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Common Core? - Page 23

post #441 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
 

 

Starfall is used at the school where I work as an add-on. For example, all the computers in the computer lab have a subscription and K and first graders can use it during their one hour a week in the lab. Some teachers use it in the classroom for specific purposes, such as during calendar time. No one even considers it a curriculum -- its an educational game. Even though it claims to be CC aligned, I think that it is bit silly.

That was my take on Starfall, for sure. We even had access to the subscription program (through a friend) and I found it to be little more than a game and I'm not so sure how I feel about games on the computer at that young age. 

 

I was out tonight with a teacher/admin friend who I respect and who works closely with kids with special needs and kids living with poverty. I asked her what she thought about CC, she said, "I like it. I think it's smart."  

post #442 of 481

Speaking of educational games and at-home resources for LAS families, I checked the two sites I like to see how they have changed to align themselves with CC. 

 

The site IXL is a site my DC has used with some success.  They used to have a page almost exactly like this that reflected the state standards. And, of course, I love Kahn Academy. Here is a link to his CC map.

 

I will say that it was never quite clear to me what was my DC's school curriculum (International Baccalaureate) and what was CC because DC is new to the school. But, my DC's math education looks a lot like the Kahn Adademy map

 

As a parent, the type of things my DC is learning and the way she is being taught seem superior for ALL KIDS than the way I was taught math. What it seems to me is this solid foundation in subject areas. Taking the time to go deep into something, IMO, provides time for kids with different learning styles to click with the content. My DC has been doing ratios with this subtle intro to pre-algebra for the whole year so far. This is a long term experiment, I suppose but in about November it occurred to me that she may never forget this information. 

 

Also, if the curriculum is built well, it seems like this "fewer/deeper" set of standards can allow for a variation on mastery learning, which was advocated on one of the anti-CC sites listed (or probably from one of the educators quoted on the sites). 

 

The way the curriculum works, it leaves time for weekly practice in basic skills (which I think may have been one of Milgram's (and well sourced) criticisms).  Of course that gets back to how schools and teachers approach standards. Do they hyper-focus on the standards alone or do they use them as a guide for providing a well-rounded education?  It's hard to tell if CC makes this preexisting problem worse or better. 

 

Of course, I may be attributing some of the positives I've seen in my DC's education to CC when they are better attributed to the quality of teaching, strong administration, strong curriculum, engaged students...and all that good stuff. This is the other side of the coin to what I had been saying about thinking a lot of the criticism of CC seemed to be about other issues that don't relate all that well to CC. What good that may come from CC will ultimately come from the teachers and students applying the standards well. 

post #443 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

Apologies for posting something I have not read/watched in entirety but I found this video of Dr. James Milgram. He really made a name for himself when he chose to not endorse CC but few sites actually link to anything more about him. http://vimeo.com/78006951

 

I watched the speech but not all the questions at the end. It was interesting and I'm glad you linked it. I agree with a lot of what he says -- Common core standards don't prepare kids for STEM fields. I don't agree with his conclusion, however, that CC are inadequate because of that. CC is supposed to be what ALL kids know to graduate from highschool, and we don't need all grads to be prepared for STEM fields.  I think that it would be ideal for *more* kids to be prepared, and I think it is possible (but not proven) that CC *might* raise math achievement in segments of the population that currently don't do well. As it is, our brightest students attending our best schools *can* be prepared if they choose. What I would like to see is our brightest students attending our weakest schools to also have the way paved for them to be prepared. He went over stats on the percentage of urban high schools that offer calculus compared to suburban and it is just sad. We need to do a better job of making sure that students in poverty who are math bright have a solid education the whole way through so they are ready for calculus in highschool. And then we need to make sure it is offered with qualified teachers. (but part of that is we need to quit beating up teachers who choose to work with populations who don't test as well).

 

One of the double wammies about students in poverty not having a solid education in math at the end of highschool is that in college, only courses that count toward the degree can be taken by students receiving financial aid. So a young adult whose parents have money can pay for a remedial math course at a community college, but that avenue isn't open to students who MUST have financial aid.

 

But, I don't think that all students are capable of higher math. I think that someone with an IQ of 80 should be able to graduate from highschool, even though they don't have what it takes to be an engineer or computer programmer.

post #444 of 481

Thought this story on NPR this morning was relevant to this thread:

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/28/267488648/backlash-grows-against-common-core-education-standards

 

Quote:

Supporters of the new Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.


But there's growing backlash to Common Core, and conservatives and liberals increasingly are voicing similar concerns: that the standards take a one-size-fits-all approach, create a de facto national curriculum, put too much emphasis on standardized tests and undermine teacher autonomy.

more at 

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/28/267488648/backlash-grows-against-common-core-education-standards

post #445 of 481

I've been following this discussion for weeks now.  I homeschool, so I'm not commenting specifically though I have my opinions.

 

But:

 

Quote:
 down right cofangled

 

I love this and have no idea what it means, but I suspect I have been down right cofangled before.... :p  ..... no offense

intended.

 

ETA:  "Confangled?"  That's a new one for me, and wow, incredibly useful word indeed.

 

Onward!  :lurk 

post #446 of 481
Subbing. We have common core here and I think it moves to fast
post #447 of 481
I just watched this and it is very telling. I have bought The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America and The Leipzing Connection; they will arrive sometime this month. I watched this before the Super Bowl of all things and it does take some time to watch but she is basically saying that since Ronald Reagan communism has been planned for America in the Department of Education and also that Ronald Reagan made a move to match our schools with the schools there. He signed an agreement with Gorbachav.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1wVB8gBkD8&list=PL714B00303E6C0801&feature=share
post #448 of 481
And I just found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS3W3uDN0dM&feature=youtu.be and I'm trying to see how I can view it since it came out last fall. I emailed the White House this morning with some concerns and I plan on emailing them again tonight about a petition that I think is unfair. To get common core out of the US they want us to get 100,000 signatures by March with a petition. I think the petition is unfair and there is no way to do it. With the movie not coming out against the common core until April how can we reach enough people in time. It's not fair.
post #449 of 481
Brooks, maybe it would be interesting for you to do some research on those petitions and their effectiveness. Any petition will not "get CC out of the US".  If signed, it may get an official response. This is not the sort of thing that if someone can get 10,000 online signatures in 30 days, they get their wish. And, we should all be VERY grateful for that. Also, according to this article, the number of signatures for a gov. petition was raised for all petitions, not just CC. This gets back, again, to the idea that all of these issues are connected, and that the angle you are working is very much a political one. I really think it's impossible to have a good grasp of CC its politics without having a well-rounded understanding of the related issues. 
 
I hope your custody trial is going well and that it's getting the attention it deserves. 
 
FYI, ya'll, I spoke to another educator I respect (someone high in the field on the national level, btw) and the response I got about CC was, "It's good, not progressive enough, but good."  
post #450 of 481

Also, a funny side note as I do my homework for my art ed certification. We have some required reading on CC later in the term and one of the requirements are some work by Rativich. So, teachers in training are being given a somewhat balanced education regarding CC. I'll be sure to check back in the thread with more when we get to that part in the spring. 

post #451 of 481
Thread Starter 
I've also been reading a lot from Susan Ohanian, and I've really come to admire her. I'm kind of surprised that opposition to CC is associated with the Right. I don't see it as a partisan kind of thing.

Honestly, I don't really get into those articles and blog posts that bemoan all of the "propaganda" and "indoctrination" from Common Core-aligned curriculum. Schools will always be doing and teaching something to piss somebody off. Always. Common Core or none. Our country is too pluralistic for this not to happen.

I'm mostly nervous about the process of implementation, (closed-door meetings, heavy corporate influence, the Dept. of Ed playing carrot-and-stick games with states, zero parental or even relevant expert involvement, etc), the shaky and almost non-existent research foundation for these standards, and the whole process of sticking our children on an assembly line. Speaking to the latter, I'm glad that some of your children are doing well under the new standards. Not every child will. greensad.gif But I guess I'm stating the obvious.

Mostly, I feel like I had to come back and post because I feel that by starting this thread months ago, I kind of did a hit-and-run posting job. :sheepish

It's been a fascinating thread to read, though. Carry on!
post #452 of 481

Checked out Susan Ohanian - not sure how I like her from what I've read so far.  Can you link couple of articles that you liked, T?

 

Reading one article, I've noticed about myself that my opinion about people who compare the US education system to the systems in EU countries drops once I see that. There are way, way too many factors to compare for someone to make any good case for x,y,z being what the EU does right compared to whatever point someone is trying to make about what we do wrong. 

 

And, again, I do think she makes a lot of good points....and I am open to the idea that CC is making some things that we are all worried about worse but so much that she is discussing has been a problem for the entire time my kids have been in school - and much of when I was in school. For some reason, it feels like people who care about these things are barking up the wrong tree. And, I'll admit that that's when it starts to feel political to me. (One article on her site refers to CC as "The Obama administration's Common Core). It feels a touch dishonest to bundle this up with CC rather than address the problems and then discuss CC for the ways that it either doesn't address problems or makes them worse. Unless the issue is truly primarily about CC - which so few anti-CC arguments seem to be. 

 

I could be biased (I probably am!) but articles from the progressive end of the opposition seem to be more honest about this. 

post #453 of 481

It looks like Ohanian ID's as a progressive. But, I don't agree with her assessment about "toothless progressives" on this issue. In general, I think it's GOOD to acknowledge that all of our problems as a culture are intertwined and complicated. Yes, that makes it harder to build an angry grass-roots group if you acknowledge this, but it's an honest way of communicating that I expect from educators.  

 

I do wonder how teachers of various backgrounds can live through all sorts of reforms and then settle where they do on this and other issues. I do like reading all the different views on the subject. What I don't love is the implication that disagreement means that someone isn't paying attention (which is a vibe I get from Ohanian and others).  Not personally (because I really wasn't paying attention) but as a protective instinct for friends. 

 

On informational texts -- I'm reading a book on the value of nonfiction written in 2003. It's compelling. 

post #454 of 481
Thread Starter 
This one kind of punches at the gut: http://vtdigger.org/2013/08/13/ohanian-28-questions-about-the-common-core/ Not my state, but the questions are adaptable elsewhere.

I don't think that anyone is denouncing or otherwise poo-pooing the value of non-fiction. Making it a landslide priority over fictional works is the practice that's coming into question. This is a really heart-over-head op-ed, but it struck a special cord with me: http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2013/01/another_reason_to_teach_litera.html

I didn't quite follow this sentence, ICM:

"It feels a touch dishonest to bundle this up with CC rather than address the problems and then discuss CC for the ways that it either doesn't address problems or makes them worse."

I agree that calling it "Obama's" Common Core may be missing the mark. Sure, the President is responsible for the actions of his administration. But I kind of doubt that Obama has a clue as to what is going on with CC. He should, ideally, but I don't think he does. Referring to it as "his" makes it sound like he founded it, kind of like how "Obamacare" isn't really "Obama's" if you consider all of the factors that went into crafting the ACA. In the God-forbid scenario of a Romney Administration, we still would have seen Common Core. I truly believe that. Education "reformers" have been up to their schtick regardless of which party has been in power.

My mom's a retired teacher. I told her about CC, and she just shrugged and said that as an educator, she's lived through more bullshit than she can enumerate. lol.gif She believes that this will pass when the next fad comes along. I'm coming around to agreeing with her.

I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around all of the cliches, rhetoric, and marketing terminology. It's all about baseless, unquantifiable, evidence-free abstractions like "college and career-readiness," "academic rigor," "critical thinking," blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry, but who ISN'T going to make those claims about their favorite approaches to education? We need a solid evidence foundation, not a slick sales pitch.

I've heard anecdotes from college professors about how they're seeing new crops of freshmen who can't write a coherent paper, much less a coherent sentence. Fair enough. But first, where's the evidence that CC is the panacea to this problem? And second, we can't have it both ways. Teenagers are hearing the unquestionable dogma that they must, must, MUST go to college in order to make any kind of living. (No one tells them that they'll be 100K in debt and making $10/hour after graduation. But why spoil THAT surprise? eyesroll.gif) So teens who, while perfectly intelligent, may not feel cut out for college or want to go to college are going anyway. Now that college is supposed to be for EVERYBODY, it isn't fair to expect that EVERYBODY come in with the same set of academic skills.

Sorry to ramble incoherently. I never get time for posting until it's late and I'm tired. Maybe I could use some Common Core ELA training. winky.gif
post #455 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Making it a landslide priority over fictional works is the practice that's coming into question. This is a really heart-over-head op-ed, but it struck a special cord with me: http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2013/01/another_reason_to_teach_litera.html

 

 

This is a quote from that article: "The standards do not require students to read novels, and time pressure will make it difficult for teachers to assign even one novel in any high school English course."

 

I didn't know that the new standards don't require novels, however, they are still reading novels at my DD's highschool, multiple, long, difficult ones.

post #456 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

This is a quote from that article: "The standards do not require students to read novels, and time pressure will make it difficult for teachers to assign even one novel in any high school English course."

I didn't know that the new standards don't require novels, however, they are still reading novels at my DD's highschool, multiple, long, difficult ones.

Apparently, she doesn't consider novels to be literature.

"Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently."


And if you look at the Text Exemplars in Appendix B (http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf), there are many novels listed.
post #457 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
My mom's a retired teacher. I told her about CC, and she just shrugged and said that as an educator, she's lived through more bullshit than she can enumerate. lol.gif She believes that this will pass when the next fad comes along. I'm coming around to agreeing with her.

I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around all of the cliches, rhetoric, and marketing terminology. It's all about baseless, unquantifiable, evidence-free abstractions like "college and career-readiness," "academic rigor," "critical thinking," blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry, but who ISN'T going to make those claims about their favorite approaches to education? We need a solid evidence foundation, not a slick sales pitch.
 

 

I agree with this and with your mom Turquesa. I think this too shall pass. And good teachers will work around it.

 

Right now in North Carolina, as Polliwog can attest, we're up in arms over 3rd grade reading requirements that really have nothing to do with Common Core. Our legislature in all their wisdom saw fit to decree that all 3rd graders have to pass reading assessments or flunk 3rd grade and have to repeat it. I am all for reading fluency as a goal for 3rd grade, but they are really putting the screws on the kids and teachers with this one. Basically they're saying if you don't do well on the EOG you flunk, or alternately the teachers can assess reading skills based on a portfolio which the legislature has deemed shall consist of 36 separate tests throughout the year. A lot of teachers and schools are opting for the portfolio so they don't have to have the do or die situation of the EOG, but 36 tests!!?! Ugh. I, selfishly, am really glad that my youngest is in 4th grade this year. http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9410766

post #458 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

I agree with this and with your mom Turquesa. I think this too shall pass. And good teachers will work around it.

Right now in North Carolina, as Polliwog can attest, we're up in arms over 3rd grade reading requirements that really have nothing to do with Common Core. Our legislature in all their wisdom saw fit to decree that all 3rd graders have to pass reading assessments or flunk 3rd grade and have to repeat it. I am all for reading fluency as a goal for 3rd grade, but they are really putting the screws on the kids and teachers with this one. Basically they're saying if you don't do well on the EOG you flunk, or alternately the teachers can assess reading skills based on a portfolio which the legislature has deemed shall consist of 36 separate tests throughout the year. A lot of teachers and schools are opting for the portfolio so they don't have to have the do or die situation of the EOG, but 36 tests!!?! Ugh. I, selfishly, am really glad that my youngest is in 4th grade this year. http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9410766

HA...it stinks. I had a long post that just deleted itself. I'll restyle it later.
post #459 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post


I didn't quite follow this sentence, ICM:

"It feels a touch dishonest to bundle this up with CC rather than address the problems and then discuss CC for the ways that it either doesn't address problems or makes them worse."
 

 

Sorry I wasn't clearer. Your joke about needing to revisit an education in writing rings home for sure. ;-)  

 

What I meant was that in a lot of the articles I've read and some of the discussion here it seems like the discussion is really about trends in education that have been going on for a LONG time. Many are things that I'm not about to defend. But, I am happy to question why so much energy is funneled into anti-CC when many of these problems existed before CC and will probably be around way after. I do very much think that looking at the ways CC is either not going to be effective or will make bigger problems is a good thing to talk about but in some ways I think the focus on CC alone takes away from the bigger issues. 

 

Take what's going on in NC like Beanma and Polliwog are talking about (terrible, btw, does this not totally contradict current research on retention?). Incidentally the teachers in my city are all up in arms over a clause in the teacher's union contract about email. 

 

Because of this thread I have read far, FAR more anti-CC articles than anything outright supporting it (according to Ohanian, the NYT is totally biased, I'm not sure of that).  If there were some articles that described CC as an embodyment of the trends they do not like in American education, my ears would perk right up - but so far I'm not seeing that. 

 

I do like Ravitch but I don't agree with one of her premises, which is that American education was doing just fine before CC, so that makes the rest of what she says difficult for me to accept. 

post #460 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
My mom's a retired teacher. I told her about CC, and she just shrugged and said that as an educator, she's lived through more bullshit than she can enumerate. lol.gif She believes that this will pass when the next fad comes along. I'm coming around to agreeing with her.
 

Your mom may be right!  I am reading about the Common School Movement for one of my classes. It seems school reform, standardization, and testing aren't anything new. And, in fact, may be part of the origins of public education. I don't think I can share my course content but I found this article that's pretty interesting: http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk1/1992/9236/923606.PDF

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