Archive for the ‘can we please stop saying rigor’ Tag

Good News About American Education… Pass It On!   10 comments

book and kite

 

“…The US ranks 1st in the world in Nobel Prizes in the sciences and medicine. 60% of all Nobel Laureates come from US public schools.  The US ranks 1st in the world in the number of utility patents and the number of scientific papers produced.

The US ranks 2nd in the world on the Global Creativity Index, 3rd on the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index, and 5th on the Global Innovation Index.

We rank in the top 10 in the industrialized world for the percentage of high school graduates and the percentage of our population with BA degrees.

We produce the highest percentage of engineers who are qualified to work in multi-national corporations, we produce the greatest number of engineering doctorates, over 90% of which go to US born students, and the list of the accomplishments goes on.

In short, the arguments that all these standardizing reforms are both necessary and will increase competitiveness and secure a vibrant macro-economic future rest on pillars of sand.”  Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University

That quote, from a speech and article Dr. Christopher Tienken posted recently, explains that negative myths about the terrible quality of American education abound, in part, so that corporations can make money and power grabbers can grab power.  We must not believe or act on the negative myths.

Boards of education are the last defense against this corporatism, social Darwinism and neoliberalism that is combining to take control over American education, says Tienken.   He encourages boards to push back.  (Why don’t locals do their own fact checking, and then echo Dr. Tienken, rather than Coleman, Barber or the USOE?)  Here are some facts you can share from Dr. Tienken as you explain why you are opting out and pushing back:

“To proclaim that one test and one set of curriculum standards, the Common Core, can provide meaningful data about whether a child is college and career ready, that is, ready to attend one of the over 4,400 colleges and universities in the US or pursue one of the tens of thousands of careers that exist or those that don’t but will by the time this year’s preschool class, the class or 2029 or 2030 graduates high school, is educationally bankrupt. No test, not the ACT nor SAT, or any other test can tell you that. In fact, high school GPA is a better predictor of first year college success and college completion than either the SAT or ACT. Maybe that is why there are now almost 1,000 colleges and universities that don’t require either test or make it optional.”

Moreover, he writes:  “You cannot standardize creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. What is being cut from schools now, because of this misguided adherence to standardization, are the subjects and experiences that children will really need to acquire the skills necessary to compete in a global economy in 2030.”

I have no personal ill will against the Common Core pushers; I’d bake them cookies if they were my neighbors and help carpool their kids.  But the fact is, nice people or not, that they are all wrong for allowing Common Core and Common Data Standards to harm our students’ academics, privacy, creativity and autonomy.  The list of wrong thinkers is long.

Governor Herbert is wrong.  His Prosperity 2020 and State Longitudinal Database System is wrong.  His friends in the Chamber of Commerce are wrong.  His education advisor is wrong.  His State Office of Education is wrong.  His NGA Governors’ private club is wrong.  Utah companies such as Education First and the School Improvment Network are wrong.  SAGE/AIR testing and its prime pusher, Asst. Supt. Judy Park, are wrong.  Local school boards, principals, charter school boards and anyone who parrots what others say, are wrong.  No matter how many people get on board with Common Core, it’s still wrong.

Dr. Tienken (and countless others) have assessed this situation correctly.

 

Word of mouth is always better than big, fat glossy marketing campaigns.  Help the truth to surface.  Please read Tienken’s  article and pass it on to your local boards, state board, principals, legislators, local chambers of commerce, and the Governor’s office.

Rigor –or Rigor Mortis?   Leave a comment

At a blog called Books Are Enough, another teacher-blogger makes a request, which I second: “Can we stop saying “rigor” please?”  Here’s the teacher’s reasoning– and here’s the link to that blog. http://booksareenough.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/can-we-stop-saying-rigor-please/

 

He/she writes:

“Can we stop saying “rigor” please?  The term “rigor” is a word some folks are using (again) to imply there is some crisis in education. A lot of folks are making money off of this term and its evil twin “college ready.” Here are several definitions of ”rigor” from a dictionary…

A. harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment: the quality of being unyielding or inflexible

B. an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty

C. rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli

D. a condition that makes life difficult, challenging, or uncomfortable; especially : extremity of cold

Making students see reading- poetry, fiction, non-fiction or any other genre as simply a task to be completed is immoral. This is why test driven Common Core should be stopped. We had enough under NCLB.

Our goal should be to foster book-loving citizens.

Rigor? Ha!”

http://booksareenough.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/can-we-stop-saying-rigor-please/

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Why this observation is so important:  first, the proponents of Common Core use the term “rigor” ad nauseum, and always as if rigor meant “academic excellence” when it more closely aligns with the term “academic rigor mortis”

In the upper grades Common Core dumbs down both math and English literature, killing love of reading and killing the development of mathematical habits of mind, by asking students to reinvent every mathematical wheel;  but in kindergarten, Common Coore pushes little ones too fast and makes no room for the joyfulness that should characterize kindergarten.  See also:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/playtime_over_kindergartners_ItkfEkiosY3UOa8KpXwj8K

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/29/a-tough-critique-of-common-core-on-early-childhood-education/

http://www.newstimes.com/opinion/article/Sarina-Gersten-Kindergarten-has-become-too-3593119.php

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