Re: Common Core

1

Ooh, I've been waiting for this to come up here! I'm tentatively more in favor of Common Core than any of my fb friends who care seem to be. I think all the bullshit that keeps getting pointed to is about implementation rather than theory, and it would be so great for the kids in my girls' classes who are transferring schools four or five times a year to be able to have some continuity or at least be able to show the other school what they've covered already. Our K-2 school is seeing success from having kids understand what underlying learning goal they're undertaking (I think they call these "I can" statements) and I think the Common Core will get folded in pretty naturally, though the curriculum committee is still in the process of working it out. Both Lee and I have considered volunteering to help just to see what goes on, but whether I do will depend on timing.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
2

You'll be surprised to learn that Texas is one of four states that have not yet adopted CCSS.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
3

My general reaction is always that this:

...connected to a new, nation-wide high-stakes test. States who have adopted the CCSS will increase standardized testing and use a test by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium which is supposed to test the content on the CCSS. For most states, this will require an increase in high-stakes, standardized tests.
renders it all pretty guaranteed to be shitty no matter what other benefits it might have. More high-stakes standardized testing, booray!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
4

Oh, right, one other benefit is that standard textbooks will be written to align with Common Core rather than with Texas standards. Huge win for everyone but you!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
5

I think that's a win for Texas('s students) too.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
6

I don't know enough about this, but I've often thought that high-stakes testing ought to be something the government does instead of leaving it to the likes of the Educational Testing Service. Maybe individual subject tests could replace the ETS achievement tests (which may be gone already, for all I know.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
7

5: Only if Texas chooses to use them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
8

I heard my very conservative parents-in-law ranting a lot about Common Core this holiday season. What I didn't understand about it is how much they're concerned that Common Core is about standardized testing... I wasn't aware that standardized testing is deprecated among the right these days.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
9

High-stakes standardized testing is the rare thing that is entirely technocratic, hated by both the left and the right.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
10

9: They could make it essay-based which *might* be less awful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
11

but I've often thought that high-stakes testing ought to be something the government does instead of leaving it to the likes of the Educational Testing Service.

But really, there should be no high-stakes testing, particularly in K-6. Low-stakes is fine - you can get important information about what your students understand, on a mass scale. High stakes is generally a bad idea, but especially for K-6.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
12

Maybe the problem is that the stakes aren't high enough. Why should only UMC students in doctoral programs have to fight a snake?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
13

11: Oh, see, I didn't read anything about it. I figured that it was k-12, and you took the tests when you were 16 or 17, sort of like the MCAS. You don't graduate without it.*

*This does not seem to be completely true. There are a couple of schools I've seen for children (and adults up to 21) with severe behavioral difficulties
which provide high school diplomas and don't seem to have much in the way of academic standards. One was public; the other was run by my agency but paid for with public funds. That's not to say that they have no value, just that I don't think that the kids could have passed the MCAS.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
14

10: Have you read anything about how the essay portion of the SAT is scored? What I read didn't make it sound less awful.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
15

14: I have; that's why I wrote "*might*".


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
16

The article in the OP is indeed pretty good--it has a higher reason-to-batshit ratio than just about anything else I've seen on the Internet on the topic of the Common Core standards.


Posted by: No President Left Behind | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
17

16: But surely we all agree those flags with 3 stars are unamerican!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
18

The funniest use of common core standards was on a math website my kids like to play, it links to some flash games (e.g. growcube) using the standards as an excuse to claim that games to drive their website traffic are actually educational. This game meets the reasoning and logic common core standard!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
19

High-stakes testing isn't essay-based? I'm pretty sure all the state-mandated exams we took when I was in school had essay components. In the 10th grade I was judged "apprentice" (the rank below "proficient") in writing because I wrote an essay about how stupid the question was.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
20

19: Our state did its own early education reform and is very different from most, and those tests and portfolios were not the norm nationwide. (I don't know a ton because I didn't have to do them, being in Catholic schools the whole way through.) I'm not sure if that's tied to the reason we don't have charter schools or if people who complain about one just complain about the other and blame the same thing.

We're actually having a little trouble with the low-stakes testing at the girls' school in that Mara's not testing near where she should be because she probably has some kind of auditory processing problem and until second grade, kids don't read the questions to themselves but have them read into headphones. So she gets frustrated and pushes the headphones off and doesn't do well on the test, which doesn't matter because her teacher knows she's doing fine and because she's in an ungraded program and the results don't go anywhere. But if this were a bigger deal I'd probably complain more or something. (We're actually getting a diagnosis soon Nia's also having a full workup and this means I'll probably have to stop doing my privileged UMC thing where I just get individual accommodations for them and actually go through the IEP/504 process for real.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
21

||

This farm bill with even more cuts to food stamps is really pissing me off.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
22

In theory I would be generally supportive of some kind of common curriculum. But, in as much as its being pushed by "education reformers" who have left such a terrible wreckage in their wake, I am quite leery of this thing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
23

21: My understanding is that the farm bill isn't that bad. Most of the cuts that seemed possible before have been eliminated; the one left is something that arguably pegs benefits more accurately to means (if you go along with the whole means-testing thing).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
24

You can be pissed off about the logging provisions, if you want.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 11:19 PM
horizontal rule
25

Thanks, Heebie! That was well written and coherent and informative and really quite helpful.


Posted by: Saheli | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 3:23 PM
horizontal rule