"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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Friday, March 22, 2013

Common Core Editorials and PR Pieces: Give us "Just the Facts". No More Spin.

Message to Common Core proponents:  No more spin.

Common Core proponents love to tout their educational reform as providing "data driven" instruction and this increased testing and data mining will create smarter students.  It's a pity and educational malfeasance that their arguments and policies are not supported by data and research.  This editorial from az.central.com  Common Core is right path is a prime example of statements disguised as fact and contempt for those who dare to question the policy and process of the adoption/implementation of  the standards: 

Fill in the blank. Decisions about Arizona public education should be based on:

Conspiracy theories.
Distrust of Uncle Sam.
The needs of 21st-century students.
If you picked No. 3, please contact the Legislature.

Taxpayers, organizations and legislators asking questions about CCSS are portrayed as conspiracy theorists and haters of the government.  Only those who are concerned about students are the pro-CCSS folks.  This is the argument the CCSS proponents use against those who dare to ask questions on how public education is developed/directed and by whom.  Read the rest here.

Don't let editorials and press releases stand without providing the facts.  If you read something online that is not factual but disguised as such, challenge those editorials.  You have the tools to do it.  The pro-CCSS side has their talking points, as does the anti-CCSS camp, but the difference is, CCSS opponents have research and data to confirm their opinions.  It's inexcusable and indefensible that an educational policy that demands data driven student results doesn't have any data to support its own theories.  And that's all CCSS is.  Theories.  No data.  

Here's MEW's response to azcentral's opinion piece.  Add your own.

With all due respect, this is an article that sounds like a press release for Common Core proponents.  State decisions on education should be made by the states.  These standards have been crafted by two PRIVATE trade organizations, the NGA and the CCSSO.  They have not been field tested nor are they based on research.  The standards/assessments are privately copyrighted, so if/when Arizona school districts find standards/assessments that don't work for Arizona children, THEY ARE POWERLESS TO CHANGE any standards/assessments.

That is not state control and attempts to disguise it as such should be grounds for litigation.  Conspiracy theories? Distrust of Uncle Sam?  There is a deep anger among folks who have actually studied the process of CCSS adoption, which can be described as stimulus funding that set this up without legislative oversight.  Conspiracy?  No, the process is well documented  on who is profiting from this transformation of education and it is not the students or the teachers.  The profiteers are the computer suppliers, the assessment writers while the taxpayer is mandated to provide the additional funding not covered by stimulus funding.

Where is the journalistic tradition of conveying both sides of the story?  Did you ask any "conspirators" questions on their facts/research, or did the writer just ask the pro-CCSS contingency for their opinions?  From the article:  "The document drips with concerns about such perceived threats as a database “to track our students — from preschool through college!” (Exclamation point in original!)

Such a database is essential to the kind of meaningful accountability conservatives say they want in education. But, hey, hyperbole happens. "

Your "conspirator" is actually correct on this data tracking as noted in this DOEd article:


Opinion pieces are great and should be encouraged.  Everybody has opinions but when the opinions are presented without facts and research, they need to be challenged.  If "meaningful accountability" entails " a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors, attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability that high achieving individuals draw upon to accomplish success", it's not only conservatives who should be concerned.  Susan Ohanian and Diane Ravitch have also raised similar concerns about data tracking and they would not be considered conservatives.

And please tell us, why won't anyone ask exactly what  "21st Century needs" looks like?  How can you craft educational policy around jobs/needs that aren't even in existence or are unknown?

Bring back Joe Friday.  "Just the facts, ma'am".  Then we can have a productive discussion on Common Core. But to label people conspirators and government haters because they ask questions and provide research proving CCSS claims fallacious is unprofessional and should be challenged.  

1 comment:

  1. when they lack the facts, they use personal attacks


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