Is Common Core losing the public perception test?

"The education standards called Common Core have been adopted in more than 40 states, but according to a Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)/Gallup pollreleased Wednesday, the majority of Americans oppose them."

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I would say it's been lost almost from the beginning, but when has that stopped the Obama administration. The government currently has no discernable concept of representative government or popular sovereignty. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jonathan Charles's picture

From Wikipedia:

"The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce...Forty-four of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia are members of the Common Core State Standards Initiative."

 

In light of the above, I don't understand how this has become Obama's fault.  It was developed by the states, and now that it has had an unpopular reception the very states that developed it are running away from it. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jonathan,

I don't have time now to write more, so I will just encourage you to do some research. One place you could start would be at Town Hall magazine online, www.townhall.com. Just type "Common Core" into their search window and peruse the articles and op eds that come up. If that doesn't interest you, you can always just google Common Core. It wasn't actually developed by the states, it was developed by Washington who then strong-armed the states with promises of huge grants if they accepted and warning of cut off educational funding if they rejected (the same kind of tactic used with highway money to enforce a national speed limit). 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

When you start out with a backroom scheme, don't complain when you have no credibility.

Because federal law prohibits the federal government from creating national standards and tests, the Common Core project was ostensibly designed as a state effort led by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, a private consulting firm. The Gates Foundation provided more than $160 million in funding, without which Common Core would not exist.

The standards were drafted largely behind closed doors by academics and assessment “experts,” many with ties to testing companies. Education Week blogger and science teacher Anthony Cody found that, of the 25 individuals in the work groups charged with drafting the standards, six were associated with the test makers from the College Board, five with the test publishers at ACT, and four with Achieve. Zero teachers were in the work groups. The feedback groups had 35 participants, almost all of whom were university professors. Cody found one classroom teacher involved in the entire process. According to teacher educator Nancy Carlsson-Paige: “In all, there were 135 people on the review panels for the Common Core. Not a single one of them was a K–3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional.” Parents were entirely missing. K–12 educators were mostly brought in after the fact to tweak and endorse the standards—and lend legitimacy to the results. http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/28_02/28_02_karp.shtml

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

To expand on Susan's post, there were only tow actual content specialists on the core team that created Common Core, one math and one English. Neither of them would sign off on the final product, so their names were expunged from the committee in order to maintain the lie that the core group was unanimous in their support of Common Core. Only the politicians actually wanted this garbage.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

GregH's picture

In my opinion, the hand-wringing about Common Core is pretty much a lot of nothing. From what I have seen on Common Core, I am impressed. I know that it is implemented different in every state but again, what I have seen has impressed me. Multiple public school teachers have told me it is an improvement, not a step back. Once you cheapen the debate to politics, all sense of reason gets lost. "Obama supports and therefore it is bad" is the mantra.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

As a public school teacher watching it being implemented, it is a train wreck for education. You have the mantra wrong GregH. "It's bad and Obama supports it" is the real mantra.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

GregH's picture

My opinion from the outside is that what I see Common Core teaching what matters. Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary. I will pass. I want my children to know how to think and what I see in Common Core supports that. For example, the math feels like Singapore Math and that is a great perspective.

 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Common Core is copyrighted by the NGA Center and CCSSO, and they reserve the right to make changes at any time. “NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.” Then the DoE comes along and says that states cannot delete anything from the Common Core, and are limited in how much they can add (15%).  The DoE will only fund grants and offer waivers if states sign on to CCS. This sounds a lot like coercion. According to federal law, the DoE should not be involved in directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, or instructional materials.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The DoE is guilty of violating

  • The General Education Provisions Act
  • The Department of Education Organization Act
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act 

Then the CCSSO created CEDS (Common Education Data Standards), and the DoE altered FERPA so they could legally grant access to and gather data that includes personally identifiable student information like biological and behavioral data. Now. instead of requiring parental consent to share personal student information, it has been reduced to a “best practice”, and personal information now includes fingerprints, voice printing, iris and retina scans, DNA, facial features, and handwriting. 

Somehow I don't think CCS is just about teaching kids how to think.

GregH's picture

People believe what they want to believe. I am not a conspiracy theorist so I just don't relate to some of the hyperbole being tossed around by those who feel the need to politicize everything. My belief is that Common Core is indeed about raising the standards of education in this country, which we desperately need to do.

Not entirely related, but when comparing public schools to Christian private schools in my area, it is pretty clear that the bar has indeed been raised over the past decade (starting before Common Core) in public schools and in fact, public schools are way ahead in areas that matter. The Christian private schools are producing children that have pretty handwriting though.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The information I posted is fact - the interpretation is obviously a personal one. But if one's church leadership were up to these kinds of shenanigans, I think many folks would hightail it out of there.

I've read the CCS, and it's like, "Duh". What's so new and amazing about teaching kids how to read and write and communicate, learn basic math skills, read about history and science and do experiments... it doesn't actually cost millions (or even thousands) of dollars to educate children. I'm not impressed with the constant reinvention of the education wheel. 

I'd like to see Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne Shirley in charge - they'd take care of business for a fraction of the cost in half the time. 

I read this article today in HuffPo about the "revolutionary" concept of competency based education:

Currently, education is measured by completing a specified number of classes, in person or online, and a set of uniform assignments. Generally, such programs have a defined duration: one year, two years, four years, etc. Competency-based education does away with the defined duration and credit hours, replacing time with mastery. Not all students study at the same rate--and some have already acquired a range of knowledge and skills--so competency-based education offers an "each to their own" model for degree completion. 

Homeschoolers have been doing this for the last 30 years. It's nice to see public education finally begin to catch up. 

SimonV's picture

GregH wrote:

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

GregH's picture

SimonV wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

 

 

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

Yes you need to know basic math skills. But you do not need years of just adding stacks of numbers and long division. That is what the most popular Christian math textbooks focus on and at the expense of word and logic problems which are far more relevant to real life. It is old thinking and it is bad thinking for today's world in which believe it or not, people just don't do that stuff any more. They use calculators and Excel and QuickBooks. 

Ditto for handwriting. Sure, people need to know how to write. But do they need five or six years of a teacher telling them how to make perfect curls in the capital E's? In 2014 when most people can get through months without writing anything long than a short note or their signature with a pen and paper? It is absurd.

Yes, we do need new ideas in education because the world has changed. Some traditionalists can put their head in the sand if they want but what worked in 1900 is not appropriate for today. The bar is raised.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

GregH,

Please forgive me if this is too blunt, but you simply don't have any idea what you re talking about. Shorty after Common Core was first released, it was reviewed for rigor by a number of universities including Penn State and Stanford. They concluded that it fell right about in the middle of the previous state standards for rigor, which meant that for about half of the states, it was a step backwards from what they had been using prior to Common Core. Keep in mind that we are talking about the education system that was already failing now moving backwards.

I am primarily a history teacher with and English concentration as well. The so-called history standards are actually not content specific. They wrote history standards that are all English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Consequently, districts are replacing history teachers with English teachers in the history classrooms and replacing history content with with reading and writing content in the history classrooms. This is because the education system largely stopped testing history content 20-25 years ago. In my last district, 2 years ago, I was moved to make room for an English teacher in history class. The first year after I was replaced, 30% of the history content was not even touched, and what was "covered" was hardly more than a glance so kids could focus their time on ELA standards.

Speaking of Language Arts, Common Core entirely removes all fiction from the course work. 

The math you seem enthralled with is actually almost exactly the same as the "New Math" that was trotted out by public educators in the 70s to fix our country's deficiencies. It was a failure then, and it is an abject failure now. Instead of solving math problems, students draw pictures and write about how they solved a problem. Instead of being taught to borrow and carry, they are taught to break numbers down and round them off to create multi-step solutions for simple problems.  If that sounds confusing, it it's actually far worse than it sounds. Here are some examples of common core math.

Now the college board is re-writing AP classes to accommodate common core.

And I haven't even touched the government over-reach and invasion aspect that Susan only scratched the surface on. I'm only talking about the actual content of the standards here. 

If you actually take some time to look at what is being reported, the information is everywhere. To blow it off as conspiracy theory is weak-minded and simplistic. You are certainly welcome to your opinions, just like every other low-information voter is, but citizens refusing to take the time to actually investigate and dig out facts while rejecting out-of-hand the facts produced by others is a primary reason why our country has become the disaster it is today. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

dgszweda's picture

SimonV wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

 

 

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

i am not sure where you finished your degree, but I am in the middle of a masters, and I haven't taken a single not on paper and neither have my classmates.  My son is in high school and he takes no notes on paper, writes nothing on paper and does all of his work on his Surface Pro.

i paid a lot of money for my kids to attend one of the largest Christian Schools in the nation, and it was disappointed in the quality of education.  I agree with Greg.  The world is changing big time.  Why my kid needs to suck up so much time over a number of years to learn cursive, is beyond me.  This is not needed in today's society.  We need to learn how to work in teams and how to critically think.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

GregH wrote:

 

SimonV wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

 

 

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

 

 

Yes you need to know basic math skills. But you do not need years of just adding stacks of numbers and long division. That is what the most popular Christian math textbooks focus on and at the expense of word and logic problems which are far more relevant to real life. It is old thinking and it is bad thinking for today's world in which believe it or not, people just don't do that stuff any more. They use calculators and Excel and QuickBooks. 

Ditto for handwriting. Sure, people need to know how to write. But do they need five or six years of a teacher telling them how to make perfect curls in the capital E's? In 2014 when most people can get through months without writing anything long than a short note or their signature with a pen and paper? It is absurd.

Yes, we do need new ideas in education because the world has changed. Some traditionalists can put their head in the sand if they want but what worked in 1900 is not appropriate for today. The bar is raised.

 

You can blindly and ignorantly bash the traditionalists if you like, but, again, facts are not on your side. Those private and public charter schools that adhere even remotely to a traditional philosophy of education consistently out-pace their so-called progressive counterparts on standardized tests. This is even true among the general public school districts that have set up a single "traditional" school among their "regular" schools.  They are almost always the highest performing school in the entire district. In my current district, which has 15 elementary schools including a single traditional school, the traditional school is running above 95% proficiency on the state standardized assessment while the rest of the district is in the 60's or below. Your assertion would be laughable if it just weren't so tragic.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

But you do not need ... It is old thinking and it is bad thinking  ... It is absurd.

Greg, I don't know much about common core, and I am skeptical of all the conspiracy theories, but I do wonder about how you know what is needed or not, what is old and bad thinking, and what is absurd. Do you have some education qualifications that give you particular insight into this? I was under the impression that you were not in the field of education. Was I incorrect about that?

GregH's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

GregH,

Please forgive me if this is too blunt, but you simply don't have any idea what you re talking about. 

Forgive me for being blunt but you are stuck in paradigms that don't work anymore and can't see it because you almost certainly don't know how the business world works in 2014 outside education. Your perspective is so skewed by that and your politics that you have to resort to throwing out insults. Everyone that disagrees with you Chip is not a weak-minded voter. I find it interesting that you go there because it proves my point: this is largely a political issue rather than an education one. It is honestly a bit pathetic how this plays out. That by the way is a primary reason why our country has "become the disaster it is today."

dgszweda's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

SimonV wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

 

 

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

 

 

Yes you need to know basic math skills. But you do not need years of just adding stacks of numbers and long division. That is what the most popular Christian math textbooks focus on and at the expense of word and logic problems which are far more relevant to real life. It is old thinking and it is bad thinking for today's world in which believe it or not, people just don't do that stuff any more. They use calculators and Excel and QuickBooks. 

Ditto for handwriting. Sure, people need to know how to write. But do they need five or six years of a teacher telling them how to make perfect curls in the capital E's? In 2014 when most people can get through months without writing anything long than a short note or their signature with a pen and paper? It is absurd.

Yes, we do need new ideas in education because the world has changed. Some traditionalists can put their head in the sand if they want but what worked in 1900 is not appropriate for today. The bar is raised.

 

 

You can blindly and ignorantly bash the traditionalists if you like, but, again, facts are not on your side. Those private and public charter schools that adhere even remotely to a traditional philosophy of education consistently out-pace their so-called progressive counterparts on standardized tests. This is even true among the general public school districts that have set up a single "traditional" school among their "regular" schools.  They are almost always the highest performing school in the entire district. In my current district, which has 15 elementary schools including a single traditional school, the traditional school is running above 95% proficiency on the state standardized assessment while the rest of the district is in the 60's or below. Your assertion would be laughable if it just weren't so tragic.

 

Yes, but that view doesn't take into fact all of the statistics.  A private school or charter school is typically filled with students that have high parental involvement, specifically tied to the fact that the parents have to make financial sacrifices.  Whereas, a public school is filled with many smart kids, but also filled with everything else.  There are many other variables,

 

the broader facts are, that even though people complain about education system.  Worldwide innovation and workplace effectiveness is still dominated by the US, with individuals who overwhelmingly have had a public school education.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

But you do not need ... It is old thinking and it is bad thinking  ... It is absurd.

Greg, I don't know much about common core, and I am skeptical of all the conspiracy theories, but I do wonder about how you know what is needed or not, what is old and bad thinking, and what is absurd. Do you have some education qualifications that give you particular insight into this? I was under the impression that you were not in the field of education. Was I incorrect about that?

You are correct. I write from outside the often closed box of education. The big difference between Chip and me is in how we measure. Chip measures by standardized testing as he makes clear in his non-stop references to it. I come at it from the perspective of a person who has hired scores of employees, looked at thousands of resumes, and know what skills are really needed in 2014. I also come at it from the view of someone very knowledgeable in how a flat world is changing our paradigm. I know that topic well enough to have lectured about it at a university level.

In other words, I don't care how well students do on standardized tests because that is meaningless if those tests do not test the right things. I am more interested in making sure my children do not end up sitting in my basement at 30 because they have no skills to succeed in the difficult world they are going in to. If I sat in the closed box of education, I might fall into the trap of thinking standardized testing is the right measuring stick too but the real world woke me up.

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

I write from outside the often closed box of education.

Thanks Greg. If I can push back a bit, and perhaps further the discussion, let me press here a little. Does reading a few thousand resumes and hiring scores of people for your relatively narrow field give you the right kind of background to be passing authoritative opinions on education and standardized testing? I can accept that you know something about what you want from the people you hire, but what about the rest of the world? Do you think the STEM schools share your view? Do the automotive companies hiring engineers share your view? Or the schools hiring teachers? Or the hospitals hiring lab techs or nurses?

These kinds of question tie into the idea of  liberal arts education vs. vocational training. You seem to think the latter is better. I think the former is better, even at an early age. A broad education in the basic skills of life is important. You talk about working with stories and logic, but I was doing that in elementary school thirty five years ago. And everyone I know was. But how would that contradict the usefulness of standardized testing? And if you don't have standardized testing, how would you evaluate if people are learning at a general age level?

In other words, I don't care how well students do on standardized tests because that is meaningless if those tests do not test the right things.

You seem here to make a pretty large jump saying you don't care how well students do on standardized tests because those tests are meaningless if they do not test the right things; however, your actual objection appears to be, not against standardized tests (as you say), but against standardized tests that don't measure the right things. So if a standardized test measure the "right things" it would be acceptable?

I agree. I have no interest in standardized tests that measure wrong things. Do you know anyone who disagrees? But you have completely jumped over the question of what are the right things to measure, and how do we know what the right things are. I am not sure your looking at thousands of resumes or hiring scores of people qualifies you to determine what the "right things" are for the population at large. And that was the question. You admit that you have no qualifications to determine that, apart from your very narrow experience. Experts are known for actually having wide experience in a given field.

Earlier, you decry learning to do long division by hand, or learning to write legibly through handwriting course (which are actually about quite a bit more than handwriting ... things such as spelling, composition, etc.). Yet you have no evidence to show that these things are not the "right things" to test. What happens in a world where students can't do basic math by knowledge of math, and knowing how to do long division by hand is a piece of the bigger picture of how the world works? What about a world where students can't write legibly, spell correctly, or compose texts for various purposes? What does that world look like?  I would say we are already entering that world, and it's not a pretty sight.

Have you ever hired someone who didn't undergo the educational process and standardized testing? Of those you have hired, what is the percentage of those that have done it your way (i.e., without standardized testing)? And how do they measure up?

I am more interested in making sure my children do not end up sitting in my basement at 30 because they have no skills to succeed in the difficult world they are going in to. If I sat in the closed box of education, I might fall into the trap of thinking standardized testing is the right measuring stick too but the real world woke me up.

I share your interest in making sure kids are prepared. But again, notice your leap. You again object to standardized testing. But you already indicated that's not your objection.  Your objection is to measuring wrong things.

What measuring stick do you propose? How do you equip young people (say, ages 5-18) who do not yet know what field what they want to spend their lives in? How do you make sure that they are gaining basic life skills?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

SimonV wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

Let the traditionalists teach obsolete skills like handwriting and how to add stacks of numbers in a world where those skills are not necessary.

 

 

This statement blows my mind. Are you seriously suggesting that basic math skills are no longer necessary in the modern world? Or how to write without a keyboard? I just finished an engineering degree, and you know what? Fancy calculator or not, if you don't know how to do some math by hand you will fail. That calculator will slow you down and you will have a really bad time. I'm not saying everybody needs to know calculus, but basic math is pretty, well, basic. And knowing how to write by hand is pretty important too. For instance, in most math and science classes you can't take notes on a computer because it's just not possible. You need to be able to write, and write fast or you will never keep up with the teacher. Maybe the Common Core is good in some ways, and maybe schools still teach some things that aren't really important today, but math and handwriting are not two of them.

 

 

Yes you need to know basic math skills. But you do not need years of just adding stacks of numbers and long division. That is what the most popular Christian math textbooks focus on and at the expense of word and logic problems which are far more relevant to real life. It is old thinking and it is bad thinking for today's world in which believe it or not, people just don't do that stuff any more. They use calculators and Excel and QuickBooks. 

Ditto for handwriting. Sure, people need to know how to write. But do they need five or six years of a teacher telling them how to make perfect curls in the capital E's? In 2014 when most people can get through months without writing anything long than a short note or their signature with a pen and paper? It is absurd.

Yes, we do need new ideas in education because the world has changed. Some traditionalists can put their head in the sand if they want but what worked in 1900 is not appropriate for today. The bar is raised.

 

 

You can blindly and ignorantly bash the traditionalists if you like, but, again, facts are not on your side. Those private and public charter schools that adhere even remotely to a traditional philosophy of education consistently out-pace their so-called progressive counterparts on standardized tests. This is even true among the general public school districts that have set up a single "traditional" school among their "regular" schools.  They are almost always the highest performing school in the entire district. In my current district, which has 15 elementary schools including a single traditional school, the traditional school is running above 95% proficiency on the state standardized assessment while the rest of the district is in the 60's or below. Your assertion would be laughable if it just weren't so tragic.

 

 

 

Yes, but that view doesn't take into fact all of the statistics.  A private school or charter school is typically filled with students that have high parental involvement, specifically tied to the fact that the parents have to make financial sacrifices.  Whereas, a public school is filled with many smart kids, but also filled with everything else.  There are many other variables,

 

the broader facts are, that even though people complain about education system.  Worldwide innovation and workplace effectiveness is still dominated by the US, with individuals who overwhelmingly have had a public school education.

Once again, your facts are just wrong. Charter schools and district "traditional" schools are both part of the public education sector. Neither charges tuition, and they draw their families from the exact same parent pool as the rest of the public school empire. While I agree that the difference is not as monolithic as just pointing at educational philosophy, that remains one of the most important differences. Furthermore, our country's public schooling continues to lag behind all other industrialized nations. Public education is a disaster zone headed in the wrong direction for the last 75 years.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

GregH's picture

Larry, seriously :) Talk about leaps.

I never said all of my qualifications or expertise came from reading thousands of resumes. I don't want to brag and start listing what I have done. In fact, I won't. You can Google if you want to know. But yes, your attempt to paint me as a guy that does not know what is going on is really a bit silly. 

Nor did I say I was against standardized testing.

Nor do I say that vocational training is better than liberal arts.

I don't even know how to deal with your post when it is arguing against things that I don't even support. And because you are quick to downplay what experience I have, what is the point anyway? So yes, I am going to pass on writing a scholarly paper here that discusses how to fix education, what should be measured etc.

The point of my first post was to say that in my opinion, Common Core is an improvement, that much of the opposition is just political, that traditionalists are stuck in paradigms that don't work in real life any more, and that an emphasis on handwriting and menial skills that are not useful in 2014 is misguided. I reserve the right to hold that opinion regardless of how uninformed you think it is. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

GregH,

Just for the record, I posted several specific examples, even some actual math work, of problems with common core, none of which you you have chosen to interact with yet.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Thanks, Greg. I am not really interested in going back and forth and I have no desire to misrepresent you. I drew some conclusions based on what you said, and asked you to clarify. I will quickly explain why I drew the conclusions I did, and if you think I  have misunderstood, then please clarify, particularly by answreing some of the questions I posed that would help me understand.

I never said all of my qualifications or expertise came from reading thousands of resumes. I don't want to brag and start listing what I have done. In fact, I won't. You can Google if you want to know. But yes, your attempt to paint me as a guy that does not know what is going on is really a bit silly. 

I asked for your qualifications to support your views, and that's what you gave us. If you have more reasons why we should accept your opinions are informed opinions, I am interested. I am not sure I disagree, why is why I asked some specific questions about your alternatives and views. (I googled you and didn't see anything that seemed relevant immediately.)

Nor did I say I was against standardized testing.

Not specifically, but you did say you didn't care how well a student does on them. So perhaps "against" is too strong. Maybe "apathetic" is better? Not being provocative there. Just trying to understand. If your objection or apathy is that they test wrong things, then we agree.

Nor do I say that vocational training is better than liberal arts.

You said that "you do not need years of just adding stacks of numbers and long division" because they are not "relevant to real life." You repeated that in this post. That seems a major difference between liberal arts and vocational training ... relevance to "real life." Furthermore, how do we conclude that these things have no relevance to real life? That's a pretty big issue. I actually think they are pretty relevant.

I don't even know how to deal with your post when it is arguing against things that I don't even support.

You could answer the questions I asked, even if you disagree with my conclusions about your previous view. I certainly don't intend to misrepresent you but all I had to go on was what you said. I would welcome short clarifying answers.

And because you are quick to downplay what experience I have, what is the point anyway?

I am not downplaying your experience; I don't actually know what it is yet. I am questioning whether that gives you an informed opinion outside of your experience. If there are reasons to believe you have that broader base for an informed opinion, it would certainly give more weight to your views. That's why I asked. (Again I googled and didn't see anything.)

So yes, I am going to pass on writing a scholarly paper here that discusses how to fix education, what should be measured etc.

I certainly hope so. I have no interested in reading a scholarly paper here. There were a few basic questions I asked in hopes of furthering my understanding of what you were saying.

The point of my first post was to say that in my opinion, Common Core is an improvement, that much of the opposition is just political, that traditionalists are stuck in paradigms that don't work in real life any more, and that an emphasis on handwriting and menial skills that are not useful in 2014 is misguided. I reserve the right to hold that opinion regardless of how uninformed you think it is. 

I tend to agree with the first part (though I admit to not knowing much about common core). I don't think I agree with the second part about things "not working in real life anymore" but that may be because I don't know what you mean by that. I do disagree that handwriting is not important, and I wouldn't put long division in the category of menial skills. But again, until an argument is made for that, I don't really know how to evaluate it for myself.

I will bow out here. I hope you will give at least a few answers in search of understanding.

dgszweda's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

Once again, your facts are just wrong. Charter schools and district "traditional" schools are both part of the public education sector. Neither charges tuition, and they draw their families from the exact same parent pool as the rest of the public school empire. While I agree that the difference is not as monolithic as just pointing at educational philosophy, that remains one of the most important differences. Furthermore, our country's public schooling continues to lag behind all other industrialized nations. Public education is a disaster zone headed in the wrong direction for the last 75 years.

Charter schools achievement and traditional public schools achievements are indistinguishable (http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/123)

With that said, you are concerned that it lags behind all industrialized nations, yet our young workforce surpasses all other industrialized countries in many facets. Maybe we are measuring our kids incorrectly on how to be successful in society.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

Once again, your facts are just wrong. Charter schools and district "traditional" schools are both part of the public education sector. Neither charges tuition, and they draw their families from the exact same parent pool as the rest of the public school empire. While I agree that the difference is not as monolithic as just pointing at educational philosophy, that remains one of the most important differences. Furthermore, our country's public schooling continues to lag behind all other industrialized nations. Public education is a disaster zone headed in the wrong direction for the last 75 years.

 

Charter schools achievement and traditional public schools achievements are indistinguishable (http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/123)

With that said, you are concerned that it lags behind all industrialized nations, yet our young workforce surpasses all other industrialized countries in many facets. Maybe we are measuring our kids incorrectly on how to be successful in society.

I agree that many of the charter schools are as bad as the general public schools, but the ones that have chosen a traditional philosophy or education tend to do better. I would argue our production is greater for many reasons, but that the education system is not one of them; it is a hindrance to even greater things.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I am also outside educational circles, but I work in a technical field in the computer industry.  Since I design/write drivers, I don't deal often with new hires, though I do occasionally have to read resumés and do technical interviews of prospective employees.  I can say that my focus there is more on how they solve real world problems, but I certainly expect good reading, math and critical thinking skills, which will be put to good use during the interview.  I have never once cared about their handwriting, and since if I see them, they are interviewing for a technical job, I don't care if they "dress for success," and in fact, if they are not right out of school, such dress gets them minus points, as it appears they are trying to impress with something other than a good skill set, since they certainly won't dress that way on the job.

I took my kids out of a Christian school education when they were in 5th and 7th grades, primarily because of some of the problems expressed here -- my kids were doing well at rote memorization (not all that bad for things like multiplication tables, but not great for understanding history, for example) and handwriting, but they didn't spend enough time on critical thinking skills.  Maybe that has changed at that school by now.

When my wife and I (both of us have a B.S. in math, and I have an M.S. in computer science) both started homeschooling, I added courses that I taught in the morning beyond the "traditional" courses that my wife handled.  Both of my girls immediately started typing, critical thinking, and 1 year of Latin (for better language understanding).  Once they had one semester of typing, I immediately required all assignments that were not math or contained equations to be typed, since 5 and 7 years of handwriting are quite enough.  I might think differently if they wanted a career in calligraphy or wanted to work alongside Thomas Jefferson hand copying the Declaration, but since both of those were quite unlikely, skills with computers and typing were much preferred.  Critical Thinking, which eventually included logic, fallacies, proving an argument correct and valid, and even having to refute something they had written and taken a position on lasted through until graduation.

I have not seen the entire Common Core curriculum of course, but some of what I have seen (math) looks like it does some really weird things to come up with some answers, and I'm not sure those same skills would really translate to most problems in the real world, at least, not in the world of software engineering.

So at this point, I think I would need to look at a lot more of the curriculum to really evaluate it (and I'm not that motivated since my kids are now in college), but some of the things I'm hearing about Common Core do sound disturbing.  However, given my experience as a homeschool teacher, I agree that continuing to stress skills that are less useful (e.g. cursive handwriting beyond enough to read it and to write a signature, I'm looking at you!) will not help all that much in today's world.

Dave Barnhart

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Sadly, David, i agree with your assessment of too many Christian school as well. Frankly, my wife and I have chosen to home school our kids as well. Even if I someday return to a Christian school of excellence, we still believe homeschooling is the best option.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I don't have a problem with the government setting standards for government programs. Public education, as a taxpayer funded gov't program, would need to be held accountable and regulated in some way.

However, I oppose CCS because:

  • The improper and unconstitutional practice of automatically granting millions Race to the Top funds to states that adopted CCS, even before the standards had even been finalized and accountability measures crafted, and then calling their participation 'voluntary'. Puhlease.
  • The fact that the CCS were NOT a state-led initiative involving teacher and parent input, and the NGA and CCSSO did not have a grant of authority from the states to write these standards. For those of you in Rio Linda, the National Governor's Association doesn't actually represent state governors - they are an unelected networking group.
  • The copyright issue is also very troublesome, as states are not allowed to change them, and those who own it can change it without any input from states or citizens. "Big philanthropy" writing public policy bypasses the principles of our representative republic.
  • In spite of the blahblahblah about standards not dictating curriculum, the extensive embedded pedagogy of the CCS reduces teachers to test proctors. 
  • CCS assessments do not have an equivalency test for students with special needs. 
  • Teaching kids to think the exact same thing in the exact same way is NOT teaching critical thinking.
  • Just follow the money- Common Core Inc, Bill Gates Foundation, Achieve Inc, College Board, Smarter Balanced, Pearson - and others who stand to make billions with CCS curriculum, tech, and testing. Again, he who writes the paychecks calls the shots, and with CCS, that is not going to be the American citizenry.
  • The kind of tracking information that will be compiled on each student is a definite violation of privacy, and FERPA now protects families about as well as a volleyball net can stop a tsunami.

Also see How Common Core's Standards Have Begun to Damage the School Curriculum by Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram's Testimony to the Indiana Senate Education Committee.

As more people read and study the standards, they are realizing that CCS is chopped liver presented like it's caviar. People can say all the livelong day that CCS is an improvement, but they have tons of trouble providing any evidence to support their conclusions. 

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