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The problem with common core is not the standards.

I suddenly fell into the liberal teachers against common core side right next to the ultra conservatives and tea party screamers. Let me rest assure you that would be a very uncomfortable elevator ride. What however has failed to be articulated is both groups are against common core for dramatically different reasons.

I unlike them am not concerned about some government take over of education though I do think NCLB and RttT, both from the federal government has been a weight around public schools necks and  I am not overly concerned about the release of student information, overly concerned that is, either.

Most importanlty however is it is not the standards that I and other liberal teachers are against, it’s the over reliance on high stakes testing, the lack of infrastructure/computer resources and the fact it is going to siphon hundreds of millions out of classrooms where the money really needs to be used.  

Liberal teachers, want their students to do well, liberal teachers want their students to be prepared and competitive when they graduate and most liberal teachers I know working with the standards really like them too. What we don’t want is to see more money siphoned out of the classroom and to be scapegoats for a system that isn’t ready to go on-line.

This by the way is a sentiment that most Superintendents in Florida share.

7 comments:

  1. I am a progressive and the problem I have with the standards is that they were written top down from college level by people who do not understand how young children learn. As a result, the standards for the early grades are wildly age inappropriate. There is no accommodation for individual learning style and pace, so students with unique learning needs are either left behind in the dust or frustrated to tears. Perhaps at the high school level, teachers are not experiencing the CC difficulties to the same extent. In NY, the CC has resulted in severe narrowing of the curriculum, and a pace that is too rigid for differentiated instruction.

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    1. It is not simply that the standards were written by university faculty–in fact, I am not sure that they were–but that they were written by people who know nothing about children or learning, or the hundreds of years of educational research and theory that inform the work of professional educators. The topics themselves defy everything we know about children; there is no attention to imagination or creativity; there is simply nothing of the child there. The disrespect and arrogance that underlie these standards is staggering. It is not the tests alone that are wrong!

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    2. They were not written by university faculty. University faculty have been excluded systematically in the same ways that teachers have. But your points still stand; they were written by people either ignorant of or indifferent to the human beings and relationships that are at the heart of all learning experiences.

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  2. I have the same problem as Anonymous and it's not any better in the high school. Because the new CC was not implemented sequentially through the grades starting with Kindergarten and working its way up, the high school curriculum assumes that students have prior knowledge that they just don't have. Consequently, I'm teaching material they need to know to do the material required by CC. Double work and not enough time to finish curriculum!

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  3. The high school level has just as many problems. Because the CC curriculum wasn't instituted sequentially, starting with Kindergarten, the curriculum expects that students have prior knowledge and they don't. I find myself teaching things they need to know in order to teach them CC. Double the work, not enough time and relatively poor results.

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  4. Honestly, I don't see anything inherently wrong with the Common Core standards, more specifically the ELA standards. My issue is the assumed testing that comes along with these standards, like the PARCC. The more I teach, the more I am completely against standardized tests that, more often than not, hinder kids that need more time or alternative assessments. I took like 1 multiple choice test in college, and it was in a geography class. Almost all of my classes at FSU required full-length essays, even those related to science and history. Writing was never timed, as I received AP and CLEP credits for my freshman/sophomore writing classes that may have had timed writing as a component. When students come back to me and claim that "college makes high school look hard," one can see that real teaching that prepares students for the college experience, and not testing, is all it takes. The adoption of standards is neither here nor there; it takes a determined, prepared teacher and a willing, or at least a semi-cognizant, student in order for learning to occur.

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    1. Well, I teach writing at the middle level, and I definitely see something wrong with the CCNS: The standards *completely* omit writing poetry, and fiction is directly reference only *once* (in regards to writing narratives, it has the phrase "whether real or imagined"...and those last two words are the full extent of the reference)! Compared to the standards CCNS are supplanting in my state of NH, the writing standards have been GUTTED.

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