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November 16, 2013

Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors

The Common Core has been presented as a paradigmatic shift beyond the test-and-punish policies of NCLB. However, we are seeing the mechanisms for testing, ranking, rewarding and punishing simply refined, and made even more consequential for students, teachers and schools.

September 23, 2013

Common Core Standards: Conservative Victory or Debacle in the Making?

The people who designed Common Core expected tremendous drops in proficiency rates, and that's exactly what we're seeing.

July 03, 2013

Will Union-Led Implementation Rescue the Common Core?

In the real world, there is no way that Common Core standards and assessments will be "fair to students" when they are used to evaluate teachers and close schools.

May 06, 2013

Will a Year's Delay Save the Common Core? A Response to Weingarten's Proposal

Teachers - and union leaders -- may feel as if they should get on board, to try to steer this process. However, I think this is a ship of doom for our schools. I think its effect will be twofold. It will create a smoother, wider, more easily standardized market for curriculum and technology. This will, in turn, promote the standardization of curriculum and instruction, and further de-professionalize teaching. The assessments will reinforce this, by tying teachers closer to more frequent timelines and benchmark assessments, which will be, in many places, tied to teacher evaluations. And the widespread failures of public schools will be used to further "disrupt the public school monopoly," spurring further expansion of vouchers and charters and private schools.

April 15, 2013

A Progressive and a Conservative Find Common Ground Opposing the Common Core

Please understand that this is not a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans are reaching across the aisle in Illinois and other states to fight side by side against the RTTT mandates and the Common Core Standards in the same way that Democrats and Republicans worked together to create NCLB and RTTT. The corporate middle of both parties has driven these mandates, it is up to the non corporate elements of the Democratic and Republican parties to join together in the true spirit of "we the people" to reject a national curriculum that has been mandated without constitutional due process or the consent of "the governed.

April 11, 2013

Tony Monfiletto: A Charter School in No-Man's Land

In his invitation, Anthony pointed out my schools are outside the field of vision of technocrats and policy makers who have bet the farm on high stakes standardized tests and school reformers (charters mostly) who have drunk the Kool-Aid and see the tests as a way to disrupt the overall system. I will add that there are very few people from the education establishment have invited my schools into the fold. They find them threatening to their monopoly status and categorize us with all the CMOs with which they compete. However, I don't think I'm in a "no man's land" or even on a charter school island by myself. My schools are imbedded in the community and they sit at the intersection of hopeful families and employers who are desperate to hire their children regardless of whether they're "accredited" by public or charter schools.

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 06, 2013

Are the Poor Too Free? On the Perils of Paternalism

Paul Thomas asks a provocative question this week. Are the poor too free? Are our schools providing students with tools and skills to foster their independence? Or teaching them to be compliant cogs in a machine whose levers of control they will never touch? Thomas describes the paternalism that has become central to modern education, as well as efforts to "reform" it even further.

December 02, 2012

Algebra For All Yields Failure for Many

If we follow the pattern of NCLB, we will declare these unsuccessful students, their schools and teachers to be failures once again. But if we can LEARN from failure, we will back up and look at how we can restructure math instruction in middle school and earlier so that these students can truly achieve at high levels. We will look at smaller class sizes, earlier interventions, and programs that address the health, safety and security of our children. We will look at how to retain well-prepared teachers of math, and strengthen professional development so that we are all learning together. We will not expect new standards, even the Common Core, to do this heavy lifting for us. It won't be easy or cheap, but that is what REAL reform looks like.

August 29, 2012

Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: What Is the Purpose of K-12 Education?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This week, our exchange is focused on these questions: What is the purpose of K-12 education? How do we think about college and career readiness? How do the Common Core Standards fit in? This post is a response to one posted yesterday, authored by Irvin Scott o...

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