day. Common Core isn't helping. 

 

 

 I read several of the articles posted here and a few on my own from people/organizations opposed to CC and one of the things that stood out for me is that a lot of the criticism of CC were criticisms things that are already going on in my district. For us, there are already standards and testing and letters home to families with test scores (in our case it's pretty bleak because we live in a city with high poverty in a state that apparently ranks really high for overall performance so the results for city kids look bad in those little bar graphs).  

 

For me, I'm reading along about CC and it just seems like another big bureaucratic effort that probably won't amount to much because we have standards already and schools just do the best the can with them. I do love the idea of fewer themes with deeper chance for learning (especially for kids who may have less access to help at home and etc.).  

 

I don't know... reading your post makes me want to have a good discussion with some of the admins in my city to see what they *really* think. :D  If I ever get around to it I'll post here for sure! 

post #109 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

Thank you linda you explained it well. I didn't want to explain this but I will I am a noncustodial mom and have to have physical custody of my daughter to opt her out of her 3rd grade test. Believe me I would if I had physical custody of her. Like I said my friend who has kids going to the same school as my kids is homeschooling her 2nd grader. That is how bad that school is taking the common core. My next step actually is to email the 3rd grade teacher.
 

Yes, email your child's teacher. And take some time to suss out the core details of what you want to discuss. Remember that even if your DC's teacher likes CC that teachers is intimately aware of the challenges to education on a level that you can never begin to understand. Treat this teacher like professional she/he is and ask for help with your valid concerns for your child. 

 

There is no excuse for your DC's principal not writing you back but there are ways that you can communicate with teachers and admins that can go a long way towards facilitating healthy communication. 

 

I have seen threads here on Mothering where a parent has asked for help/feedback with drafting a letter to a teacher/admin/district. 

post #110 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

One thing that is missing from this thread is how common core is affecting students from low socio-economic groups and english language learners.

 

With a country with an all too high percentage of children living in low-income families I was wondering to what extent CC was developed with those children in mind. Being about half of our nation's children...how could it not?  But even if one believes that CC seriously considered those children, we can all acknowledge that this type of policy is not really the answer. 

 

This looks like a good, basic article on that issue. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2013/08/can_the_common_core_fix_poverty.html 

 

Here is the final sentence from that article:

Quote:
"We should always have high expectations for our students, even those living in poverty, but schools can't do it alone and the Common Core is not the silver bullet solution." 
post #111 of 481
Okay I will look for where it lists the books they want 10th graders to read. I know the Bluest Eye was one of them and that does get pornographic a little. I read it when I was 37 years old.
post #112 of 481
This talks about the Bluest Eye in particular and I was wrong it was for 11th graders to read. I'm still googling.

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/a-sickening-turn-of-events-common-core-approved-pornography-may-or-may-not-be-on-this-years-standardized-test/
post #113 of 481
post #114 of 481
I don't really need help emailing the teacher. Thanks though!
post #115 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

I don't really need help emailing the teacher. Thanks though!

Good luck!  I have found that communication with my DC's school can sometimes be a difficult dance but ALWAYS worth it. :)

post #116 of 481
post #117 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
 

I'm far more concerned for kids at the school where I work. They get enough messages that they they won't amount to anything, and we try to counteract that every day. Common Core isn't helping. 

 

Thanks for the explanation. I'm certainly no fan of standardized testing or of one-size-fits-all education. And as a Canadian looking in from the outside the problems in the US education system seem so tragic because the solution looks patently obvious to me: abolish the local funding system which penalizes kids born into municipalities of low SE status by giving them under-funded, under-resourced schools and then beats them down further for under-performing. It's the exact opposite of what kids living in poverty should be getting. There should be little to no disparity between rich and poor school districts, and where a disparity exists the advantage should run the other way: with disadvantaged kids given more. Sorry ... talk about getting political!

 

Miranda

post #118 of 481
CC math isn't all about talking about mah and discovering on your own. There are discussion elements as kids are tasked with explaining how they solved problems but these aren't diarrhea mouth discussions, teachers choose children which used effective methods or who made a common mistake can clear up misconceptions. There is also a traditional aspect and on occasionally tackling a difficult problem through discovery after completing a unit in more traditional ways. It is modeled off the approach they take in countries that excel in math.
post #119 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

the US education system seem so tragic because the solution looks patently obvious to me: abolish the local funding system which penalizes kids born into municipalities of low SE status by giving them under-funded, under-resourced schools and then beats them down further for under-performing. It's the exact opposite of what kids living in poverty should be getting.

 

That's now how it works. Schools are primarily funded at the state level, and the state provides a set amount per student. Additional money comes from the federal government for "title 1" schools. These are low income schools, determined by having a certain percentage of students living below the poverty line. (I think it's 80% to qualify for funding, the school I work is 95% below the poverty line). Title 1 money exist because every one knows that it cost MORE money to educate children living in poverty. Schools have some discretion about how to spend that money, but lots of it goes to math and reading special instruction for kids in the bottom quartile. (There are also additional federal monies for special needs students).

 

Schools do have the option of raising additional money, and that goes better for monied schools than none monied schools.

 

It really isn't the school that beats kids down -- not around here anyone. But there are lots of society messages that some kids, such black or Latino young men, aren't going to amount to much.

 

Another crappy thing about common core and money is that districts replaced math and reading curriculum with common core aligned texts, which costs fortune. Usually, only one subject is replaced a year and it rotates from subject to subject. So, what ever subject was up for replacement this year didn't get replaced, and schools spent twice as much money on new books (which has to come out of the budget some where.) There's no way this isn't impacting untested subjects, such as science and social studies.

post #120 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

CC math isn't all about talking about mah and discovering on your own. There are discussion elements as kids are tasked with explaining how they solved problems but these aren't diarrhea mouth discussions, teachers choose children which used effective methods or who made a common mistake can clear up misconceptions. There is also a traditional aspect and on occasionally tackling a difficult problem through discovery after completing a unit in more traditional ways. It is modeled off the approach they take in countries that excel in math.

 

Common core is a bit of an octopus -- are you talking about ALL math from k-algebra II, and have you reviewed the text books and testing methodologies for all those levels? I haven't, but I did review the Algebra II book and I agree with the teacher -- it's crap.

 

Our best and brightest kids attending our best schools already do very well in math. Common core was theoretically designed to decrease the performance gap between our high achieving schools and our low achieving schools. There really wasn't a need to jerk around schools like the one where my DD attends.

 

Remember than nothing about common core has been tested -- the texts haven't been tested, the tests haven't been tested. Its all a big experiment.

 

and another thing -- common core requires all students complete Algebra II to graduate from highschool. So either Algebra II isn't going to be what it used to be, or lots of kids will not graduate highschool because ---  not everyone's brain works in the ways required to do Algebra II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

 I read several of the articles posted here and a few on my own from people/organizations opposed to CC and one of the things that stood out for me is that a lot of the criticism of CC were criticisms things that are already going on in my district. For us, there are already standards and testing and letters home to families with test scores

...

 

I don't know... reading your post makes me want to have a good discussion with some of the admins in my city to see what they *really* think. :D  If I ever get around to it I'll post here for sure! 

 

In many states, common core is taking what was already nutty and making it far, far worse. More testing for more grades, longer tests, formative standardized tests to make sure they will do well on the end of year test, testing for Kindergarteners, and even..... weekly standardized tests to make sure kids are learning what they are supposed to.

 

And the cut scores!!!! These are completely arbitrary with common core but higher than expected in the past. Tests scores are expected to drop by about 30%. Lots more kids will be deemed to be not where they should be. I honestly would be surprised if you got a straight answer out of an administrator. This is very top down, and not being gun hoe about it could reflect very poorly on an administrator. If you try to find out what they think, ask sideways questions such as how much additional time is needed for formative assessments, or how are the addresses english language learners. I wouldn't bother asking "what do you think of common core?"

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