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April 26, 2013

Paul Horton: Of Common Core, Conspiracies and Coups d'Etat

When it comes to education, however, Obama asserts a policy that has nothing to do with progressive ideas about education. While progressive ideas of education emphasize children as individuals who must be given opportunities to stretch their innate capacities within an organic context for learning, the President and Mr. Duncan have embraced the data-driven high-stakes-testing-model retooled from President Bush's No Child left behind days.

April 22, 2013

This Teacher Supports Common Core, Opposes Tests

I am deeply troubled by the path our state is headed down in assessing our elementary school students, and I strongly urge you to re-think both the design of and the importance placed on state assessments. You are making it that much harder to recruit talented individuals to the teaching profession. The tests are also souring the educational experiences of our youngest citizens, the ones we are preparing so hard for college and career readiness. However, we must also invest more in breaking the insidious, concrete-walled cycle of poverty in our nation. A much greater importance must be placed on fixing the root causes of low academic performance and educational inequities.

April 22, 2013

Time for Teacher Unions to Hop Off the Common Core Train

The problem is many of us AGREE WITH conservatives on much of their critique. Or we ought to. We are not opposed to loose curricular guidelines, but we should NOT be in favor of the sort of highly prescriptive standards and high stakes assessments that are coming with Common Core. And we also need to be concerned about the shift of resources away from classroom professionals and into technology, and the huge expansion of data systems, both of which are part and parcel of the Common Core project. And they are also correct about the undemocratic process that has been pursued to develop the Common Core, and the way the Department of Education has used Race to the Top bribes and NCLB waivers to coerce states into adopting the Core. We also disagree with some of their critique. But we cannot put forward a clear, compelling vision so long as we are on the sidelines in this debate - much less if we are on the wrong side altogether.

April 03, 2013

Common Core "State" Standards Test Items to Get Federal Review

It is significant also that this analysis comes from the conservative/Libertarian source, the Cato Institute. As I have noted, opposition to the Common Core is rising in conservative circles, where people have historically been against Federal involvement in schools. The debacle of No Child Left Behind left educators weary, and as Common Core has been promoted as an improvement, many have embraced the shift. I have been, because I believe that the primary goal of the new standards is the creation of uniform high stakes assessments. Thus this will create MORE pressure to teach to the tests, rather than less.

March 29, 2013

Glenn Beck Takes on the Common Core: Is Big Data Big Brother?

I have to say that as someone who grew up learning about the snooping the FBI was doing on American citizens, I am disturbed by the pervasiveness of this data collection. If you think about all the ways data is being gathered from our children, from kindergarten onward, it is not comforting to imagine this information being made available to corporations. I do not even like the idea of all that data existing, because once it is there, it can be leaked or distributed. This is one thing I may have to agree on with Glenn Beck. I do not want the government, or Rupert Murdoch's Amplify, to have access to all this data. And the only way to prevent that may be not to collect the data in the first place.

February 21, 2013

Feeling Stressed? MetLife Survey Shows You are Not Alone

The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher is out, and it shows that more than half of all teachers feel under great stress. This relates closely to the number of teachers who describe themselves as "very satisfied," which has fallen to an all-time low, at 39%.

February 05, 2013

Does the Battle in Seattle Foreshadow Trouble for the Common Core?

We are approaching a real crossroads. Educators, parents and students have come to loath NCLB and the tests that have become ever more intrusive in our schools. Secretary Duncan and well-paid functionaries from all sides have promised that the "next generation" of assessments will be so superior that we will no longer object to high stakes being attached to them. Unlike any large scale standardized tests ever devised before, they will measure and promote critical thinking. But we n longer need to suspend our judgment. Teachers in Seattle have seen the future. Their verdict is clear. The emperor has no clothes.

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