Thursday, May 2, 2013

Phil Valentine on Commmon Core: I found nothing to alarm me and, in fact, a lot to encourage me.

Common Core: Good or Evil

by Phil Valentine
To be honest, I must admit that I went into my research looking for reasons to hate Common Core.  I was under the impression that the federal government was making a back door attempt to take over education which, constitutionally, should be run by the states and local school boards.

......I found nothing to alarm me and, in fact, a lot to encourage me.  Common Core appears to be what the name implies; a common core of knowledge that the states can agree on to prepare students for college, if the student so chooses, or for a career after high school.  How the schools impart that knowledge is largely left to them.  And the curriculum and materials are left exclusively to them. (read more)

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  1. What is tested is what is taught. What is taught is what is thought.

    "The curriculum is left up to you" argument isn't a very good one. The major publishers are changing their curriculum to MEET THE COMMON CORE. Plus, if he knew much about the public school system and textbook publishers he would realize what a small world that already is. Much of what there is to choose from the big three is pre-determined by a handful of states - namely California, Texas and Florida. Because of volume in those states, the publishers have tailored their curriculum to satisfy these large population states. If they can sell them, they break even on publishing, and more importantly, another large group of states will adopt those textbooks (including TN) because these states have. That's old news:

    But the publishers ARE changing their curriculum because of Common Core! There's even a Math Publishers Criteria handed down from Common Core.

    And the tests are changing too. Phil is dreaming if he thinks it is only a matter of rearranging what you were already supposed to be learning and simply changing the timeline around. The whole game is changing. If you want your federal sugar daddy money - you will do exactly what Common Core says. Just like No Child Left Behind.

    Science is up next:

    “Students who are educated in accordance with them will have a far better chance for success in college courses and in competition on the employment market than those steeped in creationism design, new earth theory, and other alternative accounts.”

    The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.

    Fools are creating (evolving?) your science standards. Want to choose a curriculum that doesn't say you came from an ape? Probably aren't going to do so hot on those new tests they are aligning for the new Common Core standards.

    Social studies is on deck...

  2. Well, Eric, that really just proves my point. Science isn't even part of Common Core and the article you cited from Fox News is a totally different source from Common Core. That's what I'm talking about with all the misinformation and disinformation. Next Generation is not the same as Common Core. Plus, states are deciding, one-by-one, on Next Generation and I hope our state rejects it. If enough states reject it then it won't be used on standardized tests.

    Political correctness in textbooks was a problem long before Common Core came along. And standards have always been driven by the ACT and SAT so that's really a straw man argument, too. Also, I know full well what goes on in public schools. I've had three kids in there from kindergarten. I also know that our school doesn't have an abundance of PC garbage in it because our school board answers to the citizens who voted 70 percent Republican in the last election. That's how it should work.


  3. Okay Phil. I know Science isn't part of common core....yet. The initial offering is by design to generate exactly your response. Do you really believe that all of K-12 academia measurement is suddenly now covered by only English Language and Mathematics? Will the US be satisfied that we are "preparing our children for the global marketplace" by only measuring English Language and Math? If the majority population states (CA, TX, FL) adopt Next Generation Science, then Pearson will be the proprietary publisher of the multi-billion dollar science textbook business. Not going to happen. Houghton Mifflin and McGraw Hill will market their versions too or comply with whatever format wins.

    You claimed that Common Core had nothing to do with curriculum or testing. I have shown you that both are being changed because of Common Core - as in after the standards were introduced to "align" themselves with Common Core. You call the opposite of that process (standards driven by the tests) a straw man. I never argued it that way. David Coleman went straight to work as president of College Board after writing the Common Core (that we are supposed to believe our governors wrote). He is changing the SAT now:

    TN public school federal funding now depends on Common Core - and nothing else does. It is a federal driven standard that is affecting the content of curriculum and the tests. What is tested is what is taught. Public schools will teach to the test and therefore will purchase Common Core "approved" or "aligned" curriculum. Common Core is producing publishing guidelines for just that which I linked to above. If it doesn't have anything to do with curriculum, then why is Common Core giving publishers instructions for how to change their curriculum?

    Watch the video that Rod posted of the Metro Education Roundtable. Which explanation given there for Common Core are you supposed to believe? That it is an "international standard set by foreign countries whose students consistently outscore American students on tests" or that it was authored by David Coleman? They don't even mention the NGA, who does hold the copyright (why a copyright?) to Common Core. You would think these folks could tell you what it is they are implementing. It was largely authored by David Coleman. But we are supposed to believe that Phil Bredesen and other governors in the NGA allegedly and simultaneously demanded common academic standards - ONLY in math and English - cooked these up in their spare time - and then never implemented any of it back home for some reason. It wasn't until offered as a requirement for Race To The Trough that any of it was accepted. If you want your federal sugar daddy money, you will implement Common Core, the "aligned" textbooks and the "aligned" tests.

    "...our school board answers to the citizens who voted 70 percent Republican in the last election."

    I'm not sure what that would indicate. I guess they didn't get the memo:

    Those 70%ers need to "get their ass in line" as Boehner says if they are going to toe the party line.