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More good than bad with Common Core

October 28, 2013

The Common Core seems quite good overall, even though we still have some problems with the way New York state implemented these new, nationwide school standards....

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-28-13 5:33 PM

You have no idea. Pearson Corp. is the reason the Core is shoved down every schools throat. John King should have resigned. Cuomo is on Pearson's pay list funding his run for President. Do your research please. It's a gigantic corporate scam. And for the parents Opt Out-these tests are meaningless.

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kylercl

Oct-28-13 6:09 PM

Great editorial and I couldn't agree more. Contrary to the other comments, it's clear you researched this before framing a response. I'm sure in the days to come people with little or no involvement in education will spout opinions from which they have no basis. As an educator I think common core, despite it's short comings, is excellent in theory and best practice. It forces educators to create lessons and plans to established standards and if that teacher fails to do so then perhaps they shouldn't teach. With that said, let the gauntlet of educated and/or uninformed readers comment.

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kylercl

Oct-28-13 6:09 PM

Great editorial and I couldn't agree more. Contrary to the other comments, it's clear you researched this before framing a response. I'm sure in the days to come people with little or no involvement in education will spout opinions from which they have no basis. As an educator I think common core, despite it's short comings, is excellent in theory and best practice. It forces educators to create lessons and plans to established standards and if that teacher fails to do so then perhaps they shouldn't teach. With that said, let the gauntlet of educated and/or uninformed readers comment.

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bjccd5

Oct-28-13 11:01 PM

I know ade, YOU'VE BEEN very BUSY THROUGHOUT THIS SUMMER SEASON AND NOT BEEN ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE MUCH. SEEMS TO CONTINUE INTO THE FALL~!!!! Please research and get a clue before publishing such rubbish! King is substandard and Pearson Corp is corrupt....... Please do your HOMEWORK!!!

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wondering

Oct-29-13 10:12 AM

Agree with BJ and youknow. There may be a case for identifying a common core of skills, not knowledge per se because that changes constantly, but the whole standardized testing debacle is to make money for companies like Pearson.

"people with little or no involvement in education will spout opinions from which they have no basis" Kyle, do you mean people like Bill Gates (or the editors of the ADE)?

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:23 PM

OK- Kyle, here's what NY Principals are saying. From Diane Ravitch's blog. This is a very important letter from the New York principals who have led the fight against high-stakes testing and the state’s invalid educator evaluation system.

Here is an important excerpt. Read the letter in its entirety.

Here’s what we know:

1) NYS Testing Has Increased Dramatically: We know that our students are spending more time taking State tests than ever before. Since 2010, the amount of time spent on average taking the 3-8 ELA and Math tests has increased by a whopping 128%! The increase has been particularly hard on our younger students, with third graders seeing an increase of 163%!

2) The Tests were Too Long: We know that many students were unable to complete the tests in the allotted time. Not only were the tests lengthy and challenging, but embedded field test questions extended the length of the tests and caused mental exhaustion, often before students reached the quest

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:23 PM

counted toward their scores. For our Special Education students who receive additional time, these tests have become more a measure of endurance than anything else.

3) Ambiguous Questions Appeared throughout the Exams: We know that many teachers and principals could not agree on the correct answers to ambiguous questions in both ELA and Math. In some schools, identical passages and questions appeared on more than one test and at more than one grade level. One school reported that on one day of the ELA Assessment, the same passage with identical questions was included in the third, fourth AND fifth grade ELA Assessments.

4) Children have Reacted Viscerally to the Tests: We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders. Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, “This is too hard,” and “I can’t do this,” throughout his test booklet.

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:24 PM

5) The Low Passing Rate was Predicted: We know that in his “Implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards” memo of March 2013, Deputy Commissioner Slentz stated that proficiency scores (i.e., passing rate) on the new assessments would range between 30%-37% statewide. When scores were released in August 2013, the statewide proficiency rate was announced as 31%.

6) The College Readiness Benchmark is Irresponsibly Inflated: We know that the New York State Education Department used SAT scores of 560 in Reading, 540 in Writing and 530 in mathematics, as the college readiness benchmarks to help set the “passing” cut scores on the 3-8 New York State exams. These NYSED scores, totaling 1630, are far higher than the College Board’s own college readiness benchmark score of 1550. By doing this, NYSED has carelessly inflated the “college readiness” proficiency cut scores for students as young as nine years of age.

7

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:25 PM

) State Measures are Contradictory: We know that many children are receiving scores that are not commensurate with the abilities they demonstrate on other measures, particularly the New York State Integrated Algebra Regents examination. Across New York, many accelerated eighth-graders scored below proficiency on the eighth grade test only to go on and excel on the Regents examination one month later. One district reports that 58% of the students who scored below proficiency on the NYS Math 8 examination earned a mastery score on the Integrated Algebra Regents.

8) Students Labeled as Failures are Forced Out of Classes: We know that many students who never needed Academic Intervention Services (AIS) in the past, are now receiving mandated AIS as a result of the failing scores. As a result, these students are forced to forgo enrichment classes. For example, in one district, some middle school students had to give up instrumental music, computer or other special classes in order t

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:26 PM

to fit AIS into their schedules.

9) The Achievement Gap is Widening: We know that the tests have caused the achievement gap to widen as the scores of economically disadvantaged students plummeted, and that parents are reporting that low-scoring children feel like failures.

10) The Tests are Putting Financial Strains on Schools: We know that many schools are spending precious dollars on test prep materials, and that instructional time formerly dedicated to field trips, special projects, the arts and enrichment, has been reallocated to test prep, testing, and AIS services.

11) The Tests are Threatening Other State Initiatives: Without a doubt, the emphasis on testing is threatening other important State initiatives, most notably the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Parents who see the impact of the testing on their children are blaming the CCSS, rather than the unwise decision to implement high stakes testing before proper capacity had been developed.

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 2:26 PM

As long as these tests remain, it will be nearly impossible to have honest conversations about the impact of the CCSS on our schools.

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YouKnowImRight

Oct-29-13 4:56 PM

I'm sorry about the length of these posts, but it's important to realize that the CCS are untested, are making billions for Pearson, and being used to evaluate teachers.

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kylercl

Oct-29-13 8:48 PM

In response I would add the following. That it's quite ironic that principals are commenting on why common core is flawed then they themselves are not evaluated using the same rubric. Second, I would reference an article that appeared just today from the National Education Association titled "Six Ways the Common Core is Good for Students."And, finally, I would say that as a teacher I think the frameworks and modules provided show a clear path for learning standards. While too much testing is argument it alone is not a case for hating CCSS. Teachers who are afraid of the standards or evaluations likely have something more to fear, from an introspective sense.

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kylercl

Oct-29-13 8:51 PM

The article from NEA: *******neatoday****/2013/05/10/six-ways-the-common-core-is-good-for-students/

Again, notice the repeated use of the phrases of increasing the rigor and collaboration. Teachers who view this as a burden instead of a chance to prove their effectiveness are the ones blasting this through their unions.

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kylercl

Oct-29-13 8:51 PM

The article from NEA: *******neatoday****/2013/05/10/six-ways-the-common-core-is-good-for-students/

Again, notice the repeated use of the phrases of increasing the rigor and collaboration. Teachers who view this as a burden instead of a chance to prove their effectiveness are the ones blasting this through their unions.

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Woodchuck

Nov-02-13 5:38 PM

YouKnowImRight is spot on. It's a scam, through and through.

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Lifeisgood

Nov-05-13 10:50 PM

The entire education system is flawed and has been since it was hijacked by burecrats and unions. At the university level, teachers are still trained to teach in the same way they were 100 years ago, despite knowing that not all children learn alike. In schools where multi sensory learning programs were implemented, ALL children saw success. Yet, for some reason we still use lazy phonetic based cookie cutter programs. Why? Our country spends more money per student than any other country. Less than 25% of students are prepared for college upon graduation. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This social experiment has gone on long enough! If we don't change the way things are done in our schools, our country will suffer greatly. Technology and science did not abandon education. Why then are we ignoring proven results? The answer is in my first sentence.

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