By Sarah Tully, EdSource

Parent David Whitley and Linda Cone, a retired teacher, protest outside of Yorba Linda High School in Yorba Linda on May 6, 2015.

A new national poll shows that the majority of respondents oppose teachers using the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach. That contrasts with the findings of statewide polls that show much stronger support in California for the new standards.

The 47th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, released Sunday, found that 54 percent of respondents are against teachers using the Common Core – the new standards for math and English language arts. However, the level of opposition was divided along racial and ethnic lines – just 35 percent of blacks and 50 percent of Hispanics are against it.

The poll is the longest-running survey of public attitudes toward education, which this year included phone interviews with 1,000 adults and Internet surveys with 3,499 adults. For the first time, pollsters were able to divide results by black, Hispanic and white respondents. The results are not categorized by state.

While the poll found nationwide opposition, California residents responded more favorably to the Common Core in two statewide polls earlier this year by Children Now and the Public Policy Institute of California. The Children Now poll found that 30 percent of respondents overall oppose the standards, while the PPIC poll showed 31 percent opposed. Similar to the national poll, both state polls reported stronger support for the standards among Hispanic and black respondents.

The statewide polls reflect how California has responded to the Common Core compared to the rest of the nation. In some other states, most notably in New York, parents have protested and pulled their children out of testing in large numbers, while in California there has been relatively little opposition.

Nationwide, 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards.

Most of the protests in other states have been in places where high stakes are tied to results of tests based on Common Core standards, such as teacher evaluations and decisions to retain children in the same grade.

However, California does not rely solely on tests to make such decisions, said Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Graduate School of Education professor, during a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss the poll.

“In California, where they are not used for those purposes, there’s generally a more positive view of the Common Core,” Darling-Hammond said.

The first results of how students performed on tests aligned with Common Core standards in California – the Smarter Balanced Assessments – are due to be released in September.

While most PDK/Gallup Poll respondents reported they were against the use of the Common Core standards, 39 percent responded that achievement standards in general are too low.

“Folks are definitely interested in higher standards, but they don’t necessarily understand the Common Core,” said Joshua Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International.

Respondents’ knowledge of Common Core was spotty in both the national poll and the state PPIC poll. Just 22 percent of Gallup Poll respondents said they knew a “great deal” about the reading, writing and math standards.

In the PPIC poll earlier this year, California respondents reported they knew little about the Common Core standards and tests aligned with them. About 55 percent of parents said they had heard nothing about the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which were given for the first time in the spring after field tests last year.

PDK/Gallup Poll 2015

PDK/Gallup Poll 2015

The Gallup Poll also asked participants’ opinions about the “emphasis on standardized testing in the public schools in your community.” Of those, 64 percent reported that there is “too much emphasis.” While the majority of black and Hispanic respondents also felt the same way, there were fewer who were against the testing emphasis – 57 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Andres Alonso, a professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said black and Hispanic parents may be more supportive of testing because the scores could show potential problems in their schools and allow them to lobby for changes.

“In communities in which they feel historically there has been inequity in the distribution of resources and opportunities … then there is going to be a demand of some kind of external, objective measure in order to push for different types of distributions,” Alonso said in the conference call.

As to whether parents should be allowed to have their children opt out of taking the test, 41 percent said parents should have that right. And 31 percent of respondents who are parents said they would excuse their own children from testing.

In some cities and states, large numbers of parents have allowed their children to opt out of taking Common Core-aligned tests, such as New York, where 20 percent of students did not take the tests. In California, the numbers of children who have opted out has not been released, but in a report this spring, EdSource was able to identify only a handful of schools reporting large numbers of children opting out.

In addition to standards and testing, the Gallup Poll also addressed a school issue that has taken center stage in California this year – vaccinations. In June, Gov. Jerry Brown signed one of the country’s toughest mandatory vaccination laws, ending exemptions based on personal or religious beliefs.

Poll participants support what California is doing: 84 percent said students should have certain vaccinations before they can attend public schools. Black respondents reported the strongest support, with 87 percent in favor, while white and Hispanic respondents both reported 83 percent in favor of mandatory vaccinations.


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  1. nicole 9 months ago9 months ago

    This common core is a waste of time. Its confusing and it infuriates me that as much as I would like to help my child do her homework, I can not. It doesn't matter if I take the classes that the school offers or how much I try to understand the strategies, it just doesn't make sense to me. And I'm sure I am not the only parent who feels this way. How can the … Read More

    This common core is a waste of time. Its confusing and it infuriates me that as much as I would like to help my child do her homework, I can not. It doesn’t matter if I take the classes that the school offers or how much I try to understand the strategies, it just doesn’t make sense to me. And I’m sure I am not the only parent who feels this way. How can the teachers be teaching something when they’re still learning it themselves? I dont think this common core is helping anyone. As a matter of fact its taking away from the bonding families get when they spend time together doing homework. We can’t help if we can’t understand. We should have a say if we want our kids to participate because I for one, would be the first to opt out

  2. David Whitley 11 months ago11 months ago

    The trend is away from the Common Core despite what some within the education establishment might say in defense of this albatross. The polls are showing the more parents know about it -- the more they deal with it -- the more they don't like it. It is that simple. Those nose-in-the-air educrats that think those without a PhD have no business voicing our dislike of the Common Core or cheering it's … Read More

    The trend is away from the Common Core despite what some within the education establishment might say in defense of this albatross. The polls are showing the more parents know about it — the more they deal with it — the more they don’t like it. It is that simple. Those nose-in-the-air educrats that think those without a PhD have no business voicing our dislike of the Common Core or cheering it’s demise are unqualified to speak to the issue would be better served if they became part of the Cuban government or somewhere other than here where “We the People” rule — not those in Ivory Towers.

    Here is another source for readers: http://www.christianpost.com/news/only-1-4-of-public-school-parents-support-common-core-poll-finds-143687/

  3. B.J. 11 months ago11 months ago

    The Common Core Standards are not the problem. It is the involvement of the federal government in their creation that minimized state control which is of concern. The federal government took upon themselves what has been the responsibility of the states; thus reversing the authority, which greatly decreased local control. Those who investigated C.C learned states were bribed into accepting Common Core and accepted the new system, without any proof … Read More

    The Common Core Standards are not the problem. It is the involvement of the federal government in their creation that minimized state control which is of concern. The federal government took upon themselves what has been the responsibility of the states; thus reversing the authority, which greatly decreased local control. Those who investigated C.C learned states were bribed into accepting Common Core and accepted the new system, without any proof it was superior to what it replaced. Why else would states accept the an education program that had never been tested?

    Obviously, it is the Common Core curriculum and testing to that curriculum that is receiving the most criticism, and which is of most concern to parents. The vulnerability of private student data is a close second. The curriculum, especially the math, is causing angst to parents and pupils, rather than praise for the critical thinking it promised to create. The curriculum also has definite signs of political indoctrination. Teachers are told to keep any negative concerns to themselves; parents are disgusted and students are frustrated. The media is largely silent.

    Sadly, the polls should have included a category indicating the degree of knowledge and information of those polled, because only those who have thoroughly studied the issue know all the questionable activities, problems, and concerns that have arisen. The MSM has not been proactive on the issue, and thus depend upon those like Sarah Tully to provide information. One needs to turn to the internet for a more complete education on the subject.

    Replies

    • Don 11 months ago11 months ago

      I believe the standards themselves are the problem, (not that they don't have some attributes), and the development process was underhanded. You cannot expect to get a good product from a bad process. The CC cabal operated outside of the normal channels and away from public review by design. States adopted them before they were written and once they were written the cabal left behind no organizational structure to tune and refine them overtime, especially … Read More

      I believe the standards themselves are the problem, (not that they don’t have some attributes), and the development process was underhanded. You cannot expect to get a good product from a bad process. The CC cabal operated outside of the normal channels and away from public review by design. States adopted them before they were written and once they were written the cabal left behind no organizational structure to tune and refine them overtime, especially as they are trademarked and cannot be changed. It like buying a custom car no one can service. But this subject has been talked to death.

      Without getting into the validity of the poll, the clear trend is towards increasing disapproval of CCSS.

      • el 11 months ago11 months ago

        I'm curious if you can cite a particular standard element that you're unhappy about. Something that leads to confusion is that most people aren't looking at the true CC documents. For example, there's a document going around that is passed off as common core computer literacy standards. I've read this document and raised many eyebrows at it in many places. But, this document isn't actually Common Core - it's a derivation of things a particular … Read More

        I’m curious if you can cite a particular standard element that you’re unhappy about.

        Something that leads to confusion is that most people aren’t looking at the true CC documents. For example, there’s a document going around that is passed off as common core computer literacy standards. I’ve read this document and raised many eyebrows at it in many places. But, this document isn’t actually Common Core – it’s a derivation of things a particular California district (Fresno) figures kids have to know about computers in order to do well on the SBAC. So they call out (for example) that kids should master touch typing by second grade in order to do well on the test… which may or may not be developmentally appropriate … but it’s not I think what the Common Core consortium understood they were asking for. Parents and even teacher would understand this to be “Common Core” requirements anyway.

        It helped me to realize that Common Core only covers English Language Arts and Math. Any other “common core standards” you see is someone else’s derivation and riffing from those standards.

        • Don 11 months ago11 months ago

          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Craft and Structure: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5: Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning … Read More

          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
          Craft and Structure:

          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5: Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

          Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

          Range of Reading and Text Complexity:

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

          So you say what’s wrong with that? Nothing in itself, however all the ELA standards from 12th on down do exactly the same thing, only easier versions of it. They ask the reader to analyze other people’s ideas of literature and put almost no emphasis on the reader’s interpretation. It is backwards engineered to remove creativity and turn critical analysis into a strict course on mainstream literary criticism, what they call “close textual reading.”

          The math one is easy. I have one son that was taught without CC and another with. One spends his time in groups and works out problems collectively. The other son had the traditional individual approach and learned way more. I could explain in greater detail and I did, but somehow my comment didn’t send and I’m not going to rewrite it. CCSSM puts the emphasis on applied mathematics and fails to adequately deal with functions, the part where kids struggle.

          • el 11 months ago11 months ago

            Thanks for taking the time to write that, Don, and I’m sorry your other comment was lost.

          • navigio 11 months ago11 months ago

            The analyzing done in those modules is not of others' interpretations but of the students'. There is a lot of reader interpretation in the curriculum examples for those modules I've seen. Also realize you chose reading modules. There are also writing modules that would naturally focus more on the creative process. That said, it is true there is an increased focus on more structured writing in cc than in previous standards (especially in high school). … Read More

            The analyzing done in those modules is not of others’ interpretations but of the students’. There is a lot of reader interpretation in the curriculum examples for those modules I’ve seen.
            Also realize you chose reading modules. There are also writing modules that would naturally focus more on the creative process. That said, it is true there is an increased focus on more structured writing in cc than in previous standards (especially in high school). This seems to be based on a belief that this is one of the skills most lacking in current students. Personally, I don’t think these need to be mutually exclusive.
            As to math, functions do get focus but starting more in 8th grade. I expect you may have seen them earlier under the previous standards? This may be a tradeoff with more statistics and geometry in lower grades.

            • TheMorrigan 11 months ago11 months ago

              Not sure I agree with you, navigio. Even David Coleman, one of the main designers of the standards, claims that reader response is bull, that people don't "give a **** about what the [reader] feels or what the [reader] thinks." The standards are about what the text says in isolation from the reader. It is about what the text says "explicitly," not about the implicit interaction or transaction with the reader. It's about pinning … Read More

              Not sure I agree with you, navigio. Even David Coleman, one of the main designers of the standards, claims that reader response is bull, that people don’t “give a **** about what the [reader] feels or what the [reader] thinks.” The standards are about what the text says in isolation from the reader. It is about what the text says “explicitly,” not about the implicit interaction or transaction with the reader. It’s about pinning a piece of literature down, dissecting it, figuring out how it moves (but not really) and labeling it parts. Even how the students are tested (even the old CSTs did this so they were not better) relies solely on the New Criticism methodology, that there is only one answer (personally, I think that is why they did it this way: to make testing easier for the test makers).

              Notice how the standards address and treat poetry itself if you doubt this. Check out the Writing section. Do students even write poetry? Is there a standard that addresses literary ambiguity? The standards make every effort to avoid reader response ambiguity and interpretation. It is almost like they pretend that it doesn’t even exist.

            • Don 11 months ago11 months ago

              Yes, TheMorrigan, exactly. It all comes down to the individual classroom, a good teacher may mitigate these shortcomings. They just have to explain to the kids that, when it comes to testing, they should bury their own views and opinions and stick strictly to what others have told them. And now they are having a modern day book burning over at the CDE. Hillary wipes clean the servers and Lerner’s records are on a satellite for Mars.

            • navigio 11 months ago11 months ago

              Fair points TheMorrigan. I guess you're saying that even a personal analysis of textual content is not necessarily about how the text relates to the reader, or maybe more importantly what the student as a reader experiences? I guess that's true, though I wouldn't say it has to be exclusive of it (would it even be part of a 'content' standard?). For example, I think it's useful to check out the engageny curriculum/framework for this particular … Read More

              Fair points TheMorrigan. I guess you’re saying that even a personal analysis of textual content is not necessarily about how the text relates to the reader, or maybe more importantly what the student as a reader experiences?
              I guess that’s true, though I wouldn’t say it has to be exclusive of it (would it even be part of a ‘content’ standard?).
              For example, I think it’s useful to check out the engageny curriculum/framework for this particular module. The first thing studied there is a movie made about a play. The primary focus of that unit is understanding the nature of the decisions made by an artist (the director) as a result of his interpretation of another piece of art (a play). Clearly, it’s possible to argue that that unit is trying to make you rely on someone else’s interpretation, but I dont think that is what is really being learned there (let alone that the standard is somehow shoving something down our throats regarding that particular interpretation). Instead, what I think is happening there is observing someone else’s interpretation and it’s effects on the creative process. Note that the subsequent 3 pieces of literature (2 novellas and one poem) in that module do also focus on literary analysis, but this time it’s the student doing that analysis. Of course that appears to be exactly the point you were making (it’s about the text and not the reader), however, a few quotes from that module’s document to highlight another possibility:

              This module also provides students opportunities to craft narrative, informational and argument writing pieces that build on writing skills introduced in earlier modules.
              The texts in this module develop complex characters who struggle to define and shape their own identities [identity itself is a critical aspect of student growth, and this is also implicitly why these pieces are important–arguably also not about the content per se but the characters in it]. The characters’ struggles for identity revolve around various internal and external forces including: class, gender, politics, intersecting cultures, and family expectations.

              And maybe more importantly:
              students analyze how structural choices can shape meaning in a text and create aesthetic impact for the reader.

              So yes, while one can argue that this is technically an ‘analysis’ of the text, and even that the role of the reader is also ‘merely’ observed from an analytical point of view, I dont think its fair to say this ignores the reader. I can’t imagine any teacher who would read that last quote and not have that evolve into a discussion about personal interpretation. I also think dons quote about how teachers will likely preserve these values is important.

              Regarding the Coleman quote itself, as sound-bite-ingly delightful as it is, note that it wasnt actually a statement about the standards but about our culture. It was used as a way to justify adding focus on critical analysis to the standards; something which does not have to imply a jettisoning of personal interpretation and interaction with art (though clearly his dismissiveness of the value of that in ‘real life’ could be interpreted that way). Fwiw, his belief seems to be that there is almost no critical analysis/thinking focus, pre-cc, at least wrt how that manifests in writing. To what extent that is true is obviously debatable. Probably less debatable is that both should have some role (if that is truly what he’s saying I think that point is worth thinking about, regardless of how idiotically he makes it).

              I am also glad you pointed out that these concerns are not something new about cc. That is an important point.

              More broadly speaking, I also think there is a really important, but maybe subtle focus on the idea of increased productivity masked as creativity (note how much this word is used lately). Creativity is not a passive process, it manifests in some (‘productive’?) output. This process requires tools, craft and understanding. Maybe in some ways, analogous to the ‘application’ focus in the math standards. Personally I think our culture has an unhealthy fetish surrounding efficiency and productivity so I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good thing, but it’s important to recognize that it reflects priorities in our culture, and as such it will have some relevance for schools.
              Sorry for the chaos, typing on a phone.

  4. CarolineSF 11 months ago11 months ago

    Here's the breakdown of poll results we need: Of people who are familiar with Common Core and don't have to have it defined for them by the pollster, what are the rates of approval/disapproval? Then the responses of those who weren't familiar with Common Core and had to have it defined for them by the pollster should be taken and thrown away. (In fact, all poll results should be handled this way, including polls on … Read More

    Here’s the breakdown of poll results we need: Of people who are familiar with Common Core and don’t have to have it defined for them by the pollster, what are the rates of approval/disapproval?

    Then the responses of those who weren’t familiar with Common Core and had to have it defined for them by the pollster should be taken and thrown away. (In fact, all poll results should be handled this way, including polls on Prop. 13, which most people can’t describe or identify.)

    (I have no idea what the results of that poll would be. I just want to see a valid one.)

  5. Todd Maddison 11 months ago11 months ago

    Would be interesting to see these poll results broken down by educational attainment level of the parents. I don't really care if 54% of all parents are against Common Core. I suspect that a large percentage of those don't even know what Common Core is, except that they've heard bad things about it on Fox News. We will never - and I repeat never - improve the educational results in our system unless we determine a … Read More

    Would be interesting to see these poll results broken down by educational attainment level of the parents.

    I don’t really care if 54% of all parents are against Common Core. I suspect that a large percentage of those don’t even know what Common Core is, except that they’ve heard bad things about it on Fox News.

    We will never – and I repeat never – improve the educational results in our system unless we determine a way to measure that and then use those metrics when evaluating the efficacy of teachers, schools, administrators, and entire school systems.

    The fundamental problem with improving education is the fact that no one in the educational system wants to be held to any standard. There is no private business on earth that could improve it’s product or operations without establishing metrics and then holding it’s staff to those metrics. None. Zero.

    But yet we expect to manage improvement in our schools by taking polls to find out who “likes” which system.

    Common Core may not be perfect, but at least it’s a common standard – which is exactly what we need to see if the educational approach of School A or Teacher A is better or worse than the approach of School B or Teacher B – and then take those “parts that work”, learn from it, and apply it elsewhere.

    That’s how you improve systems.

  6. Don Davis 11 months ago11 months ago

    Parents, students,and administrators have said that there is far too much emphasis on standardized testing and last year’s testing in March and again in May was total overkill. Unfortunately politicians on both the federal and state levels will continue to ignore the feelings of the public and pass legislation that does not necessarily improve or help education.

  7. Gary Ravani 11 months ago11 months ago

    From the article: "...notably in New York, parents have protested and pulled their children out of testing in large numbers, while in California there has been relatively little opposition." This is key to understanding the controversy re CCSS, along with the fact few in the public actually know what's in the CCSS. It appears that, a couple of years ago education policy makers in NY, ignoring the warning of the teachers' union, sat down and said in one … Read More

    From the article:

    “…notably in New York, parents have protested and pulled their children out of testing in large numbers, while in California there has been relatively little opposition.”

    This is key to understanding the controversy re CCSS, along with the fact few in the public actually know what’s in the CCSS.

    It appears that, a couple of years ago education policy makers in NY, ignoring the warning of the teachers’ union, sat down and said in one voice: “Let’s implement CCSS in such a way that it will all turn out to be a disaster of the first order.” Then they did it. There was no time for teachers to get appropriate instructional materials, receive professional development, or have enough time to instruct the studies in the classroom. And then administered state tests on what wasn’t taught.

    Then the NY education policy makers decided to double down on their first set of genius-level [sic] decisions and hold students and teachers “accountable” for the wrong-headed policy choices.

    Needless to say, the whole thing didn’t work out well. (This didn’t stop Arnie Duncan from making insulting remarks about the parents of the students though.) Many parents decided, thoughtfully, to pull their kids from the next round of testing in protest and the NY legislature decided to put some brakes on the whole accountability to CCSS based tests.

    Thoughtfully, education policy makers in CA decided to put the brakes on the the accountability engine before the disaster occurred, and hopefully holding off major problems altogether. A decision by the policy makers completed in the face of critics on the state’s editorial pages who all parroted the bloviating of the “school sucks industry,” the charter school industrial complex, and the parent trigger cultists. Though, when the charter school management people and parent trigger folks are mentioned, it should be noted we are discussing pretty much the same small group of vulture capitalists either leading or behind the scenes.

    Replies

    • el 11 months ago11 months ago

      NY schools also added high stakes testing down to the kindergarten level, which makes no sense at all. Because it was added in conjunction with Common Core, people think this *is* Common Core, when it's actually separate. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/kindergarten-tough-multiple-choice-tests-article-1.1481197 Kids this young have difficulty holding pencils and don't really have the fine motor skills to do this kind of test, let alone any of the other issues with them. It's not a good use of instructional time to … Read More

      NY schools also added high stakes testing down to the kindergarten level, which makes no sense at all. Because it was added in conjunction with Common Core, people think this *is* Common Core, when it’s actually separate.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/kindergarten-tough-multiple-choice-tests-article-1.1481197

      Kids this young have difficulty holding pencils and don’t really have the fine motor skills to do this kind of test, let alone any of the other issues with them. It’s not a good use of instructional time to try to develop this in kindergarteners when it will come easily and naturally once the kids are a bit older.

      New York is also the home of the infamous Pineapples Don’t Have Sleeves test question – again, not actually anything to do with Common Core, only coincident.

  8. Don 11 months ago11 months ago

    Ms. Tully, thank you for covering this poll, which detractors here will pick to pieces for any conceivable reason. Not that they shouldn't question it. Scrutiny is good when its practiced without scrutiny as in "always". But in reporting as in sobriety tests, balance is good and better late than never. In California negative national attitudes about Common Core are seen as news. Everywhere else it's old news - one of the stranger … Read More

    Ms. Tully, thank you for covering this poll, which detractors here will pick to pieces for any conceivable reason. Not that they shouldn’t question it. Scrutiny is good when its practiced without scrutiny as in “always”. But in reporting as in sobriety tests, balance is good and better late than never.

    In California negative national attitudes about Common Core are seen as news. Everywhere else it’s old news – one of the stranger oxymorons. And with all the positive spin to CCSS reporting here, it is no wonder there’s less opposition. There’s a kind of irony in the contention that people don’t know much about Common Core. What other sorts of obscure subjects don’t people know much about? And how could anyway when they’re only fed half the story?

    That said, there’s another qualifier for the level of Common Core knowledge. It’s an academic standard, not a no-hitter. Teachers don’t read the standards. Parents don’t read the standards. Students don’t read the standards. Why would the general public read the standards when they could read the obituaries or the comics or the sports pages? Last I heard learning takes place through personal experience or through another. Where is the personal opportunity to experience standards? Curriculum on the other hand, yes. So the public learns about CCSS mainly through the media. If all they hear are great things about Common Core they are going to parrot great things about Common Core.

    This reminded me of something in Fahrenheit 451. I looked it up.

    “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”

    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

    Lovely analogy presaging polls.

    And as Arthur Conan Doyle said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

    So to wrap, Common Core gave us critical thinking. Let’s not squander it. No wonder the world was such pre-Core (PC) mess. If we can manage to employ some critical thinking in the media and report, as you did, all the information in a story instead of just the happy face side, we’ll all sleep better at night knowing we did our best, by golly!

    Gray skies are gonna clear up,
    Put on a happy face;
    Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
    Put on a happy face.
    Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
    It’s not your style;
    You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
    Ya’ decide to smile!
    Pick out a pleasant outlook,
    Stick out that noble chin;
    Wipe off that “full of doubt” look,
    Slap on a happy grin!
    And spread sunshine all over the place,
    Just put on a happy face!
    Put on a happy face
    Put on a happy face
    And if you’re feeling cross and bitterish
    Don’t sit and whine
    Think of banana split and licorice
    And you’ll feel fine
    I knew a girl so glooming
    She’d never laugh or sing
    She wouldn’t listen to me
    Now she’s a mean old thing
    So spread sunshine all over the place
    Just put on a happy face
    So, put on a happy face

  9. Parent 11 months ago11 months ago

    “Andres Alonso, a professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said black and Hispanic parents may be more supportive of testing because the scores could show potential problems in their schools and allow them to lobby for changes.”

    Exposing the Union-ista lie about school reform being a “vast right wing conspiracy”.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 11 months ago11 months ago

      Ah, yes the "unionistas." It might also be mentioned that on those all important test scores so vital to minority parents making "good choices," that the states with the highest levels of measured achievement (aka, test scores) are also the most unionized states. The states with the lowest levels of measured student achievement are states where teachers' unions are outlawed. There is not a shred of evidence available that teachers' unionization presents an obstacle to high measured … Read More

      Ah, yes the “unionistas.”

      It might also be mentioned that on those all important test scores so vital to minority parents making “good choices,” that the states with the highest levels of measured achievement (aka, test scores) are also the most unionized states. The states with the lowest levels of measured student achievement are states where teachers’ unions are outlawed.

      There is not a shred of evidence available that teachers’ unionization presents an obstacle to high measured student achievement. Likewise, there is not a shred of credible evidence available that most charter schools outperform their local regular public school.

      Unions are busy organizing charters and, depending on the level of success (looks pretty good right now), charters should have solid, unionized, and stabilized teaching staffs in the near future. Charter school performance should improve after that occurs.

      Teachers’ unions are well aware that the trumped-up (my how that expression has taken on new meaning) charges against public schools come from the right, who hate at a deep and dogmatic level anything public, as well as the neoliberal, pro-vulture capitalist, faction. We are quite non-partisan in pointing out the culprits.

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