T Nation

Common Core


#1

I found this on yahoo...

I know we have some teachers around here. What do you guys think?

Anybody else know anything?

I have never even heard of it and it is already pretty dang far along.

this cant be good...

EDIT:
The Common Core initiative is for setting up national standards for curriculum and testing, as well as storing all the teacher and student data on a cloud based server run by a third party. The group that set the standards involved 60 people, and only included 1 actual teacher. The Gates Foundation is a big part of it.

from the original link, more about the committee


linking this slightly left leaning (admittedly) blog for convenience.

Turns out there are federal laws against a national standard curriculum and evidently the cloud based storage has made no claims of maintaining privacy.


#2

Well, I’m a teacher and I support this opposition to the Common Core on a few levels. But in the article that you linked, I think point #4 is especially relevant.

I suppose it’s a normative take on education, but I firmly believe that high school is not to prepare students for the workforce but rather for college of some kind or a trade school. The purpose of education is not to create workers but to instill in students the ability to use their intellect for better, whatever that may be in their minds. I suppose a good way to put it is to say that education is not about teaching a student WHEN things happened or WHAT 2+2 equals, but WHY those things happened and WHY 2+2 equals 4.

We should be sending analytically-adept people capable of independent, rational thought out into the world. That is the most important thing in any democracy, really. Uneducated people make bad decisions not only in their own lives, but at the voting booths as well, even if they even show up to them. And what happens? We get a bunch of people elected who basically make decisions about our lives that represent a bunch of fucking morons or a very small minority of the adult population.

Preparing someone for the job market is leaving the threshold a little short. Preparing students for LIFE will naturally prepare students for the job market, but it will also prepare them for so much more than that.

I also agree with the Tea Party criticism that the Common Core essentially breeds equity amongst students. There should not be equity amongst students because, quite frankly, not all students possess the same intellect. I have had some issues with my own school because I do not give credit for simply participating and I do not teach to the lowest common denominator in my classes. I have high expectations for the students and I am not afraid to leave the less-motivated or intellectually-challenged students behind. They need to learn that they have to work harder to achieve the same grades that smarter kids receive. As a teacher, I see it as my responsibility to put in extra time on my own if necessary to help these students achieve all that they are capable of. But it is NOT my job to slow down the progress of the rest of the class so that the slower students don’t get behind. I think the Common Core can lead to this type of watering down of the curriculum and the pace of the class.


#3

Horribly unpopular in Texas. I have no kids in public education, but from what I’ve read there seems to be some fairly major inaccuracies in several parts of the curriculum.


#4

Politics does makes strange bedfellows, doesn’t it?


#5

Coop,

What is your opinion of Moonbeam wanting to take money from schools with better performing students and giving it to schools with poor and struggling students ?


#6

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
Well, I’m a teacher and I support this opposition to the Common Core on a few levels. But in the article that you linked, I think point #4 is especially relevant.

I suppose it’s a normative take on education, but I firmly believe that high school is not to prepare students for the workforce but rather for college of some kind or a trade school. The purpose of education is not to create workers but to instill in students the ability to use their intellect for better, whatever that may be in their minds. I suppose a good way to put it is to say that education is not about teaching a student WHEN things happened or WHAT 2+2 equals, but WHY those things happened and WHY 2+2 equals 4.

We should be sending analytically-adept people capable of independent, rational thought out into the world. That is the most important thing in any democracy, really. Uneducated people make bad decisions not only in their own lives, but at the voting booths as well, even if they even show up to them. And what happens? We get a bunch of people elected who basically make decisions about our lives that represent a bunch of fucking morons or a very small minority of the adult population.

Preparing someone for the job market is leaving the threshold a little short. Preparing students for LIFE will naturally prepare students for the job market, but it will also prepare them for so much more than that.

I also agree with the Tea Party criticism that the Common Core essentially breeds equity amongst students. There should not be equity amongst students because, quite frankly, not all students possess the same intellect. I have had some issues with my own school because I do not give credit for simply participating and I do not teach to the lowest common denominator in my classes. I have high expectations for the students and I am not afraid to leave the less-motivated or intellectually-challenged students behind. They need to learn that they have to work harder to achieve the same grades that smarter kids receive. As a teacher, I see it as my responsibility to put in extra time on my own if necessary to help these students achieve all that they are capable of. But it is NOT my job to slow down the progress of the rest of the class so that the slower students don’t get behind. I think the Common Core can lead to this type of watering down of the curriculum and the pace of the class.[/quote]

Thanks for your thoughts DB. I essentially have the exact same ideas of what school is meant to be. I wish more people and teachers thought the same way.

the other thing that gets me is if you have any issues or problems, you would literally have to go to freaking congress instead of the school board. Parents and teachers would be completely removed from the system, which is jacked up imho.


#7

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Coop,

What is your opinion of Moonbeam wanting to take money from schools with better performing students and giving it to schools with poor and struggling students ?
[/quote]

I guess you didn’t read my earlier post in this thread. I don’t like it at all. There’s no room for socialism in the school system. I think the way that we fund schools is a little backwards, since funding them in part through property taxes means that the schools servicing poorer areas will always be at a disadvantage. Poorer areas generally means poorer schools and poorer schools generally means less educated students and less educated students generally means lower-paying jobs which means it’s a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

But the solution is not to take money from schools that perform well. Success shouldn’t be punished in that respect. The extra funding for poorer schools should come from elsewhere. Where? I don’t know.


#8

[quote]drunkpig wrote:
Horribly unpopular in Texas. I have no kids in public education, but from what I’ve read there seems to be some fairly major inaccuracies in several parts of the curriculum. [/quote]

It is already implemented in TX? I had never even heard of the thing and it evidently started pre 2009.

Inaccuracies in the curriculum? any clue what any of them are? For some reason that doesnt come as a real shocker to me, but I would love to know what some are.

Any idea how they teach math in this bizzaro world? I am not quite a fan of how elementary schools are teaching math around these parts. They dont even include long division anymore. they essentially teach a shortcut method my dad taught me for quick estimations/answers as the backbone for all math.


#9

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Politics does makes strange bedfellows, doesn’t it?
[/quote]

It does, doesnt it?

I am so far right that i make conservatives look liberal, but some of my friends are so far left we agree on quite a few things, just for completely different reasons. We have circled SO far in opposite directions we end up at the same end point.


#10

That being said, Max, I firmly believe that using tax money to fund the educational system in this state is the best use of tax money that there is. Obviously I’m biased since I’m a teacher, but I truly believe in the limitless power of education, so in my mind, it’s the best investment the state can possibly make with its tax revenue. Look at the UC system here in California. It’s the best public university system in the country, by far. Shit, UC schools are the biggest employers in many of the cities in which they exist, too. I know that holds true for UC Santa Cruz and probably UC Davis as well.


#11

[quote]drunkpig wrote:
Horribly unpopular in Texas. I have no kids in public education, but from what I’ve read there seems to be some fairly major inaccuracies in several parts of the curriculum. [/quote]

TEKS is essentially the same thing.

Some of the standards from Common Core allow a fair bit of leeway, for example:

which I think are fine, but other parts are too detailed and leads to teaching to the test.

The article isn’t about the content of the Core itself though, and I agree with what they are saying.


#12

[quote]Da Man reloaded wrote:
as well as storing all the teacher and student data on a cloud based server run by a third party. .[/quote]

This makes me a weee bit uneasy.


#13

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Da Man reloaded wrote:
as well as storing all the teacher and student data on a cloud based server run by a third party. .[/quote]

This makes me a weee bit uneasy. [/quote]

Yea, privacy seems to be a thing of the past.


#14

[quote]USMCpoolee wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Da Man reloaded wrote:
as well as storing all the teacher and student data on a cloud based server run by a third party. .[/quote]

This makes me a weee bit uneasy. [/quote]

Yea, privacy seems to be a thing of the past.[/quote]

And unlikely to get better in the future.


#15

A teacher friend of mine have come to a conclusion. Something needs to be done, but no one can come up with an answer. Continuing to throw money at problems is not the solution. We all know the current system needs to change, but no one has the balls to change it. Someone is going to loose out, but who should that be.

There are statistics out there that show whether you come from Public or Private schools your chance of becoming a millionaire is 50/50. You have the same chance whether you go to a public school or a private school. So stating that poor schools keep people down or going to a rich school helps you out is false. I need to find a link on this to back up my point. I think it was a tv show on TLC called Numbers game or something like that.


#16

[quote]dmaddox wrote:
A teacher friend of mine have come to a conclusion. Something needs to be done, but no one can come up with an answer. Continuing to throw money at problems is not the solution. We all know the current system needs to change, but no one has the balls to change it. Someone is going to loose out, but who should that be.

There are statistics out there that show whether you come from Public or Private schools your chance of becoming a millionaire is 50/50. You have the same chance whether you go to a public school or a private school. So stating that poor schools keep people down or going to a rich school helps you out is false. I need to find a link on this to back up my point. I think it was a tv show on TLC called Numbers game or something like that.[/quote]

Well, in all honesty I think it’s a copout to blame the way the system works. I’m not saying that’s what you’ve done, only that people seem to think the continuing degradation of our educational system and test scores and all that is tied to the way the system works. That’s part of it, but the REAL problem that I see is the students themselves.

I guess I should preface that by saying that it also has to do with the home environment, but the students need to seize control of their education themselves, which is something I told my students almost every day this year. When I was doing my student teaching a couple years ago I was placed in a classroom at the very beginning of the program with a teacher who was absolutely horrible in every sense of the word. But you know what? That shouldn’t stop students from accomplishing a lot on their own. They’re going to have to learn to do so on their own at some point, so why not now?

Like you said, there are students that go on to succeed from all sorts of different schools and backgrounds. And students hear all the whispering going on about the system being totally fucked. And all it does is give them a convenient excuse for their own failures. One of the students in a class of mine from last semester used to live right next door to me. His dad was a complete burnout collecting disability checks from a wrist injury and smoking weed and drinking Sierra Nevadas all day. I used to look at his kid and think to myself, “this kid is totally fucked.” But when I had him in one of my classes I was shocked at not only how bright he was, but also by how motivated he was.

I just think that students nowadays don’t realize the importance of education, not only in terms of the job market but just in terms of developing into well-adjusted, well-rounded people in general. I don’t think any sort of systematic changes can really drive that point home; it’s something that comes from their home life, their environment, but ultimately, from themselves. I suppose it does take good teachers to help foster that sort of attitude, and I’d like to think that I do a good job of it, but I saw students every day in my class who just did not get the message at all. I don’t know how to get through to students who simply don’t give a fuck about school.

I guess the world needs ditch-diggers, too.


#17

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]dmaddox wrote:
A teacher friend of mine have come to a conclusion. Something needs to be done, but no one can come up with an answer. Continuing to throw money at problems is not the solution. We all know the current system needs to change, but no one has the balls to change it. Someone is going to loose out, but who should that be.

There are statistics out there that show whether you come from Public or Private schools your chance of becoming a millionaire is 50/50. You have the same chance whether you go to a public school or a private school. So stating that poor schools keep people down or going to a rich school helps you out is false. I need to find a link on this to back up my point. I think it was a tv show on TLC called Numbers game or something like that.[/quote]

Well, in all honesty I think it’s a copout to blame the way the system works. I’m not saying that’s what you’ve done, only that people seem to think the continuing degradation of our educational system and test scores and all that is tied to the way the system works. That’s part of it, but the REAL problem that I see is the students themselves.

I guess I should preface that by saying that it also has to do with the home environment, but the students need to seize control of their education themselves, which is something I told my students almost every day this year. When I was doing my student teaching a couple years ago I was placed in a classroom at the very beginning of the program with a teacher who was absolutely horrible in every sense of the word. But you know what? That shouldn’t stop students from accomplishing a lot on their own. They’re going to have to learn to do so on their own at some point, so why not now?

Like you said, there are students that go on to succeed from all sorts of different schools and backgrounds. And students hear all the whispering going on about the system being totally fucked. And all it does is give them a convenient excuse for their own failures. One of the students in a class of mine from last semester used to live right next door to me. His dad was a complete burnout collecting disability checks from a wrist injury and smoking weed and drinking Sierra Nevadas all day. I used to look at his kid and think to myself, “this kid is totally fucked.” But when I had him in one of my classes I was shocked at not only how bright he was, but also by how motivated he was.

I just think that students nowadays don’t realize the importance of education, not only in terms of the job market but just in terms of developing into well-adjusted, well-rounded people in general. I don’t think any sort of systematic changes can really drive that point home; it’s something that comes from their home life, their environment, but ultimately, from themselves. I suppose it does take good teachers to help foster that sort of attitude, and I’d like to think that I do a good job of it, but I saw students every day in my class who just did not get the message at all. I don’t know how to get through to students who simply don’t give a fuck about school.

I guess the world needs ditch-diggers, too.[/quote]

I would like to put blame on the parents of the students. If education is not a top priority at home for the parents then the kids will not make it a top priority. Most people that graduate from college have a parent that graduated from college. It is very rare to see first time graduates in a family these days.


#18

[quote]dmaddox wrote:I would like to put blame on the parents of the students. If education is not a top priority at home for the parents then the kids will not make it a top priority. Most people that graduate from college have a parent that graduated from college. It is very rare to see first time graduates in a family these days.
[/quote]

This doesn’t get said enough. We talk about spending too much on schools, we talk about bad teachers, we talk about attempted fixes that might make things worse. All those things are true, but they ignore the root of the problem which is bad parenting. I had some really shitty teachers in high school but it didn’t matter as my parents had set me up for success early. A lot of kids aren’t that lucky. We need solutions that make parents accountable or give them some incentive to help out their kids because most of them largely don’t give a shit or know how to be good parents.


#19

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
Well, I’m a teacher and I support this opposition to the Common Core on a few levels. But in the article that you linked, I think point #4 is especially relevant.

I suppose it’s a normative take on education, but I firmly believe that high school is not to prepare students for the workforce but rather for college of some kind or a trade school. The purpose of education is not to create workers but to instill in students the ability to use their intellect for better, whatever that may be in their minds. I suppose a good way to put it is to say that education is not about teaching a student WHEN things happened or WHAT 2+2 equals, but WHY those things happened and WHY 2+2 equals 4.

We should be sending analytically-adept people capable of independent, rational thought out into the world. That is the most important thing in any democracy, really. Uneducated people make bad decisions not only in their own lives, but at the voting booths as well, even if they even show up to them. And what happens? We get a bunch of people elected who basically make decisions about our lives that represent a bunch of fucking morons or a very small minority of the adult population.

Preparing someone for the job market is leaving the threshold a little short. Preparing students for LIFE will naturally prepare students for the job market, but it will also prepare them for so much more than that.

I also agree with the Tea Party criticism that the Common Core essentially breeds equity amongst students. There should not be equity amongst students because, quite frankly, not all students possess the same intellect. I have had some issues with my own school because I do not give credit for simply participating and I do not teach to the lowest common denominator in my classes. I have high expectations for the students and I am not afraid to leave the less-motivated or intellectually-challenged students behind. They need to learn that they have to work harder to achieve the same grades that smarter kids receive. As a teacher, I see it as my responsibility to put in extra time on my own if necessary to help these students achieve all that they are capable of. But it is NOT my job to slow down the progress of the rest of the class so that the slower students don’t get behind. I think the Common Core can lead to this type of watering down of the curriculum and the pace of the class.[/quote]

DB I may disagree with you on a number of things, but this isn’t one of them. I certainly hope you never change your outlook or your teaching approach. There’s too much of that already.

Your last post regarding students needing to seize control of their own education was also gold.


#20

Why not privatize education and let people decide who teaches their kids rather than being stuck in catchment areas?
If you send your kids to private school, why should you be hit twice with property tax to pay for someone elses kids?