How Common Core Killed the Dinosaurs

This is the reality behind the fiction John White and Bobby Jindal try to pass off as Common Core freedom. You can teach whatever you want, however you want to, as long as it is “this” book and taught the way we say. Common Core Curriculum is more than just tellling students what they need to learn, and when they need to learn it. If you’ve examined the math curriculum it also dictates how students have to learn to do math problems using a variety of methods to derive the same answer. How exactly is that not defining a curriculum? The explained difference is so minute as to be the very definition of “splitting hairs” . The reality means no splitting necessary or even possible.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Amy Prime, a second grade teacher in Iowa, used to teach about dinosaurs as a unit that taught science, social studies, language, literacy, math, and the arts.

Now the dinosaurs are gone.

Killed again. This time by Common Core.

Amy writes:

“So I grieve for the lost dinosaurs. I grieve for the challenge and energy I got as a teacher from striving to get to know my kids and create lessons for them that would keep them engaged. I grieve my autonomy and my ability to use my professional judgment. Ask a teacher you know what she is grieving due to the demands of the Common Core. And then ask our leaders who are insisting upon the use and measurement of these standards in the current way if gaining a test score is worth losing the fun.”

View original post

Advertisements

Top 20 Reasons Clancy Dubos Thinks I’m an “educational knuckle dragger”

Top 20 Reasons Clancy Dubos Thinks I’m an “educational knuckle dragger”

For those of you other Knuckle Draggers out there, here is the amazingly patronizing and ignorant rant by Clancy Dubos, which inspired this post.

http://www.wwltv.com/news/clancys-commentaries/DuBos-Jindal-should-stick-to-guns-on-Common-Core-225112232.html

“Now, Gov. Bobby Jindal and some lawmakers are sheepishly retreating from that bold step, because a vocal minority of educational knuckle-draggers is making noise about a federal takeover of local education” Clancy Dubos

  1. I believe that just because 46 states were bribed into accepting a set of “Standards” with many millions of dollars in incentives before they had ever seen them, this is not a reason to adopt them. I also do not jump off of bridges just because everyone else does. This makes me a knuckle dragger.
  2. I think elementary and secondary educators; child psychologists and developmental specialists; (not Governors, private companies hoping to reap large profits off them and liberal and conservative think-tanks) should have been involved in drafting and approving the standards. This makes me a knuckle dragger.
  3. I believe the cost of the tests, like PARCC, that must be used to test these standards and which are 3 to 4 times as expensive as our current tests is an improper diversion of school resources, resources that are not being offset by our governor; resources which come out of school budgets and educational supplies and numbers of teachers districts can employ. This makes me a Clancy Dubois knuckle dragger.
  4. I believe our children’s data should be protected and don’t want my children’s data like SSN, discipline data, phone number, home address, photos, medical history, grades, test scores, religious background, absences, to be shared with potential employers, credit agencies, insurers, or pedophiles and criminal for the rest of their lives. Because I want to protect my children, this makes me a knuckle dragger.
  5. I believe the CCSS were not properly defined or explained to parents, which is causing a lot of confusion and fear. Many parents are finding themselves unable to help their children with the coursework they never experienced themselves, which cuts them out of the loop in terms of helping their children. This makes me a knuckle dragger.
  6. I believe the standards, if we were going to adopt them, should have been phased in slowly, not rushed for all grades all at the same time to prevent anyone from understanding them, debating them or evaluating them. These standards build upon previous skills a student is expected to have learned the prior year, but when you introduce these to 12th graders, that means 12 years of foundational learning (including K) has not taken place. (Here’s a prop, now go build a plane and fly it around the world) Students in higher grades that have these standards and expectations thrust upon them suddenly are often times lost and confused, depressed and angry at school and lose their joy of learning and a shot at a productive life. Because I think kids should be properly prepared and reasonable expectations should be set that can be met, I am a knuckle dragger.
  7. I believe that local control was usurped by unelected corporations and foundations, like Gates, who underwrote much of the process. Gates made his fortune by dropping out of college, tricking another person to sell him their software so he could resell it as his own. He then proceeded to build a monopolistic empire that bought up or imitated other’s ideas, using his wealth and influence to crush competitors and stifle innovation. Microsoft routinely hires low cost tech workers from overseas instead of hiring a surplus of capable out-of-work Americans who could do the same jobs or better, but at a higher cost. Gates and the Walton Foundation, run by the Walmart family which also funded CCSS and education reforms, have a vested interest in dumbing down education, and training an even larger surplus of American workers to drive down salaries and people who would be capable of innovating or competing with them. Perhaps this makes me a conspiracy theorist . . .but it also makes me a knuckle dragger, albeit a very sophisticated one.
  8. I believe local control is not having the Federal government dangle funds to states that adopt CCSS sight unseen as a requirement to apply for a pot of reallocated money in the form of Race to the Top grants. I also believe making CCSS a condition of easing of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) legislation is also a federal instruction into our schools, curriculum, and local control. Knuckle dragger supreme!
  9. I believe the NGA, the National Governor’s Association, is not a local elected school board. I do not believe any of the other 30 or 40 governors from other states that took part in this were elected by anyone from Louisiana. Because I do not see this as local control, I am a knuckle dragger.
  10. I believe I understand what the word “curriculum” means, and people that say CCSS is not a curriculum are not making their case more credible my lying to those of us who haven’t taken CCSS and can still read. From Wikipedia:

    For many authorities, in formal education, a curriculum is the planned interaction of pupils with instructional content, materials, resources, and processes for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives.

    Other definitions combine various elements to describe curriculum as follows:

  • Outlines the skills, performances, attitudes, and values pupils are expected to learn from schooling. It includes statements of desired pupil outcomes, descriptions of materials, and the planned sequence that will be used to help pupils attain the outcomes.
  • The total learning experience provided by a school. It includes the content of courses (the syllabus), the methods employed (strategies), and other aspects, like norms and values, which relate to the way the school is organized.
  • The aggregate of courses of study given in a learning environment. The courses are arranged in a sequence to make learning a subject easier. In schools, a curriculum spans several grades.

Note: Non-Knuckle draggers are apparently illiterate, lazy, or in denial.

  1. I believe before a new curriculum or CCSS should be effectively mandated and pronounced as superior to what we have, some amount of study, or feedback based on actual implementation should have taken place. Because I don’t think people should just pull this out of their ass, and make everyone eat it, I am a knuckle dragger.
  2. I believe that if the intent of these tests was really to improve student performance, they would be given at the beginning or middle of the school year, not the end when the teacher won’t get the results and cannot use them to address individual student deficiencies. I am a knuckle dragger.
  3. I believe these standards were not properly explained to teachers, and no standards or vetting is in place to determine what material is truly CCSS, and what is just impersonating as it, as may have happened in Vermillion recently. The collaboration part behind CCSS is the ability to share worksheets freely across states, directly teacher to teacher. Because I see problems with not properly preparing teachers and not having a way to vet material, I am a knuckle dragger.
  4. I believe the purpose of CCSS is to intentionally drive down school scores to expand the number of schools we can grade as C, D or F, to make more students eligible for vouchers in schools with no standards, certified teachers, or in some cases teachers or even school buildings. Because I see increasing standards for public schools while have zero standards for non-public schools that accept state funding, I am a knuckle dragger.
  5. I believe the purpose of CCSS is to lower SPS scores to make more schools eligible to be taken over by RSD. RSD is run by the state, and no RSD school has ever returned. RSD is a state takeover of education. Because I believe RSD is not local control, and don’t want my local schools taken over by the nightmare that is RSD, I am a knuckle dragger.
  6. I believe the purpose of CCSS is to drive down tests scores to make the case for more charter schools. Charter schools take public funding, but do not allow the public access to most of their records, do not have to follow much of the laws and regulations public schools do (including certified teachers) and charter schools change hands so often no one can keep track of who is in charge or who should be held accountable for poor performance. I do not believe charter schools are public schools. Scores influenced by an intentionally poorly planned and promoted adoption of CCSS will enable more charters to infiltrate the market and provide substandard educations to the students they keep and drive out many students they don’t want, I am a knuckle dragger.
  7. I believe John White lied repeatedly to BESE, newspapers, and the public about Louisiana’s contract with inBloom, which allowed that company to sell our student’s data to any company it saw fit for any reason. John White also sent student SSN numbers to inBloom even though he was told repeatedly not to by the Vendor, and when questioned he denied this. John white did this knowing full well an alternative student identifier existed, called a GUID, existed instead. He chose not to send this, and instead endangered our children. Because I do not trust him or DOE to handle this data responsibly I am a knuckle dragger.
  8. I believe FERPA has been redefined by corporate lobbyists to allow larger corporations that obtain data the right to share and sell that data to anyone they want without any right for parents to opt out. Because I do not trust my children’s data with John White and DOE or these vendors, I am a knuckle dragger.
  9. I believe Louisiana does not have a student privacy law in place, but one could be put in place very easily. (One with significant defined penalties for violations) I believe the administration is fighting this because their campaign donors, and future campaign donors, do not want this to happen – because they want to profit off the sale of our children’s private data. Because I think we should have a privacy law that limits what can be shared, how long it can be stored, when it must be destroyed, includes opt out policies and method to anonymize data, I am a knuckle dragger.
  10. I believe I have not been sold on any benefits to adopting CCSS, and do not believe our elected officials that adopted them understand them themselves. Because my elected officials cannot explain why these standards are so much better except to tell us everyone else is doing it or that we need to compete in an international marketplace (without showing how these standards accomplish that), I am a knuckle dragger.

Are there any other knuckle draggers out there, or am I alone?

The Best Article Ever About New Orleans’ Charter Schools

And what is more, many of the miraculous results may be the result of withholding lower performing students from taking tests, and thus getting tests scores, and possible cheating. I have reports if both and LDE makes it a point if only showing percentages and highly manipulated scores without providing underlying data or even numbers of students being tested in various subjects.

Diane Ravitch's blog

We all have heard or read or seen the stories in the mass media about the “miracle” in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina, which Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the best thing that ever happened to education in that city, wiped out public education and the teachers’ union. Now New Orleans is the only city where more than 75 % of students are in charter schools with minimal government regulation.

Experienced journalist and scholar Andrea Gabor here goes behind the curtain and takes a closer look than Oprah or the other high-profile celebrants of the “miracle.” Her article appeared in Newsweek-The Daily Beast. (I link to another site here because I had trouble opening the Daily Beast site.)

In a tour de force of investigative journalism, she takes a close look at what is happening in the best charters (typified by a degree of regimentation that most parents would…

View original post 319 more words

A Parent at Success Academy Says “No, We Won’t March”

In case you were wondering folks, charter schools like this chain are free to engage in real totalitarianism, what many folks see as communism. Get used to it. Charter schools are not public schools except when it comes to siphoning off public funding. Obey or no school for you. Success Academy = School Nazi. Seinfeld would be proud.

Diane Ravitch's blog

As previously reported on this blog by an anonymous teacher at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain, parents, teachers, students, and staff have been directed to participate in a march across the Brooklyn Bridge on October 8 to protest any slowdown in allocation of  public space to charter schools or any effort to charge the charters rent for public space. Some readers doubted the authenticity of this claim, but in fact it is true, as reported by website Gotham Schools.

Another reader of the blog sent this comment about why she will not march, nor will her children. She writes:

I am also a parent of a child at Success…this email is Real and participation is MANDATORY. As Eva said in her advocacy meeting the only excuse parents have for not attending protests or rallies is if someone (that someone being a woman because men are not excused) is…

View original post 549 more words

New Mathematica TFA Study is Irrational Exuberance

Dr Heilig’s initial critique of the TFA/Mathematica study. He makes talking about numbers fun(ish)

Cloaking Inequity

Teach For America (TFA) has sought to direct attention to a new study recently released by Mathematica.  A blogger at the Washington Post even argued that my prior critiques of TFA were “not true anymore.” (See all of my prior posts on TFA here.) Is that the case? Next week I will start an entire series on the Mathematica TFA study, but for now, because there is an avalanche of email and media inquiries about the study, I will discuss several important issues that I have noted in the study.

1) Mathematica TFA study does not say much about TFA writ large

The sample is large and covers an adequate number of students, schools and states. However, there are clearly some issues in the TFA sample that calls into question whether it really represents TFA and the profession more broadly.

The sample only contains secondary math teachers. However…

View original post 1,536 more words

Teach For America: Feel Good Spin vs. Dose of Reality From A Corps Member

A dose of TFA reality from former corps member.

Cloaking Inequity

I often receive notes and email from Teach For America teachers who have regret about their decision to join the corps (Please encourage teachers to send them to me. I will publish them here on Cloaking Inequity to give them voice). Should you believe the positive spin from your local TFA lobbyist, Mathematica, TFA recruiters, College of Education Deans, the wealthy and powerful, neoliberal foundations, Democrats, Republicans and everyone else?

Her letter about her TFA experience speaks for itself. Without further ado:

The Spin

Every year since 1990, Teach For America, an organization that seeks to end educational inequality, has recruited college graduates and sent them to teach in hard to staff, challenging communities throughout the United States (Donaldson & Johnson, 2010, p. 300).  Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America believed that, “If top recent college graduates devoted 2 years to teaching in public schools, they could have a…

View original post 958 more words

Huggy, Snuggly, Cuddly: Teach For America and Mathematica

Thoughts on too close relationships between Mathematics, TFA and their mutual donors and connections.

Cloaking Inequity

Wanna Cuddle? A new study paid for by the U.S. Department of Education enlisted the services of Mathematica, Inc., a research organization that has studied Teach For America and its subsidiaries, consistently for over a decade.[1] The reports have one thing in common: Teach For America and  the growing network of charter schools affiliated with TFA , end up with glowing reports of corps member effectiveness.

The most recent study released this month is focused this time, on the “gains” made by Teach For America’s Secondary Mathematics teachers. The report released by Mathematica, Inc., notes that gains attributed to TFA teachers, in secondary math education, which includes middle and high school teachers only teaching math, equated to two months of additional math instruction for students in mostly low-income schools. Julian Vasquez Heilig took issue with their conclusions here on Cloaking Inequity. See New Mathematica TFA Study is Irrational Exuberance

There are few huggy, snuggly, cuddly coincidences between Mathematic…

View original post 1,853 more words