Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody In a comment on my recent post posing Critical Questions about the Common Core, one reader wrote: "I don't see any harm in requiring all students to be able to recite their multiplication tables from memory up to 12 X 12 by the end of third grade or they don't go to fourth grade." In some ways this represents the epitome of standardization. Determine a standard that all students must meet, and make it into a "high bar" that they all must clear before they move on. This reader has suggested the times tables ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody A newspaper report from Mobile, Alabama, describes the system clearly. Color-coded sticky notes on a wall in the "data room" at Mobile's Gilliard Elementary School bear the names of every pupil who is struggling in reading or math, has been absent too often, or has gotten into trouble for misbehaving. A yellow note, for example, shows a kindergartner who failed a reading test. A lime-green note shows a second-grader who made a D on his report card. A light-blue note shows a fifth-grader who fared poorly on the state's standardized math test. In all, ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Educators in the United States are once again headed for a very big trap. We are being seduced by the idea that a common set of standards and assessments to match will deliver equitable outcomes from our schools. This is the siren call that draws us into endless top-down reforms that never work, but never stop promising that the next time, we will get it right, and ALL students will achieve at high levels. But this time, maybe we can learn from the last big national experiment along these lines, No Child Left Behind. ...


Guest post by John Thompson. Early in my career, I floated a naive idea with my union business representative. What if education embraced a school reform code of ethics? The attacks on teachers by "reformers" who had declared war on the educational "status quo," were ramping up their attacks on teachers. I could already see that the blame game could spin out of control. And sure enough, the contemporary accountability movement eventually declared a war on teachers, who supposedly were complicit in schools' failure to overcome the legacy of generational poverty. Back then, however, I was still too trusting of ...


A week ago I featured a guest post by Jack Hassard, Common Core Values: Do they include Authoritarianism? Today, in the spirit of promoting dialogue, I am sharing a response from a different point of view. Guest post by David Musselwhite. The Common Core State Standards and the values they espouse are not a threat to the tenets of progressive education. Far from reflecting authoritarianism, the true values of the Common Core movement are equity, competition, and collaboration. Before the Common Core: Realities about Student Achievement What do we really mean when we speak of the progressive education? According to ...


Guest post by Chemtchr. Last Friday afternoon, Achieve's "Next Generation Science Standards", as they're calling their Common Core, finally became available. Their "public comment" interval ends June first. I'm going to argue this Common Core was specifically designed to narrow the scope of education to skills that can be (relatively) easily tested. I described my personal experience with the science core in a comment on Anthony Cody's blog last month. He asked me to expand it into a column, but I couldn't do that until readers could examine the actual Common Core science product. I was serving a term as ...


Guest post by Tim Slekar. About a year ago I published a blog that detailed how Pennsylvania governor, Tom Corbett, was using the shock doctrine to dupe the citizens of Pennsylvania into believing that a $1 Billion dollar cut to public education was necessary to help with the state's budget deficit. I quickly pointed out that these cuts would actually weaken public schools and help push Corbett's real education agenda (dismantling public schools) and that in the end, no money would be saved anyway. However, these cuts would hinder real learning and create the appearance of failing schools. So what ...


One of the oldest problems with the left or progressive movement is our tendency to drag ourselves down through internal struggle over who has the most correct political line. We are seeing some of this dynamic emerge in the movement against high stakes testing. Perhaps it is a coming of age - a sign of our success - that we have a strong enough movement that people are taking these issues seriously. But I am afraid we are going to squander our precious momentum by turning our anger on one another, when there are very clear assaults taking place on ...


Last week I shared this interview with Yong Zhao focused on the Common Core standards. Today I am sharing a conversation between Dr. Zhao and Yvonne Siu-Runyan. Contributed by Yvonne Siu-Runyan. I am honored to have the opportunity to interview Dr. Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon. He is a fellow for the International Academy for Education. Zhao was born in China's Sichuan Province and is author of Catching Up or Leading the Way (ASCD, 2009), a book I highly recommend others to read. He has a new ...


This week there has been an upsurge of debate over the Common Core (national) Standards. I hope we can tolerate and appreciate different points of view as we work to understand more deeply what these standards are all about, and the ways they may shift teaching, learning and testing in the USA. Guest post by Jack Hassard. Originally posted here. We think that Common Standards and Assessments are the antithesis of the progressive values upon which this nation was founded. The idea of having a single set of standards and associated assessments appears to remove individuality, creativity and innovation from ...


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