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Tue Jun 24, 2014, 01:45 PM

RAVITCH: Common Core Writer Blasts CC Basic Reading Standards

One of the writers of the Common Core doesn't like how those standards have been translated into standardized tests, and predicts half of students will never pass those tests.

Maybe that's the point.

If the bar is raised so high half the kids fail, the corporate "reformers" can point at that "failure" as a reason to continue privatization--even though privatized, for profit charter schools are usually less accountable, have less experienced teachers, and produce no better results than traditional public schools.

Isn't it time to stop letting the wealthy dictate public education policy in ways that make them wealthier at the expense of our kids?

Why don't we try smaller class size, more social services on campus in high risk communities, and ways to attract more teachers to the job instead of driving them away.

Dr. Louisa Moats was part of the team that wrote the foundational reading standards for the Common Core. In "Psychology Today," she strongly criticized the standards.

Among other things, she said:

"I never imagined when we were drafting standards in 2010 that major financial support would be funneled immediately into the development of standards-related tests. How naïve I was. The CCSS represent lofty aspirational goals for students aiming for four year, highly selective colleges. Realistically, at least half, if not the majority, of students are not going to meet those standards as written, although the students deserve to be well prepared for career and work through meaningful and rigorous education.

"Our lofty standards are appropriate for the most academically able, but what are we going to do for the huge numbers of kids that are going to “fail” the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test? We need to create a wide range of educational choices and pathways to high school graduation, employment, and citizenship. The Europeans got this right a long time ago.

"If I could take all the money going to the testing companies and reinvest it, I’d focus on the teaching profession – recruitment, pay, work conditions, rigorous and on-going training. Many of our teachers are not qualified or prepared to teach the standards we have written. It doesn’t make sense to ask kids to achieve standards that their teachers have not achieved! "


dianeravitch | June 24, 2014 at 7:00 am | Categories: Common Core, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-87w

8 replies, 1474 views

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 01:56 PM

1. OK then, WHO are the testing companies & who is profitting from these testing companies?

Trickle Down I'm guessing.
How much has been paid to the CEO's of these testing companies, then?

Same shit different day in the land of the ownership society.
Only the bottom are not owning a thing.
Top CEO's own. Remainder of our society owes.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 01:57 PM

2. common core is about corporations' profiting from the sale of standardized books and tests nt

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 02:10 PM

3. Ah, yes, the ongoing destruction of our system of public education...

I find it distressing that so many "Democrats" fail to see what's happening to public education. Having been involved during the beginnings of this deliberate assault, I can tell you that programs to 'prepare' new teachers are woefully inadequate, and school administrators are being routinely 'encouraged' to hire 'highly qualified' teachers -- which means TFA candidates or their equivalent.

(BTW, I have given one of my fave expressions to several students to see if their instructors can come up with the solution(s). To date, not a single math teacher has been able to solve this equation:

2X^4 = 16X

Our younglings cannot play math. They cannot read. They cannot think critically... just what the corporate megalomaniacs have wanted all along.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 03:22 PM

4. My granddaughter starts second grade this fall.

She goes to a public school & is already a victim of common core. She can read fine for her age but cannot spell the word she just read.
I am sick to see this & know that this #10 rated school pretty much skipped right past basic phonics. The vowel sounds & basic word building. But hey, they retained their #10 rating based on common core test scores.
This next year in her second grade she will have weekly spelling tests. I am sure she will be bring home lists of words she needs to practice for the spelling test.
I can predict what it will be like here at home the night before her spelling test. Its not going to be fun.
I have worked with her this past year on phonics but with no emphasis from her classroom work, i am astonished how she can actually read without being able to spell.
Its really messing up our basic learning skills.

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Response to misterhighwasted (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 07:30 PM

5. are the doing the whole word method or whatever it's called?

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Response to yurbud (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 07:44 PM

6. Not sure what the whole word method is exactly but if you mean

are they told to just write the word they way they think it sounds, then Yes. they've been doing that since kindergarten.
Pay no mind to beginnings, endings (like ing, ed,) or building from a root word, they just write it however it sounds to them. None are spelling the same word alike.
I am so pissed, so sad, and so damned mad that I now have to sit here and try to undo their stupidity in teaching basic phonics.
I'd move her out of common core education but the closest school like that for her is $10,000 for 9 months. And she's only starting second grade.
It is costing parents who don't want common core as much to get their child through grade school as a college degree.
Effing racket.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 11:36 AM

7. To a large extent he nails it.

The CC standards are the goal. But they're only going to be achievable by a lot of the current batch of students given very narrowly tailored teaching. They will have to be taught to do exactly what is on the test--meaning that the standards are beside the point, what matters are just those standards embedded in the test. (Since the test changes slightly every year and probably will drift over time, this is a practical problem and not just a educational problem.)

It's a common misconception and one rooted in ideology. Years ago I heard the philosophical stance expressed that any student can learn anything, given sufficient time and effort. Meaning, of course, that any student could learn cutting-edge quantum physics, play the Sibelius violin concerto in public performance, engage in simultaneous translation between two second languages, or write a novel that would win him/her the Nobel Prize in literature. That includes the kid who, in 11th grade, is reading at a 5th grade level or has trouble solving 3x + 10 = 0 for x.

The problem is "given sufficient time and effort." It may take that kid until he's 80 to learn quantum physics or to play the Sibelius concerto (and not much else). We're time-limited and resource-limited, and that's not going to change. Nor do we need 300 million citizens who can play the Sibelius concerto and do little else, or do cutting-edge quantum research.

Yet I continue to hear administrators say that we need more kids college-ready in STEM, every kid should be enrolled in as many AP classes as possible while in high school. It's not going to happen. Yet in some states "advanced academics" is one gauge for measuring high school success: There's standardized test scores, improvement in disadvantaged groups and closing the "achievement gap", advanced academics, participation in extra-curricular activities. And these aren't "criterion based" but by comparison--you have 90% of your kids in "advanced academics" and your "peer schools" have 95%, you fail. Because ultimately this is driven by politics.

Which is what drove NCLB. It's what enables the Duncans of this world to want to be the personal saviors of the collective student body. They are on a mission to make sure every kid gets a college-and-career-ready education (and "career" is not working class or semi-skilled, but sitting in an office telling others what to do or being "knowledge workers"--just as only extroverts are approved by extroverts who decide these things, so only college graduates are approved by college graduates).

And, no, a lot of high school teachers only know what they absolutely must need to know to teach. They're kept so busy getting ersatz MEds and learning the latest "now we know how to teach" paradigm that they don't learn more about their subject. It's easier to get credit for a college course on some aspect of education theory that'll be obsolete in 4 years than to actually take an introductory college chemistry class that'll let you understand the high-school textbook for the chemistry class you've been teaching for the last 4 years.

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Response to Igel (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 01:20 PM

8. unfortunately, too many administrators are bad teachers who promoted themselves out of the classroom

with a few night classes.

The privatization movement has actually figured out a way to produce WORSE administrators: plug in some corporate tool who has NO teaching experience.

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