Welcome back to school. This year most children in America will be tested and taught based on the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Though these standards are already deeply implemented in many school districts, most still know very little about them. Common Core State Standards are an initiative of the Obama administration and not the states, and just as Pelosi said about ObamaCare, we had to pass the standards, to find out what was in the standards. According to the Common Core State Standards initiative website, one of the goals of the CCSS is to produce workers (the emphasis is mine) in the global economy, and that the development of CCSS was driven by a concern over the deficit of highly-skilled workers in America. We are told that CCSS aim to improve the achievement levels and test scores of all students regardless of their background, and that every student should be held to the same rigorous standards of success. However, when looking closely at some aspects of CCSS, one can’t help but be cynical and wonder what the endgame really is. The “close reading” strategy is just one of many examples.
Under Common Core the activation of prior knowledge is deliberately discouraged. CCSS reading standards require that teachers and students engage in “close reading” of a text. During a close reading each piece of text is an isolated bit of information devoid of any context or connection. Teachers are to instruct students to read a difficult passage “cold”. These passages are often described as “rigorous” because they are not texts that the students are usually familiar with and they are usually above their grade level. Quite often they are uninteresting. The texts selected for close reading may be excerpts from historical documents, without putting them in historical context. The point is to try to select a text that the kids have never seen before and on a topic they probably know nothing about. This is why when doing a close reading, the text needs to be read over and over again “to gain deeper understanding”. Even though the texts are “rigorous”, teachers cannot ask students any questions to build knowledge or help them activate what they already know. Students are assessed by questions that are text dependent and students are repeatedly reminded to go to the text for evidence to support their answer and not rely on prior knowledge. Even when asked for a written response, children will be graded on whether they include specific examples from the text.
Read more: http://americanthinker.com/2014/08/common_core_endgame_social_justice_.html#ixzz3Btv7dml3
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook