"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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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Teachers Union Opposes Common Core

A New York state teachers union comes out against Common Core State (sic) standards and has started an online petition.  From  Growing Concerns About Common Core:
“It’s a setup for failure,” said John Pavone of the Rochester Teachers Association. Teachers are worried they will be evaluated based on a curriculum that was rolled out this year.  “They’re going to blame me if the kids can’t pass the test and the kids can’t pass the test. It’s set up in such a way that you can’t pass the test.”

“Nobody was prepared for these changes,” Moran (a parent) said. “There was no public discussion about it. The parents weren’t prepared for it. Frankly I don’t think the teachers or administration was prepared for it.”

“It’s going to be a disaster,” said retired Rochester principal Dan Drmacich, a frequent critic of testing. “You’re going to have at least 30 percent statewide failures on this and that’s because they haven’t given teachers time to teach or kids time to learn it.”
Here is your assignment for the day.  Read the article here, then find and discuss the common theme present in the article.  From The Library of Congress and Document Based Questions and Primary Sources:

On the Library of Congress’ Teachers page, you’ll find sets of primary sources preselected specifically for classroom use.  Learning activities can be designed from these sets of freely accessible primary sources to help your students analyze and synthesize primary sources. These resources can be a valuable time saver in planning lessons to prepare students from elementary through high school to effectively respond to Document Based Questions, otherwise known as DBQ’s.

The DBQ requires students to analyze common themes, assess varied perspectives on major historical events, and provide historically based evidence and reasoning to support their ideas. These skills, of course, are valuable in completing tasks other than answering a DBQ. Whether your students are presented with DBQ’s or not, you can use the Library’s sets of primary sources on specific topics, together with the Primary Source Analysis Tool, as an instructional resource that provides a range of visual and textual information to increase critical thinking.

Research CCSSO documents  and determine if there is historically based evidence to bolster the concerns of the retired principal, parent and union spokesperson.  
  • Is teacher accountability going to be decided by student test scores?
  • Did CCSSO provide public discussion on CCSS?
  • Will students be taking assessments on curriculum that does not yet exist?
  • Were teachers given enough time to teach specific curriculum before students were tested on it?

If these concerns are valid and factually based, then this is an educational directive that should be opposed.  

In Missouri, many citizens have these same concerns about CCSS.   Please sign the petition to stop the implementation of Common Core.

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