"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Common Core = Educational Equity, NOT Educational Excellence.

...two words NOT allowed in Common Core standards. "Uncommon" & "Creative"

Jamie Gass from Pioneer Institute writes about current DOEd education reform and common core standards in an article entitled "Leaves of Memory Going Dark":

Gov. Patrick, Secretary Reville, and other state officials must realize the damage the national standards are doing to the high school English curriculum and require yearlong courses in American and British literature, as well as classical literature in Grade 9 or 10. If they do not, their lasting legacy to the Bay State’s schoolchildren will be one of trading that which is beautiful and enduring for the jargon-filled dead language of educationists.

Here are some of the buzz words and jargon-filled dead language of educationists sprinkled in Arne Duncan's, Michelle Rhee's and David Coleman's statements about education and education reform:
  • Educational equity
  • Common core
  • School choice
  • Global competitiveness
  • STEM ready
  • College ready
What the educationists don't tell you but what is becoming apparent is this is not about individual education and teaching to each child.   That which is beautiful and enduring is being replaced with data driven assessments and conformity.  What is obvious is when the DOEd pushes common core, the emphasis is on common.  Education is not geared to excellence and surpassing goals.  Education's emphasis is for all students to be the same according to Arne Duncan:

His record of achievement is already secure. After talking about national standards for decades, the U.S. has finally adopted them. This is an example of Duncan’s quiet skills. By deleting the word “national” and working through the governors, he bested conservatives who have long refused to accept standards from Washington. Using the lever of Race to the Top, 41 states have adopted “common core” standards in just two years. “For the first time, a child in Mississippi and a child in Massachusetts will be judged by the same yardstick,” he says.

States won't be judged by the same yardstick, students will judged by the same yardstick.  This means children with low, middle and high IQ scores will be judged on the same common standards and assessments.  How's that working out for gifted or highly motivated students?  Common core is determined to make these kids common and services are being curtailed for them according to Insidehighered.com:

The College Board, facing widespread criticism, on Tuesday announced that it was abandoning plans to test out an August administration of the SAT this year. Many high school students want a summer option for taking the SAT, but many college and high school officials were upset by the College Board's plan to try out the idea with a summer program of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented -- a program whose $4,500 price tag led many educators to call the pilot a "rich kids SAT."

Initially the College Board defended the idea of using that group to test an August SAT. But on Tuesday, the board issued a statement that said in part that "certain aspects" of the summer program whose participants would gain the August SAT opportunity "run counter to our mission of promoting equity and access, as well as to our beliefs about SAT performance." The statement added, however, that the organization was "still very much committed to exploring the concept of a summer administration," and would look for ways in the future to do so "in a manner that better aligns with our mission and the students we serve. Steps also are being taken internally to ensure that future initiatives receive the appropriate level of senior management review."

This statement of equity and access from the College Board, soon to be headed by David Coleman, one of the primary architects of Common Core, is not surprising and is a foundational belief (if not the foundational belief) of educational reform.  What can gifted students expect in North Carolina thanks to Common Core?  From educationviews.org:

Under new education reforms adopted by North Carolina, gifted elementary school students will no longer be able to take middle school courses formerly available to them.

In an effort to phase in a set of national education reforms knows as the Common Core — an educational initiative that seeks to improve American education through unified and rigorous teaching across state lines — North Carolina has voted to install a more difficult curriculum for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Officials say that middle school math courses currently taken by gifted elementary school students will be too difficult for them after the curriculum changes, the McClatchy-Tribune reports. As a result, middle school courses will no longer be available to advanced elementary school students.

These changes fuel an already heated national debate on education reform. They raise the question of whether compliance to national educational standards such as the Common Core can stifle individual schools, preventing them from being able to push — and conversely, alienating — their brightest pupils.

This is reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi's statement about Obamacare:

"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it...away from the fog of the controversy"

Now that the governors, state boards of education, and the common core architects are telling you what's in Common Core and educational reform, if you have a student whose learning style/ability is not "common"... good luck.

1 comment:

  1. The dumming down of America is almost complete. The objective is a creating a working class to serve their rulers. Education is no longer about preparing children to excel, to be innovators and deep thinkers, it is about a cookie cutter workforce to serve the elites who will enslave them. We have been warned for decades that education was being used to subvert our citizens and subvert our standing as a great industrial nation to whom the whole world once looked for leadership in innovation and new technologies to benefit all. We have ignored it to our peril and are facing almost certain destruction if we do not respond with resolve to put a stop to this and return education to it's intended purpose. Teaching our children what they need to know to excel in life and the pursuit of their chosen path, not the path chosen and determined by others in pursuit of their own self interests.


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