"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

Search This Blog

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Teacher Explains Common Core Data Collection Factually and Creatively

Connecticut teacher Paul Bogush wrote an article explaining the connection between Common Core and data collection.  It is a multi-layered issue and difficult to understand. The puzzlement (and the derision of those thinking there is a connection) of readers on this subject is apparent.  I picked this up from twitter:

My time on tells me kids will get iris scans? What? I don't see any standard on retina security.

It's obvious this twitter user believes those who question/want to stop common core propagate conspiracy theories.  How do you explain common core and the connection between longitudinal data systems in 140 characters or less?   Bogush does a good job explaining why common core and data collection is intertwined both in the article and in his response to a teacher in Sweden asking about how a national system will work in the United States.

You can find A post for the Common Core Lemmingshere.  He prefaces the article:

Please realize that despite its length, this post is a quick overview of where the data on your kids’ is going.  I would need days to research, edit, and truly understand all the connections in order to produce a refined post.  So please take this rough attempt to outline where your kids’ data is going as just that, a rough attempt!

He does a great job trying to make a complicated relationship between corporate entities and the government understandable.  It's full of facts.  But let's jump to the Swedish teacher's question and his more creative explanation of Common Core standards, data retrieval and the public/private partnership:


Please… Could you, very briefly, tell a foreigner what this CCS is all about? Is it more than just a way to standardize teaching/education with the aim to ensure a “lowest common denominator”? I just don’t get it with all this data collecting you’re talking about.

Here we have a national standard, in the form of a common curriculum and also common syllabi (for pre-school, elementary, secondary and upper secondary respectively)… All schools (public as well as private) must follow these… We also have standardized national test in some subjects… and all grades are public (which means you may find a specific person’s grades if you search for them)…

But as a teacher I am very free to interpret the syllabi, and as long as I don’t leave out any of the “central content” I may choose the ways of teaching as much as I want to – taking into account all the various individuals that my classes consists of and provide for them all

It’s generally considered to be a good way of ensuring that all students get an education as equal as possible – leaving no kid behind… but also ensuring that “high performing” students are challenged and given the opportunity to constantly develop new knowledge and improve their skills.

It’s NOT a way of holding anyone back, or trying to conform our children… in fact teaching, and allowing, our students of all ages to be critical is stated in the national curricula.

So… CCS… please tell me what it’s about – something very different from our Swedish system (which though criticized in many ways still is something the vast majority of teachers want to keep)?
All the best,

Tough one to summarize Magda!

Let’s say Handelsbanken and TeliaSoneradecided decided to give money to non-profit groups who decided to standardize a system to collect data on every Swedish child. Then they needed a way to collect the data so they decided to form other groups with very friendly names that sound like they represent state governments, but are in fact corporate sponsored. Then these groups hire a couple people to tell every Swedish child what they should learn and at what age. Let’s say these same people were behind creating other schools that would undermine public school teachers and public schools. Everything will depend on whether or not a kid passes this test. So schools tell teachers what to teach and how. After the first tests come back and they find out what scores high and low, they will then know what kind of writing scores the highest and teach every kid to write in the same way so that they can get high test scores. The groups behind this are attempting to tie teachers salary to their kids test scores so that they will be even more inclined to teach to the test. 

So businesses have created what will be taught, how it will be tested,and therefore how it will be taught. The more we do it, the more money they will make. 

The data is collected all along the way to be able to sell more stuff to help kids get higher schools, and I believe more devious things, which I will not write about due to they simply have not happened yet. One example though, lets say you kids score low on a test, but your kids excel in your class. The companies can see this in the data they collect and then you will be called in for grade inflation.

You have to remember that we have states just as large as Sweden. So nationalizing a curriculum can make total sense in a country like Sweden, and many, many others. But with a country as big and diverse and rich and poor as the United States, expecting every kid who is 8 years old to be able to do the same exact thing is a bit crazy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter