Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In their own words: Progressives’ historical vision for the education system

The May cover story for TheBlaze Magazine (“Core Values”) not only exposes the progressive agenda behind Common Core but also reveals the progressive history of attempting to take over American schools. The statements from these historical progressives shows just how long and deep this scheme has been plotted. They’ve been peddling this garbage for a long, long time.
Here are a few statements we uncovered that reveal the true nature of the progressive Common Core agenda that they’ve been hoping for for more than a century:
Historical progressive education statements

Common Core math standards: Fuzzy at best

FINAL - TheBlaze Magazine May 2014 issue - Common Core - fuzzy math
In our May cover story, “Core Values,”we expose the nonsense and progressive agenda behind Common Core. A big part of the ridiculousness of Common Core are the new math standards. These standards apply the constructivism philosophy—a technique that requires students to “construct” understanding of math problems. Advocates claim this will help build critical-thinking skills. Traditional forms of math lessons, including the tried-and-true memorization of multiplication tables, are not required. In fact, eighth-graders in California are no longer required to take an algebra class as the state moves to align itself with the new standards.
“The math standards focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster,” Glyn Wright, executive director of Eagle Forum, told Fox News. “With the new math standards in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So three times four can now equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.” Wright’s comments weren’t some out-of-the-blue criticism of a myth about Common Core but were in response to widely panned statements from an Illinois school district official.
During a Common Core town-hall meeting last summer, Amanda August, a curriculum coordinator in a suburb of Chicago, explained to a group of parents that, though all students should come up with the same correct answer regardless how they do the math problem, they’re less concerned with wrong answers. “Under the new Common Core, even if they said three times four was 11,” said August, “if they were able to explain their reasoning and explain how they came up with their answer, really in words and in oral explanations and they showed it in a picture, but they just got the final number wrong, we’re more focusing on the how and the why.”
When one parent asked whether wrong answers would be corrected, August attempted to clarify. “Absolutely. Absolutely. We want our students to compute correctly,” she said. “But the emphasis is really moving more towards the explanation, and the how, and the why, and can I really talk through the procedures that I went through to get this answer—and not just knowing that it’s 12, but why is it 12? How do I know that?”
Confirming that the emphasis on 

multiplication tables is out and time-consuming, multi-step processes are in, August told parents, “They are supposed to not only be able to come up with the same answer no matter how they do it but they’re going to have to show, ‘OK, I know three times four numerically is 12, but I can show this in a picture, I can write a real world situation where I show that if I put four apples into three bags that’s going to give me 12 total apples.’ So they’re going to have to be able to go back and forth between all those different modalities and really show that.”
Here’s a taste of the Common Core new math shinola:


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stop Common Core! Other Common Core Con Job! Teachers Of The Years!

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Common Core machine is now using its secret cadre of Stepford teachers, from theTeacher of the Year Program, to fan out across the country in an attempt to counter the growing voices of opposition to the Common Core.

The Teacher of the Year Program describes itself as nonpartisan and was created in 1952 to highlight exemplary teachers in the profession of teaching at both the state and national levels. Each year one teacher is chosen to represent all teachers, and the profession of teaching, to the general public through appearances and advocacy. It’s a bit like the Miss America pageant for teachers without the talent component.

You may have already seen these glassy-eyed teachers on television commercials robotically professing their eternal love of the Common Core, using the same old tried-and-true, yet tired-and-through scripts smattered with the talking points “more rigorous,” “critical thinking,” and “college and career ready.”

You may have also seen their commentaries published in the local paper with the title, Teacher of the Year,emblazoned after their name to add just that extra bit of gravitas necessary to help you conclude that their opinion is worth its weight in gold and is far superior to the average everyday teacher, schlepping away in their classrooms day in and day out.

You may have even seen them advocating for the Common Core before school boards or state legislatures, using their professionally honed speech-giving/advocacy skills, just before key votes on legislation designed to slay the Common Core beast.

But the Teachers of the Year have a dirty little Common Core secret. They are not exactly the non-partisan, objective teachers advocating for their profession to the public at large that they profess to be.

The Teacher of the Year program is actually a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which authored the Common Core Standards and holds their copyright. The Common Core chooses theTeacher of the Year. In the interest of full disclosure shouldn’t these Teachers of the Yeardisclose that they were spawned from the Common Core each time they star in pro-Common Core commercials, write pro-Common Core op-eds, and lobby legislatures across the country in support of the Common Core? They never do.

The Common Core group, Achieve, is using the Teachers of the Year Program to sell Common Core to the rest of us nonbelievers and cite examples of the teachers’ support on their website. “Many current and formerTeachers of the Year support the Common Core State Standards and are stepping forward to highlight that support,” they proclaim. They also use the Teachers of the Year to support their erroneous claims that a majority of teachers support the Common Core.

Current National Teacher of the Year, Jeff Charbonneau of Washington, is on paid sabbatical from his teaching obligations at the high school where he worked so that he may travel the country as a spokes-bot for the Common Core.

Erin Sponaugle, West Virginia Teacher of the Year, fills the Mountain State’s papers with commentaries warning, “fear is driving much of the opposition to the Common Core.”

Yeah, Erin, we are fearful. We’re fearful of an intrusive, one-size-fits-all, homogenized education delivery system and the detrimental impact it will have on our children’s minds and our country’s exceptionalism.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using part of the $1.3 million it received from Common Core advocate Bill Gates to propagandize on behalf of the Common Core by creating a national, pro-Common Core commercial starring Iowa Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling.

I used to be so against the Common Core machine’s takeover of our state and parent sovereignty over our children’s education, but if the Teachers of the Yearare in support of the Common Core, and they represent the best of the best of teachers in education, shouldn’t we all bow before their proclamations of support? Yep, throw up just hit the back of my throat too.

I always assumed that the chosen Teacher of the Yearwas the best teacher in a state, identified by parents, students, and coworkers. Then, I believed, the whole community of educators, parents, and students voted this identified teacher as “above the rest” and worthy of a tiara of distinction, complete with a bouquet of roses, a sash, and tears running down their cheeks as they accepted the title “Teacher of the Year” – air kiss, pageant wave. That was until I got an email at school inviting me to “apply” to become a Teacher of the Year, here in Arizona.

Teachers must apply to become Teachers of the Year after either nominating themselves or having someone else do the honors. Teachers of the Year applicants must then complete an extensive written application, write multiple essays, and jump through political hoops in front of interview committees in order to be considered for their shiny titles and thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, just like the governors did, in 2010, when they sold out their states’ control over education in exchange for cash and prizes when adopting the Common Core. So perhaps this is why the Common Core chose the Teachers of the Year to shill for and lobby on behalf of the Cult of Common Core. They are a perfect fit.

Each of the fifty states has appointed groups to choose their state-level Teacher of the Year. Each state then sends their Teacher of the Year to Washington, D.C., to meet the President of the United States and to compete for the National Teacher of the Year title.

After another round of applications, writing multiple additional essays, and doing yet another political fan dance in front of a National Selection Committee stacked with fifteen Common Core acolyte groups, including the National Education Association (NEA), which have received a combined $21 million to push the Common Core’s implementation and success, a new Cult of Common Core propagandist is crowned.

The Teachers of the Year are supposed to be non-partisan because they supposedly advocate for all teachers and the entire teaching profession, both within their states and nationally. Many everyday teachers do not support the Common Core, yet the Teachers of the Year never offer a voice to those who oppose the Common Core machine. In fact on the Arizona Teacher of the Year (AEF) Facebook page there were multiple postings congratulating “Teachers of the Years, both past and present” for their role in defeating a bill which would have ended the Common Core here in Arizona. How non-partisan of them.

Most teachers around the country are humbly and quietly living “teachers of the year” every day in their classrooms. They don’t have the time or the egos to chase a shiny title or prizes.

Do you think that the Teacher of the Year organization and the Common Core group that controls it would choose a teacher who would advocate against the Common Core around their state and country? That’s Common Core’s dirty little secret no longer.


Here is video proof that Republican Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-2) was right ,Still Don’t Believe Barack Obama Lies A Lot? WATCH

2009. During that speech, Obama said, “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
Here is video proof that Republican Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-2) was right. (watch video below)Wilson came under tremendous fire for two words that he uttered during Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address in September 2009. During that speech, Obama said, “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
It was at that point that Rep. Wilson pointed to Obama and said, “You lie!” He uttered those words not once, but twice.
Wilson faced rebuke from both Republicans and Democrats. While he issued a statement of apology, that wasn’t enough for the Democrats who demanded that he restate his apology as a formal one on the House floor. When he refused, they moved to publicly reprimand him, issuing a resolution of disapproval on September 15th.
Fast forward a little over four and half years later and the majority of Americans agree with Rep. Wilson. A recent FOX News survey found that 61% of Americans believe that Obama lies on important matters either most of the time or some of the time. But, when you factor in the number who also believe that Obama lies every now and then, which is 20%, then you have 81% of Americans who believe that Obama lies.
In addition, 66% of Democrats believe that Obama lies on important matters.
Now, thanks to the Washington Free Beacon, we have video representation of what led those Americans to believe that Obama is a liar.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) created an outcry in September 2009 when he blurted out “You lie!” at President Barack Obama while he discussed health care reform before Congress.
Wilson may have been off base on the particular claim on which he challenged Obama, but it turns out he was ahead of the curve. A host of statements by Obama since his first campaign for president up through this past month have been proven to be false or completely contradictory to earlier statements.
The public has caught up to Wilson, as well. Sixty-one percent of voters said in a Fox News poll that they believe Obama lies “most” or “some” of the time on important issues. On everything ranging fromObamacare to Syria to Fast & Furious to Benghazi, the fact-checkers have agreed.
Feb. 26, 2008
“What I’ve said is, at the point where I’m the nominee, at the point where it’s appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.”
Obama said this while being challenged by the late Meet the Press host Tim Russert during a Democratic primary debate with Hillary Clinton. Obama had written in 2007 that if he were to capture the nomination, he would “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”
In the end, Obama did not “keep the money out” of politics, recognizing that he would have far more cash on hand from his private contributions and choosing to not participate in the general election’s public financing system.
PolitiFact rated this a “Full Flop.”
Feb. 28, 2008
“There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it.”
While discussing the differences between his and Clinton’s health care planswith comedian Ellen Degeneres, Obama asserted that he did not need a “mandate” on the people to purchase health insurance for his policy to work, saying “it would be like forcing the homeless to buy homes.”
A mandate, however, ultimately proved to be a central tenet of the Affordable Care Act, more popularly referred to as Obamacare. It’s also proven to be a flexible part of the law too; Obama’s individual andemployer mandates have been delayed multiple times for political cover. Maybe Obama is returning to his earlier view.
Oct. 7, 2008 – Oct. 25, 2013
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
In what will likely go down as the most infamous words of his presidency, Obama made some variation of this promise about Obamacare starting in 2008 and did not let up until its disastrous launch in October of 2013.
He made it in debates against John McCain and Mitt Romney, campaign rallies, town hall meetings, and weekly video addresses. It was a very good selling point, if it turned out to be true. After all, the majority of Americans were already insured and many of them liked their policies.
Then the cancellations began flooding in as insurance companies told theirslack-jawed customers their plans no longer complied with federal regulations. The president’s approval rating went into free fall, and he actually apologized, rather passively, in an interview with Chuck Todd last November.
The same went for Americans who also lost their choice of doctor due to provisions of Obamacare, also despite the White House’s assurances to the contrary.
Jan. 27, 2010
“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”
During the 2010 State of the Union address, Obama attacked the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United “decision and continued his rhetoric attacking “big money” in politics.
Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in July of 2011 that neither Obama nor his campaign staff would fundraise for Super PACS. Yet, in 2012, as Obama faced a difficult re-election battle, the announcement came that indeed White House officials would raise money for Priorities USA, a liberal super PAC.
PolitiFact rated this a “Full Flop.”
Feb. 6, 2011
“Bill, I didn’t raise taxes once.”
Obama said this to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly during the traditional Super Bowl Sunday sit-down with whichever network broadcasts the game that year.
As PolitiFact pointed out, Obama had by that time raised taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, not to mention the various taxes imposed by the Obamacare health care law.
PolitiFact rated this “False.”
Sept. 20, 2012
”I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration.”
During a Univision interview at the University of Miami, Obama sought cover from the gun-running scandal by claiming Fast and Furious was enacted during the Bush administration.
A day earlier, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General issued a 512-page report that clearly stated Fast and Furious started in October 2009, nine months after Obama was inaugurated. A similar program during the Bush years was operated also out of the Phoenix ATF Division, but it wasn’t the same one.
PolitiFact rated this “False.”
Feb. 14, 2013
“This is the most transparent administration in history.”
It isn’t. The Free Beacon reported the following when Obama made the remarks during a Google Hangout:
The administration often points to the White House visitor logs as a tangible example of its commitment to transparency. However, emails revealed that lobbyists sometimes meet with senior White House staff in a Caribou Coffee cafe across the street from the executive mansion to avoid being included in the visitor logs.
The administration’s reforms to the Freedom of Information Act have also fallen short of its goals.
A government-wide audit performed by the National Security Archives in December found 62 of 99 federal agencies have not updated their FOIA regulations since Attorney General Eric Holder issued a 2009 memorandum instructing them to adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, after pointing out that the administration had prosecuted whistleblowers under the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations combined, was fact-checked and found to be telling the truth by PolitiFact. Also, the Committee to Protect Journalists said in October the administration’s crackdown on reporters had created a “tremendous chilling effect” on substantive reporting.
May 13, 2013
“With respect to Benghazi … the day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”
Obama, barely containing the anger in his voice after being forced to address Benghazi at a press conference, asserted he called the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate an “act of terrorism,” but he never did.
In fact, in the Rose Garden and at campaign events in the days following the attack, Obama said that “no act of terror” could ever shake the resolve of the country. He did not directly call it an “act of terrorism,” perhaps in keeping with his campaign credo about having al Qaeda on the run.
Indeed, at first the administration peddled the false narrative that the Benghazi assault was the spontaneous result of a protest against an anti-Islamic video. The Washington Post noted the initial unedited talking points didn’t call it an “act of terrorism” either.
The Washington Post’s “Fact-Checker” gave this claim Four Pinocchios, its harshest rating.
Sept. 4, 2013
“I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”
Obama said this in Stockholm, Sweden, in the midst of a fierce debate in the United States over how to handle Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.
But on Aug. 20, 2012, during a surprise visit to the daily White House press briefing, Obama said thefollowing regarding Assad’s regime:
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.”
When evidence came to light that Assad had used weapons of mass destruction, Obama waffled as his plan to order military strikes against Syria grew increasingly unpopular with Congress and the public.
He had very clearly spoken about chemical weapons usage changing “my calculus.” When the pressure rose, Obama bailed on his past statement and put the onus on the world community.
Nov. 4. 2013
“Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
Maybe the only thing worse than his dozens of promises about health care was Obama’s lame attempt to re-write history during a speech for “Organizing For Action,” the shadowy nonprofit that grew out of his re-election campaign.
Obama repeatedly punctuated his “Keep your plan” promise with an emphatic “period,” once saying, “No one will take it away. No matter what.” He never said anything about Americans’ insurance plans being subject to cancellation if standards changed once the ACA became law.
PolitiFact designated this ridiculous claim “Pants On Fire.”
Feb. 2, 2014
“Not even mass corruption. Not even a smidgeon of corruption.”
So Obama told Bill O’Reilly in his most recent Super Bowl interview about the embattled IRS, who acknowledged its Cincinnati office improperly targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status last May.
Former IRS official Lois Lerner faces criminal prosecution after emails revealed she took particular interest in auditing Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit founded by Karl Rove, and she’s already been cited for contempt for refusing to testify about her involvement.
High-level officials in Washington also knew that the Cincinnati office engaged in improper targeting.
Also, ProPublica reported that “the same IRS office that deliberatelytargeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year.”
April 8, 2014
“Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.”
Obama and many other Democrats have repeated this dishonest talking point in order to exploit the gender gap in American politics. The pay gap is the result of gender prejudice, they say, and women must work all the way through April of the following year to make the money a man makes in one year.
But, as a report from the Wall Street Journal showed, this is both misleading and completely illogical. Rather, factors such as career choice, risk, education level, marriage, and bearing children play a huge role in the disparate pay figures. Also, the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report stated that “men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week.”
Obama would have voters believe Republicans are conspiring to ensure women never receive equal pay for equal work. But that is simply not true.
Just like most of what Obama says.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New Evidence Common Core Was a Waste

A new set of data analyses provides more evidence Common Core is likely a massive waste of time and money. Here’s the conclusion of the Common Core portion of the Brookings Institution’s 2014 Brown Center report:
It is doubtful that even the most ardent Common Core supporter will be satisfied if the best CCSS can offer--after all of the debate, the costs in tax revenue, and blood, sweat, and tears going into implementation--is a three point NAEP gain.
The 2012 Brown Center Report predicted, based on an empirical analysis of the effects of state standards, that the CCSS will have little to no impact on student achievement. Supporters of the Common Core argue that strong, effective implementation of the standards will sweep away such skepticism by producing lasting, significant gains in student learning. So far, at least--and it is admittedly the early innings of a long ballgame--there are no signs of such an impressive accomplishment.
Shameful words. As state officials are constantly reminding lawmakers in hearings this spring on bills to repeal Common Core, states already have pushed teachers and schools into spending loads of time and money putting Common Core mandates in place and preparing for its tests. Almost all did so, of course, before doing a cost analysis or demanding hard data proving these mandates would benefit kids.
Such data are difficult to come by in education, and the Brookings report is no exception. Its section on Common Core includes two statistical analyses, one that compares the changes in test scores on the Nation’s Report Card between groups of states that an earlier study sorted into “those with math mandates like Common Core” and “those with math mandates not like Common Core.” Brookings finds states less like Common Core did better on national tests than did the states whose standards were more like Common Core.
Unfortunately, the underlying study that originally rated state standards “more like Common Core” or not has some technical problems, as Ze’ev Wurman has explained. So it’s hard to tell whether this portion of the study provides useful information. But we’re continuing to see more evidence that standards have little effect on achievement. As for the more important question of whether Common Core itself will increase math achievement, we still do not have any solid data. That in itself is astonishing, because it means nearly all states have been willing to experiment on kids and classrooms with really no good evidence to support that decision.
The second portion of the analysis shows a slight improvement (but not statistically significant) in math scores for “strong implementers” of CCSS: “If it takes four years for the CCSS to generate a .035 [standard deviation] improvement, it will take 24 years for a noticeable improvement to unfold.” That’s a noticeable improvement, folks, not a significant one. In other words, the small amount of data we currently have still says Common Core does essentially nothing for kids.
Common Core supporters will insist we wait another several years, after the tests kick in and everything is fully in place, before making this the final conclusion. The report author considers and rejects this idea, but perhaps C.S. Lewis has the best rejoinder: “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”
SOURCES: Brookings Institution, Ze’ev Wurman

Friday, April 25, 2014

Frustrated New York mother vents on Common Core worksheet: ‘Go back to basic math!’

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. – Some parents have had quite enough of the crazy, convoluted and sometimes error-filled Common Core math worksheets.

Deanne Knight is one of them, and she let her feelings be known.
Her daughter’s worksheet, which came from the New York Department of Education’s EngageNY lesson plan website and was emblazoned with “NY’s Common Core Mathematics Curriculum,” asks students to review a fictitious student’s work and circle the correct mathematical procedure.
Common Core math go back to basic math
The second portion of the lesson has students “fix the student work that was incorrect by making new drawings in the space below.” What follows is a series of long lines and circles – apparently adding up to the desired answer: 25.
Students are then supposed to write “a suggestion for improvement.”
At that point, Knight couldn’t help it. She wrote in large letters on her daughter’s worksheet: “Go back to basic math! – mom’s opinion!”
“This example of her homework really made me question what our state education system in New York is thinking. My child, let alone any 6-year-old, in my opinion, would be hard pressed to comprehend the question being asked,” Knight tells EAGnews.
“I was so dumbfounded by the question that I could not help but respond to the question with a grain of sarcasm and frustration.

What happens if that one child who could potentially be the one who discovers a cure for cancer or other diseases fails to meet the standards? Do our educators direct that child into another field of work or a career that will never utilize their full potential?
“Many of our great advancements and discoveries have been brought to fruition because of innovative ideas and imagination! It seems as if creativity and imagination are being slowly destroyed and thought to be unnecessary. Where would we be if Common Core had been in play during the times of Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell?”
Answer: probably waiting by candlelight for the next telegraph message.
The mom concludes, “I know her teacher is doing her best to teach all of her students and I don’t find fault with her at all. She herself doesn’t buy into the Common Core values but must teach to them in order to keep her job.”
Knight’s final statement should be all parents need to know about what Common Core is doing to teaching and learning.
Don’t think critically, but conform to the Common Core way.

The New SAT Test: Infused with Common Core and Killing American Education

Recently, as I waited in line at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, my eyes drifted to a sample license plate on the wall that said “Education Begins At Home.”
I thought, “Not if they continue with Common Core and these new SAT standards.”
Public school education would be limited to “teaching to the test,” with limited choices and options for parents to find alternatives for their children.
As the mother of two school-aged children, the Common Core discussion is near and dear to me. There is nothing more important to me than the education of my kids, the curriculum, and the influence that people who surround my kids seven hours a day have on them.
Common Core Standards Pushback
In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, concerned grandparent Sue Lile, of Carmel, Ind., shows her opposition to Common Core standards during a rally at the State House rotunda in Indianapolis. Some states are pushing back against the new set of uniform benchmarks for reading, writing and math that replace a hodgepodge of of goals that had varied wildly from state to state and are being widely implemented this school year in most states. (AP/The Star, Frank Espich)
The allure of Common Core continues to fade as governors, state officials, and teachers across the country slowly withdraw their support for the national standards.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently announced his intention to pull back from the consortium developing Common Core assessments. Meanwhile, countless teachers and educators continue to argue that Common Core will “dumb down” educational standards and give them less control over what they can teach in the classroom. A resignation letter from a Colorado teacher illustrating these complaints recently went viral in protest to Common Core standards.
Last month, the College Board, the organization that developed the Scholastic Assessment Test, announced revisions to the SAT that will be implemented in 2016. The president of the College Board, David Coleman, believes college admissions exams “have become disconnected from the work of our high schools.”
The new revisions allegedly have been designed to address this issue. More importantly, the new standards are designed to mirror the K-12 Common Core curriculum.
Amy Lawson, a fifth-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Del., helps student Melody Fritz with an English language arts lesson Oct. 1, 2013. Silver Lake has begun implementing the national Common Core State Standards for academics. Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in Lawson’s fifth-grade classroom. Now, students are being asked to think more critically -- what, for example, might a character say in an email to a friend. "It’s hard. But you can handle this," Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in grades kindergarten through high school. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Amy Lawson, a fifth-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Del., helps student Melody Fritz with an English language arts lesson Oct. 1, 2013. Silver Lake has begun implementing the national Common Core State Standards for academics. Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in Lawson’s fifth-grade classroom. Now, students are being asked to think more critically — what, for example, might a character say in an email to a friend. “It’s hard. But you can handle this,” Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in grades kindergarten through high school. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
In 2012, Mr. Coleman took over the College Board in what appears to be a seamless transition. Earlier in his career, Mr. Coleman worked for McKinsey and Company advising urban school districts. He then went on to co-found a non-profit entity called Student Achievement Partners.
It is no surprise to discover that Student Achievement Partners, which claims to join researchers and educators to develop programs that improve student outcomes, played a key role in developing Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. As co-founder, Mr. Coleman led his organization’s contribution to Common Core.
There has been lots of media coverage documenting the new SAT changes and how they mirror the Common Core standards. Even David Coleman has been public about his desire for the College Board to better reflect these standards.
In addition, Education Week has done a detailed, side-by-side analysis of the current SAT, the redesigned SAT, and Common Core.
College Board President David Coleman attends an announcement event, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Austin, Texas where College Board officials announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam, the first since 2005, needed to make the exam a College Board a better representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
College Board President David Coleman attends an announcement event, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Austin, Texas where College Board officials announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam, the first since 2005, needed to make the exam a College Board a better representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
At this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Mr. Coleman said the SAT should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles.”
I am not sure what world Mr. Coleman lives in, but from my vantage point, there are both challenges and obstacles. I am interested in raising children who are capable of confronting challenges and overcoming obstacles, regardless of whether someone deems them “unworthy or artificial.”
Additionally, Mr. Coleman points out that the new SAT offers an optional essay section, which is, in my opinion, a mistake. We should require students to write more essays, especially in our text-prone, social media society. Assessing a student’s ability to express their thoughts in a well written, coherent sentence is an essential skill for college success.
Common Core opponents, including governors, parents, teacher advocacy groups, national-based and state-based education organizations, must continue to fight against the implementation of Common Core. The Common Core /SAT connection reminds me of the scorpion and the frog fable.
The College Board hired Common Core champion David Coleman to infuse Common Core standards into the SAT. It is like the scorpion killing the frog and thus killing them all.
Why is anyone surprised?