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.”

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8 thoughts on “How Common Core Killed the Dinosaurs

  1. Speaking of splitting hairs, the Common Core State Standards don’t require or prohibit particular books. And “taught the way we say” may be slightly inaccurate, but certainly the kinds of activities the students engage in should mirror what they’ll be required to perform on the TEST – in our case the transition test and then PARCC. Administrators (district or school)may mandate the use of certain resources. I thought little Bobby is backing away from the Common Core, possibly because Jeb Bush is promoting it. I’m sure the TT-party vote is influencing this strategy. A former BESE member thinks John White has been thrown under the bus on this topic. There are several other places I’d like to see him thrown, but under the bus will do for now.

  2. I’ve been told from local publishers that White is in the process of purchasing or designating specific books for Common Core from a national publisher and they will be shut out of the process. Taught the way we say is pretty accurate in that the material is “process oriented”. Have you seen any of the math material where kids have to define why 1+1 =2. Have you read the comments from parents and teachers I am getting? Jindal is sitting in the fence, just as he did with the budget, waiting to jump in at the last moment and declare victory with whomever proves to win public opinion on this argument.

  3. I can verify that the process through which text books are adapted is undergoing review from a committee or commission. That’s a result of some legislation last session, and the deck doesn’t seem to be a “stacked” as say, the accountability commission, special advisory, committee of practitioners. I’m reading the comments, but I detect a bit of hysteria. Most of the math complaints in my neck of the woods are from the “something New York” curriculum “A LOUISIANA CREATED PRODUCT!!!.” I’m not convinced the CCSS are the bugaboo, but I think the various chosen curricula, maybe even ill-chosen, have become so intertwined with the standards that neither have much of a chance of acceptance. We might be throwing the baby out with the bath water. I will never trust anything White is pushing, but we’ll have to see how this one plays out. By the way, I’ve a report of White turning in a McNeese professor to the Ethics Board for daring to disagree with him in public. I’ll send the details as I collect them.

    1. A commission run by or influenced by White’s folks is a farce.

      Louisiana creates lots of things, that doesn’t mean I think Bourbon street or Southern Comfort is right for my kids either, just because they are Louisiana product. 🙂

      Math teachers across the spectrum are telling me the math is two years behind what they cover in terms of content. You don’t get to Trig or Calculus in high school. How is that making kids ready for college and engineering?

      1. A former BESE member who wouldn’t vote for White is on the text book committee established by House Bill 116. It’s one of those defined groups that has a member from various stakeholder groups, 3 teachers, etc. They always pick white disciples from the teacher and principal ranks.

        Engage New York is the math curriculum adopted by several school districts. It’s pretty rigorous, but I’m more familiar with 4th, 5th grade content. Not familiar with the high school courses other than algebra has infiltrated earlier grades, but that may be independent of CCSS. No, the fact that it was some bunch associated with LSU that developed it doesn’t mean it’s marvelous, but some of John’s Flavor-ade servers get all ‘gushy’ when they mention it.

        I won’t bite on the Trig or Calculus comments. Those aren’t required courses nor were they ever tested on any Louisiana standardized tests. I assume ACT may have a bit of trig. “Don’t get to” calculus … it isn’t any run of the mill high school students who take calculus. Looks to me like they hit on trig (see the link I pasted), although it may not be a separate course. Back when I was doing my ciphering with charcoal on a shovel by the fireplace, trig was embedded in Algebra 2 and physics. I passed the placement test starting college without a trig class.

        I’m not so certain CCSS is Southern Comfort packed in a Pop Rouge bottle, nor is it sassafrass tea in a Dixie (or Jax) bottle. Maybe it’s like that lady on the swing on Bourbon Street. Nobody has gotten a good enough look, yet.

        Do I think John White (or Bobby Jindal) and the LDoE Similac Administration have any good wishes for our public school system? Hell no! There expressed intent is to funnel as much money as possible into the RSD/charters/private sector.

        CCSS was adopted in July of 2010 by BESE. Why did it not terrify us then?

        And I had a parent tell me that charter schools, CCSS, PARCC, and credit card sales are all components of an Islamic jihadist plot to take over the country by 2025 (I’m not kidding).

        Sounds a bit to me like when Roscoe Brumbaugh was called a “Sputnik” in 1957 or so by a lady who was so upset and flustered she couldn’t think of anything worse to call him, but Sputnik Monroe was born that day in Memphis.

        Yep, I’ve been known to string folks along a bit.

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