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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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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 11:34 AM

You simply have no idea what you're talking about. The designers of the common core have no experience teaching or in public schools. An excerpt from Anthony Cody, education blogger on the CCS. "eachers and parents have a hard time disbelieving those in charge. It takes a lot for us to start shouting that Tinkerbell is a fraud. What it really takes is for us to see that the Common Core, instead of helping students, is causing them harm. That is what parents and teachers are witnessing in New York. They are seeing entire classrooms of children crying after taking a test. They are seeing what they have begun to describe as “Common Core Syndrome,” the phenomena of students so stressed out by the constant pressure to prepare for tests, that they come to hate school. And teachers feel powerless, because their jobs depend on the test scores.

“Once this faith begins to erode, there can be a cascade effect. Parents who start to investigate for themselves discover the gaps in the inform

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 11:34 AM

Cont'd from below.... they are being fed. They start to see the money trails leading back to the Gates Foundation and other corporate sponsors of the Common Core. They see the violations of the spirit, if not letter of the law, by the Department of Education. They see the wires holding Peter Pan aloft.”

And when people cease believing, the project flops, no matter how lofty the goals.

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 11:44 AM

Common Core is big business. If you'd done your homework, you'd see this. Investigate Pearson Corporation. Investigate John King, who is, IMHO, a fraud. He taught for 3 years in a charter school and sends his own kids to a Montesorri school. He's clueless and should resign. Investigate Arne Duncan, part of the Chicago mafia that Obama brought to Washington. Investigate why Cuomo is distancing himself from John King. I could on and on. I would suggest as part of your homework assignment, you read Diane Ravitch's blog daily and The Answer Sheet @ The Washington Post. Common Core is a one size fits all approach designed to have the majority of kids fail so Pearson and Apple and Gates can sell remediation. It's akin to requiring all kids run an 8 minute mile or fail. Common Core is an epic fail and is going down like the Titanic. Please do your research.

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wondering

Nov-25-13 11:52 AM

I do know you're right and your statement "Common Core is big business." captures the driving force behind it. Identifying a common core of competencies may be useful but the standardized testing program is purely based on profit seeking.

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wondering

Nov-25-13 11:54 AM

Not you ADE, as the poster clearly showed you are way off the mark on this one. Own shares in Microsoft and pearson do ya?

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 12:14 PM

Carol Burris: Follow the Money for Common Core Implementation by dianeravitch

Carol Burris puzzled over a strange phenomenon. Why is the state spending so much money on Common Core-aligned curriculum?

In the past, New York state set standards, and local districts developed their own curriculum, usually at a cost of about $1,000 per grade. Now, teachers are expected to use state-purchased curricula, developed at a cost of millions.

Burris digs deeper, and, of course, discovers the Gates Foundation, helping to create a national curriculum.

Burris asks:

Why do New York State Education Commissioner John King and [Board of Regents' chair] Tisch refuse to slow down New York’s rushed Core implementation, despite outcry from the public?

If parents, teachers and taxpayers had the time to critically examine the curriculum, they would ask the hard questions that would lead to its unraveling. This is not just a math problem. There are English/Language Arts vendors producing $14

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 12:15 PM

Cont'd from below: worth of New York curriculum as well. Recently ELA modules were ridiculed at a local school board meeting in upstate New York.

There are big questions that the press needs to ask about Common Core Inc. and all of the vendors that are receiving public money. There is also an overarching question that should be asked: Is this an attempt to create a national curriculum by having federal tax dollars flow to New York State and then out again to an organization committed to Common Core curriculum development? And to all of the business leaders who so enthusiastically support the Common Core—do you want your future workers to count like Sally? Is this the best curriculum that more than $28 million can buy? I think not. It is time we take a look with eyes wide open.

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pcrowley

Nov-25-13 3:48 PM

YouKnowImRight: Bottom line, though, should the U.S. have higher, more consistent school standards?

-Peter Crowley, managing editor

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YouKnowImRight

Nov-25-13 4:39 PM

Good question Peter. Higher standards? I would hope that we've had high standards in out local schools, that said, if they need to be higher, so be it. The difficulty is quantifying what a "higher standard" is,or would be. From Pre-K to 12th grade, you can't just push curriculum down,as the CCS does. One has to take into account what is developmentally appropriate, the CCS don't. The architect of CCS, David Coleman,never taught. There was little or no input or preview of these standrds by educators. There is no research that states they'll work. It was developed and shoved down out throats by the Federal Govt., i.e. Race To The Top, which said, adopt these stds. or you won't get millions of dollars. That was a one shot deal, the money is gone and we're left with this mess. In my opinion, the Federal Govt. has no place in education other than funding. Mandates don't work-look at Obamacare,Obamacore is the same. Let each state decide and set their own curriculum.

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DW12983

Nov-25-13 5:02 PM

This is nothing more than Obama's misguided attempt to replace Bush's "No Child Left Behind". It took Mr Obama's Ed Department only from Jan 2009 to fall 2010 to organize a new education dept, revamp education standards, write tests based on those standards, write new guidebooks, award testing contracts and implement this. No wonder it's such a mess!

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wondering

Nov-25-13 6:44 PM

I agree with you on this one DW this is Obama's misguided attempt to correct Bush's misguided attempt. Neither seem to know anything about education but then the only questions presidents ask today is: What does Wall St. want?

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JenDuffy

Nov-25-13 9:09 PM

I'm truly dumbfounded by some of the statements in this article. How dare you judge parents that have chosen to opt their children out. It's none of your business what parents choose and many would argue just the opposite of what you said. Parents are opting out for their child's comfort?? Parents are opting out because the tests are garbage, and causing significant unnecessary stress on kids. Are you a parent? Our kids all deserve better than this corporate crap being forced on them and the teachers. When it's all about the money and less about the success of our kids you really have to sit back and think about it. They're being treated as guinea pigs which is totally unacceptable to this parent.

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Lifeisgood

Nov-25-13 11:35 PM

This is just as bad as NCLB if not worse. It amounts to standardized education, nothing more than rote memorization, no need for critical thinking. This hinders the creativity of our finest educators. At a time in history when children are overly stimulated with technology, this cookie cutter standard education will make learning and teaching boring. At a time when kids are dropping out of high school like flies, and recruiting new teachers is a challenge, this could be the worst thing to have ever happened to education. Time will tell.

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KippytheHippie

Nov-26-13 12:33 AM

Enterprise... please do a little research on Common Core. It is the educational extension of UN Agenda 21. It is a deliberate (and they don't try to hide this) program to "dumb down" America's youth in order to "redistribute" America's wealth. Just a conspiracy theory of right wing alarmists? That's what I thought too before I started researching it. There is a lot of info on it available, and voices from both the left and the right are warning against it as a poison that will bring down America. It is absolute insanity.

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BrianMann

Nov-26-13 5:57 AM

As a parent and as a journalist covering commmon core, I'm still unsure how I feel about the program. But though often repeated by critics, it appears to be factually incorrect that teachers played no role in designing or implementing the program. The American Federation of Teachers has endorsed the plan and that union organization has said that its member teachers formed a committee which "met with the writers of the standards." According to AFT's own account, the union "gathered a team of 30 teachers from around the nation to work collectively to bring judgment and real-world classroom experience to bear in drafts of the standards before they were released for public review." The group, which claims more than a million members, says it also has teachers who "continue to be involved in the process of refining and providing feedback on resources and supports for implementation of the CCSS." -- Brian Mann, NCPR

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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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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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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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YouKnowImRight

Nov-26-13 9:32 AM

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

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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 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 10:06 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 10:07 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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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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