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Common Core should be defended — and adapted

November 25, 2013

Wednesday in the Adirondacks saw a whole lot of heated public debate about education, specifically New York’s adoption of the national Common Core standards. Here’s a quick rundown: 1....

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(40)

GUFFSHENE

Nov-27-13 10:13 AM

Wondering, We need more groups like the Temps. I agree about the corporate claws, seems greed is the way of the world nowdays, but then someone told us about that 2,000 yrs ago, didn`t he?

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wondering

Nov-27-13 9:52 AM

One thing though Guff, you forgot to mention the claws of the corporate profiteers like Microsoft and Pearson.

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wondering

Nov-27-13 9:51 AM

Guff, I'm shocked. You listen to the Temps. There is hope for you. Have a nice thanksgiving.

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GUFFSHENE

Nov-27-13 9:18 AM

I wonder if the Temptations knew their song "ball of confusion" would be so prophetic.

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GUFFSHENE

Nov-27-13 9:07 AM

"Food for thought", The more Govt and unions get their claws into our educational system, the more we fail to educate our children. We rank 26th in the world even as we spend HUGE amounts on education.

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ITprober

Nov-27-13 8:45 AM

Subtract one "the"

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ITprober

Nov-27-13 8:44 AM

One last comment. The the conspiracy theorists and those that believe that a 31% failure rate is something to sneeze at, think about this: The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) acceptance rate in major metropolitan cites is 15%. Some average scores across 10 tests were 25. 25! there should be an average of 80 to 90. 25?!? Why? Curriculum in schools not being taught in an early and universal manner. THAT is the reason for call National Security through CCLS. Stupid soldiers, sailors and airmen, creates a dumb military guarding our borders. We used to be the best.

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ITprober

Nov-27-13 8:26 AM

OMG I laughed.. reversed (sp)

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ITprober

Nov-27-13 8:25 AM

...best doctors, I.T. engineers, physicists and so on. We as a country cannot afford to fall farther behind in teaching our children the importance of absorbing advanced math, sciences and our basic languages. We are graduating generations of dummies. It must be revered.

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ITprober

Nov-27-13 8:22 AM

After reading the full agenda of Common Core and related goals, I agree with the implementation of this program. There must be set standards and applied universally across the states, as in the past, states had their own sets of standards, and children from some states that had transferred to other states were either held back in classes or put ahead of other students. New York is the only state that utilize a "Regents" program. In 2014, Regents will be aligned to CCLS. This is a good thing, as there will finally be a standard that ALL students will be required to perform at, and not just the select elite students. My question is that why have Regents in the first place, where it creates an upper and lower class of learning. With CCLS, noone is better or worse than the other, eliminating consternation among students. I'm for CCLS. The US has fallen very far behind the rest of the world in education and retention. The Asian countries have taken over with the brightest and bes

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transplant

Nov-26-13 7:08 PM

I teach the core curriculum everyday in my classroom. It is difficult to teach, very boring, and only teaches to the top students. When you are watching kids fail all day long it is discouraging for everyone. Sure, the goals may be attainable sometime but not when you jump in without a complete program and kids who have not had the prior necessary material. It should of been implemented differently, written more age-appropriately, and given to teachers before day one of school. So..no, it is not working.

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wondering

Nov-26-13 1:37 PM

PC. Perhaps my choice of terms "phony teachers" was unfair but if you read my posts you'd see I didn't argue against the core standards so much as the standardized testing which I repeat is all about profit seeking. Microsoft and Pearson didn't just "get in early". They and others like them organized and funded the push.

I'm still waiting for one of the "ton of teachers" you mentioned to speak out in favor of this boondoggle. By that I mean classroom teachers, not paid union officials or those with a teaching credential who work as consultants.

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 12:34 PM

I agree Peter, it's a good conversation.

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pcrowley

Nov-26-13 10:31 AM

I think the U.S. Education Department and education-related companies pushed too hard to get states to implement Common Core too fast. I think state and local school systems should have flexibility to develop their own curricula, at their own pace, which meet the national standards. I like that Saranac Lake schools seem to be doing that.

Basically, I think Common Core’s “core” is good, and I see it in action from looking at my kids’ homework and tests, and talking with their teachers and principals.

-Peter Crowley, managing editor

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pcrowley

Nov-26-13 10:31 AM

I’m glad this editorial sparked a meaty conversation about who’s profiting from Common Core. I completely agree some companies got in on this early and are making a lot of money. Whether their profit motive is overwhelming the public good this shift could achieve is a serious concern.

What I’m trying to do is separate the “what” of Common Core — higher, more consistent standards, which I think are good — from the “how”: curricula, tests, teacher evaluations, Race to the Top, etc. I agree states should be in charge of education, but since the states aren’t working together to develop a national set of standards, that’s one thing it makes sense for the U.S. Education Department to be involved with.

(continued on next comment)

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pcrowley

Nov-26-13 10:09 AM

Some of the comments here seem to be from people who haven’t seen the Common Core material and are jumping in the fight on the anti- side, swinging blindly.

Kippy: I’m sorry, but your UN conspiracy theory makes no sense. If this cabal of your imagination was trying to “dumb down” kids, why would it challenge them more?

wondering: Your “phony teachers” is way off. Tons of teachers support these standards, as was evident at a forum in Saranac Lake last year — and as I have heard from many teachers and principals. What many of them take issue with are the curriculum pitfalls, like too many tests and bad test questions, and with tying teacher pay to kids’ test scores.

Lifeisgood: As stated in the editorial, anyone who says the Common Core is only about “rote memorization” without critical thinking is flat-out wrong. It’s actually the opposite — more critical thinking. The outcry is largely because that’s hard.

-Peter Crowley, managing editor

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 10:07 AM

Cont'd from below. With the collapse in test scores that Common Core brings, maybe students will doubt their ability and opt for less demanding courses.

Why so many promises and ungrounded predictions? It is a mystery.

Even more mysterious is why the nation's major corporations and chambers of commerce now swear by standards that they have very likely never read.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for high standards. I am opposed to standards that are beyond reach. They discourage, they do not encourage.

But the odd thing about these standards is that they seem to be written in stone. Who is in charge of revising them? No one knows.

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 10:06 AM

COnt'd from below- There is no evidence for any of these claims.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance equity. Indeed, the Common Core tests in New York caused a collapse in test scores, causing test scores across the state to plummet. Only 31 percent "passed" the Common Core tests. The failure rates were dramatic among the neediest students. Only 3.2 percent of English language learners were able to pass the new tests, along with only 5 percent of students with disabilities, and 17 percent of black students. Faced with tests that are so far beyond their reach, many of these students may give up instead of trying harder.

There is no evidence that those who study these standards will be prepared for careers, because there is nothing in them that bears any relationship to careers.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance our national security.

How do we know that it will cause many more students to study math and science?

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 10:06 AM

COnt'd from below- There is no evidence for any of these claims.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance equity. Indeed, the Common Core tests in New York caused a collapse in test scores, causing test scores across the state to plummet. Only 31 percent "passed" the Common Core tests. The failure rates were dramatic among the neediest students. Only 3.2 percent of English language learners were able to pass the new tests, along with only 5 percent of students with disabilities, and 17 percent of black students. Faced with tests that are so far beyond their reach, many of these students may give up instead of trying harder.

There is no evidence that those who study these standards will be prepared for careers, because there is nothing in them that bears any relationship to careers.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance our national security.

How do we know that it will cause many more students to study math and science?

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 10:05 AM

COnt'd from below- hey say, if we don't have the Common Core, students won't be college-ready or career-ready.

Major corporations have published full-page advertisements in the New York Times and paid for television commercials, warning that our economy will be in serious trouble unless every school and every district and every state adopts the Common Core standards.

A report from the Council on Foreign Relations last year (chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice) warned that our national security was at risk unless we adopt the Common Core standards.

The Common Core standards, its boosters insist, are all that stand between us and economic and military catastrophe.

All of this is simply nonsense.

How does anyone know that the Common Core standards will prepare everyone for college and careers since they are now being adopted for the very first time?

How can anyone predict that they will do what their boosters claim?

There is no evidence for any of these claims.

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 10:04 AM

Here's an excerpt that Diane Ravitch, who I trust more than than The Gates Foundation, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomburg and Pearson Corp.that was published in the Huffington Post in August. It's titled "The Biggest Fallacy of the Common Core." orty-five states have adopted the Common Core national standards, and they are being implemented this year.

Why did 45 states agree to do this? Because the Obama administration had $4.35 billion of Race to the Top federal funds, and states had to adopt "college-and-career ready standards" if they wanted to be eligible to compete for those funds. Some states, like Massachusetts, dropped their own well-tested and successful standards and replaced them with the Common Core, in order to win millions in new federal funds.

Is this a good development or not?

If you listen to the promoters of the Common Core standards, you will hear them say that the Common Core is absolutely necessary to prepare students for careers and colleg

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 9:32 AM

Brian, find me a teacher in New york that was consulted.

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BrianMann

Nov-26-13 9:20 AM

I guess I have two thoughts. First, I'm never comfortable with people trying to deligitimize other people's opinions. AFT, a union of teachers, clearly played a role in crafting and developing common core. Sure, a lot of people involved in this debate have a big financial stake. But to conclude that this one group is "mercenary" and therefore shouldn't count strikes me as a stretch. Second, I don't see AFT's endorsement as a blanket answer, nor does it settle my own questions. It just addresses this one claim that teachers weren't involved in developing the program. They clearly were. --Brian Mann, NCPR

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wondering

Nov-26-13 8:54 AM

Brian, There will always be mercenaries who will support any position for the right price. Phony scientists will deny man-made global warming and phony teachers will support common core standardized testing. But you won't find any actual climate scientists doing the research who will deny the climate change and I have yet to hear from any actual teachers working in the classroom that support PC's position on this.

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 6:59 AM

Hi Brian, Pleas go to Diane Ravitch's Blog,and on her search feature put in AFT Common Core, and you'll see a post on AFT and it's support of CCS. It's not a black and white endorsement by any means.

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