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Common Core Standards concerns are legitimate

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:00 am

I have spent many hours researching Common Core Standards and have read many Department of Education and other government documents in an effort to know the truth about this humungous, expensive mandate, which neither our school boards nor elected state representatives had the opportunity to vote on or review.

Mr. Neely attempts to minimize the scope of dissatisfaction with CCS by referencing a “small group of local activists that have written Letters to the Editor.” This is a national movement with organizations in every state, including many teacher groups, home-schoolers and private schools. To date, five states have rejected participation and 16 have pending legislation aimed at doing the same.

Mr. Neely referenced the Longitudinal Database as “so-called.” This is how it is referenced in government documents. I haven’t found the list of 400 data elements opponents often reference, and agree that most I have seen seem appropriate for educational purposes. But I am surprised to hear what is proposed to be collected is nothing more than what is currently collected. A 2013 manual from the U.S. Dept. of Education discusses facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, wireless skin conductor sensors and more.

There are aspects to CCS that I think are good, some of which Mr. Neely identified. Updating school technology should be an ongoing process.

There have been no pilot programs or testing of this national education overhaul, which you would expect. Dr. James Milgram of Stanford, the only mathematician on the validation committee, refused to sign off, stating, “It’s almost a joke to think students would be ready for math at a university.” Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas refused to sign off on the English-language arts standard because of poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature and low reading levels.

I don’t find opponent’s concerns irrational or ridiculous.

Kathy Polenske


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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:37 pm on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "Dr. James Milgram of Stanford, the only mathematician on the validation committee, refused to sign off, stating, “It’s almost a joke to think students would be ready for math at a university.”

    This is what happens when one researches only information favorable to one's preconceived notions.

    List of Validation Committee members: I count 5 who are mathematicians, btw, and one, Stotsky, who has served on Math review boards.

    The members of the Validation Committee are:
    ◾Bryan Albrecht, President, Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
    ◾Arthur Applebee, Distinguished Professor, Center on English Learning & Achievement, School of Education, University at Albany, SUNY
    ◾Sarah Baird, 2009 Arizona Teacher of the Year, K-5 Math Coach, Kyrene School District
    ◾Jere Confrey, Joseph D. Moore Distinguished University Professor, William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, College of Education, North Carolina State University
    ◾David T. Conley, Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon CEO, Educational Policy Improvement Center (Co-Chair)
    ◾Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University
    ◾Alfinio Flores, Hollowell Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Delaware
    ◾Brian Gong, Executive Director, Center for Assessment (Co-Chair)
    ◾Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford University
    ◾Kristin Buckstad Hamilton, Teacher, Battlefield Senior High School, NEA
    ◾Feng-Jui Hsieh, Associate Professor of the Mathematics Department, National Taiwan Normal University
    ◾Mary Ann Jordan, Teacher, New York City Dept of Education, AFT
    ◾Jeremy Kilpatrick, Regents Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Georgia
    ◾Dr. Jill Martin, Principal, Pine Creek High School
    ◾Barry McGaw, Professor and Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute, University of Melbourne; Director for Education, OECD
    ◾James Milgram, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
    ◾David Pearson, Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley
    ◾Steve Pophal, Principal, DC Everest Junior High
    ◾Stanley Rabinowitz, Senior Program Director, Assessment and Standards Development Services, WestEd
    ◾Lauren Resnick, Distinguished University Professor, Psychology and Cognitive Science, Learning Sciences and Education Policy, University of Pittsburgh
    ◾Andreas Schleicher, Head, Indicators and Analysis Division of the OECD Directorate for Education
    ◾William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
    ◾Catherine Snow, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    ◾Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District
    ◾Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality, University of Arkansas
    ◾Dorothy Strickland, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Ed., Emerita, Distinguished Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, The State University of NJ
    ◾Martha Thurlow, Director, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota
    ◾Norman Webb, Senior Research Scientist, Emeritus, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin
    ◾Dylan William, Deputy Director, Institute of Education, University of London

    Website: http://www.nga.org/cms/home/news-room/news-releases/page_2009/col2-content/main-content-list/title_common-core-state-standards-initiative-validation-committee-announced.html

    If you click on the link at the bottom of the page, it will give you a document with the biographies of these individuals who are quite accomplished in the field of education, curriculum development, standards development, cognitive sciences, testing, etc.

    It seems the main purpose of this letter was not really to inform, but to defend the "small group of local activists that have written Letters to the Editor.”


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