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Common Core: Educate Me!

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  • Common Core: Educate Me!

    I'm a conservative, so I'm supposed to be against "Common Core", right?

    But, the more I look into this, it seems "Common Core" means different things to different people.

    Or, maybe it STARTED OUT being a set of minimum standards, then morphed into the feds dictating curriculum, rather than standards?


    I confess -- I'm ignorant on this, so educate me!
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

  • #2
    Ask and ye shall receive:

    Iíve stayed out of the Common Core nonsense. The objections involve much fuss about federal control, teacher training, curriculum mandates, and the constructivist nature of the standards. Yes, mostly. But so what?

    Hereís the only important thing you need to know about Common Core standards: theyíre ridiculously, impossibly difficult...

    ....But you donít understand, say Common Core devotees. Thatís exactly why we have these higher, more demanding standards! Weíve pushed back the timeline, to give kids more time to grasp these concepts. Thatís why weíre moving introduction to fractions to third grade, and itís why we are using the number line to teach fraction numeracy, and itís why we are teaching kids that whole numbers are fractions, too! See, weíve anticipated these problems. Donít worry. Itís all going to be fine.

    See, right there, you know that they arenít listening. I just said that three to four YEARS is needed for all but the top kids to genuinely understand proportional thinking and first semester algebra, with nothing else on the agenda. Itís officially verboten to acknowledge ability in a public debate on education, so what Common Core advocates should have said, if they were genuinely interested in engaging in a debate is Oh, bullpuckey. Youíre out of your mind. Four years to properly understand proportional thinking and first semester algebra? But just for some kids who arenít ďsmartĒ? Racist.

    And then we could have an argument that matters.

    But Common Core advocates arenít interested in having that debate. No one is. Anytime I point out the problem, I get ďdonít be silly. Poor kids can learn.Ē I point out that I never mentioned income, that Iím talking about cognitive ability, and I get the twitter version of a blank stare somewhere over my shoulder. Thatís the good reaction, the one that doesnít involve calling me a racistóeven though I never mentioned race, either.

    Besides, CC advocates are in sell mode right now and donít want to attack me as a soft bigot with low expectations. So bring up the difficulty factor and all they see is an opportunity to talk past the objection and reassure the larger audience: elementary kids are wasting their time on simple math and missing out on valuable instruction because their teachers are afraid of math. By increasing the difficulty of elementary school math, we will forcibly improve elementary school teacher knowledge, and so our kids will be able to learn the math they need by middle school to master the complex, real-world mathematical tasks weíre going to hand them in high school. Utterly absent from this argument is any acknowledgement that very few of the students are up to the challenge....

    Is it Common Core supporterís position that these students who arenít in algebra II by junior year are by definition not ready for college or career? In addition to the other half million (416,000 or so) California students who are technically on track for Common Core but scored below basic or far below basic on their current tests? We donít currently tell students who arenít on track to take algebra II as juniors that they arenít ready for college. I mean, they arenít. No question. But we donít tell them.

    According to Arne Duncan, thatís a big problem that Common Core will fix:

    "We are no longer lying to kids about whether they are ready. Finally, we are telling them the truth, telling their parents the truth, and telling their future employers the truth. Finally, we are holding ourselves accountable to giving our children a true college and career-ready education."

    If all we needed to do was tell them, we could do that now. No need for new standards and expensive tests. We could just say to any kid who canít score 500 on the SAT math section or 23 on the ACT: Hey, sorry. You arenít ready for college. Probably wonít ever be. Time to go get a job.

    If we donít have the gumption to do that now, what about Common Core will give us the necessary stones? Can I remind everyone again that these kids will be disproportionately black and Hispanic?

    I can tell you one thing that Common Core math was designed to doópush us all towards integrated math. Itís very clear that the standards were developed for integrated math, and only the huge pushback forced Common Core standards to provide a traditional curriculumĖwhich is in the appendix. The standards themselves are written in the integrated approach.
    Remember that you can also follow this link to get how it affects other aspects of education.
    Last edited by Epoetker; 12-07-2014, 04:45 PM.

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    • #3
      The biggest problem with common core is that it was not developed by professional educators or by those who are experts in a given field. It was pushed by businessmen like Bill Gates who stands to make millions because he basically has a monopoly on common core textbooks and other teaching materials.

      And personally, I don't understand the grading. Students are no longer awarded the traditional A through F and instead are given vague but ostensibly positive evaluations like "developing", "improving", "competent", and so on. I look at my children's report cards, and I tell my wife, "I have no idea what any of this is supposed to mean. Our kids could be failing for all I know."
      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
      Than a fool in the eyes of God


      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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      • #4
        I keep hearing "the math is crazy"... I remember when my kids were talking about "the new math", and it was wacky back then - 20 years ago.

        But then I hear others say it's not "curriculum", it's minimum standards.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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        • #5
          sounds something like New Zealand's NCEA system: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/qualificatio...ications/ncea/
          "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
          -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

          Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
          1 Corinthians 16:13

          "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
          -Ben Witherington III

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            I'm a conservative, so I'm supposed to be against "Common Core", right?

            But, the more I look into this, it seems "Common Core" means different things to different people.

            Or, maybe it STARTED OUT being a set of minimum standards, then morphed into the feds dictating curriculum, rather than standards?


            I confess -- I'm ignorant on this, so educate me!
            Again, I'm totally out of step with whats supposed to be the big hoo-haa in the news and with all the talking heads. Is this really a conservative vs. liberal issue? The only thing I really know about this Core stuff is when I was helping my niece with her homework recently and was told that they had to solve the math problems in a new way that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I just kinda scratched my head and said "oh, okay". Didn't make me think of politics though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
              Again, I'm totally out of step with whats supposed to be the big hoo-haa in the news and with all the talking heads. Is this really a conservative vs. liberal issue?
              It appears to be, yes.

              The only thing I really know about this Core stuff is when I was helping my niece with her homework recently and was told that they had to solve the math problems in a new way that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I just kinda scratched my head and said "oh, okay". Didn't make me think of politics though.
              Apparently, conservatives are rankled because they think "the feds" are forcing weird curriculum on us. This was an issue with the Gov of Louisiana, and came up in Mary Landreau's campaign.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                It appears to be, yes.



                Apparently, conservatives are rankled because they think "the feds" are forcing weird curriculum on us. This was an issue with the Gov of Louisiana, and came up in Mary Landreau's campaign.
                Oy. Is there anything that the two sides won't fight over? How silly.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                  Oy. Is there anything that the two sides won't fight over? How silly.
                  Apparently not, and yes.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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                  • #10
                    well the math is crazy. first its TOO easy. Its designed more for children who do not use English as the primary language or the IQ is near 70 so at least through second grade Everything in it is roughly what Kindergarten through the First month of first grade was 25 years ago (I'm thirty) In my Private School. I looked at the Cirriculum and saw that my 7 year old was learning to ad "double numbers like 12 plus 12 and 6 plus 6 and "near doubles" like 10 plus 11, went nuts, and realized NO WONDER SHE'S SO DANG BORED SHE DID THIS IN KINDERGARTEN and pulled her out to home school. Now we work out of other books, And we do 3rd grade work for English, Private school level Math and Science and history. She still bores but the work is more fun and its challenging. And she reads chapter books which they don't do in common core, they read passages. The Teachers HATE IT. (Ask my husband. he hates it. ) I hate it. Hence the homeschool. In 5 years If we aren't homeschooling I hope to be enrolled in a private school. I don't care for Abeka but the grammar sure beats the blankety blank blank blank out of common core. If its still there and we can't afford private school well I'll teach the kids.
                    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                    George Bernard Shaw

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                      well the math is crazy. first its TOO easy. Its designed more for children who do not use English as the primary language or the IQ is near 70
                      I wonder why.

                      so at least through second grade Everything in it is roughly what Kindergarten through the First month of first grade was 25 years ago (I'm thirty) In my Private School. I looked at the Cirriculum and saw that my 7 year old was learning to ad "double numbers like 12 plus 12 and 6 plus 6 and "near doubles" like 10 plus 11, went nuts, and realized NO WONDER SHE'S SO DANG BORED SHE DID THIS IN KINDERGARTEN and pulled her out to home school. Now we work out of other books, And we do 3rd grade work for English, Private school level Math and Science and history. She still bores but the work is more fun and its challenging. And she reads chapter books which they don't do in common core, they read passages. The Teachers HATE IT. (Ask my husband. he hates it. ) I hate it. Hence the homeschool. In 5 years If we aren't homeschooling I hope to be enrolled in a private school. I don't care for Abeka but the grammar sure beats the blankety blank blank blank out of common core. If its still there and we can't afford private school well I'll teach the kids.
                      Hopefully Common Core English is better than it was 30 years ago.
                      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our man inside has the best summation of the reading bit:

                        As for the Common Core Reading Gulag, where everyone must read at or above grade level because the Great Leader says so, Iíll leave you with a simple application of logic.

                        On one side, you have an education reform organization, dependent on the will of its funders, insisting that English teachers everywhere are failing their students by assigning them texts that will be more likely to engage them and thus increase content knowledge, rather than texts randomly declared ďgrade levelĒ by wishful thinkers. On the other side, you have the majority of English teachers, insisting through their actions that students are best served by reading words they can understand.

                        Michael Petrilli has tacitly admitted (and said so explicitly on the Gadfly show, as I recall) that he never believed in the NCLB goals of getting all students to proficiency, but he had a boss, and that was the party line. Now, heís pushing the Common Core party line.
                        My guess is that your unfortunate grade school took the "lets make the grade level texts as simple as possibly so everybody meets the Common Core proficiency scores" tactic.

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                        • #13
                          It's gotten to the point that when I'm trying to help my son with his math, I teach him how to do it the old fashioned way and tell him to just ignore his teacher because what she's teaching him doesn't make sense and is too labor intensive.

                          But the reason it has become a conversative versus liberal issue is because common core is basically an attempt to make everything "equal" and "fair" and increase the number of kids who qualify for college. It's essentially one big affirmative action program.
                          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                          Than a fool in the eyes of God


                          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            It's gotten to the point that when I'm trying to help my son with his math, I teach him how to do it the old fashioned way and tell him to just ignore his teacher because what she's teaching him doesn't make sense and is too labor intensive.

                            But the reason it has become a conversative versus liberal issue is because common core is basically an attempt to make everything "equal" and "fair" and increase the number of kids who qualify for college. It's essentially one big affirmative action program.
                            From what I understand the mathematical methods that "don't make sense" and are "too labor intensive" are intended to show the different ways math problems can be solved mentally. They are also only indirectly required by CC, since CC only provides mathematical guidelines, not methods. Can you give examples as to how CC tries to increase the number of kids who qualify for college in a bad way? Does it have lax standards? Is there encouragement for children with less scholastic ability to be pushed through?

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                            • #15
                              I always find it mind-boggling that Common Core threads, such as these, almost never actually reference any specific Common Core standards. I have absolutely no issue with someone who goes through the actual standards and says "X is wrong" or "Y can be improved," but there is an overabundance of knee-jerk reactionism out of parents and teachers who don't even understand what the Common Core is, let alone what it states.

                              For anyone interested, all of the actual standards are available here: http://www.corestandards.org/

                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                              The biggest problem with common core is that it was not developed by professional educators or by those who are experts in a given field. It was pushed by businessmen like Bill Gates who stands to make millions because he basically has a monopoly on common core textbooks and other teaching materials.
                              This is simply and clearly a blatantly false myth which keeps getting bandied about the Internet because it justifies the irrational hatred people have for the Common Core. The fact of the matter is that the Core Standards were developed by teachers, professional educators, and education standards experts from all around the United States.

                              And personally, I don't understand the grading. Students are no longer awarded the traditional A through F and instead are given vague but ostensibly positive evaluations like "developing", "improving", "competent", and so on. I look at my children's report cards, and I tell my wife, "I have no idea what any of this is supposed to mean. Our kids could be failing for all I know."
                              The Common Core does not define any sort of grading standards. Educators are free to use whatever grading system they'd like, be it the traditional alphabetic system, or a percentile system, or a GPA system, or the descriptive system you've listed.


                              Honestly, my biggest problem with the Common Core is that the Math Standards do not cover enough material. Ostensibly, one of the major driving forces behind the Common Core math standards was the desire to see American students improve in STEM fields; and yet, the Math standards only cover up to Algebra II. No Trigonometry or Precalc or Calculus, which are absolutely fundamental and necessary to almost any STEM field. I personally think that there's no reason that average students can't be doing Algebra I by 8th Grade, with accelerated students learning it in 7th Grade or earlier, while below-average math students delay it until Freshman year of High School or later (if necessary). And, if the average student does Algebra I in 8th Grade, he should be doing Geometry as a Freshman, Alg2/Trig as a Sophomore, Precalc as a Junior, and Calculus as a Senior. That is, in my opinion, the minimum math track to be expected for students pursuing STEM education.
                              "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                              --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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