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NScribe, the Common Core thing is driving me batty.

 

The clip mentions Jason Zumba as one of the writers of Common Core. Zumba is partners with David Coleman, who owns Student Achievement Partners, which is a big name in assessment reporting.

 

I wanted to know what the credentials are of these "specialists" who are reworking what the nation's children will learn in school. I do not feel reassured.

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I'm watching it right now.

 

I just have one question: If what I'm seeing in this video is new, what have they been doing before Common Core arrived to save the day? Have they not been teaching students to consider their sources, form their opinions, express themselves articulately, understand informational text, debate cause and effect, use math vocabulary and real-world experiences in math, focus on precision in math, respond in writing to analyze content instead of expressing personal opinion, use language skills in Social Studies....really? If they haven't been attempting to do these things all along, then none dare call it education.

 

I see now what Alan Singer was talking about in his Huffington Post blog. He said there's nothing new here, and he suspects it's just a boondoggle.

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... Have they not been teaching students to consider their sources, form their opinions, express themselves articulately, understand informational text, debate cause and effect, use math vocabulary and real-world experiences in math, focus on precision in math, respond in writing to analyze content instead of expressing personal opinion, use language skills in Social Studies....really? If they haven't been attempting to do these things all along, then none dare call it education.

 

:iagree: Based on the video, it appears that they have not been teaching the skills quoted above in many public schools.

 

Our local paper published an article a couple months ago stating that the state's test scores are predicted to plummet once the Common Core testing is implemented. The example the article provided, based on preliminary results, predicted that the #1 Rated public school in my state, which currently has 98% of its 8th graders pass the state proficiency test in math, will only have 74% of its students pass the new Common Core tests.

 

A school in my area with a current passage rate of 96%, will see the passage rate fall to 43%. Another that currently has a 77% passage rate, will fall to an 8% passage rate.

 

Having seen what is considered "math" in my public school, I am not surprised that kids will be unable to apply the "Common Core modeling standard", which appears, imo, to be just a fancy name for problem solving.

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I'm watching it right now.

 

I just have one question: If what I'm seeing in this video is new, what have they been doing before Common Core arrived to save the day? Have they not been teaching students to consider their sources, form their opinions, express themselves articulately, understand informational text, debate cause and effect, use math vocabulary and real-world experiences in math, focus on precision in math, respond in writing to analyze content instead of expressing personal opinion, use language skills in Social Studies....really? If they haven't been attempting to do these things all along, then none dare call it education.

 

I see now what Alan Singer was talking about in his Huffington Post blog. He said there's nothing new here, and he suspects it's just a boondoggle.

 

 

Could you please link to the article. Did he happen to use "expensive" with boondoggle?

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Could you please link to the article. Did he happen to use "expensive" with boondoggle?

 

I'm sorry! I forgot to link. Here: http://www.huffingto..._b_1586573.html

 

Final paragraphs with boondoggle reference in bold:

 

"I have tried to follow the defense of Common Core. Lauren Davis, senior editor of Eye on Education is one the big advocates for the Common Core standards. Eye on Education is distributing a pamphlet, and for a price, offering staff development workshops and keynote speeches promoting "5 Things Every Teacher Should be Doing to Meet the Common Core State Standards." For Davis and her associates, "The Common Core State Standards highlight five shifts that should be happening in every classroom. They want teachers to lead "high-level, text-based discussions"; "focus on process, not just content"; "create assignments for real audiences and with real purpose"; "teach argument, not persuasion"; and "increase text complexity."

 

My first reaction was that I must be an idiot. I have been a teacher for over forty years and I could not figure out what here was in any way new. They want me to promote high-level discussions as opposed to low level ones. I thought teachers focused on BOTH process and content; I certainly did. Were my assignments designed for fake audiences without purpose? Was I encouraging students not to listen to each other? Was I using easier texts as the students became more sophisticated?

 

David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, two authors of the standards, recommend teachers begin with "relatively simple questions." Is the problem with learning in the United States that the questions are too hard?

 

At its best, Common Core draws the attention of teachers to the need to be conscious and systematic as they work to develop student academic skills. If Common Core promotes this level of skill and understanding by students as they master content knowledge and formulate their own questions about the world, it performs a useful function and should be broadly supported. If it does not, it is just a boondoggle for publishers, politicians, and consultants and it will quickly go the way of reading programs like "Success for All" and national policies like "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top."

 

Personally, I do not have confidence in the publishers, politicians, and certainly not in the expert educational consultants. I think the difference makers will have to be teachers. Teachers will be the ones to decide whether this educational change or any educational change provides real substance and prepares students not just for college or work but for active participation as fully engaged citizens of a democratic society.

 

In the meantime, let's hope the protests continue to grow."

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I bet if you went in and looked at many states' standards that they already had in place, the lists would include much of what is in the common core. I think it's just another experiment in the grand scheme of education. That's what it is these days, one experiment after another. Common Core isn't going to fix the fact that some states won't do as well on testing because they have larger percentages of parents who are lower income or uneducated themselves and don't teach their children to value an education. If the kids don't care, no set of standards is going to make them learn. I wish the government and schools would quit blaming the program and start putting the blame where it belongs, on the parents.

 

I have a friend who is using an online high school program that has adopted common core standards and textbooks. I looked through them fairly thoroughly, and they look like every other textbook I've ever seen.

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If the kids don't care, no set of standards is going to make them learn. I wish the government and schools would quit blaming the program and start putting the blame where it belongs, on the parents.

I agree that some kids don't care because education is not valued in the home. However, there are many kids who do care, but are clearly not receiving an adequate education in the public school setting.

 

Many parents don't have time to supplement at home like I did when my kids were in public school. Parents are entrusting the "experts" to educate their children since they are with the "experts" 6+ hours per day. When a school drops from a 77% passage rate to an 8 % passage rate, I do not blame the parents. Clearly, these experts are not doing their job.

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I'd been under the assumption that Common Core wasn't necessarily about anything new (or at least new to everyone involved). I thought the purpose was to voluntarily replace each state's individual learning standards with one common set of standards. Or in other words to create a nationalized set of education standards that aren't actually implemented by the federal government but rather agreed to by each state.

 

Am I missing something?

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I agree that some kids don't care because education is not valued in the home. However, there are many kids who do care, but are clearly not receiving an adequate education in the public school setting.

 

Many parents don't have time to supplement at home like I did when my kids were in public school. Parents are entrusting the "experts" to educate their children since they are with the "experts" 6+ hours per day. When a school drops from a 77% passage rate to an 8 % passage rate, I do not blame the parents. Clearly, these experts are not doing their job.

 

I'm coming from my dh's perspective as a teacher for 6 years in a low-income, low performing high school. The kids were there to socialize. The kids who wanted to learn did, and the kids who did not want to didn't learn. He couldn't get parents to call him back or come to meetings.

 

My parents did nothing to supplement my education at home, but I was expected to learn and make good grades because that was the key to being successful. They taught me that an education was valuable. My parents entrusted my learning to me, not even the teachers. They told me it was up to me to learn. I had some bad and very mediocre teachers, but I learned because I wanted to do so.

 

The teachers are not to blame as much as the "system". But that has changed because they don't want to tell parents to do what they need to at home. They don't want to blame parents today, even when they are part of the problem. Teens should be held accountable for their own work. Dh was required to do so many things in the classroom that did nothing to help the kids learn. He wasn't allowed to give zeros, he wasn't allowed to crack down on tardiness, and he had to do daily, group, cooperative learning. The kids who cared did all the work, and the ones who didn't sat back and did nothing.

 

I'm probably sour to it because of his experience, but I still think that if more parents expected it, kids would do better.

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I just have one question: If what I'm seeing in this video is new, what have they been doing before Common Core arrived to save the day? Have they not been teaching students to consider their sources, form their opinions, express themselves articulately, understand informational text, debate cause and effect, use math vocabulary and real-world experiences in math, focus on precision in math, respond in writing to analyze content instead of expressing personal opinion, use language skills in Social Studies....really?

 

 

Yes, really. I saw it in full bloom when Dd was in school and I see it now with her friends in ps. If it is implemented as in this presentation it will be a dramatic and vast improvement over what we see.

 

What we saw: previous standards looked good on paper but few teachers did more than cherry pick the ones that fit a "21st Century Skills" learning agenda. Creativity and teamwork were valued more than content knowledge. It was rare to see a question that did not promote answers with "I think..." or "I can relate...". The words cite and textual evidence were not used. "Discovery" and "Project Based" learning were the rage, but without proper guidance were at best muddled mush. The things I saw done in the name of the "Socratic Method" were educational malpractice.

 

I don't know where I come down on the common core standards, but I know what I have witnessed until now, and it makes me open to some sort of change that at least recognizes the significance of quality content. One thing that makes AP popular in our area (or IB) is the belief that what will be taught is overseen/validated. Direct instruction shools are popular in reaction to what has been going on in the area.

 

I would love to set well qualified teachers free to weave magic, but given what I see (have seen), what is in the video will be a chance kids haven't been given in the last decade.

 

I doubt reform efforts. I am a seasoned salty skeptic at this point. But, I am trying to learn all I can about what is happening to/for the kids Dd will share this world with in her life.

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I agree that some kids don't care because education is not valued in the home. However, there are many kids who do care, but are clearly not receiving an adequate education in the public school setting.

 

Many parents don't have time to supplement at home like I did when my kids were in public school. Parents are entrusting the "experts" to educate their children since they are with the "experts" 6+ hours per day. When a school drops from a 77% passage rate to an 8 % passage rate, I do not blame the parents. Clearly, these experts are not doing their job.

 

 

My youngest returned to public school after five years of homeschooling. After one semester, he returned home for half of his classes. He told me that before going to school, he thought the education problem was the fault of the teachers. Now he says he knows it belongs to the kids. My older kids always complained about English classes where no one read the ten pages required so the teacher could not continue with the lesson plan. In my older son's AP European History course, the smart kids sit in the "MIT" corner and play cards and there is little discussion. Classes are huge and kids get sent to the office for disruptive behavior all the time. Parents don't want to be bothered. They don't want to make Johnny do his homework and have no trouble trying to pressure an uncooperative teacher into giving little lazy Johnny a higher grade. Even the best of teachers teach to unresponsive classrooms where kids are too busy trying to figure out how to continue texting or watching a movie when the teacher isn't looking directly at them.

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I'm coming from my dh's perspective as a teacher for 6 years in a low-income, low performing high school. The kids were there to socialize. The kids who wanted to learn did, and the kids who did not want to didn't learn. He couldn't get parents to call him back or come to meetings.

 

My parents did nothing to supplement my education at home, but I was expected to learn and make good grades because that was the key to being successful. They taught me that an education was valuable. My parents entrusted my learning to me, not even the teachers. They told me it was up to me to learn. I had some bad and very mediocre teachers, but I learned because I wanted to do so.

 

The teachers are not to blame as much as the "system". .

 

I see where you are coming from. My parents did nothing to supplement my education either, but they didn't have to because I was learning what I needed to at school. That is not happening today in my school system even though the parents are very involved and the vast majority of kids want to learn.

 

I can give you three examples based on my own experience:

1. Our school system uses Everyday Mathematics. This "math" program is the reason I began homeschooling. This curriculum does not enable kids to become proficient in math. The parents aren't to blame, nor are the teachers. It's the "experts" who chose this horrid program.

 

2. I mentioned this before in other posts, but a friend's son bombed the Chemistry SAT II after receiving a high A in his high school chemistry class. He did everything he was told to do on his end: he completed the assignments, aced the tests, etc. Yet, he obviously did not really master chemistry despite getting that A on his report card. He and his parents had been lied to.

 

3. I requested our school's AP Summary Report a few years ago. Eighteen students had taken the AP Calc exam: Sixteen of those kids received a "1" on the exam. I know that at least one of those students had also received an A in the class. Again, these kids and their parents are being lied to since they did not really master calc even though the teacher said they did.

 

I know that teachers have thankless jobs and very little control, if any, over the educational content in their classes. Our parents didn't need to be involved in our educations because they could trust that the system was doing its job. Sadly, that is just not the case today.

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I see where you are coming from. My parents did nothing to supplement my education either, but they didn't have to because I was learning what I needed to at school. That is not happening today in my school system even though the parents are very involved and the vast majority of kids want to learn.

 

I can give you three examples based on my own experience:

1. Our school system uses Everyday Mathematics. This "math" program is the reason I began homeschooling. This curriculum does not enable kids to become proficient in math. The parents aren't to blame, nor are the teachers. It's the "experts" who chose this horrid program.

 

2. I mentioned this before in other posts, but a friend's son bombed the Chemistry SAT II after receiving a high A in his high school chemistry class. He did everything he was told to do on his end: he completed the assignments, aced the tests, etc. Yet, he obviously did not really master chemistry despite getting that A on his report card. He and his parents had been lied to.

 

3. I requested our school's AP Summary Report a few years ago. Eighteen students had taken the AP Calc exam: Sixteen of those kids received a "1" on the exam. I know that at least one of those students had also received an A in the class. Again, these kids and their parents are being lied to since they did not really master calc even though the teacher said they did.

 

I know that teachers have thankless jobs and very little control, if any, over the educational content in their classes. Our parents didn't need to be involved in our educations because they could trust that the system was doing its job. Sadly, that is just not the case today.

 

 

But weren't you in part, learning what you needed to because you were doing your job? You went to class, you did the homework and turned it in. You might have passed notes in class, but you were at least sort of mentally present.

 

Dh and I went to school and got good grades because we were expected to. No one, teacher or parent ever told us that "C's" were just fine. I was never sure what would happen if I brought home a "bad" grade, but I knew that the mysterious punishment must surely be painful. A couple of years ago, I asked my mom what would have happened, she had no answer, could remember no plan. The fact that I would bring home a bad grade wasn't on her radar. Even so, knowing my parents and knowing my friends' parents, misbehavior in school or lack of effort would have been dealt with swiftly.

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But weren't you in part, learning what you needed to because you were doing your job? You went to class, you did the homework and turned it in. You might have passed notes in class, but you were at least sort of mentally present.

 

Yes, I was doing my job and learning, but the public school gave me the appropriate textbooks and instruction to be able to learn what I needed to learn. Had the "experts" in my public school chosen the Everyday Math program, I would not have learned math even though I wanted to. If the curriculum the school chooses is horrid, how are the parents and students supposed to know that the curriculum is incapable of preparing the students for higher level math?

 

Had I brought home a poor grade, my parents would have grounded me until the grade was brought back up. With today's rampant grade inflation, at least at my public school, an A is really meaningless. Unfortunately, many parents don't realize this until their child gets back the test results from the ACT/SAT. Then they label their child as a "poor test taker" because they don't realize that the system failed their child.

 

I don't blame the parents or the kids or the teachers. I blame the politicians and the administrators for destroying our educational system.

.

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2. I mentioned this before in other posts, but a friend's son bombed the Chemistry SAT II after receiving a high A in his high school chemistry class. He did everything he was told to do on his end: he completed the assignments, aced the tests, etc. Yet, he obviously did not really master chemistry despite getting that A on his report card. He and his parents had been lied to.

 

3. I requested our school's AP Summary Report a few years ago. Eighteen students had taken the AP Calc exam: Sixteen of those kids received a "1" on the exam. I know that at least one of those students had also received an A in the class. Again, these kids and their parents are being lied to since they did not really master calc even though the teacher said they did.

 

I know that teachers have thankless jobs and very little control, if any, over the educational content in their classes. Our parents didn't need to be involved in our educations because they could trust that the system was doing its job. Sadly, that is just not the case today.

 

Hubby is witnessing this first hand at his office. The parents who did not test their own kids and rely on school grades are getting a rude shock at how little their kids know/remember when their kids hit 9th grade. These kids were in honors class, gifted classes and scoring As. Some are having problems with 4th/5th grade math. Now these parents are paying afterschool tutors to help.

I had experienced that at parents teachers conferences. Teachers use to be able to straight talk about kids performances which enable parents and teachers to work together to help the child. Now the teacher are threading on eggshells and having to waste so much energy just not to offend the parents. I really can't stand this feel good/self esteem culture being abused :(

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One reason for not writing off the Common Core as another newfangled educational craze that will go the way of "whole language" and all the other educational models hailed as the new, best thing is that David Coleman (mentioned by swimmermom3 above) is president of College Board:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/education/david-coleman-to-lead-college-board.html?_r=0

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Wow it really is different in different areas.

 

This CNN article "What teachers really want to tell parents" list things that I have seen happen around here. Not everything makes it to the local news so what appears on the news would be the kid threatening to kill teacher kind of news. Plenty of helicopter parents here.

This is a sad but real article "Grade grubbing: When parents cross the line"

 

It is scary in a way when you think these kids are going to be our kids study/work peers.

 

I watched the Common Core video just now. Some high schools here have engaged students, some have a big bullying problem, and some have gang issues. The high schools with the engaged kids would have no problems regardless of whether it is state standards, common core standards or whatever SAT or ACT evolved to.

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One reason for not writing off the Common Core as another newfangled educational craze that will go the way of "whole language" and all the other educational models hailed as the new, best thing is that David Coleman (mentioned by swimmermom3 above) is president of College Board:

 

http://www.nytimes.c...board.html?_r=0

 

 

I think I am going to be extremely ill. Does it bother anyone that many of those involved with CC have no teaching experience and minimal experience with children on the whole? Excuse me, but I find it difficult to be excited about a very expensively educated and compensated mouthpiece, who is a consultant's consultant, being one of the architects of this movement. Does "conflict of interest" not bother anyone? There are several very large corporations who stand to profit dramatically with the process of bringing the CCs online and keeping them there. Once they are there, it won't be easy to back out and change our minds. This baby is vertically and horizontally integrated to the point of no return. The vendors of the text books, standardized testing, online curriculum, teacher certification, and now the College Board are so intricately tied together that to pull them off each other will take a superhuman effort. And just try to pull all of those government contracts from their sweaty fists. Losing the CCS if they don't work, will not be the same as setting Connected Math books out in the back alley by the trash can.

 

One of the big talking points of the CC is the amount of technology that will need to be brought online to help implement the CCs. Thank you Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for your generous support of this effort. As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient!"

 

I am sorry for really venting on this one and I am not given to conspiracy theories, but I am passionate about education and I believe that our children and our nation will pay heavily for buying into this "program." Sorry, these CC aren't our nations' educational saviors, they are just very, very slick businessmen. If I had some extra funds for investing and no soul, I know exactly where I would be putting my money.

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I think I am going to be extremely ill. Does it bother anyone that many of those involved with CC have no teaching experience and minimal experience with children on the whole? Excuse me, but I find it difficult to be excited about a very expensively educated and compensated mouthpiece, who is a consultant's consultant, being one of the architects of this movement. Does "conflict of interest" not bother anyone? There are several very large corporations who stand to profit dramatically......

 

I am sorry for really venting on this one and I am not given to conspiracy theories, but I am passionate about education and I believe that our children and our nation will pay heavily for buying into this "program." Sorry, these CC aren't our nations' educational saviors, they are just very, very slick businessmen. If I had some extra funds for investing and no soul, I know exactly where I would be putting my money.

 

 

:) I agree. I personally believe that standardized testing has lowered the quality of education in this country. High levels of cognitive understanding are not able to be quantified on bubble tests. So educational standards have been reduced to the lowest tiers basic knowledge and understanding. Analysis/evaluation/synthesis/creating are given the back burner to test prep and filled in bubbles.

 

I do not believe any educational goal that has standardized testing any where in its objectives is going to improve anything. :p

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Hubby is witnessing this first hand at his office. The parents who did not test their own kids and rely on school grades are getting a rude shock at how little their kids know/remember when their kids hit 9th grade. These kids were in honors class, gifted classes and scoring As. Some are having problems with 4th/5th grade math. Now these parents are paying afterschool tutors to help.

I had experienced that at parents teachers conferences. Teachers use to be able to straight talk about kids performances which enable parents and teachers to work together to help the child. Now the teacher are threading on eggshells and having to waste so much energy just not to offend the parents. I really can't stand this feel good/self esteem culture being abused :(

 

 

Parent/teacher conferences in our area always included your child showing you their best work and a list of areas that they thought to improve on. Parents never meet with teachers alone. The idea is that the student should be able to hear the assessment and buy in to it. Sometimes tough questions have to be asked and tough assessments given and it may be in no one's interest to have the student in the room. A lot that is important on both sides goes unsaid.

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I haven't looked into the Common Core very strenuously yet, but I do think that this country needs a national curriculum (see the writings of E. D. Hirsch for details). It would just be nice if the national curriculum were a good one.

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My son went to the local PS for part of 9th grade. The HS is lauded for its high achievement and great test scores. My son really struggled in his Algebra class. I begged the school to let me pull him out from just math and do it at home. They refused. I had to sit in a meeting with an administrator and his counselor and try to make my point for individualized instruction for math. I expressed my concern that he had been working with a tutor for a couple of months, but that it just wasn't enough. The administrator turned to me and said, "I just don't understand why so many parents pay for outside tutors when we have such an outstanding group of math teachers." I (judiciously) kept my mouth shut. There is a tutoring place on every street corner in this town. You can't find a parking place at the library after school hours and every table in the library if filled with a student and his/her tutor. This is a fairly affluent town and the parents can pay for this tutoring, but it is galling that the school takes credit for the test scores and then acts incredulous that the kids even need tutoring. At the same time, as the second semester started, I was in the counselor's office being told that my son's Algebra class might be changed since they were having to create more Alg 1 classes since so many kids had flunked first semester of Alg 2. (What a disconnect!)

 

Administrators are to blame. Poor teachers are to blame. (ds Alg 1 teacher had a phD in physics. Why was she even teaching in a HS?? She had me thoroughly bored in the 10 mintues I spent in her classroom at back to school night) Credentials do NOT = good teaching. Parents are to blame. Kids are to blame. Govt. beaurocracy is to blame. I think they had a good thing going when a town paid a teacher to teach in a one room school house and parents had local control. The system is unfortunately broken and new "standards" and tests will not fix it.

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Parent/teacher conferences in our area always included your child showing you their best work and a list of areas that they thought to improve on. Parents never meet with teachers alone. The idea is that the student should be able to hear the assessment and buy in to it. Sometimes tough questions have to be asked and tough assessments given and it may be in no one's interest to have the student in the room. A lot that is important on both sides goes unsaid.

 

Parent teacher conferences are another thing that varies area by area. Hubby's colleagues has kids from five different school districts. They see the teachers once a year for "goal setting". After that they get to see the teachers for parent teacher conferences only if their kids are at the bottom of the class. The students do not attend the conferences. It is not hard for parents to get blindsided.

 

ETA:

Hubby did a random survey today on how many colleagues with kids in middle and high school know about common core. They said that they did not know standards and standardized tests are changing. They also say that the school will "take care of it" so there is no need for them to be informed :(

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This CNN article "What teachers really want to tell parents" list things that I have seen happen around here. Not everything makes it to the local news so what appears on the news would be the kid threatening to kill teacher kind of news. Plenty of helicopter parents here.

This is a sad but real article "Grade grubbing: When parents cross the line"

 

 

 

Yup, very different in this area. Parents who successfully negotiate the system keep their heads down, hire tutors and send three gift cards a year and extras of anything on the "supply list". Very, very different.

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Yup, very different in this area. Parents who successfully negotiate the system keep their heads down, hire tutors and send three gift cards a year and extras of anything on the "supply list". Very, very different.

 

We have this group of parents too, mainly from expats. Kumon and SAT prep centers are everywhere. This group tend to have the bored bright kids in school and then in academic afterschool care.

There are also the moderate/laid back parents that don't hire tutors or afterschool, and don't demand grades from teachers.

 

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This baby is vertically and horizontally integrated to the point of no return. The vendors of the text books, standardized testing, online curriculum, teacher certification, and now the College Board are so intricately tied together that to pull them off each other will take a superhuman effort.

 

I am sorry for really venting on this one and I am not given to conspiracy theories, but I am passionate about education and I believe that our children and our nation will pay heavily for buying into this "program." Sorry, these CC aren't our nations' educational saviors, they are just very, very slick businessmen. If I had some extra funds for investing and no soul, I know exactly where I would be putting my money.

 

 

The critiques of the standards always return to a couple of complaints:

 

1. Bad guys put them together and will profit from them

2. They were implemented via Federal government bribes and threaten local educational control

 

Neither of these address whether anything is wrong with the standards themselves. Could this be a baby thrown out with the bathwater situation? Do the standards themselves fail to require skills or content they should? Do the standards require skills or content they should not? Are the learning goals wrong?

 

What about or in the standards themselves is something that it would require having no soul to support?

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I see where you are coming from. My parents did nothing to supplement my education either, but they didn't have to because I was learning what I needed to at school. That is not happening today in my school system even though the parents are very involved and the vast majority of kids want to learn.

 

I can give you three examples based on my own experience:

1. Our school system uses Everyday Mathematics. This "math" program is the reason I began homeschooling. This curriculum does not enable kids to become proficient in math. The parents aren't to blame, nor are the teachers. It's the "experts" who chose this horrid program.

 

2. I mentioned this before in other posts, but a friend's son bombed the Chemistry SAT II after receiving a high A in his high school chemistry class. He did everything he was told to do on his end: he completed the assignments, aced the tests, etc. Yet, he obviously did not really master chemistry despite getting that A on his report card. He and his parents had been lied to.

 

3. I requested our school's AP Summary Report a few years ago. Eighteen students had taken the AP Calc exam: Sixteen of those kids received a "1" on the exam. I know that at least one of those students had also received an A in the class. Again, these kids and their parents are being lied to since they did not really master calc even though the teacher said they did.

 

I know that teachers have thankless jobs and very little control, if any, over the educational content in their classes. Our parents didn't need to be involved in our educations because they could trust that the system was doing its job. Sadly, that is just not the case today.

 

You know the reason schools have lowered standards and an A in Chemistry isn't really an A in Chemistry anymore is because of lower performing students, which again, goes a large part back to the home. It is ridiculous that all students have to graduate with a college prep diploma (as our state basically does now). Why should a student who wants to go to technical college to be a cosmetologist have to do 4 years of math and science, and 2 years of foreign language? If the system would recognize that there are different aptitudes, they wouldn't have to water down courses so that every student can pass.

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You know the reason schools have lowered standards and an A in Chemistry isn't really an A in Chemistry anymore is because of lower performing students, which again, goes a large part back to the home. It is ridiculous that all students have to graduate with a college prep diploma (as our state basically does now). Why should a student who wants to go to technical college to be a cosmetologist have to do 4 years of math and science, and 2 years of foreign language? If the system would recognize that there are different aptitudes, they wouldn't have to water down courses so that every student can pass.

I guess were going to disagree on this issue. :001_smile: The bolded, imo, is the problem. I don't understand how the parents can be blamed for the level of instruction in the classroom. The students who sign up for a "rigorous" course should be able to expect that is exactly what they are getting. My public school has two different levels of high school chemisty...regular and honors. My friend's son took the honors chemistry class. He wanted a rigorous class. How was he or his parents supposed to know that the class was "watered down?"

 

I wonder how many of our parents ever heard the term "afterschooling" when we were in school? Look how many parents today have to supplement once their kids get home from spending 6+ hours with the experts. This is the reason I started homeschooling. I was sick to death of my kids wasting 6+ hours in the classroom bored to death, only to have to come home and "afterschool" in order to learn something.

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I guess were going to disagree on this issue. :001_smile: The bolded, imo, is the problem. I don't understand how the parents can be blamed for the level of instruction in the classroom. The students who sign up for a "rigorous" course should be able to expect that is exactly what they are getting. My public school has two different levels of high school chemisty...regular and honors. My friend's son took the honors chemistry class. He wanted a rigorous class. How was he or his parents supposed to know that the class was "watered down?"

 

I wonder how many of our parents ever heard the term "afterschooling" when we were in school? Look how many parents today have to supplement once their kids get home from spending 6+ hours with the experts. This is the reason I started homeschooling. I was sick to death of my kids wasting 6+ hours in the classroom bored to death, only to have to come home and "afterschool" in order to learn something.

 

 

Yes, we will agree to disagree! :cheers2: I do believe that if a child signs up for a rigorous course, it should be so. In our school system, the only rigorous courses are AP level classes. Honors and regular aren't much different from each other.

 

I'm just trying to look at what lead to the system even being like that in the first place.

 

My dh saw so much pressure for performance from low performing students that the high performing were actually being overlooked. All that mattered was keeping those low performing students from dropping out and graduating because the federal government is going to come in and take over, pull funding, etc., if they don't. When you put people's jobs on the line based on the performance of some students (not all) who don't care anything about their education, it will push some people to do anything to keep their jobs. They have families to support and bills to pay.

 

I just think it has become politically correct to believe that ALL students will learn given the right environment (teacher's fault if they don't). They look at it through rose colored glasses instead of the fact that some kids just don't care and will never care. My dh had a 17 year old student that had 2.5 credits to his name. He goofed off and got several girls pregnant, but it was important that he had to be in school. He should have actually been encouraged to leave, try to pass a GED, and get a job. But that would have increased the drop out numbers.

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If the system would recognize that there are different aptitudes, they wouldn't have to water down courses so that every student can pass.

 

The working world does not value different aptitudes equally. The value of a person's labor is largely determined by supply and demand. If you are a hairdresser in an area with a abundant supply of hairdressers, you will need a way to distinguish yourself in order to insure income stability and shield against downward wage pressures. Being a hairdresser who is able to speak the language of a significant minority of the area's population, may well be that distinction. The plumber who also reads architectual renderings is going to have far more options than one who does not. The butcher with an understanding of human digestion and animal anatomy is able to offer his/her customers far more than a well cut piece of meat.

 

To the extent that a broad array of basic skills/content in various disciplines prepares students to understand how they may add value to their aptitude based skill, high school with some basic offerings from each discipline serves them well.

 

The old argument of the need for an educated populace, as the linchpin for effective representative democracy, can't be dismissed too easily. Struggling to learn a foreign language may help a voter understand the challenges an immigrant or refugee might face. A foundational understanding of science may help the consumer of health care services. The examples could go on and on.

 

The cost of providing each student in each geographical area a personalized, aptitude tailored may well be beyond what taxpayers could afford.

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I haven't looked into the Common Core very strenuously yet, but I do think that this country needs a national curriculum (see the writings of E. D. Hirsch for details). It would just be nice if the national curriculum were a good one.

 

So maybe someone could help me with a question on the CC standards.

 

I was doing some research on Algebra 2 scope and sequence last week to try to get a handle on where my kids are relative to what is generally expected from the course (thinking that AoPS has a unique sequence and definitely atypical scope/depth).

 

I looked at the Johns Hopkins CTY checklist for Algeba 2 (Algebra 2 link under Course Content) Different order, but generally the same topics that my kids have covered or will get to .

 

Then I looked at Virginia State Standards of Learning This one doesn't go as in depth as AoPS or CTY, but adds probability & statistics and trigonometry. So a little different, but I could make a good comparison of what was going on.

 

Then I looked at Common Core. Or at least I tried to. I really struggled to find a listing of what would be considered Algebra 2. The best I could do was this. 148 pages of possible high school pathways. And the standards make my eyes roll into the back of my head. But when I really peer at them, it looks like they are covering many of the same topics. But what VA covered in a few pages and CTY in one page front and back just goes on and on in so many different permutations.

 

I wonder if parents will be in any position to evaluate if their kids are being taught well or enough. I have an MS Ed and I can hardly stand to read more than a few pages of this. My expectation is that few teachers will bother. Instead they will be given curriculum guides created by the state/district or they will have curriculum produced by one of the big publishers "to standards" and will be told to follow each daily lesson. I don't think that most parents would get far in reading through this. And for families where the parents are not strong in English, or are not well educated, I think this is completely inaccessable.

 

I reminds me of laws passed that are hundreds of pages, thousands of pages long with only a couple days or even hours in which to read and consider the bill. Little understanding, no real debate, pass the law to find out what's in it.

 

And I wonder why this standard will produce wonders when NCLB didn't. Will it heal families and communities? Will it make students care? Will it make schools willing to fail students and stand up to parents who threaten lawsuits for failing grades that are well deserved? Will it make pressured teachers less prone to cheat on the high stakes tests?

 

I had just finished my MS when NCLB was passed. I remember that this was a bipartisan reform that was designed to fix failing schools and districts and ensure that students received quality educations. Somewhere the reality of the humans involved wasn't taken much into consideration. I wonder how much that will be the situation with CCS too.

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So maybe someone could help me with a question on the CC standards.

 

 

 

Part of the issue you are encountering with the math standards is explained here:

 

"

The high school portion of the Standards for Mathematical Content specifies the mathematics all students should study for college and career readiness. These standards do not mandate the sequence of high school courses. However, the organization of high school courses is a critical component to implementation of the standards. To that end, sample high school pathways for mathematics – in both a traditional course sequence (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II) as well as an integrated course sequence (Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Mathematics 3) – will be made available shortly after the release of the final Common Core State Standards. It is expected that additional model pathways based on these standards will become available as well.

 

The standards themselves do not dictate curriculum, pedagogy, or delivery of content. In particular, states may handle the transition to high school in different ways. For example, many students in the U.S. today take Algebra I in the 8th grade, and in some states this is a requirement. The K-7 standards contain the prerequisites to prepare students for Algebra I by 8th grade, and the standards are designed to permit states to continue existing policies concerning Algebra I in 8th grade.

 

A second major transition is the transition from high school to post-secondary education for college and careers. The evidence concerning college and career readiness shows clearly that the knowledge, skills, and practices important for readiness include a great deal of mathematics prior to the boundary defined by (+) symbols in these standards. Indeed, some of the highest priority content for college and career readiness comes from Grades 6-8. This body of material includes powerfully useful proficiencies such as applying ratio reasoning in real-world and mathematical problems, computing fluently with positive and negative fractions and decimals, and solving real-world and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume. Because important standards for college and career readiness are distributed across grades and courses, systems for evaluating college and career readiness should reach as far back in the standards as Grades 6-8. It is important to note as well that cut scores or other information generated by assessment systems for college and career readiness should be developed in collaboration with representatives from higher education and workforce development programs, and should be validated by subsequent performance of students in college and the workforce.

"

 

In other words, a scope and sequence is not being detailed, level by level. The College and Career Ready language is an ACT thing.

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See also:

"

Research consistently finds that taking mathematics above the Algebra II level highly corresponds to many measures

of student success. In his groundbreaking report Answers in the Toolbox, Clifford Adelman found that the strongest

predictor of postsecondary success is the highest level of mathematics completed (Executive Summary). ACT has

found that taking more mathematics courses correlates with greater success on their college entrance examination.

Of students taking (Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II and no other mathematics courses), only thirteen percent of

those students met the benchmark for readiness for college algebra. One additional mathematics course greatly increased

the likelihood that a student would reach that benchmark, and three-fourths of students taking Calculus met

the benchmark (ACTb 13)."

http://www.corestand..._Appendix_A.pdf

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"

Research consistently finds that taking mathematics above the Algebra II level highly corresponds to many measures

of student success. In his groundbreaking report Answers in the Toolbox, Clifford Adelman found that the strongest

predictor of postsecondary success is the highest level of mathematics completed (Executive Summary). ACT has

found that taking more mathematics courses correlates with greater success on their college entrance examination.

Of students taking (Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II and no other mathematics courses), only thirteen percent of

those students met the benchmark for readiness for college algebra. One additional mathematics course greatly increased

the likelihood that a student would reach that benchmark, and three-fourths of students taking Calculus met

the benchmark (ACTb 13)."

http://www.corestand..._Appendix_A.pdf

 

 

To me this mixes correlation with causation.

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See also:

"

Research consistently finds that taking mathematics above the Algebra II level highly corresponds to many measures

of student success. In his groundbreaking report Answers in the Toolbox, Clifford Adelman found that the strongest

predictor of postsecondary success is the highest level of mathematics completed (Executive Summary). ACT has

found that taking more mathematics courses correlates with greater success on their college entrance examination.

Of students taking (Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II and no other mathematics courses), only thirteen percent of

those students met the benchmark for readiness for college algebra. One additional mathematics course greatly increased

the likelihood that a student would reach that benchmark, and three-fourths of students taking Calculus met

the benchmark (ACTb 13)."

 

 

Earthshattering news.

Smart and successful students are capable of taking higher math.

Smart students who take higher math do better on standardized tests.

Who would have thought.

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To me this mixes correlation with causation.

 

 

If you are wanting to compare the CC scope for Alg 2 to other Alg 2 programs see pages 36-43 in the following link:

http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Mathematics_Appendix_A.pdf

 

 

They wrote them for a variety of possible pathways, thus the 146 pages.

 

I would agree with you in part on the correlation and causation.

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The common core is nothing new. For all of the reforms, counter reforms, common core standards, etc. few if any work if the culture of school remains the same. If kids think that it's cool to be dumb and not do their work, then reforms will not help. Some parents care if their kids do well in school; some parents could care less. Teachers cannot teach kids that don't want to learn, and kids can't learn at home if a parent isn't willing to teach. Homeschooling and online learining are not always a superior education alternative.

 

What I see in my county are public schools where kids that come from blue collar families getting a mediocre education. Few of these kids go onto college or a junior college. Kids living in more affluent districts get a better education and most kids go onto four year colleges. These more affluent districts have a greater tax base, more qualified teachers with masters degrees in the subjects they teach, and students are able to take more challenging classes.

 

It is great that the federal govenment can mandate education reform, but at the state level (CA) funds for education are evaporating and kids are losing. Public education is not a level playing field.

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NScribe, the Common Core thing is driving me batty.

 

The clip mentions Jason Zumba as one of the writers of Common Core. Zumba is partners with David Coleman, who owns Student Achievement Partners, which is a big name in assessment reporting.

 

I wanted to know what the credentials are of these "specialists" who are reworking what the nation's children will learn in school. I do not feel reassured.

 

 

I feel the same.

 

David Coleman was also a writer of the CC, in fact he is referred to as the "architect" of the CC. Coleman has already stated that he intends to align the SAT to the CC. Coleman also serves as treasurer of Michelle Rhee's Students First organization.

 

I find the relationships between the major players much more interesting than the standards themselves.

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These more affluent districts have a greater tax base, more qualified teachers with masters degrees in the subjects they teach, and students are able to take more challenging classes.

 

It is great that the federal govenment can mandate education reform, but at the state level (CA) funds for education are evaporating and kids are losing. Public education is not a level playing field.

 

 

I stay in a basic aid school district and we were relatively unharm by the budget cuts at state level. Few teachers were layoff since 2010. We have a parcel tax to pay for school librarians in our district. The classrooms teacher's supplies are very well stocked by PTA. Classroom student's supplies are sponsored by parents. Students being assigned schools based on their home address creates a big social divide.

 

I am wondering how the education budget for California would be after the Federal budget is finalised on April 15.

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The common core is nothing new. For all of the reforms, counter reforms, common core standards, etc. few if any work if the culture of school remains the same. If kids think that it's cool to be dumb and not do their work, then reforms will not help. Some parents care if their kids do well in school; some parents could care less. Teachers cannot teach kids that don't want to learn, and kids can't learn at home if a parent isn't willing to teach. Homeschooling and online learining are not always a superior education alternative.

 

What I see in my county are public schools where kids that come from blue collar families getting a mediocre education. Few of these kids go onto college or a junior college. Kids living in more affluent districts get a better education and most kids go onto four year colleges. These more affluent districts have a greater tax base, more qualified teachers with masters degrees in the subjects they teach, and students are able to take more challenging classes.

 

It is great that the federal govenment can mandate education reform, but at the state level (CA) funds for education are evaporating and kids are losing. Public education is not a level playing field.

 

 

"Yes" to everything here.

I also question the wisdom in moving forward with this program when many schools can't find the funds for copier paper. Here is one article that addresses some of the Common Core implementation costs. I am looking for more:

 

Reports Confirm the Cost of Implementing the Common Core

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The critiques of the standards always return to a couple of complaints:

 

1. Bad guys put them together and will profit from them

2. They were implemented via Federal government bribes and threaten local educational control

 

Neither of these address whether anything is wrong with the standards themselves. Could this be a baby thrown out with the bathwater situation? Do the standards themselves fail to require skills or content they should? Do the standards require skills or content they should not? Are the learning goals wrong?

 

What about or in the standards themselves is something that it would require having no soul to support?

 

 

I think I would need to see the standards placed side-by-side, new by the old, to even begin to answer that. I also think that the first question should be: are the existing standards really the issue? Most of the work the kids do at the local high school have a set of standards attached to the assignment. I have yet to see a standard that I did not agree with.

 

Let's say that you and your spouse are having marital trouble. Perhaps one of the things you fight about is your house. You don't like it; it depresses you because it's dark, but your spouse could care less. A builder comes along, a really good builder, and tells you that a new house will be the answer to all of your problems. You decide to follow his advice because...well, he's a really good builder. The house costs $2 million, and you are living from paycheck to paycheck, but your marriage is really important to you so you will build the house and hope that everything works out. Part way through, the inevitable happens: you run out of money. You have sold your old house and you now have a half of an unfinished mansion that the bank will take. The builder will still get most of his money and his subs will still get most of their money. You have no house and most likely no marriage.

 

Was there anything wrong with the set of blueprints for the house? No, it would have been a fine plan for someone with the money. The Common Core standards could be just fine, although many have pointed out that highly touted points were no-brainers from previous sets of standards. So if the problem doesn't lie with the plan, where does it lie?

 

First, you and your spouse were on shaky ground to begin with both financially and maritally. You assumed the house was the issue. Perhaps the problem is not the dark house, but depression for you. Perhaps the problem is your spouse is a cold person who truly does not care how you feel. Either of these scenarios call for a doctor or a marriage counselor, not a builder, even if he is a builder to the stars.

 

Even if the mansion is the answer to everything, the reality is you can not afford it right now. That does not mean that you might not be able to afford it down the road, but Mr. Builder-to-the-Stars may or may not stick around for his money.

 

School Districts Brace for Cuts as Fiscal Crisis Looms

 

Implementation of the Common Core will mean heavy spending on new technology, all new texts and online programs, and new standardized tests. Teachers who are already stretched to the limit with large classes will need more training. A brilliant plan on paper is just that unless there is the funding for it. Even if there were the funding for it, I would want to know as the person who foots the bill, if the spending is necessary and what my return on the investment will be.

 

My older kids have been part of a grand math experiment in our area. They paid the price and I am jaded. I have no issues with national standards. Pet projects that mess with my kids and their friends make me crabby.

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I remember that this was a bipartisan reform that was designed to fix failing schools and districts and ensure that students received quality educations. Somewhere the reality of the humans involved wasn't taken much into consideration. I wonder how much that will be the situation with CCS too.

 

 

http://sparkaction.org/resources/124650

 

 

The link above is a report of The Equity and Excellence Commission. The report talks alot about making education "equitable" but it also mentions making outcomes equitable. Seems to me all they are really advocating is throwing more money at the education system as a means of reform. There is no way that a government agency can make education outcomes equitable. The report does mention using CC as a means to make education outcomes equitable and using CC to achieve justice in education.

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Swimmermom,

We all pay for poor standards now. We pay in increased taxes to fund remedial classes in our community colleges/universities. We pay when otherwise capable kids fail to have the opportunity to learn skills that will allow them to perform higher paying jobs and contribute to the tax base more significantly. We pay when kids move from one school to another and are lost in the shuffles. We pay when we must increase testing to somehow verify what the quality level of content might have been. We pay when kids become lost in the system and drop out, we may well pay for them for the rest of their lives.

 

One of the failures of NCLB was the inability to compare results from the data generated. Many of the states opted to create their own assessments. Thus while everyone was teaching to a test, they were teaching and learning to so many different tests no data driven improvements could be made from the data. Whole huge administrative staffs at the state level were paid to create tests, analyze tests and so forth. These publishers were making money before and they will make money after. We paid for professional development before and we will pay after. It is more like the married couple that defers needed maintenance on the house they are live in paying constantly for repairs and quick fixes, that would be better off if they had the work needed done, than the one who eyes a dream house.

 

I agree we are in very difficult times for many states. The governors know that, they signed on to this. It is worth asking why. It is worth reading the standards that may influence what the thresholds your children will need to cross will be. It is worth evaluating whether they are solid standards or poor ones. I continuously see issues raised about the how the reform is happening. I would love to see actual discussion of the standards themselves.

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I think I would need to see the standards placed side-by-side, new by the old, to even begin to answer that. I also think that the first question should be: are the existing standards really the issue? Most of the work the kids do at the local high school have a set of standards attached to the assignment. I have yet to see a standard that I did not agree with.

===

snip

+++++

 

Implementation of the Common Core will mean heavy spending on new technology, all new texts and online programs, and new standardized tests. Teachers who are already stretched to the limit with large classes will need more training. A brilliant plan on paper is just that unless there is the funding for it. Even if there were the funding for it, I would want to know as the person who foots the bill, if the spending is necessary and what my return on the investment will be.

 

My older kids have been part of a grand math experiment in our area. They paid the price and I am jaded. I have no issues with national standards. Pet projects that mess with my kids and their friends make me crabby.

 

:iagree:

 

I have used Dolciani off and on for math over the last year. The older books are incredible for algebra for my kids. Lots of problems for them to work through to solidify concepts, mathematical language, empowering the student my giving them competence - not confidence built on stories of sports stars using math. I also used some of the old CSMP math with my youngest, who loved it.

 

The irony is that both of these programs are some of why was decried as "new math." When I dug a little on CSMP, what I found is that the new algebra program was unveiled in high schools in the 1960s after the math teachers (most of whom were subject matter experts in math) had intensive workshops to learn how to teach math using the new curriculum. Algebra went pretty well. But when they went on and wrote curriculum for the younger grades, districts were not sending all of their k-8 teachers to the training. So the teachers didn't know what the most critical parts of the program were. Set theory was emphasized, because it was in early chapters. However the curriculum designers envisioned those units as a quick introduction, not the crux of the program.

 

My point is that it is rather simplistic to create a reform. It can be a lot more complex to put it into action across a big country with wide variations in demographics.

 

I read Coming Apart by Charles Murray last year. It is a sobering look at the divide between educated, married, well employed and lower educated (high school drop out or non-college), unmarried, not well employed. I thought it was especially interesting, because I have seen some of the situations he describes as we've moved around. There are some systemic problems that just aren't going to be fixed by embracing a new set of educational standards.

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I read Coming Apartby Charles Murray last year. It is a sobering look at the divide between educated, married, well employed and lower educated (high school drop out or non-college), unmarried, not well employed. I thought it was especially interesting, because I have seen some of the situations he describes as we've moved around. There are some systemic problems that just aren't going to be fixed by embracing a new set of educational standards.

 

Great book. I had Dd watch his booktalk about it because it gave us an opportunity to have so many discussions about so many issues.

 

I agree that CC will not solve all the issues impacting schools or K-12 education. I don't agree that we should expect any one thing to tackle so many issues, or that we should do nothing on the premise we can't do everything.

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