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Common Core? - Page 4

post #61 of 481

I'm currently a substitute teacher in a state that has recently adopted the Common Core Standards. It has only been implemented in kindergarten so far in our district. I am also close to completing a master's degree in elementary ed. In the last year, I have had 12 hours of math course that are geared to teaching math in alignment to the Common Core Standards. With the CCS, math instruction is focused more on conceptual knowledge and problem solving skills than procedural knowledge. The math standards were written to replace the ones that forced curriculum that was "an inch deep and a mile wide."

post #62 of 481

The ironic thing about CCSS claiming to replace curriculum that are "an inch deep and a mile wide" is that the ELA

books we have so far that are aligned to CCSS is full of partial readings of many things. We went deeper into fewer pieces BEFORE CCSS.

post #63 of 481
Indeed, and as a parent of kids for whom "if you give him and inch, he'll take a mile," is the name of the game, the standards are really quite slim. Before, with a teacher with good differentiation skills, it was actually easier for my kids to access significantly more.

We haven't seen any CC LA readers, thankfully. The infinite spiral (aka going in circles to my kids) for upper levels of math really concerns me. Geometry really never seems to get more than an inch deep.
post #64 of 481
This topic ended? I am concerned about what my children are learning and I am concerned about the teachers as well. I need to know how to fight the common core because it is asking my kindergartener to read things she could not possibly understand without help and she is a smart kid. My 8 year old who is in 3rd grade is crying over timed tests that I am pretty sure are related to the common core. Before this my 8 year old LOVED school and now she is dreading the 3rd grade test and they are trying to tell me she is not doing well in multiplication and division. I have seen my 8 year olds math home work and it is ridiculous. I just want to know how to fight this common core thing properly. I did find the one website mentioned helpful. I do belong to several facebook groups and have read Kris Neilsen's book called Children of the Core. I am totally against it. I do not understand how this will benefit either of my children long term and I live in New York State where the schools have been excellent. I'm just at a loss on how to fight this as are others.
post #65 of 481
More later but cc seems to be embraced by teachers in my city.
post #66 of 481
The problem is really that teachers don't really have a choice but to embrace it or they may get fired. This is a huge problem and a friend of mine is homeschooling because of it. I am curious what your more is!
post #67 of 481

We have some teachers here on the thread can elaborate but my impression is that CC is a set of standards - not a curriculum - and that the teachers I know feel that the standards are preferable to previous standards. I think that before choosing to fight CC in your district or your kids' school that you should talk to your teachers about what they're experiencing. 


I know that for my DC's elementary school CC was nothing more than blip because they had already embraced a lot of the values of CC (according to them) as part of the core values of the school. For them, early literacy and timed testing are not at all part of their philosophy so I'm surprised to hear that this is how your district is applying CC. 


On CC, I'm curious to know how political this thing is? Because it came about under a democratic president, are we seeing support or resistance down party lines, I wonder? Our city is a largely democratic city so that could be in play here. 

post #68 of 481

@slbrooks , this looks like a pretty good description of CC for K-2. Early elementary school teachers can weigh in on how this standard is different from previous standards: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Publishers_Criteria_for_K-2.pdf 

post #69 of 481
Okay I could not read all of it because the first paragraph is completely inaccurate. The common core was not developed by any teachers. The problem I see with the common core is special needs children. No one seems to care that their needs are not going to be addressed. Every child/student is different and I am concerned for minorities, special needs, and any other child that has a problem in school. Here is recently something I sent to someone on the common core.

Common Core is not about education, or developing free thinking, creative, intelligent students. Common Core is standardization; a one size fits all with a rigid set of performance. Every student without exception - mainstream or special needs - is expected to reach the same benchmarks at the same time at every grade level. Impossible!! Children develop at...
different rates. Children whose talents and abilities that lay outside of what a test can "test" - creativity, artistry, athleticism and more - will be labeled a failure when their minds work differently.

The Common Core standards are now lower than NY's old standards. Algebra 1 is pushed from 8th grade to 9th grade; and the standards end at Algebra 2. Creative, complex literature to develop true critical thinking skills (including writing and understanding complex sentences and themes) is not a part of Common Core. These are just the tips of the iceberg. The writers of the Common Core have no education experience, no experience in education. Jason Zimba - lead writer on math - has testified under oath that the math standards are "fuzzy and only prepare at most for a 2 year college. In David Coleman's own words - lead writer of the ELA standards - that he had no business in writing the ELA standards.
post #70 of 481
Sorry I did notice something. I did notice that you said it was not a curriculum yet in the document you post it uses the word throughout. I tried to read it I really did but couldn't get past the authors and the word curriculum. Personally I don't care if it is called standards or curriculum...I just no it is bad for New York and bad for our children.
post #71 of 481
Yes, you certainly are entitled to that opinion and I'm sure a lot of parents and teachers will agree with you. In my community it seems to be a relative non-issue. 
I curious as well about how CC will be implemented for children with special needs but I seriously doubt that it's an issue of people not caring. I'm sure there has been a lot written on the subject of CC and addressing the needs of children with special needs. 
post #72 of 481
My son has special needs and the curriculum is absolutely adapted for him. The standards are the same but the methodology and the curriculum are addressed in his IEP.

There are aspects of the CC that I'm struggling with, but they aren't the death of education in this country,
post #73 of 481
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

My son has special needs and the curriculum is absolutely adapted for him. The standards are the same but the methodology and the curriculum are addressed in his IEP.

There are aspects of the CC that I'm struggling with, but they aren't the death of education in this country,


I live in a different country so I have absolutely no opinion about CC nor any stake in it. But unless I'm misunderstanding, you're saying that your ds has to attain the same standards of mastery as other students, but he can be taught and evaluated differently according to his IEP -- which sounds great if he's capable of attaining the same standards of mastery with that individualized support. But I'm curious how adaptable the Common Core standards are for students who aren't capable of attaining the same level of mastery as their non-special-needs peers.



post #74 of 481
I'm curious why you think CC addresses special needs. Even a legislative assembly member here in NY stated that she was worried about how CC would address special needs.
post #75 of 481
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

I'm curious why you think CC addresses special needs. Even a legislative assembly member here in NY stated that she was worried about how CC would address special needs.


I guess I am maybe cynical in general about how the US can manage its population of students. So, I wouldn't expect the CC to address the needs of students with special needs especially well, no, but I don't know that any set of standards can, yk?  I guess you could say that I'm not super impressed with CC but am somewhat encouraged to see that the two schools my DC attended (which were wonderful schools) feel good about the standards. 


I just had a quick read on my DC's current curriculum (IB) and how they feel about CC. In a brief look, it seems like International Baccalaureate curriculum fits well with the standards of CC. To my knowledge that school (my DC's current school) has not changed any curriculum programs (though perhaps the ones they subscribed to for English and Math adapted to CC). That same thing goes for my DC's previous school. Both of these schools are public schools that welcome all students. My guess is that meeting the needs of students with disabilities will be covered under previous laws, which admittedly could do better. 


My opinions (if you're asking me) that CC is not leaving students with disabilities in the dust (any more than the current standards) is based in the lack of opposition I've seen in the teachers in my life, many of whom specialize in teaching children with special needs and 100% of whom care deeply about making education available to all children. 


I'll be getting together with some educators (and we have a bunch on this thread too) and will ask them how they feel CC will do for students with special needs. What have the educators at your DC's school have to say on the issue?  Do they share your frustration? 

I can certainly see how someone how just really opposes national standards can find fault in Common Core but my guess is that the main challenges and failures of CC will be from the overall difficult task of educating all kids with limited resources. And/or if my DC's school was really struggling with meeting the needs of its students and was causing stress to students in the early stages of implementing CC, I would be really upset too. 


I read this earlier today and thought it was a good, basic article. http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/qa-common-questions-about-the-common-core-85899523670


Better standards in and of themselves do not automatically translate into improved student achievement, of course. “To me, the real issue is will these Common Core standards really be implemented?” Porter said. “Why should we think this is the case when that hasn’t been the case for state standards that have been around since 2002?” For the Common Core to succeed in raising student achievement, Porter said, curricula must be closely aligned to the standards, as well as teaching materials, student tests and teacher education.

A 2012 study by Tom Loveless of the left-leaning Brookings Institution  argues that the Common Core will likely have “very little impact” on student achievement because state policies have little impact on what goes on in classrooms, which is likely to have a much greater impact on student learning, such as the quality of teaching.



I guess I would say that I don't think a quality set of national standards is the problem with our education system and I don't think it's going to fix the main issues...but as a parent with a dog in this fight and who has been happy with schools that were out on the front end of this set of standards that I'm willing to give it a try. :D

post #76 of 481

Because this is an old thread and I've come to learn a bit about CC since originally posting, I read through a bit... 



Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post


I confess that I've always been a fan of close reading. I enjoy it and I think that's how I tend to read anyway but from discussing books I know that not everyone does. 

As parents I don't think we can separate what we think will be good for our kids from reading and forming an opinion about public education. As it happens, this type of reading (along with explicit reading instruction) is just what my DC needed. Comprehension was her strong point and decoding was what she needed explained to her. 


Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

Indeed, and as a parent of kids for whom "if you give him and inch, he'll take a mile," is the name of the game, the standards are really quite slim. 

Likewise, my DC is a total "meet expectations" kid...but for her it tends to stop there. For her a deeper curriculum that forces her to expand on ideas works well. That's what we see in her school now but, again, I'm not sure how much of this is CC and how much of it is part of the school's general philosophy for education. DC has been doing ratios and now some pre-algebra type stuff for the entire half-year. For her, I like it. I can see how a really curious, driven kid could get more from being introduced to more topics. 


As for the fiction/non-fiction. Again, this is hard to view from outside our own kids learning type. My DC will do well with more non-fiction. But, like (I think it was Mary) suggested, they are doing some fiction in social studies and she loves that too. 


I was recently at a meeting for 6th grade students who had gone on to several different public middle schools. Every one of them was reading "Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry". DC was a struggling reader so I can sympathize with what it would be like to be left out of independently reading a book all your peers are reading. On the other hand, it was a nice bonding experience for DC to be reading the same book as all her other friends in town.  

post #77 of 481
Here is a good link for you about common core: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/eight-problems-with-common-core-standards/2012/08/21/821b300a-e4e7-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_blog.html

My stance is that this will only grow into something ugly. I do not think corporations and federal government (although they claim they are not behind it) should be determining what is best for my young, impressionable children. There was nothing wrong with our education system to begin with. They have skewed an education crisis in this country. New York State has excellent schools across the state and was listed pretty high in education a while back. Maybe in 2001 when I looked into it. I was living in New Mexico and looking into state rakings during that time to compare New Mexico with other states and vice versa. Just for my own research. In fact, a school in Wisconsin which is considered the best in the country just opposed the standards.

If I were a stay-at-home mother I would homeschool like a friend of mine is doing.
post #78 of 481

I think I've made my peace with a lot of what I view as less-than-ideal about public education. Most of that was included in the article you posted. I'm open to CC being a good thing, a bad thing, and by my best guess a thing that has goals that never come to fruition. Marion Brandy seems like a pretty interesting dude. 

post #79 of 481
Originally Posted by slbrooks View Post

There was nothing wrong with our education system to begin with. They have skewed an education crisis in this country. New York State has excellent schools across the state and was listed pretty high in education a while back. 

I wanted to add that my state is often listed as the state with the top schools in the country. Our city, the lowest in the state (I assume). While I've heard some really compelling ideas about how we aren't in an educational crisis, one would never make that claim if living in my city. But, like what Marion Brandy says, these issues are less to do with standards and more to do with other social issues. I agree 100% that teaching kids how to think and how to learn is so very important. But, it's not like all these schools are doing this and now that we have Common Core they won't have the time. My experience has been the opposite - the school my DC attended who prided themselves on teaching kids how to think is a school that already complied with most CC standards. 


I don't know, I think public schools has its share of problems. I don't think CC is going to make a big difference one way or another. 



BTW, it looks like NYC may be getting our city's previous CEO of schools. I'm jealous. :-)  

post #80 of 481

So I just reviewed the thread, too. My dd2 is in a different grade with a different teacher now and the non-fiction issue is completely gone. Her teacher this year is a great teacher and has a lot of independent reading time where kids can choose books (fiction or non-fiction) from the classroom library. Dd2 is still reading and writing up a storm (just finished a 300pp book in 2 days, and started writing a new story today). Dd1 had the same teacher before Common Core was implemented and I'm not seeing much different in his style this year. He's an award-winning teacher who is very project and hands-on oriented.


I think dd2's teacher last year was very concerned with the CC standards, but I'm not really seeing it this year except in the math worksheets. They require the student to do a little more writing in words to explain their strategy for solving the problem. Occasionally dd2 does get frustrated with this, but it's usually not a big deal for her. It's kind of like that old demonstration of an algorithm by breaking down the steps to making a peanut butter sandwich (first go to the cabinet and get the peanut butter, then open the jar of peanut butter, then get a knife out of the drawer, then get two pieces of bread, etc, etc, etc). When you already know the steps it's so much easier to just say "I made a peanut butter sandwich" than to have to go through it step by step.  How did you solve the problem of how to divide the 24 cookies between the 3 friends? First I blah, blah, blah instead of just 24/3=8.


So, really, I'm back to I think it all depends on the teacher and to some extent the administration (if the teachers have a principal or superintendent who is really gung-ho). 


Still not an issue at dd2's charter school at all.

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