Dr. Gary Thompson’s Open Letter to Dr. Darling-Hammond on her Common Core Tests   11 comments

dr-thompson

 

Utah’s Dr. Gary Thompson wrote an open letter to Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond tonight.

 

Dear Dr. Hammond:

How does placing students in front of an experimental test that has yet to undergo extensive validity measures equate to accountability in the traditional manner in which you speak?

Let me answer that question for you in three simple words:

It.  Does.  Not.

Regards,

Dr. Gary Thompson

 

 

I want to give context so that you can fully appreciate the letter’s significance.

Darling-Hammond, of Stanford University, is on the list of “Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform” for good reasons.  She works for private organizations that crush  Constitutional control of education; she promotes and writes books about socialist redistribution of wealth, and she plays key roles in the Obama administration’s fed ed goals.  She’s been an advisor and/or board member for:

1.  The Obama Administration’s Equity and Excellence Commission

2.  The CCSSO – Common Core co-creator

3.  The NGA – Common Core co-creator

4.  The CSCOPE of Texas

5. American Institutes for Research (AIR, Utah’s and Florida’s Common Core tester)

5. WestED (SBAC’s Common Core test partner)

6.  National Academy of Education

7. American Educational Research Association

8. Alliance for Excellent Education

–and more.

 

linda d

 

Dr. Thompson pointed out to his Facebook friends that Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond has been very busily publishing this month.

Her sudden articles in the Huffington Post, The Hill, Stanford University,  NEA, ECE and elsewhere show that now, while Congress heatedly debates the ESEA/No Child Left Behind disaster, she’s  desperate to persuade Congress to use Common Core and its tests as “an engine to drive better educational practice.

Darling-Hammond paints a pretty, distracting frame around her ugly baby, the Common Core.  She pretends that the whole reason parents are pushing back is only high stakes testing and she mentions nothing else that parents are screeching about.  Apparently to her, the Constitution has nothing to do with it; experimentation on children has nothing to do with it;  data mining has nothing to do with it; unpiloted and shaky standards have nothing to do with it; validity-report-lacking tests have nothing to do with it.  She keeps the “conversation” on the clearly obvious: that  basing teachers’ entire value on a test students take is stupid; that stressing those test results rather than a child’s whole education is even more stupid. (Yes, the sky is blue and the grass is green.)

But what she’s really pushing for is NOT what parents want.  In “The Hill” blog post, she pressed for federal enforcement of Common Core tests: “urge the federal government to make sure districts provide annual assessments of student progress, while allowing states to develop systems of assessment”.  She added, “The Feds should continue to require states to flag districts that require improvement”  and “the Feds need to treat accountability as an ongoing process…”

Her article in HuffPo praises California for allocating $1.25 BILLION for Common Core and for eliminating “all the old tests while bringing in new and better Common Core assessments” and concludes: “the Common Core standards in California are an engine to drive better educational practice“.

Her strategy seems to be to get readers to start nodding with her about the high stakes tests, and then forget to stop nodding when she crosses the line and promotes a unicorn:  a gentler, kinder version of the same darn Common Core tests.  She uses the term “we agreed” seven times to make her point in one article, as she claims that reformers from a wide spectrum of political camps agree with her.  Dr. Darling-Hammond, please know the wide spectrum of political camps is loaded with those who disagree with you.  Case in point:  Dr. Thompson (an Obama voter in the last election) and me (long ago lovingly and correctly labeled a “right wing nut case” –by Dr. Thompson.)

Dr. Thompson put it this way to his Facebook friends tonight:

“Advocacy should never be used as a means to effect change in ethics,” –but because Darling-Hammond is doing so– “it makes it real easy for small-town Utah doctors like myself who do not hold positions of import at Stanford University to effectively ‘slam’ the Dr. Hammonds of the world… Not once did she mention the words ‘valid testing‘.  Parents are, and always must be, the resident experts of their own children.  I will always challenge those in positions of power who use pseudo science to back their claims. It is an affront to my profession.”

Then he posted his pointed letter to Dr. Darling-Hammond.

May his letter go far and wide.  May Darling-Hammond enjoy the mountains of money she’s made $erving the institution$ that aim to $tandardize education and data so that they can control citizens more effectively.  –And may Congress see right through her words.

Congress just might.

This month we saw Senator Vitter’s Local Control of Education Act  pass the U.S. Senate.  (Read it here.)  It doesn’t end Common Core, but it spanks the Department of Education for ramming it down our throats, and prevents conditional-on-common-standards-grants.

We also saw key members of the Senate and the House sign powerful  letters  (here’s the other) that demand an end to the funding and pushing of Common Core.

So there is definitely, definitely hope.

 

 

 

11 responses to “Dr. Gary Thompson’s Open Letter to Dr. Darling-Hammond on her Common Core Tests

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  1. I know I keep repeating it, but it bears repeating. Linda Darling-Hammond sits on the powerful Gordon Commission with Jeb Bush’s Digital Learning Now partner, Bob Wise (who also founded Alliance for Excellent Education). The Gordon Commission was set up with federal funding funneled through the Educational Testing Service and other places. The Commission’s purpose is to use Common Core tests to NUDGE states/districts towards using stealth, embedded assessments aligned to Common Core standards. Their infamous quote, from their 2011 report, says, “The Common Core standards, and the rethinking of assessments that they are fostering, provide an opportunity to challenge this deeply held belief in local control.”

    THEY COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY THAT THEY ARE DISMANTLING LOCAL CONTROL!!! They are not cloaked or shy about it. They state it. Yet our legislative leaders STILL stand on the curb while the train is barreling down on us and our children.

    Please. Read the Gordon Commission’s 2013 report entitled, “The Future of Assessment” here:
    http://gordoncommission.org/…/gordon_commission_public…

    Read what Joan Weiss, Arne Duncan’s Chief of Staff, said about the Gordon Commission’s report that calls for “radically” different assessments that will “drive the instructional changes required to meet the new standards.”
    http://hechingerreport.org/commission-calls-for…/

    Darling-Hammond was in charge of Common Core content specs at the Federally created SBAC for a reason….control.
    1. Get the states corralled into using the federal testing consortia
    2. In Utah’s case, allow them to get out of SBAC, but force them to use AIR (they are one and the same)
    3. Use these new assessments to enforce the move toward stealth, embedded assessments in learning platforms by holding schools accountable (school grading) to the test scores, and then mandating what they will do to elevate their grade

    We, and our children, are pawns in their profit and power game.

  2. Jakell Sullivan wrote, this morning:

    “I know I keep repeating it, but it bears repeating. Linda Darling-Hammond sits on the powerful Gordon Commission with Jeb Bush’s Digital Learning Now partner, Bob Wise (who also founded Alliance for Excellent Education). The Gordon Commission was set up with federal funding funneled through the Educational Testing Service and other places. The Commission’s purpose is to use Common Core tests to NUDGE states/districts towards using stealth, embedded assessments aligned to Common Core standards. Their infamous quote, from their 2011 report, says, “The Common Core standards, and the rethinking of assessments that they are fostering, provide an opportunity to challenge this deeply held belief in local control.”

    THEY COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY THAT THEY ARE DISMANTLING LOCAL CONTROL!!! They are not cloaked or shy about it. They state it. Yet our legislative leaders STILL stand on the curb while the train is barreling down on us and our children.

    Please. Read the Gordon Commission’s 2013 report entitled, “The Future of Assessment” here:
    http://gordoncommission.org/…/gordon_commission_public…

    Read what Joan Weiss, Arne Duncan’s Chief of Staff, said about the Gordon Commission’s report that calls for “radically” different assessments that will “drive the instructional changes required to meet the new standards.”
    http://hechingerreport.org/commission-calls-for…/

    Darling-Hammond was in charge of Common Core content specs at the Federally created SBAC for a reason….control.
    1. Get the states corralled into using the federal testing consortia
    2. In Utah’s case, allow them to get out of SBAC, but force them to use AIR (they are one and the same)
    3. Use these new assessments to enforce the move toward stealth, embedded assessments in learning platforms by holding schools accountable (school grading) to the test scores, and then mandating what they will do to elevate their grade

    We, and our children, are pawns in their profit and power game. UNLESS, we rise up and reclaim our God-given rights. We can do it. We MUST do it.”

    Thank you, Jakell.

  3. The link to the Gordon Commission report didn’t quite take

  4. Our 9 year old Grandson is taking the tests now. His school has very few computers, in the library only. They managed to supply every child with a laptop, just like they were some inner city school, only they’re not! Struggling, working class families paying taxes that are too high. I can’t imagine the cost of these tests.
    There is a test giver who has a “main” computer and she can watch all the kids’ answers. According to my Grandson, if they get two wrong in a row, the test giver makes them go back and re-do it. What kind of intellect does that gage? Also, we noticed that our Grandson is overly tired and mentally drained with a very short fuse! He seems angry and I can understand why. I went into the 4th grade “try a test” online and it was brutal. I don’t know how a 9 year old can cope with that much stress. I was ready to quit because they way they asked the questions was so confusing and frustrating. The children had practiced these tests for weeks already. Too much time on tests and not on learning.

    • If the test proctor is making the student go back and “fix” the tests, that is illegal and the school needs to be reported to the state office of education.

      Threatened out West
  5. Pingback: Video: Florida Senators Lee and Hayes: Why They are Done With Common Core Testing | COMMON CORE

  6. Pingback: Validity and Reliability Correction | Idahoans For Local Education : Idahoans For Local Education

  7. The COMMON CORE was not crafted by the U.S. DOE, as the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION would like U.S. to BELEIVE!

    The UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT of EDUCATION cannot ANSWER any QUESTIONS regarding the IMPLEMENTATION of the COMMON CORE CURRICULUM because they don’t really know anything about the COMMON CORE, except for the FACT that it is a FEDERAL MANDATE that came out of the WHITEHOUSE approximately 6-years ago!

    According to a U.S. SOE SPOKESPERSON, speaking to U.S. on the condition of anonymity, the COMMON CORE CURRICULUM was crafted by a CLOSELY ASSOCIATED PROGRESSIVE THINKTANK, that originated out of MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA and CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, working out of the WHITEHOUSE, shortly after BARACK OBAMA took OFFICE in 2008!

    “The COMMON CORE was BULLIED into the STATES by OBAMA ADMINISTRATORS threatening to withhold FEDERAL FUNDS from STATES that REFUSED to both ADOPT and IMPLEMENT the COMMON CORE STANDARDS!”

    Common Core State Standards Initiative: http://www.corestandards.org/

    NAAWP FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MarkAnthonyTraina

    NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for the ADVANCEMENT of WHITE PEOPLE – 2015

  8. Take note Diane Ravitch is best friends with LDH and is a member of the Gordon Commission.

  9. And let us not forget Diane Ravitch and LDH are to this day best friends. I am not believing for a minute that Ravitch has seen the errors of her ways but a gravy train of financial opportunity instead. Duping the public is what progressives do best. Diane Ravitch sits in the Gordon Commission too.

  10. Reblogged this on donotmalignme.

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