Friday, June 6, 2014

Hate Common Core? Be specific

Name one Common Core standard you disagree with.

That's the challenge Superintendent Heath Morrison says he puts to those who argue that North Carolina needs to scrap the reading and math guidelines that states have spent years hashing out. He said he never gets a specific answer, just comments about federal intrusion.

"We're having this conversation for all the wrong reasons,  and none of it is about education,"  Morrison told the Tuesday Breakfast Forum this week.

I'm scheduled to take a turn at the General Assembly next week.  Maybe I'll hear some intense debate over whether eighth-graders really need to be able to analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations,  or whether it's reasonable to expect first-graders to identify and use headers, tables of contents and glossaries to locate key facts in a text.

But I doubt it.  One reason I've written so little about these standards is that they're so wonky and dense.  You can read through them here  (block out some serious time),  but it won't make you the life of the next political debate.

I spent four hours at a recent Education Writers Association seminar listening to a wide range of experts talk about Common Core. The consensus:  The standards themselves are about specific academic goals that originated with governors, superintendents and school boards.  They've been hashed out over several years by experts,  educators and consultants.

And recently they've become entangled in partisan politics and testing controversy.

Mike Cohen of the DC-based nonprofit group Achieve, who helped develop the standards with state leaders, said President Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan inadvertently hurt the cause by "taking credit" for the Common Core push and using Race to the Top grants to prod states to embrace the standards.

Opposition now comes from Republicans who call it federal intrusion and liberals who oppose the testing associated with the standards. "You've got this left-right dynamic that makes it particularly hard to move forward," Cohen said.

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute,  who blogs for Education Week,  laid out the federal intrusion case.  The national consistency state leaders say they're seeking isn't likely to happen without strong federal intervention,  he said.  For instance,  if states set their own cut scores and standards on testing,  we'll get the same wild variation we've seen with state exams.  If the federal government has to approve standards,  well,  they become federal standards.  And yes,  he cited the way the Obama administration has used Race to the Top grants to push many states  (including North Carolina)  toward adopting the standards and the common exams.

But Hess said  "repeal and replace"  advocates have generally failed to show they're serious about doing the hard work it will take to craft alternative standards,  design better tests and get schools to adopt them.

Is North Carolina ready to plunge in and show the country how to do it right? I suspect we'll soon find out.


Larry said...

Tuesday Morning Breakfast.

Now where have we heard that one before.

Seems Heath attended this the very first thing he did when arriving to be signed in that night.

And if you look at the site
it has a picture of Ann and Heath.

So it is great Ann is able to attend them meetings and yet only attended her first Charter School Meeting.

And thanks for the diversion Heath, this time the Chamber could hols as many community meetings and it would not deter us from noticing the system is failing the majority of the students.

Larry said...

Social and emotional needs have to be taken care and a transformation of our schools. During the bond asking.

As said by Heath in the video

The majority of our building are at or above 50 years old?

And the fastest growth in student population in the country.

290 million needed Mongomery County, Lake County the same size we are. They approved billions.

And this is the most current speaking event. It is in two parts.

Pamela Grundy said...

It's not entirely accurate to say that the Common Core standards "were hashed out over several years by experts, educators and consultants." In fact, one of the most serious critiques of the standards is that they were written by too many "consultants," especially from the testing industry, and not nearly enough educators and experts.

The nation's experts in early childhood development have been consistently opposed to the standards because they in fact do not mesh with what is known about the ways that young children's abilities develop. If North Carolina does indeed step away from these standards, it will be important for the state to consult closely with early childhood experts and incorporate their in-depth knowledge about early childhood development into any new standards.

But one of the main problems identified with the standards – the test-at-all-costs mentality within which they were developed – existed before the standards were put into place, and will still be with us if they go away. If our state representatives wish to do something about the way that testing has taken over education, they will need to find ways not only to reduce the number of tests, but remove the high stakes now attached to test results, such as the retention mandate in the Read to Achieve program, which the General Assembly itself put into place despite copious evidence that retaining students does more harm than good. We have not seen much of that kind of action in this session. Common Core or no Common Core, parents and educators need to continue to provide legislators with evidence of the damage these high-stakes tests are doing, and press for greater changes.

A supporter of Public Schools said...

Thank You Heath Morrison for your common sense approach.

Unknown said...

Is there a review of "best practices"" in Education that can give everyone a summary of what really works ? What really educates our youth? What has worked "best" over the past 60 years. "D Day" was this week. What have we learned since that Invasion to stop oppression? What Lessons have been learned and what Practices really work ? For our Kids! I'd like to see that review of the past 60 years of education. We don't need to reinvent learning and teaching Principles. Add Technology, yes. Redefine Education at the "core", No. We should however be "learning" ourselves from our own Education of Life ... And do what is proven ! Where is the Review and clearly defined study of the "best practices" in education? Time for another D Day! Or landing on the Moon. Our Kids deserve the best we can provide ... Not a political stalemate

Anonymous said...

It's not that NC needed higher standards, it does. It does however place the delivery, data, testing, and standards all in the the hands of the bug eyed investors, Pearson, Bill and Melinda, Apple, Samsung, etc. trying to fight over the carcass of cash cow pie education dollars. One only has to look at the history of CMS and outside vendors to see the inept trail of programs (Power School). Returning to state adopted/provided curriculum will only bring back the bad old days of CMS vs. DPI in who can make the worst version of EOG's, quarterlies, and BS dogma.
Add the new/old clown school in Raleigh and the recipe for stupidity is cast in coal ash laden concrete. I see the enemy……'s ourselves.

Anonymous said...

No specific issues identified yet. Dr. Morrison is proving his point.

jon golden said...

Those who wish to ditch Common Core are only wanting to do it because it is seen as a policy driven by Democrats. I love the yard signs in South Carolina for Sheri Few, a Republican for Educational Superintendent. How often do you see "Republican" and "Education" in the same sentence?!?

The fact is that Common Core, while cumbersome in its roll-out, is NEEDED. Students across the country need to be educated to the same standards, as college admissions departments are pulling from across the United States, no longer just particular regions. Students in New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and New Mexico, should be able to graduate with the same canon of knowledge, measured with the same standard, and know that a 4.0 in NY is the same as a 4.0 in NC. Right now, students are graduating with GPAs that make it appear that the student has knowledge (s)he does not possess because the local school board wants to teach like it's 1950 and not 2014.

Like anything else over the past 20 years, we have become so partisan that we will cut off our collective noses to spite our faces. The Republicans will reject out-of-hand ANYTHING this president supports or proposes. The GOP is the ANTI-party, and sadly, they have become ANTI-Education. As a nation we have seen this before, as a means to oppress women and minorities. Now, the GOP is using it to eliminate the middle class, because we all know that we pay little attention to the uneducated.

So please...if you HATE COMMON CORE, answer these two questions:

1. What, specifically, do you hate about it?

2. What can you offer as an alternative?

The debate about Common Core will be the same as the Affordable Care Act. Republicans hate being told what to do (unless it has to do with marriage or reproductive rights), but can offer no other viable solution that doesn't maintain the status quo.

Anonymous said...

It's a stupid question. Of course you can't argue with standards it's the details of measuring them. Why does my kid have to write the answer to his math is words instead of numbers. What the hell does number line teach him when he is also doing the standard math. It's a lot of unnecessary garbage.

jon golden said...

@Anon 9:47: The word problem measures not only math abilities but also thought process. Can your child articulate the process by which an answer was rendered? Do you want your child to only know how to drive a car, or, if need be, speak, with some ability, about the workings of a mechanism he uses daily?

Leslie Mills said...

Jon Golden~
I can't help but assume that you haven't followed the details of Common Core opposition very closely in NC (not sure what state you are in).

Did you watch the public comment from the LRC hearings in March and April?

Can you be specific? What do you LIKE about CC? SWEAR that you have read EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. of the Common Core Standards for Math and ELA for all grades K-12 AND Appendix B? When you print it all out, the stack of papers is over an inch thick.

To be specific, here are SOME of the things I don't like about Common Core:

1.) Age inappropriateness especially for the K-3 grades (see petition signed by 500! early childhood experts)
2.) Dumbing down standards especially in math in the upper grades; our kids will graduate with NO option to take Calculus before college and, on average, 2 years behind the level achieved by previous standard courses of study.
3.) Constitutionality - complete violation of the 10th amendment.
4.) For the first time in HISTORY, NC signed copyrighted standards into law, prohibiting the standards from being changed or amended
5.) Lack of field research to show these standards will even work to raise the bar on student performance - not a shred of data to prove these standards do what they say they will do
6.) Teachers teaching only to the standards or, spending so much time assessing, they don't have time to actually TEACH
7.) Cost of implementation/technology to comply with CCSS. Who's going to pay for this? Even double the RTTT Grant money wouldn't cover the costs of implementation of this beast!
8.) CCSS does not support STEM careers and selective 4 year institutions
9.) Prestigious professors, Stotsky and Milgram, who were originally on the CCSS development panel and refused to sign off on the standards because they were so weak.

I could go on.

Is that specific enough for you?

And, by the way, I identify as a "conservative" but met MANY democratic parents who were just as opposed to CC as I am.

Don't try to make this a partisan issue when it is not.

It's about what's best for the kids, NOT big business, the Chamber of Commerce, technology giants, or the National PTA.

Anonymous said...

Common Core/reasonable facsimile is a necessity, the money changers on the steps are not.
One specific reason to question is the elimination of most fiction texts. Reading for comprehension, enjoyment, and higher level thinking does not depend on non fiction alone. Try and get a middle school student to absorb an out of context non fiction piece without any relevance is nearly impossible. But it's not STEM so it's meaningless anyway.

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

Name one? How about teaching kids learning to be competent readers the finer points of grammar and syntax at age 6? There is only one which is truly appropriate for the age level and it's marked.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1a Print all upper- and lowercase letters. = OK Standard for 6 yrs old
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1b Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1c Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1d Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1e Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1f Use frequently occurring adjectives.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1g Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1h Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1i Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1j Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

How about math concepts and homework for a first grader that require a lexile score of an 8th grader in the directions?
Not a single early child hood educator was involved in the creation of these "standards" and it shows, badly.

Mr. Morrison has aligned himself with multiple pro-core groups and non-profits pushing teacher pay issues. He has drunk the Core Kool-aid and will defend it to the end. States did not spend years hashing these standards out sir, a panel of educrats did. A panel who have not set foot in a classroom ever or if they have in the past, bell bottoms and disco were in style. States had ZERO vetting, input or control over the creation of these standards sir. Proof is in the pudding, no one heard of Common Core until it was already here -- the Board of Education adopted it without even vetting it. They just signed off.. Poof!
It also bears mentioning that Governor Perdue and Dr. Atkinson put Common Core as a brand name in our Race To The Top grant... MONTHS before it was even released to the public. That alone does not pass the smell test.

Unknown said...


My first exposure to the Common Core came at a Board of Education meeting when it was explained by Ann Clark. It made sense then. What made it most acceptable was her charting of the prior 18 months of teacher training. My conclusion was hers. CMS was prepared. What I didn’t understand at the time was that it could never be explained to the public.

As an example of how misunderstood is the Core, last fall during the District Six Board of Education race the eventual winner incorrectly explained that the Core was a federal program. Don’t get me wrong, Paul Bailey is an excellent representative of his conservative district.

Two years ago I asked my then 2nd grade grandson to answer a few Core questions. It wasn’t his answers that were important but that he got the concept of having to defend the answer. That’s the strength of the Core.

The weakness of the Core is that it depends on teachers and students having common frames of reference for the lessons. Years ago Dr. Gorman pointed-out to me that this is a huge problem for poverty children. Their world isn’t the one used for classroom examples. That hurts the Core.

This last item is why I’d like to see the Core abandoned. And even more, would like a five-year hiatus to give teachers chances to reconnect with students without the pressure of feeding NCDPI’s unrelenting demand for classroom data.

The Core needs to be removed. In its place would be no standard programs of instruction and testing from the state. Each District would be responsible instruction and testing. The report card would return as the standard measure. The Accountability office should be downsized.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Google Diane ravitch and mark naison.

Anonymous said...

What is the biggest complaint from employers? Workers don't know how to critically think. Critically think with every aspect of their work knowledge. Jobs that require critically thinking including using math then just 1+1=2: doctor, nurse, engineer, computer scientist, architect, writer, teacher, lawyer, electrician, HOVAC, using robots in manufacturing. Name a job that requires no critically thinking and can use the old math 1+1=2: flipping burgers, cashier, manager at the mall, gardener, painting, driving a dump truck.

So which way do you want our country to go, because it is already going in that direction. The parents that are having issues with common core are the ones that don't know how to critically think. I love common core, I love the way it makes my children think because that is how are household thinks. Both me and my husband have high demanding, 80% of our job time requires crucial think. We have both said that if the state removes common core and once again dumbs down the education, we are off to high end private school.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with benchmarks as developed by the Common Core system. A measuring stick is always good, especially if it's applied equally to all schools. The problem, as I see it, is the content of the curriculum, which is heavily biased toward leftist socialism. Without quoting any texts that I have perused, the content is disturbing. I agree with inclusiveness, but some passages reek of exclusivity and deriding of faith and conservative values.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 10:50 Lady Liberty, I don't have a problem with American children being challenged. God knows most are lazy when it comes to their education. Can you say Google and paste?? Technology is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to education. It has made our kids less able to think critically. Hey, everything is right there at your fingertips and immediate. No need to learn anything boys and girls.

Kids can barely hold a pencil anymore, and certainly can't read cursive (don't plan on going to the Gettysburg museum then). And get ready for more tech and screen time in the class room next year with the unveiling of yet another "NEW" program in CMS, Individualized Learning. It's a bunch of horse dung. Did you know that children, on average, already spend 7 hours of screen time a day? That's almost an entire adult work day, and that doesn't count their technology use at school. Parents need to wake up and expect more from themselves as parents, their children and their educators.

Anonymous said...

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3; The human brain does not develop at this rate. Rhetoric, logic, opinion writing does not happen until about age 11. These CCSS require it at ages 4, 5 and 6. Appendix_A -deimphasis on classic literature and increased focus on "informational texts". These informational texts include suggested non-fiction texts such as Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive Plant Inventory, by California’s Invasive Plant Council.

Anonymous said...

Jon Golden...

Several readers have given many valid reasons for opposing CCSS. The alternative? Create a national, "wiki"-style portal where real educators (not corporate wonks) can contribute standards that states can chose as they are deemed necessary. CCSS is a business plan created by Gates to monopolize standards the same way he monopolized Windows. He and Pearson benefits because only one set of online assessments need to be produced. CCSS is the worst example to date of allowing billionaires to dictate ed policy instead of parentsand teachers.

Anonymous said...

Pamela Grundy, if the state was so concerned and interested in what Pediatricians and childhood experts were saying, our schools would not start at 7:15 or 7:30am. Our school system is doing its students a disservice with such early school start times. Just google the subject, study after study prove this point.

Did you know that teenagers, aged 13-18 should be getting 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep per night? That would mean our CMS high schoolers would have to be in bed asleep by 9pm. Impossible. The list of negative side effects and consequences of sleep deprivation is extensive, one being lower academic performance. Wake up (literally) CMS.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Golden: You may want to choose a better analogy. I know many, many people (granted, mostly women) who take their cars into the shop and say, "there's a noise and it runs funny!" Or, my favorite, "there's smoke coming from under the top thing - is that bad?" No I do not care how a car runs - I will gladly pay someone else to take care of that for me. I'd rather spend my time doing something I WANT TO DO. :-)

The point being - life is individual. If people want to learn about combustion engines (are they still around) or moon-mission mathematics that should be their choice. Why does every child have to be flat lined in their learning to please the Chamber of Commerce, et al?
Christina L.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! The Common Core Standards are akin to child abuse in the early grades. Might as well demand a 18 month old talk in complete sentences. Very few can and to force the others is not "rigorous" it's bad parenting.

Barb S. said...

I am certainly not a common core expert but what I've seen my 4th grad daughter bring home, it is inappropriate. the multi step problems are confusing, and frankly over her head. Students should learn the basics in elem school and focus on the multi step, critical thinking and problem solving in middle and high school where it is age and maturity-wise appropriate.

The CC is turning kids off from learning and being excited about school. It will do more harm than good in my opinion. Let's use some common sense here.

Matt M said...

I do not have specific issues that I can site. But I do have a fear that common core is the result of the Educational Industrial Complex and theorists that have no real classroom experience.

Like with Whole Word Reading - it may take 20 years for us to realize the enormity of the mistake. And, we may end up with at least a generation of illiterates.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what you are talking about. If you let the federal government in the door, they will never go away. They will bring their corporate cronies and take. I have a question. Does Providence or Country day have Common Core?

Anonymous said...

Common Core or What?
Either way standards, if any, are way too low.
Have you noticed; cashiers don't even know how to make change any more...and they're beyond elementary school age - which is where subtraction is supposed to be finessed isn't it?
Never mind the bad spelling on signs!!
The system just produces ignorance.
Common core standards need to be raised. Not abandoned in favor of no apparent alternative.

Anonymous said...

As a world history teacher using them, I can assure you they are developmentally inappropriate, cumbersome, unreasonable in scope and breadth. The concepts for 14 year olds read like an A.P. class. There are pages and pages of hundreds of clarifying objectives such as " Analyze the rise and spread of various empires in terms of influence, achievements, and lasting impact ( e.g. Mongol, Ottoman, Ming, Mesoamerica, Inca, Imperial states in Africa, etc...)" And that is ONE of the MANY!Students are then given a 37 -41 question exam covering 7000 years of history and five continents! The exam content is not known by the teacher ahead of time, so he/she runs at warp speed to try to cover all the possible content in less than one semester because he/she knows his/her job will depend on the test score because of Standard Six. I could type for hours and give insane examples of this curriculum, but, you get the picture? CC needs to go! RttT needs to go. Teacher punishment for political purposes needs to go! Hire people you trust. Let them teach. Let them assess!

Anonymous said...

it has been truly been very interesting to read the feedback provided by many of you with regards to Common Core, thank you!

Whether you are a supporter or not, it does appear that Common Core is on the way out in our state. I think the last step will be the governor's signature.

Zippy said...

12:41 history teacher you are correct. The common core is ridiculous, and in the end frustrates the student and they do not learn the intended subject matter.

Anonymous said...

Jon Golden, You were pretty harsh in your criticism of those opposing Common Core (not to mention your insertion of politics). We've had some very thoughtful posts replying to your request for specifics. Are we going to hear a response from you?

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, for teacher anon 12:41 and others commenting here, the NC social studies and science standards were developed in NC by NC folks at DPI and a group of "expert teachers". They are NOT part of the Common Core Standards, so if you have issues with "leftist socialism" talk to those in charge at the state level. Getting rid of the Common Core Standards will not necessarily change the social studies and science standards as those are state standards.

The tests for the NC social studies and science classes were also developed by NC teachers and DPI.

Common Core Standards are for English/Language Arts and Math ONLY. All other content area standards are NC state standards.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:05 there is no "leftist socialism" in the NC essential standards; the person saying that there is clearly has not read them.

That said, I too was going to post a comment correcting the misconception that the social studies and science standards are Common Core. Which rather feeds into the idea that many people do not actually know what Common Core is.

However, I would argue that the social studies standards and tests do demonstrate a discernible influence from and similarity to the Common Core standards-- they are very vague, often developmentally inappropriate, and very difficult to assess in an objective manner. Perhaps it was this influence that anon 12:41 was referring to.

Take back our schools said...

So wasn't one of the recommendations of Common Core for reading, writing, etc. to read federal documents?

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I have all of this straight...due to recent decisions by the NC Legislature next year will look like the following: larger classes due to fewer teachers + NO...I repeat, NO attendance policy + kids still have to take State exams even if they haven't been in the class due to the previously stated no attendance policy + we aren't sure now what those exams will really be on as the Common Core is out by July 1 and miraculously there will be a "new and improved" less "federally intrusive" version of a curriculum ready to go by August (ha!) + those tests that we don't know what they will really be about have a HUGE 40 points of a curve for some kids, but the teachers are STILL evaluated on the RAW score (not the curved score) + no tenure protections that provide due process so the teacher can have a chance to explain that little Suebunny didn't come to class for 27 days out of the year and that's probably why Suebunny made the 43 on the exam, but because of the curve, she really got an 83 on the exam for the gradebook and was then passed, but it's the teacher's fault she really didn't pass so now the teacher doesn't have a job because the data says the teacher isn't doing his/her job...and because of the millions wasted on 3 curriculum changes in 5 years we won't have money to replace or recruit or retain teachers... Did I get all of that right?

Curkgang said...

I "hate" the fallacy that schools can use their own curriculum but, if that curriculum is not aligned with the common core then the children will fail the assessments. So, districts and states across the country are FORCED to purchase their materials from the behemoths making fist over fist of cash with their Common Core "aligned" materials. YET, the material is inappropriate, poorly contrived, has minimal "educator" input and fails to actually teach children what the standards detail. So the marriage of corporate and gov. forces to take over education is what I "hate" about the Common Core.
Another thing I "hate" about the common core, is the test heavy ideals that it brings with it. What real education system needs three days of testing in 2 or 3 subject areas to really know if the student has mastered the basic needs of a given grade? How is it that I am able to attend a graduate program and at the end take a 6 hour exam (the same time allotted for 5th graders) to assess my entire understanding of 2 plus years of University level education. Yet we think we need to give the same level of assessment to an 8 year old to assess only 3/4 of their school year. There seems to be a fundamental flaw in that arrangement. Could it be that the woes of our American children be "tested" out so that poverty is no longer reflected in the classroom (if we teach those poor kids how to pass a test it will) or that those unique and diverse students with special education needs will be able to "test out" so that they look as though they are in fact learning at the same rate as their suburban, white peers? Sure if we teach to the test. If we teach the teachers how to teach to the test, EVEN BETTER! Then we'll have highly effective test teachers with classes full of kids who know how to take tests but are clueless about life and how to move beyond the testing machine called school.
As for a alternative. Yes, I do have a suggestion. Many states had higher standards than the Common Core, but sacrificed them to get the RtTT monies and the waiver from the abysmal and punitive aspects of NCLB. Allow those states to re-implement those standards. If there are states that were lagging severely then tell them they have to choose from among those that are excellent. NYS, MA, Conn. and Colo. all had standards that had exceeded the Common Core. However, those same states had developmentally appropriate standards with the higher order thinking skills applicable in the appropriate grades v. the CC where there is a very severe disconnect between what students "can" learn and what the powers that be "want" the students to learn. So yes, there is an answer to your two questions. I would happily provide specific Standards that are developmentally inappropriate if you so desire. Just ask.

Anonymous said...

Common core, at least at the elementary level, is completely AGE INAPPROPRIATE. All the teachers know this.

Anonymous said...

Excellent response!

Anonymous said...

I have 10 years of college and I was reading over some of the Common Core Test prep books with my fifth grade students and I couldn't figure out what the problem was asking. I consulted with my colleagues and they were equally stumped. If we as educators can't understand the wording of the problem, how are fifth graders going to understand? You're right Barb, the problems are very confusing and poorly written.

Anonymous said...

Matt it all comes down to eduction being a profit machine. The bottom line is that education is a huge market for companies and consultants looking to profit off of America's children at the expense of true education. Your comments are right on the mark! There are far too many "Experts" examining education from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Lady Liberty,


"CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1a Print all upper- and lowercase letters. = OK Standard for 6 yrs old
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1b Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1c Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1d Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1e Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1f Use frequently occurring adjectives.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1g Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1h Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1i Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1j Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts".

My response to "Clarifying Objectives":
Less clarity, more sanity?

Having recently completed a post-bac. program in Elementary Education, I support the theory of universal Common Core standards - just like I supported the "theory" of NCLB which was noble in concept but a miserable failure in execution because in the real world, the devil is in the details.

As a former specialty area teacher who studied one subject exclusively in great depth, I struggle with the shear breadth of general elementary level "clarifying objectives" (i.e., WHAT to teach) at the expense of learning HOW to teach. There seems to be a disconnect between what prospective teachers are expected to master at the college level in order to become "effective" (like navigating an entire encyclopedia of clarifying objectives) and the reality of taking this acquired "knowledge" into the classroom.


Anonymous said...

Great response.


LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

I don't have a problem with kids being challenged either. If Common Core did that and was age/developmentally appropriate in elementary, I'd be on board. What it does on the back end in the later grades is a sham. When you look at it as a whole, it is as though the standards are designed to be a mental beat down of our youngest learners so later they just jump through the hoops as directed. There is no raising of critical thinking there. They are told what and how to think, not how to think for themselves.

I agree - parents need to WAKE UP.

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

While that is true, folks should be aware that the point of CCSS is to align all subjects. In fact, the whole point of ELA and math being rolled out first is so they could be templates to use for all the other subjects. From what I have seen, NC looks like it is attempting to align History and Social Studies.

Having said that, the details at DPI for Social studies look promising:

Parents should read up on The National Council On The Social Studies and the C3 Framework.

Two from NC were involved in this framework:
John Lee Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Studies Education, NC State Uiniversity
Bruce VanSledright, Professor of History and Social Studies Education,UNC Charlotte

NC's Council on Social Studies cites the Natl. Council for books and documents.

And NC Council On Social Studies is an affiliate.

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

Yes, and so are several books that would make some adults uncomfortable too. The most publicized one is Morrison's "Bluest Eye", which is basically a glorification of a child rapist with scenes that would make the most toughened Marine flinch.

Read Appendix B for Common Core.
Read the "Text Exemplars" list for NC. (link below)

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

"we aren't sure now what those exams will really be on as the Common Core is out by July 1 and miraculously there will be a "new and improved" less "federally intrusive" version of a curriculum ready to go by August"

Incorrect. The bills in the Legislature don't remove common core like a band-aid being ripped off. There is a commission to review and replace.
Bill link:

You are correct on the curving. It's an attempt to dress the window after you've already put the mannequins in.

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

Alicia -- YES!

Nate said...

How specific would the Superintendent like people to be? As specific as, say, a typical Common Core Math problem?

Unknown said...

I think the original question posed is not fair. It reeks of passive aggressiveness by the poser. Too much documented, fact based research is available to any citizen for this to be a true beginning for problem solving the demise of education in NC. The true problem solving will not take place via a media outlet, a radio interview, TV show or an agenda driven appearance. True problem solving will take place with in person conversations. Fact based documents and people willing to act accordingly based on the documented evidence, not blindly chucking the evidence out the door and hoping Common Core will work.
It is horrid to think that, we the adults, the leaders don't already see what's wrong with Common Core. However, it would depend upon what lens you are using..the lenses of truth that education is a state based, local sovereign decision or the lens that say the national one-size-fits-all education is a federal decision. We, the adults, as our children's leaders should be able to SEE that if we can't name a specific about what is wrong, that's fine..Wrong is wrong, specifics notwithstanding. Common Core is wrong on every level, every standard, just like a screen door on a submarine is wrong. You don't need a degree, specifics or anything else to realize this!
Why are we spending so much time on 'what's the problem?' and not enough energy on 'here's the solution!'
You want specifics? A quick internet search will give you plenty.

Anonymous said...

is this specific enough for you. Traditional public education is expensive and it's ineffective, common core or not. Traditional public education has failed the children in this country, both smart kids and average children have suffered long enough in a system which embraces being mediocre. Public schools are more concerned with everything but education, things such as sports are far more important than academics.

Anonymous said...

My specific complaint about the Common Core math curriculum adopted in North Carolina is about the high school level. Mat I, II, and III now mix algebra with geometry and even trigonometry. My 9th grader is in Math II. Instead of focusing on a few topics and mastering them, they are jumping all over the place. It is very hard to keep up with the rapid changes. The same thing happened in Math I. He was on the verge of really mastering solving equations when, all of a sudden, they switched to the Pythagorean Theorem. That was stupid. He needed more time on algebraic equations.

As for trigonometry, that is difficult material. Why is some of the material being introduced in Math II? It is really just faux rigor. It seems more rigorous than before because they are shoving hard material down to the lower grades. Hey, why don't we just teach Calculus in kindergarten? That would be super rigorous. We would have the hardest "standards" in the world.