I wish the media and the politicians in my dear state would fully wake up and see Common Core for the education disaster that it is.
I thought Utah was a pretty wise, pretty constitutionally-grounded state, as a whole. And I used to assume Massachusetts –Pappa used to call it “Tax-achussetts” —was practically in Europe as far as socialism and lousy “progressive” thinking goes.
But now I wonder if some folks in Massachusetts are smarter than many folks in Utah –for loudly exposing the fallacy of Common Core, which is supposed to benefit, not retard, American education.
I’m thinking now about editorials. I see some very smart ones coming from Massachusetts. But do I see clear thinking, common core-questioning, stop-in-your-tracks editorials (like the Boston Herald piece I’ve reposted below) coming from Utah’s Salt Lake Tribune or Deseret News?
“Massachusetts eighth-graders are entitled to congratulations for their outstanding performance on the 2011 version of the Trends in International Math and Science Study examination. But adults should not expect such excellence under the state’s embrace of the dumbed-down “Common Core” national curriculum standards.
A sample of Massachusetts students, competing as a separate country, placed sixth among 63 entrants in math, and second only to Singapore in science.
The Massachusetts test-takers spent six years studying math and science under the rigorous standards adopted as a result of the 1993 education reform law that required passing the MCAS test to graduate from high school. This created the kind of momentum that clearly bolstered the TIMSS results. The squishy “Common Core” standards adopted in 2010 have not had time to undo that yet.
But just look at the new math standards. Students are not expected to be able to use the common algorithms for arithmetic operations, which are barely nodded at. They are expected instead to reason or intuit their way to answers and discover “principles.” While 12-year-olds struggle with this process, better left to high school or college, they miss a lot.
The state still gives an MCAS test, but the Common Core organizers expect to produce a new test for 2014, which should be based on the 2010 curriculum standards. “I find it hard to believe that adopting lesser standards would lead us to expect that we would improve,” commented Michael Sentance, secretary of education under Gov. Bill Weld.
The state’s new secretary of education, Matthew Malone, a veteran of four years as superintendent of the Brockton school system, ought to rethink the dumbing down of what had been high standards.”
Now that’s a significant editorial on state education.