Archive for the ‘Common Core State Standards Initiative’ Tag

Admitted: Common Core Math is NOT Meant to Prepare Students for Bachelor’s Degrees   9 comments

Subservience to truly stupid ideas —like dumbing down high school math for economic gain— was never meant to be the destiny of the free American people.

Yet that is what has happened to American education under Common Core. In the video testimony of Common Core creator Jason Zimba, in recent articles by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), in the written testimony of Common Core validation members Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram, and in the 2013 Common Core report of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) we see that Common Core math deliberately diminishes and weakens, rather than adding to, high school math standards.

At the American Institutes for Research (AIR) website, (FYI, this is the company that writes Utah’s Common Core math and English test) there are articles claiming that it’s in the best interest of the taxpayers that more students should only aim for a two year college degree.

AIR dismisses the idea that a student might WANT to learn more than what is available at the associates’ degree level. Individual desires and rights don’t even factor into the collectivism of education reform.

AIR fails to address the fact that not all college educations are tax-funded; some people actually pay for their own tuition. AIR takes the socialist view that taxpayers are “stakeholders” so they should determine whether a student may or may not get more education. AIR says: “Do graduates who earn an associate’s degree and participate in the labor force experience returns, such as higher wages, that justify the costs incurred by them in obtaining that degree? Do taxpayers receive a positive return on their investment in the production of associate’s degrees?”

stotsky

Professor Sandra Stotsky, who served on the official Common Core Validation Committee, has written an article, Common Core Math Standards Do Not Prepare U.S. Students for STEM Careers. How Come?” (It is posted in full at Heritage Foundation’s website.)

Dr. Stotsky writes that states adopted Common Core math because they were told that it would make high school students “college- and career-ready” and would strengthen the pipeline for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but it is clear this claim was not true. Stotsky reminds us that Professor James Milgram has testified to the fact that common core math dumbed down U.S. high school standards.

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James Milgram

With the exception of a few standards in trigonometry, the math standards END after Algebra II, reported Stanford emeritus professor James Milgram (Milgram was also an official member of the Common Core validation committee.)

Both Milgram and Stotsky refused to sign off on the academic quality of the national standards, and made public their explanation and criticism of the final version of Common Core’s standards.

Stotsky points out that the lead mathematics standards writers themselves were telling the public how LOW Common Core’s high school math standards were. At a March 2010 meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jason Zimba, a lead writer, told the board that the standards are “not only not for STEM, they are also not for selective colleges.”

Yet, strangely, Stotsky was the only member of the board who expressed concern upon hearing Zimba’s words. Watch that one minute video here.

Stotsky explains:

“U.S. government data show that only one out of every 50 prospective STEM majors who begin their undergraduate math coursework at the precalculus level or lower will earn bachelor’s degrees in a STEM area. Moreover, students whose last high school mathematics course was Algebra II or lower have less than a 40 percent chance of earning any kind of four-year college degree.”

Not only that: Stotsky points out that in January 2010, William McCallum, another lead mathematics standards writer, told a group of mathematicians: “The overall standards would not be too high, certainly not in comparison [to] other nations, including East Asia, where math education excels.”

Dr. Stotsky also notes that there are “other consequences to over 46 states having a college readiness test with low expectations.” The U.S. Department of Education’s competitive grant program, Race to the Top, required states to place students who have been admitted by their public colleges and universities into credit-bearing (non-remedial) mathematics (and English) courses if they have passed a Common Core–based “college readiness” test. Stotsky writes: “Selective public colleges and universities will likely have to lower the level of their introductory math courses to avoid unacceptably high failure rates.”

Stotsky says, “It is still astonishing that over 46 boards of education adopted Common Core’s standards—usually at the recommendation of their commissioner of education and department of education staff—without asking the faculty who teach mathematics and English at their own higher education institutions (and in their own high schools) to do an analysis of Common Core’s definition of college readiness… Who could be better judges of college readiness?”

Read the rest of Stotsky’s article here.

What about NCEE? Surely the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) would not want to dumb down your child!

Sigh.

In the 2013 report from NCEE, “What Does It Really Mean to be College and Career Ready?” it recommends that we all throw out the higher math we used to teach in high schools in America.

“Mastery of Algebra II is widely thought to be a prerequisite for success in college and careers. Our research shows that that is not so… Based on our data, one cannot make the case that high school graduates must be proficient in Algebra II to be ready for college and careers. The high school mathematics curriculum is now centered on the teaching of a sequence of courses leading to calculus that includes Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. However, fewer than five percent of American workers and an even smaller percentage of community college students will ever need to master the courses in this sequence in their college or in the workplace… they should not be required courses in our high schools. To require these courses in high school is to deny to many students the opportunity to graduate high school because they have not mastered a sequence of mathematics courses they will never need. In the face of these findings, the policy of requiring a passing score on an Algebra II exam for high school graduation simply cannot be justified.”

MARC TUCKER NCEE

Read the rest of the NCEE report here.

When will people stop saying that Common Core standards are legitimate preparation for 4 year colleges? It so obviously isn’t true.

When will people admit that Common Core caters to a low common denominator and robs high achievers and mid-achievers? Probably never. Proponents pushed Common Core on Americans for a deliberate purpose: so that politicians and the private corporations they’ve partnered with, can analyze, punish and reward those who have forgotten that they have real rights under a real Constitution to direct and control their own affairs.

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Thank you, Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram for your tireless testimonies about American education reforms that hurt our children and our country.

ben franklin tyrants rebellion is obedience

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Video: Chicago History Teacher Paul Horton on Common Core and Corporate Collusion   5 comments

Today, Alisa and I spoke with Chicago History teacher Paul Horton about Common Core and his group, Citizens Against Corporate Collusion.  A few highlights:

1.  What’s wrong with high stakes testing?

2.  How does Common Core turn teacher artisans into teacher widgets?

3.  Dept. of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan graduated from the high school where Horton teaches; what does Horton say about Sec. Duncan?

4.  Why does Pearson Company stand to face legal trouble?

5.  What does Horton see Bill Gates doing Common Core pushing for?

6.  Why are Democrats and Republicans increasingly seeing eye to eye on the need to stop common core?

Here’s the segment.

THE CONNECTION: CSCOPE (TX Fed Ed) – COMMON CORE (our state)   7 comments

The Blaze published a new article that explains the connection between CSCOPE, the non-transparent curriculum that’s raising controversy in Texas, and the Common Core, the D.C.-written national standards that our state has unfortunately adopted.  The article reports that Common Core attempted to purchase CSCOPE as a national curriculum.  I would like to see evidence of that fact; if true, then all the claims of the Common Core, that these were “just standards, not national curriculum” were lies.  I am reposting the entire BLAZE article below.  Thank you, Glenn Beck.

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The Blaze article:  CSCOPE: Exposing the Nation’s Most Controversial Public School Curriculum System

In February, Texas announced that the state, along with the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum (TESCCC,) would enact major changes to the controversial curriculum management system dubbed CSCOPE. The system received a litany of complaints from faculty members and parents alike concerning its lack of transparency (parents were allegedly not permitted to review lesson-plans), lack of oversight from the State Board of Education, and for allegedly imposing oppressive working conditions for faculty members.

CSCOPE was created so that teachers could frame their year around teaching points required by the state. Lessons, which are written by CSCOPE staff and current and former teachers, can be updated and delivered online, making it more cost-effective than standard textbooks.

To note just how off-color some of the CSCOPE curriculum is, consider that the Texas CSCOPE Review, an independent watchdog group, uncovered an out-of-date, optional CSCOPE lesson-plan on terrorism — “World History Unit 12 Lesson 07″ — which allegedly likens the Boston Tea Party to “an act of terrorism.”

The system also recently asked students to design a flag for a new socialist nation.

To glean greater insight, Glenn Beck invited special guests David Barton and Pat Gray, along with teachers Mary Bowen, Stan Hartzler and Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick to discuss what is truly going on within their state’s education system.

Barton explained that CSCOPE is referred to as “instructional material” and not “curriculum,” therefore is not subject to regulation by the State Board of Education. The historian also brought in artifacts of Texas public school curriculum to showcase just how different it is today and to mark, year-by-year, the increasing application of political correctness in lesson plans.

Using a chart, Barton documented and mapped out core CSCOPE material, which eliminates national values, Americanism or rather, American exceptionalism, the study of federalism and majority rule (the core of our constitution) along with patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell. Christopher Columbus, Rosh Hashanah and Christmas are all relegated to the dustbin along with American military history. Equality and a belief in justice is replaced by “fairness” and instruction on American propaganda and imperialism.

Disturbingly, Beck and Barton noted that the worst is yet to come. Showcasing a lesson plan for grades 1-3, Barton revealed CSCOPE’s list of “heroes,” which comprises a dozen secular progressives and only three conservatives or political moderates.

According to a previous report from TheBlaze, teachers complained that they were expected to deliver the curriculum verbatim and only on days allotted by the CSCOPE lesson plan. Even if students were unable to absorb the lesson, teachers were allegedly directed to progress to the next lesson regardless. TheBlaze also reported that teachers were “asked to sign a contract that would prevent them from revealing what was in the CSCOPE lessons or face civil and criminal penalties.”

The controversial program’s website states that CSCOPE is a comprehensive online curriculum management system developed and owned by the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC), a consortium composed of the 20 ESCs in the state.” It goes on to explain that the CSCOPE system provides curriculum framework for grades kindergarten through 12 across a broad range of subject areas.

The online description might raise red flags for some when it states that the CSCOPE content is regularly updated based on, among other criteria, “feedback collected through various stakeholder groups in the collaborative, including individual teacher submissions through the CSCOPE website and the School District Advisory Committee, comprised of district representatives from all participating regions of the state.”

What, or rather who, comprises CSCOPE’s collaborative and stakeholder groups? That question and a myriad others are what critics hope to get to the bottom of.

But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.

CSCOPE has been adopted by some 75 percent of Texas schools and the aim was to implement a national adoption of the management system. However, CSCOPE reportedly refused when Common Core Standards sought to purchase the system as the national curriculum standard. It is by far and away, one of the more hotly contested topics in the current education debate and much mystery still remains as to CSCOPE’s core tenets.

Beck noted that secular progressivism, further, the notion of communal life and collectivism, is at the system’s core. Other points of contention concerning CSCOPE curriculum include lesson-plans positing that Christopher Columbus was an “eco-warrior” and, when referring to the famed explorer’s journal, all references to God and Christendom were removed.

Students are also posed with hypothetical scenarios concerning historical figures and have allegedly been asked to take a position on population growth. Students were even subject to a lesson framed around the idea that “Christianity was a cult,” Beck noted.

CSCOPE’s director, Wade Labay has defended his curriculum and maintained that controversy has stemmed from misconceptions.” For instance, he said that framing the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism was merely one teacher’s way to engage students in the day’s lesson.

State Sen. Patrick, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, has led the CSCOPE hearings, bringing the controversial system to public light. He pushed CSCOPE to allow parents to view curriculum and to lift  gag-orders on teachers. Patrick explained his experience bringing CSCOPE to task and revealed what he believes is in store for his state.

Hartzler, who taught math for nearly four decades, retired early because of CSCOPE. He said that he was written nearly a dozen times for not following the system’s lesson plan and maintains that CSCOPE is dumbing-down American students. He said he tried his best to follow the lesson plans, but simply could not.

Bowen, who is currently forced to use CSCOPE in her school district, feels that schools are now more like factories that send children out into the real world from an assembly-line that has not even given them the basics. She spoke to Beck despite the fact that CSCOPE had set up disciplinary consequences for doing so.

Bowen said that the lessons were mediocre at best, often “riddled with errors” and that “tests were invalid.”

“There’s tremendous coercion. It’s an incredibly oppressive environment.” She added that there have been teachers who were fired for speaking out to the school board.

Bowen also explained that teachers spend “one out of every five” days testing students, and that those tests provide data for the government’s use.

When asked what they tell parents who are inquisitive about their child’s lesson-plans, Hartzler said he violated his gag-order “right away.” He said he showed the parents why the students were struggling and where they should go from that point on.

Beck said that President Obama will look to move forward with implementing CSCOPE or such systems within a short time-frame. The panel said concerned Americans should send letters to the Attorney General and that emergency legislation should be enacted to help teachers push back.

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