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The public’s opinion of public education is a mixed bag of approval and trust on the one hand and misunderstanding and concern on the other, according to an annual poll released Wednesday.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed reported trusting teachers and 65 percent said they trusted principals, according to the 45th annual survey of opinions about public school, conducted by Phi Delta Kappa, an association for school professionals, and Gallup, a non-partisan polling agency. What’s more, large majorities of those surveyed said they thought the schools in their neighborhoods are safe and effective places for educating children.

That enthusiasm was tempered by responses on questions about standardized testing: The majority of respondents, 58 percent, said student test scores should not be used to evaluate teachers. Only 22 percent of those surveyed said they thought testing helps school performance.

A majority of those surveyed, 62 percent, said they’d never heard of the Common Core Standards, and many respondents believed it is a mandatory federal program. The Common Core is a set of educational standards developed by a non-governmental consortium of teachers, researchers and educational experts and adopted voluntarily by 45 states, including California.

Other highlights: Charter schools remain popular (68 percent in favor); vouchers aren’t looked on kindly (70 percent oppose); investing tax money in public preschool is favored (63 percent favor); and extracurricular activities like sports and music are widely considered critical elements of school (94 percent called such activities important).

Respondents also said that while the schools in their communities deserve a grade of A or B, yet schools across the country only average a grade of C.

The poll is based on telephone surveys of 1,001 Americans ages 18 and up. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Read a report on all of the results here.


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  1. CarolineSF 3 years ago3 years ago

    I posted this on a San Francisco schools listserve too. A member who seems to be familiar with the details explained that what I posted are suggested lesson plans from New York state based on the Common Core standards. (Real ones, not satirical.)

  2. Lillian Mongeau 3 years ago3 years ago

    Hi Caroline –

    I don’t know the answers to your questions but I do have a print-out of the Common Core ELA standards for K-5 and none of the stuff about religion is in there.

    Start on page 10: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

    ~Lillian

  3. Replies

    • navigio 3 years ago3 years ago

      It's a joke alright, but I don't think it's satire. In reading over some of these things they appear to be elements that show up in out 5th grade curriculum. I wonder if they got the grade wrong. And if you get a chance read some of the teaching guides. They are unbelievable. I just read one that was about 310 pages long and had a section that literally said something like, hold up this finger, wiggle … Read More

      It’s a joke alright, but I don’t think it’s satire.

      In reading over some of these things they appear to be elements that show up in out 5th grade curriculum. I wonder if they got the grade wrong.

      And if you get a chance read some of the teaching guides. They are unbelievable. I just read one that was about 310 pages long and had a section that literally said something like, hold up this finger, wiggle it while making this sound; hold up this other finger, wiggle it while saying this sound…

      Absurdity is where satire and reality meet.

      • Lillian Mongeau 3 years ago3 years ago

        navigio - What's the name of that teaching guide? Would love to take a look. Do you know that it's being used in CA schools? Just wanted to make sure this got into the conversation... While I can't be sure about what's going on in New York, here are the official ELA Common Core standards: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf (K-5 starts on page 10.) Read More

        navigio – What’s the name of that teaching guide? Would love to take a look. Do you know that it’s being used in CA schools?

        Just wanted to make sure this got into the conversation…

        While I can’t be sure about what’s going on in New York, here are the official ELA Common Core standards: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf (K-5 starts on page 10.)

  4. CarolineSF 3 years ago3 years ago

    Well, it's on this New York website: http://www.engageny.org/about EngageNY.org is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. This is the official web site for current materials and resources related to the Regents Reform Agenda. The agenda includes the implementation of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE), and … Read More

    Well, it’s on this New York website:

    http://www.engageny.org/about

    EngageNY.org is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. This is the official web site for current materials and resources related to the Regents Reform Agenda. The agenda includes the implementation of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE), and Data-Driven Instruction (DDI). EngageNY.org is dedicated to providing educators across New York State with real-time, professional learning tools and resources to support educators in reaching the State’s vision for a college- and career-ready education for all students.

    So is this NY’s interpretation? Or how did satire end up on what appears to be a legit website? And how “common” is this if one state has its own interpretation? It’s all very confusing. (And what can you say about the fact that it’s not clear if it’s satire?)

  5. Lillian Mongeau 3 years ago3 years ago

    Satire.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 3 years ago3 years ago

      How about this one for 13 year olds, real or satire:

      “Understand the importance of the Catholic church as a political, intellectual, and aesthetic institution (e.g., founding of universities, political and spiritual roles of the clergy, creation of monastic and mendicant religious orders, preservation of the Latin language and religious texts, St. Thomas Aquinas’s synthesis of classical philosophy with Christian theology, and the concept of “natural law”).”

  6. CarolineSF 3 years ago3 years ago

    Sorry -- that link may not work if you're not on Facebook. Here's the list of purported first-grade standards in one subject area that made me wonder -- real or satire? Locate the area known as Mesopotamia on a world map or globe and identify it as part of Asia; Explain the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and the use of canals to support farming and the development of the city of Babylon; Describe the city … Read More

    Sorry — that link may not work if you’re not on Facebook. Here’s the list of purported first-grade standards in one subject area that made me wonder — real or satire?

    Locate the area known as Mesopotamia on a world map or globe and identify it as part of Asia;
    Explain the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and the use of canals to support farming and the development of the city of Babylon;
    Describe the city of Babylon and the Hanging Gardens;
    Identify cuneiform as the system of writing used in Mesopotamia;
    Explain why a written language is important to the development of a civilization;
    Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi;
    Explain why rules and laws are important to the development of a civilization;
    Explain the ways in which a leader is important to the development of a civilization;
    Explain the significance of gods/goddesses, ziggurats, temples, and priests in Mesopotamia;
    Describe key components of a civilization;
    Identify Mesopotamia as the “Cradle of Civilization”;
    Describe how a civilization evolves and changes over time;
    Locate Egypt on a world map or globe and identify it as a part of Africa;
    Explain the importance of the Nile River and how its floods were important for farming;
    Identify hieroglyphics as the system of writing used in ancient Egypt;
    Explain the significance of gods/goddesses in ancient Egypt;
    Identify pyramids and explain their significance in ancient Egypt;
    Describe how the pyramids were built;
    Explain that much of Egypt is in the Sahara Desert;
    Identify the Sphinx and explain its significance in ancient Egypt;
    Identify Hatshepsut as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain her significance as pharaoh;
    Identify Tutankhamun as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain his significance;
    Explain that much of what we know about ancient Egypt is because of the work of archaeologists;
    Identify Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as major monotheistic world religions;
    Locate Jerusalem, Israel, and the area known as the Middle East on a map;
    Define monotheism as the belief in one God;
    Identify the Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall) as associated with Judaism, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with Christianity, and the Dome of the Rock with Islam;
    Identify the Hebrews as the ancient people who were descendants of Abraham;
    Explain that followers of Judaism are called Jewish people and the term Jewish is used to describe practices or objects associated with Judaism;
    Identify the Star of David as a six-pointed star and a symbol of Judaism;
    Identify the Torah as an important part of the Hebrew scriptures;
    Identify that a Jewish house of worship is called a synagogue or temple;
    Identify Moses as a teacher who long ago led the Jewish people out of Egypt in an event referred to as the Exodus;
    Explain that, according to an important story in the Torah, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God and that the Ten Commandments are rules that tell people how to behave or live their lives;
    Identify important Jewish holidays such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah;
    Explain that Christianity developed after Judaism;
    Explain that followers of Christianity are called Christians;
    Recognize the cross as a symbol of Christianity;
    Identify the Bible as the Christian holy book;
    Identify that a Christian house of worship is called a church;
    Identify that Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah and the son of God;
    Identify important Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas;
    Recognize that both Christians and Jewish people follow the Ten Commandments;
    Explain that Islam originated in Arabia;
    Explain that followers of Islam are called Muslims;
    Identify the crescent and star as symbols of Islam;
    Identify the Qur’an as the holy book of Islam, containing laws for daily living and many stories that appear in Jewish and Christian holy books;
    Identify that a Muslim place of worship is called a mosque;
    Identify that Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus were prophets but believe that Muhammad was the last and greatest of the prophets;
    Identify important Muslim holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid-ul-fitr;
    Use narrative language to describe (orally or in writing) characters, setting, things, events, actions, a scene, or facts from a fiction read-aloud;
    Identify who is telling the story at various points in a fiction read-aloud;
    Ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when), orally or in writing, requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
    Answer questions that require making interpretations, judgments, or giving opinions about what is heard in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud, including answering why questions that require recognizing cause/effect relationships;
    Identify the main topic and retell key details of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
    Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
    Ask and answer questions about unknown words and phrases in nonfiction/informational read-alouds and discussions;
    Use illustrations and details in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud to describe its key ideas;
    Compare and contrast (orally or in writing) similarities and differences within a single nonfiction/informational read-aloud or between two or more nonfiction/informational read-alouds;
    Listen to and demonstrate understanding of nonfiction/informational read-alouds of appropriate complexity for grades 1–3;
    With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed;
    Make personal connections (orally or in writing) to events or experiences in a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud, and/or make connections among several read-alouds;
    With assistance, categorize and organize facts and information within a given domain to answer questions;
    Use agreed-upon rules for group discussion (e.g., look at and listen to the speaker, raise hand to speak, take turns, say “excuse me” or “please,” etc.);
    Carry on and participate in a conversation over at least six turns, staying on topic, initiating comments or responding to a partner’s comments, with either an adult or another child of the same age;
    Ask questions to clarify information about the topic in a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
    Ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when), orally or in writing, requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
    Ask questions to clarify directions, exercises, classroom routines, and/or what a speaker says about a topic;
    Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly;
    Add drawing or other visual displays to oral or written descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings;
    Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation;
    Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy);
    Learn the meaning of common sayings and phrases;
    Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because)
    Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately;
    Prior to listening to an informational read-aloud, identify what they know about a given topic;
    Share writing with others;
    With assistance, create and interpret timelines and lifelines related to an informational read-aloud;
    Demonstrate understanding of literary language such as setting;
    While listening to an informational read-aloud, orally predict what will happen next in the read-aloud based on the text heard thus far, and then compare the actual outcome to the prediction; and
    Use personal pronouns orally.

    Replies

    • Manuel 3 years ago3 years ago

      The link works, even if you are not on facebook. And this is just one of the strands! There are ten strands altogether with a similar plethora of questions. Do they really expect 1st graders to do/know all this? Worse, where will their teachers find the time to teach all this? I took a quick look and found that the site does have the entire NY curriculum here. For example, ELA is here and math is here. … Read More

      The link works, even if you are not on facebook.

      And this is just one of the strands! There are ten strands altogether with a similar plethora of questions. Do they really expect 1st graders to do/know all this? Worse, where will their teachers find the time to teach all this?

      I took a quick look and found that the site does have the entire NY curriculum here. For example, ELA is here and math is here. If this is what is expected from Common Core, we are in trouble. This curriculum is setting many kids and teachers to fail in NY, plain and simple.

      If California does something similar then the sky may indeed be falling soon…

  7. navigio 3 years ago3 years ago

    Polls are great for measuring how people answer questions. They generally dont measure how people think, whether they take time to think, or more importantly, what they’d think if they actually understood something about the topic.

  8. Paul Muench 3 years ago3 years ago

    Interesting contrast to the Educationnext poll. The EN poll shows two thirds of respondents supporting Common Core. But Gallup shows two thirds not even knowing about Common Core. Does this say something about the different polling methods or about the depth of support for Common Core?

    Common Core is a mandatory state program. For a state as large and diverse as California that can have many of the same implications as a mandated federal program.

    Replies

    • Doug McRae 3 years ago3 years ago

      Paul -- Technically, Common Core is not mandated for CA schools. If statute made it mandatory, then all implementation costs would have to be paid by the state, so to avoid this burden statute does not say it is mandated. But, once mandated statewide tests are based on the CC, then de facto it becomed indirectly mandated . . . not many districts can simply ignore CC and explain away test results. The poll results the … Read More

      Paul — Technically, Common Core is not mandated for CA schools. If statute made it mandatory, then all implementation costs would have to be paid by the state, so to avoid this burden statute does not say it is mandated. But, once mandated statewide tests are based on the CC, then de facto it becomed indirectly mandated . . . not many districts can simply ignore CC and explain away test results.

      The poll results the last couple days are indeed interesting and conflicting. Not only the PDK Gallup poll and the Education Next poll released today, but also the AP NORC poll released yesterday. Many conflicting interpretations for supposedly similar questions. The conflicting results does, I think, say something about differing polling methods and particularly the context / wording of polling questions. The polling data this year are not consistent regarding either the CC itself or about public views on high stakes testing.

        • Doug McRae 3 years ago3 years ago

          Lillian — Sure the budget includes $1.25 billion for implementing Common Core, but that amount isn’t the full amount that would be claimed by local districts under the state’s mandated cost laws. The full amount would be much larger. That’s why statute doesn’t mandate local districts MUST adopt and implement the Common Core. Doug

      • Paul Muench 3 years ago3 years ago

        I see, so districts are choosing to teach to the test in a way I was not aware of. If a community was cohesive enough to accept whatever test scores resulted, what penalties would they have to suffer? I'm thinking of Title I funds, but if a district does not rely on those. I'm thinking of the communities right to reorganize the schools, but if everyone agrees on what's happening that would … Read More

        I see, so districts are choosing to teach to the test in a way I was not aware of. If a community was cohesive enough to accept whatever test scores resulted, what penalties would they have to suffer? I’m thinking of Title I funds, but if a district does not rely on those. I’m thinking of the communities right to reorganize the schools, but if everyone agrees on what’s happening that would not be invoked. What else am I missing? Probably pretty hard to pull it off, but curious about what is possible.

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