CREDIT: FERMIN LEAL/EDSOURCE TODAY
A group of teachers from across the region discuss strategies to implement technology into daily curriculum during a break-out session at Friday’s California Teachers Summit at Cal State Los Angeles.

About 15,000 California teachers and principals gave up one of their summer vacation days to talk among themselves Friday about a subject that, depending on how the school day is going, can excite, inspire, frustrate or irritate: the Common Core.

Better Together brought together educators at 33 locations statewide to simultaneously share strategies, classroom victories and mistakes about the new academic standards in math and English language arts.  The free event was organized by California State University, the Santa Cruz-based New Teacher Center and an association of the state’s independent private colleges and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

California and 42 other states have adopted  Common Core in whole, in part or, through rebranding, under a different name. Most of the venues, from small halls on college campuses to the Pasadena Convention Center, reached registration capacity days ago.

Within a few weeks, parents will be receiving and the state will be posting results on the first Smarter Balanced tests in the Common Core standards, and the public’s focus will shift to test scores. But Friday was a day for teachers to talk about their craft and to share advice and lessons.

Except for keynote remarks by actress and teacher advocate Yvette Nicole Brown and astronaut Leland Melvin, beamed eventwide, teachers spent most of the day in small groups discussing topics they spontaneously chose by placing Post-it Notes on a big whiteboard.

EdSource Today sent reporters to four of the sites to capture some of the conversations.  Here’s what they found.

San Jose State University

Teachers speak during a breakout session at the teachers summit at San Jose State University on Friday.

Credit: Robert Bain / San Jose State University

Teachers speak during a breakout session at the teachers summit at San Jose State University on Friday.


 At conferences like Friday’s teachers summit, where participants chose their own topics, the rule is that if you find yourself checking Facebook, then get up and go elsewhere: You’ve chosen the wrong room.

No one walked out of the session at San Jose State on Learning With Games, one of 40 sessions ranging from “Motivation/Rewards” and “Blended Learning” to “Going Paperless” and “Classroom Management.” The dozen teachers went nonstop, swapping favorite websites, like Quizlet, Kahoots, Nearpod and Zaption, where teachers can embed questions and quizzes in videos. They filled up three pages of notes in a half-hour on a Google Doc.

There was no debate about whether games were a smart use of time: To a teacher, they were convinced that students who loathe traditional quizzes and tests can become all-in learners when immersed in games.

“It’s been challenging to get kids to work in a team,” said 8th grade teacher Barbara Barrett.

Gloria McGriff, a math and science teacher at Campbell Middle School, uses a geocaching app to teach kids how to use maps, then virtually visit far-flung places and go on treasure hunts. At Google Hangouts, connecting classes all over the world, students who are stuck on a concept can ask students in China how they got an answer, she said.

But good games don’t have to be cyber-based. Time-honored Bingo still works, as do Cootie-catchers – aka fortune tellers – even in high school. Mari Adler uses them to ask complex questions in her French and Spanish classes at Prospect High in Saratoga.

The alphabet game works, too. McGriff assigns each student a letter. They have to move around the room and work together to answer questions and spell words. “It’s how I teach kids to work cooperatively at the beginning of the year,” she said.

At a session on middle school Common Core math, 8th grade teacher Barbara Barrett said she was hoping the second year of teaching Common Core would be easier. “It’s been challenging to get kids to work in a team” – one of the key objectives of the Common Core, she said. Some of the roles that students are usually assigned to promote cooperation “seem so stilted,” she said.

Valentina Mascorro, who teaches 6th grade at Los Banos Middle School, agreed it can be challenging ­– but will get better. She said at the beginning of the year, getting students to share information “was like pulling teeth.” But they became comfortable by year-end. Rather than cold calling on them for answers, she let students work in pairs first. When called on, students could share a partner’s answer, but no one had the option not to speak, she said.

CSU Fullerton

Elementary school teachers shared websites to find Common Core-aligned reading materials, something they find lacking in their schools.

High school teachers gave each other ideas to stop their students from sneaking onto forbidden websites during computer lab.

And kindergarten teachers talked about ways to make sure their children get enough play during the day.

Teachers gather at the Better Together summit at CSU Fullerton.

Credit: Sarah Tully/EdSource Today

Teachers gather at the Better Together summit at CSU Fullerton.

All this played out in classrooms scattered around CSU Fullerton during Friday’s teaching summit. Cal State Fullerton’s session drew about 1,300 registrants, filling it to capacity.

The beginning and ending sessions were centered at the Titan Gym where teachers gathered at round tables and the stands to watch both live and wired-in speeches, meant to give them inspiration for the school year.

But teachers also got the chance to pick their own topics in EdCamps, which drew about 20 to 30 teachers each, depending on their distinct needs. There was a facilitator in each room, but no leader, allowing teachers to direct the conversations.

In the first morning session on reading, Zoila Gallegos, who teaches 8th through 12th grades at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, said she struggles to get her students – who often come in with low writing skills – to stay on task.

Threats of punishment don’t work because they are already in juvenile hall. “Candy is like magic,” Gallegos said. “Catch them being good.”

In the second session, transitional and traditional kindergarten teachers sat in a circle and talked about how they integrate play into learning, help special education students who may not be diagnosed yet and balance their time in both half- and full-day settings.

Leslee Milch, a reading specialist at Gilbert Elementary School in Buena Park, said she focuses on making sure children are learning skills while playing, such as sorting food in a kitchen area.

“Our power is knowing the standards and tying play to the standard,” Milch said.

Cal State Los Angeles

More than 500 teachers from across Southern California gathered at Cal State Los Angeles to share examples of what’s working with California’s implementation of the Common Core standards. They expressed frustration over problems with their roll-out. But  generally, they were eager to exchange ideas with colleagues from throughout the region.

Montebello 2nd-grade teacher Gabriella Orozco Gonzales, who helped write questions for the Common Core-based Smarter Balanced Assessments, encouraged teachers to embrace creativity as they implement the Common Core.

“You are all the experts when it comes to teaching Common Core,” she told the audience. “No one knows more about what’s working and what’s not working. Embrace that authority you have.”

Other discussions focused on technology in the classroom, improving literacy in early education, and boosting science, technology, engineering and math education.

Rancho Palos Verdes English teacher Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, 2015 California Teacher of the Year, spoke to colleagues about how to personally connect with English learners to ensure they feel included in classrooms.

She shared her experience growing up as an English learner and how she often felt isolated from fluent classmates, and from teachers who became frustrated with her because she could not comprehend lessons.

“Students really need to feel that they’re being supported by teachers,” she said. “A student who doesn’t feel supported becomes disengaged. And that will make our job even more difficult.”

During the more than two dozen breakout sessions, teachers exchanged contact information so they could to keep up with the latest trends in curriculum.

During one session, teachers talked about the challenge of incorporating technology in classrooms when some students have more access to laptops, iPads and other technology at home, while other classmates are introduced to the technology only when they begin school.

“Students really need to feel that they’re being supported by teachers,” said Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, an English teacher at Rancho Palos Verdes. “A student who doesn’t feel supported becomes disengaged. And that will make our job even more difficult.”

Another session included a discussion of the challenges of teaching Common Core curriculum to special education students.

“I feel the best part of this summit is just meeting all these different teachers, and sharing ideas with them,” said Lucy Palmer, a 5th-grade teacher from Pomona.

A few recent college graduates attended the summit in hopes of landing their first teaching jobs. They spent much of the morning networking and passing out resumes.

St. Mary’s College

St. Mary’s College in Moraga was filled to capacity Friday with 500 teachers, administrators and students from the college’s Kalmanovitz School of Education eager to learn from each other.

The morale was upbeat, as participants embraced a day of collaboration “by teachers and for teachers” focused largely on how to successfully implement new Common Core standards.

“I hope that we have lots of fun together, learn together and change the world together,” said Chris Sindt, Dean of the School of Education.

Kevin Harrigan, a retired Oak Grove school district superintendent and former Mt. Diablo school district teacher and administrator, called the summit an “unconference” because topics were not pre-planned. He urged educators to think about the kind of environment they need to learn, before they headed out to various classrooms to share expertise and resources in 31 EdCamp breakout sessions.

Harrigan said he appreciates learning environments where risk-taking is valued, exploring new possibilities is honored and questions are encouraged.

Mt. Diablo High School Principal Liane Cismowski, who is a National Board Certified teacher, praised the EdCamp model because it allows teachers to control their own professional development.

“Think of one student whose life you made a difference in,” she asked the group. “Then say it out loud.”

The room erupted in a chorus of names as teachers collectively recalled the positive roles they have played in the lives of countless students throughout their numerous years of teaching.

Teachers discussed a wide range of issues during the EdCamp sessions, including Project-Based Learning, math standards and “flipping the classroom” through blended learning by asking students to watch online lectures at home, then do projects that would normally be considered homework during class guided by the teacher.

Ana Estrada, program director for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, said the day was intended to provide an opportunity for teachers to “come together as a network to support each other.”

EdSource Today’s coverage of the Common Core is supported by the Gates Foundation and other foundations. EdSource maintains sole editorial control over the content of its coverage.

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  1. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Over the last few months I have mentioned at least 3 or 4 times the 3/4 million dollar Gates donation to Ed Source. No one has ever responded to it. At least if Ed Source reported on the some of the widely known negatives I could have more confidence that the funding doesn’t buy complete allegiance, but I see that it does, which comes as no surprise.

  2. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    From the article: "Montebello 2nd-grade teacher Gabriella Orozco Gonzales, who helped write questions for the Common Core-based Smarter Balanced Assessments, encouraged teachers to embrace creativity as they implement the Common Core." This is the key. Notice the repetitive nature of comments about creativity, problem solving, and working collaboratively. The CCSS have a number of critical weaknesses, the primary one being that actual teachers were not involved during the initial writing phase of the standards. That being said, it … Read More

    From the article:

    “Montebello 2nd-grade teacher Gabriella Orozco Gonzales, who helped write questions for the Common Core-based Smarter Balanced Assessments, encouraged teachers to embrace creativity as they implement the Common Core.”

    This is the key. Notice the repetitive nature of comments about creativity, problem solving, and working collaboratively.

    The CCSS have a number of critical weaknesses, the primary one being that actual teachers were not involved during the initial writing phase of the standards. That being said, it may not be the CCSS themselves as much as the milieu around the standards that opens up the freedom to teach to teachers (!), critically lost during the last obsessive period of laundry list standards, a fetish about test scores, pacing guides and overly scripted “curriculum.” Basically, a distortion, where standards became confused with standardization.

    Somewhere and somehow I think Bill Gates would really be squirming if he knew how all of this was playing out. Certainly his comments about how classroom teachers were somehow analogous to electrical wall sockets doesn’t seem to fit the meta view of what is described above.

  3. Jim Mordecai 1 year ago1 year ago

    The conference was financed and framed with CC$$ propaganda as being the rose-colored glass that the conference organizers hoped the attendees would wear as they discussed a variety of education issues including implementation of CC$$. A frame is by design not to be attended to and this conference was not a format that allowed for questioning whether or not CC$$ was a good or bad thing. Thus, the conference achieve the mission of … Read More

    The conference was financed and framed with CC$$ propaganda as being the rose-colored glass that the conference organizers hoped the attendees would wear as they discussed a variety of education issues including implementation of CC$$. A frame is by design not to be attended to and this conference was not a format that allowed for questioning whether or not CC$$ was a good or bad thing.

    Thus, the conference achieve the mission of the conference promoting passive acceptance of CC$$ by many attending teachers.

  4. Bill Younglove 1 year ago1 year ago

    I think the EdCamp concept was fairly unique–and, certainly, at the CSUDH site (Four Points SheratonLAX), went well. Perhaps, due to the amount of time it took for organizing the day, some time for in-depth learning was lost. As the respondents note, however, CA teachers, at many levels and in many disciplines are heavily
    “invested” in learning about/sharing of the Common Core.

  5. Parents News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

    I think the parents are concerned with a lack,of coverage of all mandated California Common Core State Standards in all subjects and especially in the regression of math teaching and learning in years 2013-2014,2014-2015' and a real concern over the dropping of math benchmarks on report cards and the substitution of group grading in elementary and middle school grades. Why are teachers and school districts dropping individual multiple choice or blank answer tests … Read More

    I think the parents are concerned with a lack,of coverage of all mandated California Common Core State Standards in all subjects and especially in the regression of math teaching and learning in years 2013-2014,2014-2015′ and a real concern over the dropping of math benchmarks on report cards and the substitution of group grading in elementary and middle school grades. Why are teachers and school districts dropping individual multiple choice or blank answer tests for math, in other words, are teachers grading math with say 80% group project based learning grading which can cause severe grade inflation? Are school districts and teachers currently unsure how to do individual math tests without group collaboration of awarding group grades the majority of the school year. Do teachers have concerns of the lower scoring children not getting enough renumeration to catch up with math? Have the vast majority of all low income schools regressed in student math grade level skills due to math not being taught well, due to a lack of current accountability, lack of new textbooks, overworking of teachers to prep lessons?

    I think there was a real missed opportunity in not having the teachers attending such functions to fill out a private (no name) survey of my above questions for math and science and social studies.

    Most important is the cold hard question seems not to have been asked to all the teachers, and that question is: WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN THE CURRENT (2014-2015) STATE OF TEACHING THE CALIFORNIA MANDATED COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AS RELATES TO THE EDUCATIONAL WELFARE OF STUDENTS?

    I also ask that next year parents be invited to attend and careful private surveys be handed out to all groups to put in a voting box and the honest comments and data be disseminated on the web by EdSource.

    We got to stop looking at the current mess in how teaching is being done on California by taking off our rose colored glasses. I call for teachers and parents to speak out strong for welfare of all children in California.

    Let us honor the key information of the SmarterBalance/CAASPP testing, let us ask the C.D.E. to post all individual school results on the C.D.E website to honor transparency.

    Replies

    • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

      "Most important is the cold hard question seems not to have been asked to all the teachers, and that question is: WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN THE CURRENT (2014-2015) STATE OF TEACHING THE CALIFORNIA MANDATED COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AS RELATES TO THE EDUCATIONAL WELFARE OF STUDENTS?" Precisely. EdSource turned over the last couple of years into a promotion shop for Common Core. One should not expect here anymore much serious reporting on possible problems … Read More

      “Most important is the cold hard question seems not to have been asked to all the teachers, and that question is: WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN THE CURRENT (2014-2015) STATE OF TEACHING THE CALIFORNIA MANDATED COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AS RELATES TO THE EDUCATIONAL WELFARE OF STUDENTS?”

      Precisely. EdSource turned over the last couple of years into a promotion shop for Common Core. One should not expect here anymore much serious reporting on possible problems with Common Core. More and more this site became over time as if written by the bureaucrats and for the bureaucrats.

      That Common Core was developed and sold to the public on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dime is a quite well known fact. That Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now one of the bigger donors to EdSource (over 3/4 of million dollars last year) may be a bit less well known. Writing that “Better Together … was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” takes a somewhat different meaning once one is aware of that.

      Which brings a question … where is the happy jingle that was supposed to accompany this service piece?

      • Parents News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

        OK Zeev, now you done it, You REALLY DID IT!!! . . You showed critical thinking!!! . . God Bless You Zeev. . . I agree with you, I think EdSource is the same as any school district or school teacher who also gets $$$$ ...the open dialogue often,,again, my opinion, is slanted to all things grand in the roll,out of this spectacular common core teaching in all classrooms in all schools and Tom Torlakson who oversees the California Edpartment of Education and the … Read More

        OK Zeev, now you done it, You REALLY DID IT!!!
        .
        .
        You showed critical thinking!!!
        .
        .
        God Bless You Zeev.
        .
        .
        I agree with you, I think EdSource is the same as any school district or school teacher who also gets $$$$ …the open dialogue often,,again, my opinion, is slanted to all things grand in the roll,out of this spectacular common core teaching in all classrooms in all schools and Tom Torlakson who oversees the California Edpartment of Education and the State Board of education, well they may be living in a dream world with common core rose colored glasses,and not really sure if the (using analogy here) the educational ship called THE COMMON CORE BLACK PEARL is smoothly sailingmwithmthe trademwindsmof knowledge or run aground on the COLLABORATION CORAL REEFS also known as cheaters gully.

        I we read the comments carefully by the brave teachers in this article,mew can interpret that the teachers aremtirdmofmcreating lessons from scratch, it is draining power and vast energy from them. we can see that the teachers are afraid to,use any direct explicit teaching (lecture) due to a fear of being asked to walk the plank by their magistrates called principals or the King,ormQueen who rules the kingdom and doles,out the gold in,the district offices.

        Zeev, you got common sense. You see what is going on. do you believe the teachers are too afraid,to speak out?

        common core has exact state mandated standards children are suppose to master for each grade level. Let the teachers teach it using multiple testing and projects, but ensure with tests that children are learning.

        do not wait for Ah ha ha moments when children have not been adequately taught CONTENT of standards.

        USE CURRICULUM MAPS and sail well!

        Like that strange dream sequence of an old Pirates of the Carribean movie, it is like, or, it seems,,that all the teachers, principals, administration, state board of,education and C.D.E. are lost in Davy’s Locker.

        OK, so,here is the answer.

        all STATE MANDATED COMMON CORE STANDARDS must be covered in all California school,classrooms. the parents must ensure this is occurring and use the power of written complaintsmifmitmis not being done.

        ALL HANDS ON DECK

        Parent Opinion News

        Zeeve, ye be a Captain too.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Zeev:

        What group of saints [sic} fund the Hoover Institution? Just asking. I am always an advocate for “following the money,” but I think that has to be applied 360 degrees. Kind of like “accountability.”

        • Parents News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

          Gary, Do not run away from from the the cold hard question. If common core methods of teaching are presenting serious regression in learning (especially for math), If a majority of teachers are upset with a district's requirement for vast extra time in design of hands on team collaborative lessons full bore, head on, and some districts do not wish for textbooks to be followed with integrity. If teachers do not teach content well in early … Read More

          Gary,
          Do not run away from from the the cold hard question. If common core methods of teaching are presenting serious regression in learning (especially for math),
          If a majority of teachers are upset with a district’s requirement for vast extra time in design of hands on team collaborative lessons full bore, head on, and some districts do not wish for textbooks to be followed with integrity.

          If teachers do not teach content well in early grades due to no falt of the teachers but instead due to a mad roll-out of this or that hypothetical metrology by so called leaders or oversight common core coaches that reach out to esoteric strategies of unmastered pedigree…

          Why do you side skirt this current problem of education in California?

          Oh, I see, no testing and no accountability…

          So, let us honor the SmarterBalance/CAASPP individual student scores.

          This has nothing to do with the Hoover Institute over at Stanford.

          EdSource does OK in reporting.

          Itnis up to parents and teachers to speak up and ensure CURRENT TEACHING OF MANDATED COMMON CORE CALIFORNIA STANDARDS ARE BEING TAUGHT WELL AND MASTERED WELL FOR ALL CHILDREN IN ALL GRADE LEVELS IN CALIFORNIA.

          Teachers must speak out if they are not teaching well due to district mantras and some common core cult like acceptance by, I can only imagine.. Paid training leaders.

          If teachers are alarmed in how math is taught and other subjects, if teachers believe they are asked to do way too much in creating creative lessons…then…

          Speak out through the unions.

          Don’t side skirt this situation to put your salary ahead of child education welfare.

          Do not be afraid to speak out for common sense!

          • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

            PNO: You say: "CURRENT TEACHING OF MANDATED COMMON CORE CALIFORNIA STANDARDS ARE BEING TAUGHT WELL AND MASTERED WELL FOR ALL CHILDREN IN ALL GRADE LEVELS IN CALIFORNIA." I suppose you had to "yell" it with caps? Anyway, "mastered well for all children at all grade levels." Really? The only community I am aware of that has "mastery level," in other words "being above average" for all children, is a small place called Lake Woebegone where "all the … Read More

            PNO:

            You say: “CURRENT TEACHING OF MANDATED COMMON CORE CALIFORNIA STANDARDS ARE BEING TAUGHT WELL AND MASTERED WELL FOR ALL CHILDREN IN ALL GRADE LEVELS IN CALIFORNIA.”

            I suppose you had to “yell” it with caps? Anyway, “mastered well for all children at all grade levels.” Really?

            The only community I am aware of that has “mastery level,” in other words “being above average” for all children, is a small place called Lake Woebegone where “all the children are above average.” Checked the real estate prices there lately?

            • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              I see you are avoiding the question and that is OK, I expected you would not answer it with clarity but instead offer a put down or redirect the issue. Here is the original question. Why not take time to really contemplate on it and answer it. WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN THE CURRENT (2014-2015) STATE OF TEACHING THE CALIFORNIA MANDATED COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AS RELATES TO THE EDUCATIONAL WELFARE … Read More

              I see you are avoiding the question and that is OK, I expected you would not answer it with clarity but instead offer a put down or redirect the issue.

              Here is the original question. Why not take time to really contemplate on it and answer it.

              WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN THE CURRENT (2014-2015) STATE OF TEACHING THE CALIFORNIA MANDATED COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AS RELATES TO THE EDUCATIONAL WELFARE OF STUDENTS?

              ————————

              For me as a parent, I have expressed the following that I express for hoping people change things and help children in California Schools.

              * Math is regressing, especially in elementary schools. Some schools lack a textbook adoption (maybe to save monies and not order textbooks or workbooks) The teachers may be having a very rough go of it (especially in math) for without a structured program to follow with a curriculum map and pre-laid out lessons, then the teachers may be asked to do too much prep work and too much work assembling hands on projects and … just overloaded with a new concept that teachers must spend vast time to create hands on common core lessons in California.

              Now if the teacher unions were to speak up, the teacher unions could tell administration to mandate, that if no textbook, if no workbook has been ordered, then a mandatory $600 in each teacher classroom for common core purchases at teacher resource stores will be done, so that, without a textbook adoption or workbook adoption, the teachers can improvise better with buying general workbooks to copy from and to move forward as best they can with math. If not, the students will flounder and regress in math knowledge for…

              The math book, the non soft cover but instead hardback textbook was a good tool. It allowed for children to study from it with parents at home. Not any more.

              The districts seem to be in cult like lock step in that they think that common core must not be taught with teachers lecturing in math and frontloading math knowledge. Instead Ah ha ha moments must not be robbed so the content must magically be coxed out of the children and in say 30 minutes a day. This ain’t goin to happen.

              So, the teachers need to mandate and speak up to have one full hour of math in the morning where the teachers can frontload math knowledge with questions and answers but keep the old style of teaching math to some extend …and an hour of math 3X a week in the afternoon with hands on projects, not unlike using the scientific theory where students go into groups and group work etc.

              See Gary, you should be advocating for more $$$ and more TIME and more RESOURCES but instead you avoid coming up with Union voiced concerns. You instead want no accountability of testing.

              ————————

              How about if Science or Social Studies in Elementary Schools is offered primarily as homework and reading so that the students keep the books for science and history at home and read each night. This way the common core standards (some of them) are indeed covered and it takes pressure off teachers to try to cover vast common core standards in all subjects in elementary schools.

              How about if all homework for math was not assigned by any teacher in grades K,1,2,3,4,5 , here me out, how about if teachers got to rest and not have to assign homework and instead used the miracle of a website that does math and has 10% of the world on line math learning, the website http://www.IXL.com

              Set up in Menlo Park, California (and I get not kickback just that I have my child use it and other parents do too) this IXL mimics the new SmarterBalance/CAASPP test in that it moves up or down depending on the mastery of knowledge of any subject. It like has an avatar brain in it and it is a good place to learn the basics in math and all children can go on it with ease of differentiation of learning.

              How about you and other teachers start listening to parents like me.

              We come in peace.

              We mean no harm.

              We are smarter than you.

              How about if you begin to honestly and openly strive to see what is wrong with the current roll out of California Common Core in the way it is being taught and the way teachers are asked to devote so much time to it, and how about if you start voicing suggestions for reform of improvement in how it is taught.

              Step out of the cult of mindset of thinking only one way and triangulate your thinking to embrace other stakeholder concerns.

              Parent News Opinion

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              PNO, I’m not sure why districts haven’t received Williams complaints about the lack of instructional materials in the classroom.

            • Parents News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              Gary,
              .
              .
              .
              Still waiting for your input on what I have written. Are you avoiding answering the questions I have put forth to you?
              .
              .
              .
              Parent Opinion News

            • SC parent 1 year ago1 year ago

              Don and PNO, Our district has received complaints about lack of instructional material in the classroom, both from teachers and from parents. So far, they haven't acted on it because the district admin doesn't like any books out there, and they don't want to commit to a program they don't like. There is also a segment of our population (teachers and parents) that does not believe that books are needed for the classrooms, and they are … Read More

              Don and PNO,

              Our district has received complaints about lack of instructional material in the classroom, both from teachers and from parents.

              So far, they haven’t acted on it because the district admin doesn’t like any books out there, and they don’t want to commit to a program they don’t like. There is also a segment of our population (teachers and parents) that does not believe that books are needed for the classrooms, and they are getting more vocal. (This segment argues that books are outdated by the time they get to the classroom, because we have to keep the books for 7 years.)

              I can see the argument that books for science are immediately outdated, though at this point in our experience without textbooks I would prefer to have textbooks for every class (even outdated ones). It’s frustrating that people are also applying that argument to elementary school math. We can run into considerable problems with this during homework time.

              The situation has gone like this:
              My kid: blank stare at homework.
              Me: “Did the teacher tell you how to do this in class?”
              My kid: “No. She didn’t cover this at all. She doesn’t ever tell us how to do anything!”
              ——(Which, by the way, is something that my kid has said again and again and again with the new teaching style – She thinks that the teacher doesn’t ever tell them how to do anything. I think she put it like this: “Mommy, teachers don’t teach anymore!”)
              Me (in email to teacher): “My kid is stuck on homework. Can you tell me the name of the procedure that you want her to use so I can google it please?”
              Teacher: “We covered this in class.”
              Me: “My kid didn’t learn it in class. She can’t do it. Can I have a worked example on how to do this, please? All I need is a worked example, then I can figure out what you’re getting at and teach it to her.”
              Teacher: “I’ll just go over it again in class.”

              This whole, painful (and repetitive) conversation would be avoided if we just had a book that covered the material….

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              SCParent, your paragraph about why districts have not been willing to commit resonates. I have heard the same arguments in our district.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              SC Parent,

              That also brings up the point that all the anecdotal accounts by parents and students of inadequate teaching does not jibe with the idea presented at the Vergara trial and elsewhere that only 2-3% are ineffective. In all fairness, I have to say our family has had good experiences overall with high quality teachers in SFUSD.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              PNO: OK. Here we go again. A little more reality, which may or may not shake up your preconceptions. You never know about that. As I have stated (endlessly) my main concerns about the "educational welfare of students," is CA's abysmal state funding levels. This results in the state having the largest class sizes in the nation and fewest administrators, librarians, counselors, psychologists, and general school personnel available to support students and their "educational welfare." The fact that … Read More

              PNO:

              OK. Here we go again. A little more reality, which may or may not shake up your preconceptions. You never know about that.

              As I have stated (endlessly) my main concerns about the “educational welfare of students,” is CA’s abysmal state funding levels. This results in the state having the largest class sizes in the nation and fewest administrators, librarians, counselors, psychologists, and general school personnel available to support students and their “educational welfare.”

              The fact that CA has the highest number of kids living in poverty in the US does not help the situation.

              The CCSS themselves are about as useful, or as useless, as the last set of standards. The good thing about CCSS is the general philosophy coming with them that acknowledges that the last decade of test obsessed, faux accountability driven, “reforms” along with pacing guides and scripted curriculum that tightly constrained what teachers could do, were an utter failure and truly put “the educational welfare of students” at risk.

              The new paradigm will call for a lot more creativity from teachers and I don’t hear much complaint from veterans about that. And, I was in touch with representatives of thousands of teachers for 25 years in my position as a teachers’ union leader.

              I have no idea what you mean by “math is regressing. Regressing from what?

              CA state statute requires that district management must “confer” with the local union on curriculum and textbook selection. Confer does not mean teachers or their unions can direct districts to do anything in those areas. The ultimate decision is up to the local school board. Many districts, wisely, have district wide committees made up of teachers and management to collaborate and make recommendations to the board.

              Many districts are delaying ordering new texts because the funding is finite and the text book companies have not yet caught up with the CCSS. That will all take time. You can see how the publishers might be cautious. The CCSS have become a political football with various factions including some progressives, but mainly the far right, having exercised political power to block CCSS implementation. It may be a major issue in the GOP debates with Bush on one side and most other candidates on the other. Why put huge corporate resources behind something so politically, if not educationally, iffy?

              I have often commended current CA state educational leadership including the Governor, the SBE, and the CDE with SSPI Torlakson at the helm, for doing what is in their power to get more money, more resources, and allow more time for CCSS implementation and SBAC preparation. They did take a two year hiatus on “test score” accountability (aka, more time) and underwent considerable criticism from what is often called ‘the schools suck industry.” Which is kind of revealing because it shows that industry will do what’s in its power to make the schools look as bad as possible. But, that’s what they get paid to do.

              My school district did have classroom sets of textbooks and gave one set to students to take home for homework. Saved a lot of wear and tear (aka, $$) on the books and eliminated the need for lockers at the secondary schools. Win win. I recommend it.

              CCSS are standards for only ELA and math, not science (that’s NGSS) or social studies.

              Whether or not teachers assign homework ought to be left to teachers and/or be a collaborative decision made by teachers and administrators at a site.

              So parent, by virtue of being parents I assume, are smarter than me? Or teachers? Or unions? Or all of above? As I am a parent, and grandparent, that should boost me up the bell curve immediately. Anyway, my Mother (RIP and bless her soul) was a parent and she always told me I was the smartest boy around. What about that, huh?

              Anyway, get your BA, do your student teaching, get a credential, and then get about ten years under your belt in a classroom so you actually know your way around a classroom, and then come back and talk to me meaningfully about educational “smarts.”

              Of course there are problems with the CCSS rollout There are problems in the rollout of any large, complex program impacting hundreds of thousands (teachers in this case) or millions (students in this case) of people. Things are not helped by the low levels of funding available.

              Have a nice day.

            • ann 1 year ago1 year ago

              SC parent, is your school using Engage New York?

            • Parents News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              Mr. Ravani,

              New California Ed code with regard to textbook adoption calls for this…

              any non adopted California textbooks or workbooks for any school district must have a majority of TEACHERS decide if the non C.D.E. educational textbooks/workbooks are to be approved for adoption.

              Teachers have the majority power and not district administration.

              suggest you call up the C.D.E. textbook adoption department and getmupdatedmon new Ed codes.

              Teachers and parents do have some,power in the process.

        • R. Craigen 1 year ago1 year ago

          What group of saints fund Hoover, Gary? A few moments on Google would find you this: http://www.hoover.org/get-involved/support-hoover Your answer: "The Hoover Institution is supported by donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and partnerships." Uh, just like any other institute for public policy. Hoover has a reputation as one of the best. it is a Section 501(c)(3) charity. What it's not is a billionaire's slush fund to finance his personal projects and impose his own idiosyncratic ideas on the rest of … Read More

          What group of saints fund Hoover, Gary?

          A few moments on Google would find you this:
          http://www.hoover.org/get-involved/support-hoover

          Your answer:

          “The Hoover Institution is supported by donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and partnerships.”

          Uh, just like any other institute for public policy. Hoover has a reputation as one of the best. it is a Section 501(c)(3) charity.

          What it’s not is a billionaire’s slush fund to finance his personal projects and impose his own idiosyncratic ideas on the rest of the world because, well, because he figures he’s smarter than anyone else.

          If you want a finer breakdown of Hoover finances start here: http://www.hoover.org/about/reports/2014

          Not sure what your point is. Got a conspiracy theory in the works? Not sure why you’d start with an organization that simply advises on policy from the sideline. Seems those actually pouring money into affecting what happens to kids in classes might be subject to a bit more scrutiny…

          • ann 1 year ago1 year ago

            Gary tried the same thing with me a couple weeks ago. I gave him links to show how objectively Hoover operates. He doesn’t budge in his ideology.

      • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

        A fair question, Gary. I don't know the sources of Hoover funding. I suspect it's not difficult to trace them, but I leave it to you. But a few things I am quite confident of: 1. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is not among them. 2. The academic quality of Hoover writing and research is incomparably better than that of EdSource 3. Hoover has strong voices supporting Common Core (e.g., Checker Finn, Mike Petrilli) and strong voices criticizing Common … Read More

        A fair question, Gary. I don’t know the sources of Hoover funding. I suspect it’s not difficult to trace them, but I leave it to you.

        But a few things I am quite confident of:

        1. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is not among them.
        2. The academic quality of Hoover writing and research is incomparably better than that of EdSource
        3. Hoover has strong voices supporting Common Core (e.g., Checker Finn, Mike Petrilli) and strong voices criticizing Common Core (e.g., Bill Evers, myself when I was still a Hoover Visiting Scholar).

        There seems to be little if any diversity at EdSource. It used to be a bit more evidence-based organization a few years back. No more, especially when it comes to curriculum and instruction.

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          Zeev:

          Well, we can’t all be “fair and balanced” like Hoover and certain other “sources.”

        • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

          Indeed. An it shows.

      • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

        Incidentally, I am still looking for the jingle. I am sure it has been planned, so it must be somewhere.

        • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

          If you’re happy and you know it
          clap your hands,
          If you’re happy and you know it
          clap you’re hands,
          If you’re happy and you know it
          then you really ought to show it,
          If you’re happy and you know it
          clap your hands.

          Come on, teachers!
          Be happyI
          Happy days are here again!

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            I can't wait for CCSS Civics/Government. Teachers could use Common Core as an example of how private financial interests can surreptitiously use amenable government partners to change national public education policy in the same way the agricultural, pharmaceutical and other industries do. But that won't be in the Common Core approved curriculum - wait, I forgot, the standards aren't a curriculum, per se. If the individual foundations and public and private institutions that funded … Read More

            I can’t wait for CCSS Civics/Government. Teachers could use Common Core as an example of how private financial interests can surreptitiously use amenable government partners to change national public education policy in the same way the agricultural, pharmaceutical and other industries do. But that won’t be in the Common Core approved curriculum – wait, I forgot, the standards aren’t a curriculum, per se. If the individual foundations and public and private institutions that funded the CCSS development, adoption and implementation also fund the curriculum development and training that doesn’t violate any principles of Common Core regarding the separation of standards and curriculum, does it? Ah, who cares! We have better things to think about than “the process”, even if it’s corrupt to the “Core”.

            • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

              Actually, Don, Bill Gates is nothing but surreptitious in "us[ing] amenable government partners to change national public education policy." Almost exactly four years back he wrote in a big interview in the Wall Street Journal where Mr. Gates clearly stated that his goal is "to leverage private money" in a way that "redirects" how tax dollars are spent inside public education. In other words, Mr. Gates is using his personal philanthropy to direct government policy, to … Read More

              Actually, Don, Bill Gates is nothing but surreptitious in “us[ing] amenable government partners to change national public education policy.”

              Almost exactly four years back he wrote in a big interview in the Wall Street Journal where Mr. Gates clearly stated that his goal is “to leverage private money” in a way that “redirects” how tax dollars are spent inside public education. In other words, Mr. Gates is using his personal philanthropy to direct government policy, to channel taxpayers’ funds to pay for the national curriculum he personally wants. http://www.emailthis.clickability.com/et/emailThis?clickMap=viewThis&etMailToID=270143859

              When one compares Bill gates with the likes of Walter Annenberg, the contrast is clear. Annenberg wanted to change some elements of public education, so he invested in piloting of his ideas (the so-called Annenberg Challenge) to see if they work. He believed that if they do, others will follow on thrir own. That was also what Bill Gates tried to do early on with his “small high school” project. It so happened that both projects were not very successful, but such things happen — that’s why we used to have philanthropies … to try things out.

              In contrast, the new Bill Gates is not about offering a better model to voluntarily try — he already decided that he knows what is right, and now he is about leveraging private money to change educational policy to force teachers to do what HE wants.

              Big difference.

            • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

              Should have been “anything but surreptitious.” Sorry.

            • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

              This just in: it is snowing in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. Indeed, I am in complete agreement with what Zeev just posted as this is common knowledge among Zeev's ideological opposites. Who woulda thunk? What interests me is if Zeev is going to take this to the next level: inform us of the role of David Coleman on the genesis of the Common Core (old Bill did not come up with CCSS, he is just funding it). Also, why … Read More

              This just in: it is snowing in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.

              Indeed, I am in complete agreement with what Zeev just posted as this is common knowledge among Zeev’s ideological opposites. Who woulda thunk?

              What interests me is if Zeev is going to take this to the next level: inform us of the role of David Coleman on the genesis of the Common Core (old Bill did not come up with CCSS, he is just funding it).

              Also, why is David Coleman the head of The College Board and what does this mean college admissions since all students will have to be-with-the-CommonCore-program in order to get a score the colleges will be happy with? And once they are in our hallowed halls of academia, what will this mean to how they are expected to learn?

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Zeev, I think you have to admit much of CCSS was accomplished by stealth. It was not in any way an open development or adoption process, notwithstanding Gate's WSJ article, the existence of which does not make the process any more legit. You well know how states were coerced and how little public review was afforded. The point I was trying to make is that CCSS from it conception until now is not … Read More

              Zeev, I think you have to admit much of CCSS was accomplished by stealth. It was not in any way an open development or adoption process, notwithstanding Gate’s WSJ article, the existence of which does not make the process any more legit. You well know how states were coerced and how little public review was afforded. The point I was trying to make is that CCSS from it conception until now is not exemplary of the kind of processes traditionally used for standards adoption and, though I was somewhat facetious (not that I can’t imagine a civics/government course down the line), and, therefore, such a course a la CCSS would be quite the paradox. (This came up (n my mind) as I was reading the different synopses in the above article.

            • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

              First, I do agree that development of Common Core was shrouded in relative secrecy, while pretending to be open. For example, we all heard that NGA and CCSSO were its fathers and Achieve its midwife yet, for example, nobody ever explained how come Marc Tucker had two of his people -- Phil Daro and Sally Hampton -- entrenched in key position from day one. We never heard what was the reason that the original team … Read More

              First, I do agree that development of Common Core was shrouded in relative secrecy, while pretending to be open. For example, we all heard that NGA and CCSSO were its fathers and Achieve its midwife yet, for example, nobody ever explained how come Marc Tucker had two of his people — Phil Daro and Sally Hampton — entrenched in key position from day one. We never heard what was the reason that the original team that came with the “career- and college-ready standards” was made of those four groups … plus two testing organizations, ACT and the College Board. Since when it is a testing organization that defines what public schools are supposed to teach?

              And the federal incentives to adopt the standards during deep recession — Race to the Top, and later the NCLB waivers — did the job so quickly that not only the overwhelming majority of citizens were unaware of Common Core years after it was already adopted nationwide, but even most state legislators didn’t hear of them until circa 2012, two years after they were adopted.

              As to the role of Coleman, I think you may want to read my comment to this nice article by Rick Hess.
              http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2015/07/lessons_ap_us_history_can_teach_common_core.html

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Zeev, I read the article you linked as well as your comment. All I can say is it’s no wonder Gates is pouring money down that rat hole.

      • John Fensterwald 1 year ago1 year ago

        Ze'ev and Don: As a non profit organization, EdSource receives funding from more than a dozen foundations, including the Gates Foundation. Without that support — which to a greater or lesser extent has underwritten the organization since its founding nearly four decades ago — EdSource would not exist. We are transparent about our funding sources, which are listed on our website here. None of our funding sources has any input into what news events and issues we … Read More

        Ze’ev and Don:

        As a non profit organization, EdSource receives funding from more than a dozen foundations, including the Gates Foundation. Without that support — which to a greater or lesser extent has underwritten the organization since its founding nearly four decades ago — EdSource would not exist. We are transparent about our funding sources, which are listed on our website here.

        None of our funding sources has any input into what news events and issues we choose to write about or how we cover them. I advocated that we cover the teacher summit that the Gates Foundation funded because 15,000 teachers — 6 percent of teachers in the state — registered for the event and because of a format that let teachers decide the topics they wanted to talk about. I believe that I and my colleagues accurately captured the conversations teachers had on the challenges and opportunities of implementing the new standards.

        Ze’ev, you are a long-time defender of the old California academic standards and tests and opponent of Common Core. Polls have found that the majority of teachers nationwide favor the Common Core. The president of the CTA told us that his union is “100 percent behind the Common Core.” My own sense, from speaking with teachers over the past several years, is that most California teachers prefer the new standards. It may be hard for you to accept that they are working hard with their colleagues, often long after school ends, to implement them.

        That is not to say many teachers aren’t upset over lack of the useful curriculum materials and insufficient training in the new standards; others have doubts about validity and usefulness of the Smarter Balanced tests on the standards. EdSource has reported on and will continue to cover the issues that they and others have raised, both pro and con the Common Core.

        • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

          You are a bit too coy, John. It is true that EdSource, like most non-profits, has multiple donors. Yet if one looks on the B&M Gates donations to EdSource, this is the pattern: 2003 -- 22K to support production and dissemination of a report on increased data-driven decision making at the school site level by upgrading California's education data system 2004 -- 450K for "general operating support" 2005 -- 25K to raise public awareness about how California high schools … Read More

          You are a bit too coy, John.

          It is true that EdSource, like most non-profits, has multiple donors. Yet if one looks on the B&M Gates donations to EdSource, this is the pattern:

          2003 — 22K to support production and dissemination of a report on increased data-driven decision making at the school site level by upgrading California’s education data system
          2004 — 450K for “general operating support”
          2005 — 25K to raise public awareness about how California high schools could better prepare students for college and work
          2006 — 20K for conference support among key K-12 constituencies and leaders on current policy challenges in California: school accountability and finance reform
          2007 — 1 million for “general operating support”
          2014 — 768K to provide timely, useful information to California educators and policymakers, highlighting effective models and strategies intended to improve student outcomes

          Note how until 2007 B&M Gates grants to EdSource were either targeted & small towards a specific activity, or for for general operation support. Then there is a break … and then EdSource suddenly gets 3/4 of a mil for proselytizing of Common Core, even if the grant description, probably intentionally, avoids mentioning it by name.

          And the impact is quite visible in the tone of EdSource work over the last year. The recent puff piece is just the most jarring.

          Sorry to say this — truly! — but the “new” EdSource became just another Common Core squawk box. Why do you think I stopped frequenting it in recent times?

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            Ze'ev, I wouldn't characterize this particular article as a puff piece of reporting, though the event itself is Common Core cheerleading of sorts. That's understandable as teachers by nature are an optimistic lot and you can't fault them for trying to make the best of what they've been given. Also, the question as to teacher acceptance is not settled by a long shot. There's plenty of controversy surrounding the standards and teachers are far … Read More

            Ze’ev, I wouldn’t characterize this particular article as a puff piece of reporting, though the event itself is Common Core cheerleading of sorts. That’s understandable as teachers by nature are an optimistic lot and you can’t fault them for trying to make the best of what they’ve been given. Also, the question as to teacher acceptance is not settled by a long shot. There’s plenty of controversy surrounding the standards and teachers are far from sold on them, even if most want to make the best of it. Clearly the Gates Foundation wants us to think the standards are liked and it is willing to pay a lot to “make it so”, as Captain Picard used to say. How Gatesian.

            However, the the majority of articles I’ve read here I would characterize as leaning towards CC or outright puff, though as with all media content, what is reported is equally or more important than how it is reported. John’s reporting is by far the most balanced, IMHO. But compare Ed Source overall with national CCSS reporting.There are loads of hard hitting articles in mainstream outlets about the various CCSS criticisms. That we don’t get at Ed Source and on that account I do fault the reporting. The interviews are a good example.The most hardest-hitting questions were in the nature of ” what kinds of problems are you seeing?” You never get the hard questions about the experimentation going on here on a national scale – the lack of data to inform standards development (trial runs), the cognitive developmental issues, the stealth CCSS development and adoption, or even questions about how CCSS and the test, technology and instructional materials industries are one and the same – a pubic-private venture intent upon a fast and total adoption that precluded real pubic review. I think those issues have been sidelined as Ed Source b/c of the funding. Instead we get Race to the Top…Page.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              CC is current educational policy in CA. It makes sense that a site that covers CA educational policy would tend to focus more on the implementation of existing policy than on the development of the standards, which by most accounts appears to be quite old news. Furthermore, trying to excessively highlight a mostly political view that is held by a minority of opinion holders would itself be introducing a bias. This is not to say … Read More

              CC is current educational policy in CA. It makes sense that a site that covers CA educational policy would tend to focus more on the implementation of existing policy than on the development of the standards, which by most accounts appears to be quite old news.
              Furthermore, trying to excessively highlight a mostly political view that is held by a minority of opinion holders would itself be introducing a bias.
              This is not to say that the validity of the standards cannot or should not be questioned. However, that is quite different that questioning it with an intent to repeal current policy.
              And I’ve said it before: that the right people weren’t involved or that there was an attempt at secrecy is very different than whether the results make sense for kids. I would hope those things could be looked at independently. But I doubt it.
              Interestingly, I would agree there has been some shift in the tenor of edource within the past year or so. But the shift I’d noticed had nothing to do with CC.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              "that the right people weren’t involved or that there was an attempt at secrecy is very different than whether the results make sense for kids." Navigio, how do I make sense of this comment? If the wrong people were involved in a secretive conspiracy to rewrite the nation's standards, are you telling me the results are nevertheless good? If not, what are are you saying, exactly? Secondly, this isn't old news. Most people just started hearing about … Read More

              “that the right people weren’t involved or that there was an attempt at secrecy is very different than whether the results make sense for kids.”

              Navigio, how do I make sense of this comment? If the wrong people were involved in a secretive conspiracy to rewrite the nation’s standards, are you telling me the results are nevertheless good? If not, what are are you saying, exactly?

              Secondly, this isn’t old news. Most people just started hearing about CC last school year. Most people still have no idea about it. The problems with CC are alive and unwell. How do standards that inform what happens all day every day in the classroom equate to old news ? The Common Core opt-out movement was in Newsweek less than 3 months ago.

              As for your assertion that Ed Source “covers CA educational policy (and) would tend to focus more on the implementation of existing policy than on the development…. “… well, it seems you’re right for reasons explained in other comments – that the development is an embarrassment (or ought to be) to Gates, a large funder of Ed Source. But Navigio, Ed Source didn’t report on the development either when it had the chance, or to be more accurate, reported very little, yet it has reported extensively on the SBAC development and the API development. So I don’t think it is a legitimate point that Ed Source focuses on “existing policy (rather) than on the development.”

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Why the secrecy? Why can’t this be done out in the open for all to see?

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Don. No. I did not say they were nevertheless good. Just that it's not a given that they are not. That those are mostly separate questions. I love discussions about process. I agree there are a bunch of questions about process. But we can discuss those for months (fine with me) and at the end will likely have answered zilch about quality because that discussion involves different issues, some of which have been mentioned … Read More

              Don. No. I did not say they were nevertheless good. Just that it’s not a given that they are not. That those are mostly separate questions. I love discussions about process. I agree there are a bunch of questions about process. But we can discuss those for months (fine with me) and at the end will likely have answered zilch about quality because that discussion involves different issues, some of which have been mentioned by you and others in comments here. Personally, I have yet to see any evidence based arguments against quality (not to imply that acceptable should be defined as ‘no one spoke up yet’), with the possible exception of early education researchers. But to be honest, at the time I actually went and read a lot of that research and I don’t think the issue is as clear-cut as people make it seem. (I don’t remember now whether it was Ed source or commenters who brought that issue up here).
              When I said old news I meant with reference to what’s actually happening in its development. When ed source covers an education discussion in the assembly or the Senate or Sbe it’s because it’s happening essentially right now. The analogous CC stuff happened years ago. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant, but it does mean it’s not current in terms of what’s happening now. If the argument is that edsource has been bought within the last year, then that doesn’t jibe well with a conspiracy that ostensibly goes back 5. That said, that it’s old news probably isn’t a good justification for not covering it anyway. I do think John’s statement about why he’s accepted the state of common core at this point is important. The fact that it’s based on the opinions of teachers is really important, especially given that one of the primary concerns is the lack of teacher involvement in the process. Given that, I think the coverage issue is understandable.
              And remember, we don’t have to agree. We are free to write our own commentary or even research pieces and submit them to Ed source for publication. John has always welcomed that. Just as soon as I figure out how to raise enough money to staff our school’s library, maybe I’ll work on that.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Good question floyd. One argument at the time was that NCLB was a good example of why the people expected to implement a policy shouldnt be the ones designing it (not saying thats a good argument, but it was made explicilty). The SF Chronicle apparently even said that keeping it secret was a good idea as well as that new national standards were clearly needed (btw, I dont think edsource existed as a 'news … Read More

              Good question floyd. One argument at the time was that NCLB was a good example of why the people expected to implement a policy shouldnt be the ones designing it (not saying thats a good argument, but it was made explicilty). The SF Chronicle apparently even said that keeping it secret was a good idea as well as that new national standards were clearly needed (btw, I dont think edsource existed as a ‘news source’ yet during this time, though they were apparently doing some research type data work).
              I expect another, though maybe not stated reason, was that there are many who feel new standards are useless. People who want to develop new standards probably didnt want to be caught up in the politics of why while they were trying to come up with the what (that ironically is now the why.. 😉 ).
              However, let me offer conjecture on what is likely the real reason. Remember when this was done, back in 2009/2010 or so, right? That was probably the height of the popularity of the accountability movement. Its around the time waiting for stupidman came out. its about the time students first was created.
              IMHO, one of the side-effects of the technology boom has been a change in how our culture interprets expertise, and, as a result, who eventually ends up having most input into supposed societal strategic processes.
              Everyone with a voice is an expert (just look at the comments pages here). Technology experts, especially extremely successful ones, are, I would argue by their very nature, technocrats. It is also the very nature of their task to invent innovatively efficient methods to achieve something new (whether its good or not is less clearly the point). A technocrat is by definition elitist. And an elitist, well, is someone who believes only a few have the answers worth having. So I would argue that is was an additional reason for the secrecy. What impact that had on the output is clearly debatable.
              It is worth noting that the people who acted as the supposed ‘input’ for the research-based claims, were not the same people ‘running things’ (making decisions). Where the latter were more policy people, the input group came almost exclusively from academia. As was the validation committee that reviewed the results (that included some teachers and principals). Note that one of the findings of that group was ‘that the document they reviewed was ‘informed by available research or evidence’. 🙂
              Btw, an additional followup to don: one of the reasons I think its important to separate these issues of process and quality is that I am not convinced we actually have a handle on why we think we need standards (i mean in the specific sense of pedagogy, child development and goals of our education system–the drivers currently seem to be a blind desire for ‘international competitiveness’, something that begs all sorts of questions about our priorities as a society should be). And I dont think we’ll ever get to that question if we keep focusing on process to the exclusion of quality.