Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Common Core

More reasons not to like it:
Five of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign a report attesting that the standards are research-based, rigorous and internationally benchmarked. The report was released with 24 signatures and included no mention that five committee members refused to sign it, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

No member of the Validation Committee had a doctorate in English literature or language and only one held a doctorate in math. He was one of only three members with extensive experience writing standards. Two of the three refused to sign off on the standards...

Stanford University mathematician R. James Milgram, the only member of the Validation Committee with a doctorate in mathematics, said that Common Core is two years behind the math standards in the highest-performing countries. Milgram also wrote that Common Core fails to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
You can't hide the smell of doggy-doo forever.


allen (in Michigan) said...

No, but you can hide it as long as possible which is what you'd do in politics.

If it's education you're interested in then you'd look at the evidence and make a determination based on that.

But it's the top-down nature of Common Core that forever makes it unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. Standards issued from a central authority and developed in secret are inevitably in service of a political agenda that won't stand up to public scrutiny.

Who needs that?

maxutils said...

allen, you're right. Please do show me the provision of the Constitution that gives the Federal government ANY say in public education. Don't try to hard, because obviously, it isn't there.
I think education should be tailored to the students ... and that means local, and it also means not everyone needs to go to college ... and it also means we shouldn't need to spend several days of potential education doing standardized testing that has no consequence to the kids.
But ... I've seen ridiculous examples of Common Core standard test questions, and others which encourage thought. I mean ... 9x6 is 54, and you just need to know that. Sure, there's a pattern, but you don't really need to know more than that. At higher level math, though? Knowing why something works and being able to explain it is valuable.
I think we push our kids too hard in math, too. Calculus is a college class, not a high school class ...or it was.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Come on max, you know how the federal government got into the K-12 business - with a baited hook.

Grants, which can be applied for or not as the state sees fit, are the bait and is there a single state that's managed to resist the temptation? I don't believe so and for the very good, political reason that you get while the getting is good. So there's your rationale. Not much of one but no one in a position to object did so.

As for the quality of Common Core, I don't care in the least.

Common Core could be stellar and I'd have the same objection and I'd be right. A standard is inherently political so a standard that's imposed by fiat is always in the service of whatever party's produced the standard. That means the standard can only address the underlying problem from the viewpoint of whoever's got the clout to impose the standard. The chance that the standard is optimal then is a roll of the dice and then only if the standard's not designed to confer advantage.

maxutils said...

educators who don't actually educate people need to keep themselves busy. You need to come up with something to justify your salary ... standards mean nothing. And you need to change them every few years. Algebra 2 is still Algebra 2. Knowing why things work is important, at least to me... but I didn't need a federal standard to tell me that.