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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The incongruity of common core or it turns out it’s not that common after all.

Oy vey only in Florida.

Apparently the leaders of Florida’s education system don’t understand what common means.
From the St. Augustine record: Amid growing political backlash from some conservative groups, the state Board of Education voted Tuesday not to require school districts to use certain education materials crafted as part of a new set of national education standards.

So no common materials and since we dropped out of the common PARCC, there will be no common test either.

Then I thought the Common core was supposed to be a deep dive into material well not so fast.
From the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting: In Chris Kirchner’s freshman English classes at Miami’s Coral Reef Senior High School, novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Great Gatsby” have been squeezed off the syllabus to make room for nonfiction texts including “The Glass Castle” and “How to Re-Imagine the World.” For the first time, students will read only excerpts of classics like “The Odyssey” and “The House on Mango Street” instead of the entire book. And Kirchner will assign less independent reading at home, but will require students to write more essays, and push them to make connections across multiple texts.

“I’m trying to go big with the change and see what works,” says Kirchner, who has taught English in Miami-Dade schools for more than 30 years.

The “change” Kirchner refers to is the introduction of the Common Core: the education standards adopted by Florida along with 44 other states and the District of Columbia. The standards do not constitute a curriculum, but they lay out general education principles and skills students should master at different grade levels. All Florida public school educators are supposed to start adapting their teaching to the new standards this school year; students will be tested on them for the first time in 2015.

Hmmm things are looking less and less common

Then there is the notion that we need Common Core so if a student moves form one state to another they will be learning a common lesson. First how did we put a man on the moon without that and second, what the?!? Kids have moved since public schools began and somehow we have survived without blowing the system up.

But as the FCFIR points out students in different states may be learning vastly different material.

 So it turns out it’s not that common, we aren’t getting the deep dive promised and its proponents are selling it in my opinion for a pretty dumb reason that doesn’t exist anyways.

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