Sacramento City Unified School District students answer math questions in March. Courtesy of Children Now.

A coalition of about 500 California groups, along with a recent poll, indicate statewide support of the Common Core State Standards, the children’s advocacy group Children Now announced Monday.

The business, health, education and other groups forming the coalition signed a statement of support of the Common Core.

Previously, a Children Now poll of about 1,000 voters indicated that about two-thirds of California voters support the use of the nationally developed Common Core standards in schools. Support was particularly high among Latino, African-American and Asian voters, according to the telephone survey conducted in March and released in April.

“We really wanted to demonstrate the solid, extraordinary support of California staying on track for Common Core implementation,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “This shows in one list the diversity of support around the state.”

About 3 million California students are now in the middle of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which are based on the Common Core standards. The standards were adopted by California in 2010 and the test is being given for the first time this spring.

Some national polls have shown Common Core opposition elsewhere. In other states, schools are reporting massive opt-outs of testing, while only a few California schools have had half or more of their students skip the assessments. Still, some groups are protesting the Common Core, holding forums and handing out opt-out forms outside of schools.

In California, the 500 supporting groups include chambers of commerce, League of Women’s Voters chapters and United Way regional groups, which focus on education.

“It is an important part of our work and it is central to what we do,” said Pete Manzo, president and chief executive officer of United Ways of California. “We see the Common Core as a positive step in that direction,”

The Children Now poll asked about voters’ general support of the Common Core by name.

Support was strongest among Latinos (82 percent), African-Americans (77 percent), Asians (75 percent) and Democrats (78 percent). The poll’s margin of error was 3.1 percentage points. The new coalition list includes the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the California NAACP.

While Common Core support was lower among white voters and Republicans, poll participants backed aspects of the Common Core when described generically. For example, about 93 percent of those polled said they support “promoting critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills needed for a competitive job market.”

“The words Common Core are getting politicized,” Lempert said. “But if you just focus on what the updated standards are really about, there was really no controversy.”

Another recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that more than half of the parents surveyed knew nothing about the Common Core standards. Lempert said the Children Now poll also found that problem; about half of the respondents initially said they had not recently heard about Common Core.

Patty Scripter, vice president for education of the California State Parent Teacher Association, said she hears about parents who don’t understand the Common Core. But instead of widespread opposition, parents have questions about the Common Core, such as how to help their children with homework.

“We really wanted to be involved in the effort to get information to parents so they can understand why we adopted the standards,” Scripter said. “We all want our kids to be successful. We believe the updated standards will help them do that.”


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  1. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Here is probably the best article I have read on the problems of the ELA standards.( Link at bottom.) I have lifted a few sections out as highlights, but the article should be read in is entirety. Among other things if explains in depth the criticism of the developmental inappropriateness of the standards, how they are reverse engineered and devoid of Reader Response. After reading this check out the next section about the limitations … Read More

    Here is probably the best article I have read on the problems of the ELA standards.( Link at bottom.) I have lifted a few sections out as highlights, but the article should be read in is entirety. Among other things if explains in depth the criticism of the developmental inappropriateness of the standards, how they are reverse engineered and devoid of Reader Response. After reading this check out the next section about the limitations of David Coleman’s expertise as a standards author.

    Some highlights:

    If you have graduated from a 4 year liberal arts college or university, odds are good that this sounds familiar regardless of your major. The selected standards in Reading Literature represent a description of the close textual reading you were required to do as part of your introductory English coursework, possibly taught by an enthusiast of the New Criticism school of literary analysis from the mid-twentieth century. For college bound students, this is not off the mark as far as a portion of their work with literature is concerned. However, reading the entirety of the reading literature standards demonstrates that close textual reading is pretty much ALL that they contain. Each of the anchor standard descriptors reiterates the anchors’ focus on the text — to the exclusion of the reader.

    As mentioned, these standards then move down to Kindergarten, largely describing simpler tasks for less experienced readers ( excerpts standards here)

    So what is wrong with this? It represents a very specific purpose of reading literature, a purpose that does not serve the reasons why all children read, not even all children destined to become college English majors, and it is backwards engineered to grade levels when students cannot be expected to have full fluency. What Common Core does is take reading literature and purpose it entirely to close textual reading, which is a tool of literary criticism, especially for the New Criticism school of analysis. In New Criticism, the text is treated as self-contained, and it is the job of the reader to investigate it as an object to be understood via the structure of the text and without reference to external resources such as history, culture, psychology or the experiences of the reader.

    This stands in stark opposition to Reader Response criticism where the role of the reader in creating meaning not only cannot be set aside, but also is absolutely essential for the words on the page to have any meaning whatsoever. Louise Rosenblatt informed this school of thought by demonstrating that the process of reading is best understood as a transaction between the text and the individual readers who approach the task of reading it:

    “The transaction involving a reader and a printed text thus can be viewed as an event occurring at a particular time in a particular environment at a particular moment in the life history of the reader. The transaction will involve not only the past experience but also the present state and present interests or preoccupations of the reader. It stresses the possibility that printed marks on a page will become different linguistic symbols by virtue of transactions with different readers….”

    “Does not the transactional point of view suggest that we should pay more attention to the experiential framework of any reading transaction? Is it not extraordinary that major social upheavals seem to have been required to disclose the fact that schools have consistently attempted to teach reading without looking at the language and life experience, the cognitive habits, that the child brought to the text? And should not this same concern be brought to bear on more than the problem of the language or dialect that the child brings? Should not a similar concern for reading as an event in a particular cultural and life situation be recognized as pertinent to all reading, for all children at all phases of their development as readers, from the simplest to the most sophisti­cated levels? (pp. 15-16)”

    You can read this article here:

    http://danielskatz.net/2014/09/19/dear-common-core-english-standards-can-we-talk/

    Replies

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      Here's the ending of the same article: Did anyone have anything better for children before Common Core? That’s difficult to answer because while states have been held to progress in examinations since the No Child Left Behind act of 2001, this is the first time that nearly nationwide assessments are going to be aligned with a single set of standards. However, it is possible to speak about how states with standards different from Common … Read More

      Here’s the ending of the same article:

      Did anyone have anything better for children before Common Core? That’s difficult to answer because while states have been held to progress in examinations since the No Child Left Behind act of 2001, this is the first time that nearly nationwide assessments are going to be aligned with a single set of standards. However, it is possible to speak about how states with standards different from Common Core did on nationally administered assessments prior to this endeavor. For example, Massachusetts has long been recognized as a high performing state on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In 2009, when Common Core was still twinkling in its authors’ eyes, Massachusetts’ 4th grade NAEP reading scores were higher than any other state in the nation. At the time, Massachusetts was still using its own English Language Arts framework, adopted in 2001. I would like to draw attention to Standard 9: Making Connections:

      Students will deepen their understanding of a literary or non-literary work by relating it to its contemporary context or historical background.

      By including supplementary reading selections that provide relevant historical and artistic background, teachers deepen students’ understanding of individual literary works and broaden their capacity to connect literature to other manifestations of the creative impulse.

      The standard is then extrapolated forward, requiring that students examine works as related to the life and experiences of the author and in relationship to key concepts, ideas and controversies that existed in the society that produced the work itself. Examinations such as these are fruitful grounds for personal experiences and comparisons of current society and events as well. This is similar to principles articulated by the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association (NCTE/IRA) in the standards for the English Language Arts that they released in the 1990s. Standards 1-3, in particular, articulate a broad vision of what reading is for and how readers go about doing it:

      Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

      Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
      Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

      Neither of these documents rules out close textual reading, nor do they dismiss the need for students to develop skills in creating sophisticated analyses using the tools of text. Common Core, however, provides no explicit space for any other kind of reading or analysis, and it appears entirely uninformed by any framework of reading as a process that includes the reader in any capacity other than as faithful seeker of the text’s internally constructed meaning. Readers who want to understand society and history via the text? Readers who want to explore their own humanity across space and time with characters who live and breathe after centuries? Readers who want to enjoy the feelings of a work of art without picking it apart into its component parts?

      People don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think. End article

      Thank you, Daniel Katz.

  2. Maria Consuelo 1 year ago1 year ago

    English Language Learners are struggling terribly to keep up with the current education reforms. It has made homework impossible to complete without teacher assistance. The standards are not developmentally appropriate for English speakers and therefore they are unrealistic and too difficult for English Language Learners. The writers should go back to the drawing board and this time consult some real k-12 teachers. College professors should not write the standards. They have no experience with children!

  3. Cynthia Eagleton 1 year ago1 year ago

    Edsource, if you have a policy about not quoting at length in comments, I understand.

    I would like to submit this Cloaking Inequality blogpost for public consideration –

    http://cloakinginequity.com/2014/10/21/dewey-testing-companies-and-the-origin-of-the-common-core/

    Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig looks at the roots of Common Core and from a Dewey perspective.

    The information in the article is important but not widely known by the public or distributed by many media sources.

    Don, you in particular, will probably appreciate – and may have already be familiar with.

    Replies

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      This kind of 'analysis' would only be valid if the content of the standards was impacted by the process. There is no evidence it was, or at least this is never presented as part of the argument. Not only is cc mostly an overlap with existing standards (are those old ones equally invalid?) but they overlap extensively with standards of other countries, including those who we supposedly want to be like. If the issue is … Read More

      This kind of ‘analysis’ would only be valid if the content of the standards was impacted by the process. There is no evidence it was, or at least this is never presented as part of the argument. Not only is cc mostly an overlap with existing standards (are those old ones equally invalid?) but they overlap extensively with standards of other countries, including those who we supposedly want to be like.
      If the issue is with the standard, then address the standard. If it an issue with something else (eg curriculum, testing, etc), address that.
      Almost all the current ‘discussion’ related to common core is steeped in fallacy, used an attempt to support some other agenda. Zzzzz…

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        This kind of analysis Is appropriate because the incipient private actors employed and insular methods used to create and adopt CCSS has everything to do with the reasoning behind the federal prohibition. The question is whether or not the CCSS as defacto national standards are a violation of federal law. If the Federal Government coerced states into adoption than the quality of the standards themselves are not the issue as pertains to the viability of … Read More

        This kind of analysis Is appropriate because the incipient private actors employed and insular methods used to create and adopt CCSS has everything to do with the reasoning behind the federal prohibition. The question is whether or not the CCSS as defacto national standards are a violation of federal law. If the Federal Government coerced states into adoption than the quality of the standards themselves are not the issue as pertains to the viability of CCSS going forward.

        The Department of Education Organization Act, the General Education Provisions Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965 then later NCLB,2001), prohibit the Department of ED, that is, the federal government, from directing, supervising, or controlling instructional, instructional materials and K12 curriculum.

        But the SBAC website states: The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is committed to supporting member states and territories as they implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Working with educators, Smarter Balanced will identify high-quality curriculum resources aligned to the CCSS and professional development strategies that can be replicated across states. The tools and resources will be posted online and incorporated into the digital library — an on-demand resource to help teachers address learning challenges and differentiate instruction — as part of the assessment system.

        • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

          In other words, a single state could decide to generate the exact same standards document on their own and it would be perfectly acceptable. That is thus not an issue with the standards.
          Like I said, zzzzzz….

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            Navigio, it's nonsensical to use a hypothetical impossibility. No individual state could have the same standard if the CCSS actors had not come together with a national intent for their creation. A single state could not have devised standards through the same process used for CCSS short of an immaculate conception. In the real world of CCSS in collaboration with its private partners in the testing, technology and education materials industries and its governmental and … Read More

            Navigio, it’s nonsensical to use a hypothetical impossibility. No individual state could have the same standard if the CCSS actors had not come together with a national intent for their creation. A single state could not have devised standards through the same process used for CCSS short of an immaculate conception.

            In the real world of CCSS in collaboration with its private partners in the testing, technology and education materials industries and its governmental and extra-governmental partners, national academic standards are like the holy grail for profiteering – like global trade agreement that benefits specific private entities on a massive scale.

            Navigio, you seem to dismiss the sizeable evidence of collusion as concerns CCSS’s creation and adoption and its corrosive effects.The fact that these standards are clearly an end-run around illegal national standards is no concern to you. Pearson, Gates and their partners are all appreciative I’m sure of your allegiance to their questionable, unproven standards and the effects it will have for years to come on the standardization of teaching practice and the ever-expanding reliance on testing with its cookie cutter ramifications for student and teacher evaluations. Thanks for helping the forces of industry and corporate led government turn our precious locally driven bottom- up public schools into factories for the oligarchs.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              All valid points. Except for that minor annoyance that none of those things happen to have anything to do what's actually in the standards. I guess we could discard them nonetheless and go back to those other standards. Oh wait. They are 80% the same. I guess we could discard those too. They must be bad if the Feds came with mostly the same thing...even if only after the fact. I guess we could read … Read More

              All valid points. Except for that minor annoyance that none of those things happen to have anything to do what’s actually in the standards. I guess we could discard them nonetheless and go back to those other standards. Oh wait. They are 80% the same. I guess we could discard those too. They must be bad if the Feds came with mostly the same thing…even if only after the fact.
              I guess we could read the standards and decide for ourselves. Nah, that would limit our ability to play politics. That’s no fun!

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio, if it's all just the same, well 80% anyway, why all the problems with the implementation? Why all the turned off teachers and parents? Why all the delay? Why all the costs? Why the lack of instructional materials? Why the need for professional reeducation? Why all the brouhaha? Why for that matter did we need a new test when a tweak would have sufficed for what you want to characterize as business as … Read More

              Navigio, if it’s all just the same, well 80% anyway, why all the problems with the implementation? Why all the turned off teachers and parents? Why all the delay? Why all the costs? Why the lack of instructional materials? Why the need for professional reeducation? Why all the brouhaha? Why for that matter did we need a new test when a tweak would have sufficed for what you want to characterize as business as usual? “Questions, questions, questions, flooding in the mind of the concerned young person today” – to quote Frank Zappa.

              Maybe it’s all the same to you, but I’d rather not have the national government dictating what my children should learn and, yes, the curriculum, pedagogy, lesson plans, books, and technology as well – then turn around and tell us our kids are failing based upon what Washington DC says they should know. I shudder to thinkof the personage of Washington associated by name with this movement to centralize power over our families. Saying Common Core is being politicized is an understatement. As Ravitch pointed out in her recent article here, “As an exercise in federal power, it was brilliant, as Duncan got almost every state to do what he wanted and make it appear to be voluntary.” An absolutely brilliant though utterly cynical and craven example of power politics using our money to extort compliance. We will still have the last word while you’re blithely giving away the store to the very people you claim have forsaken public education.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Great question. Answer is those things are not the standards. How's this for a start: stop calling it common core. That's the standards. It's not what you or most people have a problem with. If you want to dump something that may be as good or better than what we had (not making a claim to that btw) just to spite the feds or various moneybags then fine. At least admit it instead of pretending … Read More

              Great question. Answer is those things are not the standards. How’s this for a start: stop calling it common core. That’s the standards. It’s not what you or most people have a problem with.
              If you want to dump something that may be as good or better than what we had (not making a claim to that btw) just to spite the feds or various moneybags then fine. At least admit it instead of pretending like all these horribly corrupt processes actually created something bad (did they?). It’s funny that Gary mentioned the Finnish standards cause it actually made me go read them. Ironically the math standards are eerily similar to common core. I expect that’s not all that surprising as I doubt standards writers ever start from scratch. How about we focus on the things that matter, like how we test and and who writes curriculum and what mind of power we gone our teachers? Assuming were willing to trust them of course.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              It's a ruse pretending Common Core is nothing more than a set of standards. If that were true we wouldn't have the on-going severe implementation problems which have plagued its rollout - a total overhaul of not just the previous standards, but also curriculum, materials and methodologies and, perhaps most importantly for its creators, technology instruction and infrastructure. All those extras incur massive expenses which were designed into the "standards" from its … Read More

              It’s a ruse pretending Common Core is nothing more than a set of standards. If that were true we wouldn’t have the on-going severe implementation problems which have plagued its rollout – a total overhaul of not just the previous standards, but also curriculum, materials and methodologies and, perhaps most importantly for its creators, technology instruction and infrastructure. All those extras incur massive expenses which were designed into the “standards” from its conception for the benefit of business interests. CCSS is a whole package of reforms masquerading as a simple set of standards. So, yes, I suppose in a very technical way and strictly speaking you may be right when you claim these things are not the standards , but the CCSS documents are far from the whole story and any fool can see that. You have to go out of your way to ignore all the comprehensive components of the reform of American education in the name of these two sets of standards. What kills me is how so many proponents of CCSS hated the prescriptive nature of NCLB accountability, but buy in to the even more prescriptive nature of Common Core. It has a paradigmatic influence over all aspects of education including using testing to evaluate teacher performance. (BTW, I’m for enhancing teacher evaluation, just not on the basis of test scores.)

              In real world terms and to use an example of how CCSS is changing the whole structure of education, cutting honors classes in SFUSD and elsewhere is directly attributed to Common Core by those making policy. Does that sound like a simple set of standards to you? SFUSD claims the Common Core makes possible this change due to its reform, in this case, of math instruction and the effects that has on the sequence. As a result higher performing students are now sitting in classes bored to death. This is because liberal activists against tracking recognized that CCSS was built to equalize instruction within all grades and disciples. CCSS is a one-size-fits-all paradigmatic reprogramming of American public education that provides tremendous efficiencies for the profiteers. Developmental psychologists are in lock step agreement that children learn at different paces and through different ways. Any attempt to equalize, generalize and formalize standards that forces a unitary approach will have dire consequences on learning.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Thanks for finally understanding what I am trying to say. You are right that one must go out of one's way to separate the document from the overall effects, just as one must go out of one's way to present the flaws in the overall effects as those of the standards document itself (we even had one critic citing the number of pages in the document as evidence of its over-bearing, evil, federal, freedom-destroying nature). … Read More

              Thanks for finally understanding what I am trying to say.
              You are right that one must go out of one’s way to separate the document from the overall effects, just as one must go out of one’s way to present the flaws in the overall effects as those of the standards document itself (we even had one critic citing the number of pages in the document as evidence of its over-bearing, evil, federal, freedom-destroying nature).
              That said, I still think the distinction is valuable. The reason is the standards are written by non-district personnel. Those district people, however–including elected BoE members–have the freedom to choose and even design curriculum. Those people also happen to have the freedom to choose how they test. Those are things that ultimately have much more impact on what happens in the classroom than the standards document does. And, critically, they are things local communities have more control over. I was clearly not enamored with how things happened previously, but I would argue we had less opportunity to impact anything in that chain than we do now; right now, in fact. Arguing over the actual elements in the standard (read them, they are mostly not the problem) will divert our attention from the things we have the ability to control at this point in time. If cc is not completely overturned and we do not take advantage of the decisions we can make now, then we will have succeeded at destroying any hope at the good in the name of the (politically) perfect.
              Regarding your point about removing honors classes, read my other quotes about the standards being a minimum. Over and over this is emphasized. If a district decides to dumb down to a minimum they are shirking their responsibilities. CC doenst make them do that, even if they try to say they have no choice. Where they are more likely to not have any choice is in their budget. That is still a decision on their part (and maybe not a surprising one given the influences of LCFF funding).
              Ironically, the new math framework claims 8th grade standards are actually more difficult than in the past. This does not seem to jibe with the fact that students are now bored to death because things are too easy (nor with the claim that cc is developmentally inappropriate by being too difficult). Regardless, I would return to the standards as a minimum argument there. If students are bored, then their district is failing them.
              I cant deny that there has been shuffling of middle and high school math concepts. As you are aware, this is probably a reflection of a desire to support integrated math curriculum (as opposed to separated courses). I personally think the question of the differences of those two things are extremely important (and I have tried to mention it here every chance I get, unfortunately there is never much discussion about it except in the few stories where edsource tried to cover how districts were approaching this). However, note that the concept has existed for a long time. Some states have used it for many years and even CA has allowed the concept for a while. In that sense, CC is more one of the effects of such thinking rather than its cause. In CC the primary difference in this regard seems to be that the concepts are not aligned with a grade. This approach is designed to allow either model. Again, up to districts how they implement that. I do wish we’d have more discussion about this though, and although I see value in both approaches, one thing I think might have value is allowing educational goals to encompass multiple grades, thus allowing districts and even schools more freedom in how to achieve those goals for different students and over a number of years, instead of on a year-by-year basis. In that sense, cc is more restrictive than it could be (though again, that is no different than our previous standard). We, as a culture, like to micro-manage though, so I expect we’d resist such a change (tho I think the integrated math sequence is getting closer to such an idea, as is the notion of reducing testing to only certain years).
              Its worth noting that the integrated model can apply to other disciplines as well, and that the SBOE has adopted preferences for some of them (even while they allow either, which of course also means districts have the ability to make that decision as well).
              I do wish local BoE’s would take a bit more initiative in implementing things in a way they feel is best for their students, even when they think it conflicts with what comes down from on high (mostly the state in that regard). And highlight situations in the media (ahem) where they think this conflicts with anything in the cc standard (or any of the related processes: frameworks, curriculums, tests, technology, teaching paradigms, etc).
              It would be interesting to know who authors our frameworks..

        • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

          I should have mentioned the SBAC used federal grants for its development and, as such, the Feds are up their their neck in ” directing, supervising, or controlling instructional, instructional materials and K12 curriculum”.

          • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

            Not federal grants! Heaven help us! Oh wait, those pay for 10% of our education now. Never mind.
            And, instructional material and curriculum? Are those in the standards? I didn’t notice that section of the document. I’ll have to re-read them to find those sections and get back to you….

  4. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    “We really wanted to be involved in the effort to get information to parents so they can understand why we adopted the standards,” Scripter said. If you want to know why we adopted CCSS read the LA Times article of 23 June '13 excerpted here: "Race to the Top pressured financially strapped states to adopt education policies that varied widely in their value. Many of the policies, such as the push to tie teacher evaluations to student … Read More

    “We really wanted to be involved in the effort to get information to parents so they can understand why we adopted the standards,” Scripter said.

    If you want to know why we adopted CCSS read the LA Times article of 23 June ’13 excerpted here:

    “Race to the Top pressured financially strapped states to adopt education policies that varied widely in their value. Many of the policies, such as the push to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores, were not backed by any sort of evidence. Yet they were adopted quickly because of application deadlines, and there was little time for thoughtful crafting of new rules. Yet for all the excitement, Race to the Top provided little actual cash. California would have received a one-time award of $700 million — less than 2% of what it spends on education every year. It failed to win a grant, but nonetheless had committed itself, as most states did, to the Common Core curriculum standards that the Obama administration supported. Implementing the standards, which are set to take effect in a year, will cost the state well over $1 billion.”

    Well, a whole lot more money than that and I will add that CCSS was woefully short on any evidence as well. Yet some teachers are willing to accept it while rejecting its sister reform – teacher evaluations based on test scores. Gate’s PR machine is in full swing in Sarah Tully’s article.

  5. Bruce William Smith 1 year ago1 year ago

    Virtually everyone wants our school system to be competitive, and favours standards consistent with that endeavour; the problem is that the Common Core, in its current version, is none such. In particular, when Asian-American parents compare what their children are learning here with what their nephews and nieces are learning back in Asia, and see that Common Core-educated pupils only reach by the end of high school the level in mathematics that Chinese pupils reach … Read More

    Virtually everyone wants our school system to be competitive, and favours standards consistent with that endeavour; the problem is that the Common Core, in its current version, is none such. In particular, when Asian-American parents compare what their children are learning here with what their nephews and nieces are learning back in Asia, and see that Common Core-educated pupils only reach by the end of high school the level in mathematics that Chinese pupils reach by the end of middle school, and then see those Asian kids acing the SAT and displacing their own children from admission slots in the most competitive universities, and then see them starting successful companies in areas like Silicon Valley and passing over American workers for the highest paying positions because the Americans have not been competitively educated — in other words, when they later see those standards’ effects, or when they read the standards now from a perspective comparing them with other nations’ standards, instead of comparing them with the American standards of the previous decade — their support for these standards will evaporate. The better you get to know the current version of the Common Core (it’s a good idea, so I hope the standards are merely revised rather than discarded), the less you will support it.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      A couple of things, Bruce: Apparently you are unaware of recent reports about Silicon Valley and Asians. It turns out that Asians are found in high numbers in coding, but very few are in upper management. This parallels the whole tech industry issue with misogyny and severe lack of diversity. Maybe you haven't heard about that either. Another bit of irony is many Asian countries are trying to make their schooling systems more like America's (or at … Read More

      A couple of things, Bruce:

      Apparently you are unaware of recent reports about Silicon Valley and Asians. It turns out that Asians are found in high numbers in coding, but very few are in upper management. This parallels the whole tech industry issue with misogyny and severe lack of diversity. Maybe you haven’t heard about that either.

      Another bit of irony is many Asian countries are trying to make their schooling systems more like America’s (or at least how it was pre-standards) and the freewheeling system that produced the most innovative, creative, and competitive economy in the world. That would be the US by the way.

      If one actually looks at other high performing schools systems, and here Finland is always worth mentioning, and look at their standards you find math standards run to about 11 pages. The new CCSS in Math run over one hundred. Might be a bit of overkill.

      America, along with various other kinds of paranoia (see Richard Hofstadter; The Paranoid Style in American Politics) has always had fears about the performance of schools near the top of the list. This has been true since the public schools were started with claims that things were always better in the “old days” even when an examination of the facts makes that a ridiculous assertion. Back in the ’80s Japan was going to eat our economic lunchtime sushi because they had such a great schools and international test scores. Since that time the Japanese economy has been in one long time slump while ours surged beginning in the ’90s. We had the economic crash of course but that was all about greed on Wall Street, not about standards or schools. Now we have China, which seems to be competitive, but that’s because they are cheap and their workers are abused, not because of standards or schools.

      • Bruce William Smith 1 year ago1 year ago

        Gary, I am not particularly up to date on reports on the demographics of the Silicon Valley tech industry; but was briefly leading a school up there in 2009, I read reports that half of the CEOs in Silicon Valley tech firms were either Chinese or Indians, and found the local population extremely diverse. As for the number of women in tech, I don't find that related to mathematics and English standards taught to both … Read More

        Gary, I am not particularly up to date on reports on the demographics of the Silicon Valley tech industry; but was briefly leading a school up there in 2009, I read reports that half of the CEOs in Silicon Valley tech firms were either Chinese or Indians, and found the local population extremely diverse. As for the number of women in tech, I don’t find that related to mathematics and English standards taught to both sexes. As for the lack of Latinos and African-Americans, the irony is that the Common Core will lock them into uncompetitive educations: that’s one of my major points. Yes, I have heard about these issues.

        Your various comments on this post connect the high competitiveness of America’s economy to its education system in a manner implying direct, proportionate causation rather than correlation with many factors unrelated to education (immigration policy, patents, market freedom, culture, taxation, and so on), while they fail to distinguish between America’s world-leading higher education system, which draws students from around the globe, with its ridiculously inefficient secondary schools, whose native pupils represent easy competition for (legal) immigrant families, and will continue to do so under the Common Core.

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        To be fair, our math document is only 93 pages, including title pages, references, glossary, TOC, intro, instructions on how to read it, and examples (none of which are in the Finnish document). Furthermore, cc specifies math content by grade, one each for k through 12. Finland presents their 'common goals' (ironically called 'core content') as applying to groups of grades, ie 1-2, 3-5 and 6-9. Yes, only 3 'sections' and yes only until 9th … Read More

        To be fair, our math document is only 93 pages, including title pages, references, glossary, TOC, intro, instructions on how to read it, and examples (none of which are in the Finnish document). Furthermore, cc specifies math content by grade, one each for k through 12. Finland presents their ‘common goals’ (ironically called ‘core content’) as applying to groups of grades, ie 1-2, 3-5 and 6-9. Yes, only 3 ‘sections’ and yes only until 9th grade (compulsory education ends at 16, 1st grade is age 7).

        In addition, our documents have a page of description and an index page for each grade before the actual content items are presented. That said, our ‘index pages’ are probably more similar to how the Finnish describe their goals; our detailed sections are more examples of what those things mean. So content-amount-wise, they are not that different. Clearly the number of pages is irrelevant in determining what’s actually in there.

        That said, Finland allows it’s schools (ie principals and teachers) extreme leeway in how they design curriculum. We could never do that as we don’t trust out teachers.

  6. Jerry 1 year ago1 year ago

    In response to J Russ - I don't believe this is correct at all. By and large, teachers are very supportive of the Common Core State Standards, and believe them to be a great move forward in preparing students for the future. You are correct in your belief that teachers do not want to be judged solely on standardized test scores, and there are a multitude of good reasons for this. Much of what is … Read More

    In response to J Russ – I don’t believe this is correct at all. By and large, teachers are very supportive of the Common Core State Standards, and believe them to be a great move forward in preparing students for the future. You are correct in your belief that teachers do not want to be judged solely on standardized test scores, and there are a multitude of good reasons for this. Much of what is determined by testing is a culmination of skills and abilities taught previously (or not taught, as the case may be), and there are always questions as to the validity of the test being used. Most often these tests are funded via the competitive bid process, so the lowest bidder creates the examination. “Bubble tests” are always an inadequate tool to determine all of the growth experienced by a student in any class. With a little luck, the exams assessing Common Core instruction will provide a better look at the quality of instruction, but this is inevitably difficult to ascertain, and teachers deserve to be evaluated on a variety of criteria – as do all of those who work in difficult fields, with an often unwieldy clientele, and with many subjective perspectives on what constitutes success. An amalgam of tools must be used to judge the quality of work done in any complex profession. Some aspects of quality pedagogy require years to show themselves in the confident demeanor of a young adult.

  7. @Cogitarus 1 year ago1 year ago

    CarolineSF wants to know why 7 percent of the population doesn't support "critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills." What others want to know is why do so many fall for a "transformational" sales pitch of K-12 and fail to use "critical thinking" skills as adults? Read More

    CarolineSF wants to know why 7 percent of the population doesn’t support “critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills.” What others want to know is why do so many fall for a “transformational” sales pitch of K-12 and fail to use “critical thinking” skills as adults?

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      What is it, exactly, that you are talking about?

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        He's talking about the fact that you don't have to be against critical thinking to be against Common Core, that is, if you can think critically in the least. Maybe that explains why those against it tend toward the higher education level. The Common Core reform taken as a whole is much more than two standards. It doesn't take too much critical thinking to see it is a whole package including testing, teacher evaluation … Read More

        He’s talking about the fact that you don’t have to be against critical thinking to be against Common Core, that is, if you can think critically in the least. Maybe that explains why those against it tend toward the higher education level. The Common Core reform taken as a whole is much more than two standards. It doesn’t take too much critical thinking to see it is a whole package including testing, teacher evaluation and, to some extent, pedagogy. When rank and file realize how union leadership sold them out on testing for teacher evaluation the CCSS love boat will sink.

  8. Grumpy 1 year ago1 year ago

    Over the years, “Children Now” has received about 2.4 Million in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.. According to the Foundation’s website.. With the growing unpopularity of Common Core, a poll suggesting parents actually support it would be a valuable propaganda tool.

  9. J Russ 1 year ago1 year ago

    There are only 2 groups opposed to common core, teachers and second rate educational systems. While everyone else in a competitive world, work, compensation, and position are based on competence and performance, teachers only want to be judged on how long they have taught. And substandard school systems desperately do not want to have a comparison yardstick to successful schools and systems locally, by state, and certainly not by national ranking. Neither want a comparison … Read More

    There are only 2 groups opposed to common core, teachers and second rate educational systems. While everyone else in a competitive world, work, compensation, and position are based on competence and performance, teachers only want to be judged on how long they have taught. And substandard school systems desperately do not want to have a comparison yardstick to successful schools and systems locally, by state, and certainly not by national ranking. Neither want a comparison of the quality of their product. Dumbing down U S education will not make us a more world competitive nation nor better people.

  10. CarolineSF 1 year ago1 year ago

    What I want to know is about the other 7 percent who don’t support critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills.

    “… poll participants backed aspects of the Common Core when described generically. For example, about 93 percent of those polled said they support “promoting critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills needed for a competitive job market.”

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Interesting that all of those second rate students over the course of decades produced by all of those even more second rate teachers have produced the most competitive economy in the world as evaluated by the World Bank. The US was #1 for years and then fell to #7 due to malfeasance and misfeasance in the financial sector. You know the outright greed that tanked the economy? The World Bank and others who rate and … Read More

      Interesting that all of those second rate students over the course of decades produced by all of those even more second rate teachers have produced the most competitive economy in the world as evaluated by the World Bank. The US was #1 for years and then fell to #7 due to malfeasance and misfeasance in the financial sector. You know the outright greed that tanked the economy? The World Bank and others who rate and rank national economies say little about education except perhaps that we spend too little on elementary education compared to college. BTW, the US has now risen (for 20150 to #3 world wide and seems headed back to # 1 with all of those teachers dodging “accountability.” Odd, isn’t it?

      • Paul Muench 1 year ago1 year ago

        Given that I work and live with so many immigrants an alternative explanation is readily at hand. But of course that is just anecdotal.

      • don 1 year ago1 year ago

        Ravani’s myopia strkes again. No matter that the American economic system is overtime number 1 in the world by his own admission, when anything goes wrong Ravani always has the American financial system to blame.

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        The executives and engineers and scientists mostly come from other nations. They come in and tell us what to do. The leaders are mostly immigrants or the children of immigrants. We have less class mobility than Europe Gary. We’re 50 years past the Civil Rights Bill and we have failed to equalize things for African Americans. Not even close.

  11. Paul Muench 1 year ago1 year ago

    So EMC Research that was one of the organizations that signed the statement of support for Common Core is the company that conducted the parent poll. Although only in the fine print it was decent of them to put that information in the public domain.

    Replies

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        Zeev, at my younger son's school we were the only family out of 300 to opt-out. Most parents are blithely unaware of CCSS, its origins, its politics. Irony is the only way to describe how apathy is CCSS's best friend, particularly when opponents point to the usurpation of local voices control by big government policies.I'm not saying we deserve it, but parents need to wake up and smell the Machiavellian roast. This article is … Read More

        Zeev, at my younger son’s school we were the only family out of 300 to opt-out. Most parents are blithely unaware of CCSS, its origins, its politics. Irony is the only way to describe how apathy is CCSS’s best friend, particularly when opponents point to the usurpation of local voices control by big government policies.I’m not saying we deserve it, but parents need to wake up and smell the Machiavellian roast. This article is an example of captatio benevolentiae.

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