Archive for the ‘common core validation committee’ Tag

Dr. Sandra Stotsky: Why Do CC Supporters Try to Discredit CC Math Critics?   4 comments

Why Do Common Core’s Supporters Try to Discredit Critics of Common Core’s Mathematics Standards?

by Dr. Sandra Stotsky

 

Professor R. James Milgram, for over 40 years a full professor of mathematics at Stanford University, and I did a 13-city speaking tour on Common Core throughout California in November. At all of the meetings, Professor Milgram provided a two-page hand-out titled Missing or Delayed in Common Core’s Mathematics Standards—a short version of a 13-page critique he distributed at the time he refused to sign off on Common Core’s standards.  Not one of the thousands of parents, school board members, and legislators at these meetings challenged him about anything on this hand-out. (The Modesto Bee estimated about 500 at the meeting in Modesto alone.)

 

Yet, when speaking without Professor Milgram after distributing (with his permission) his two-page list of missing or delayed mathematics standards in Common Core, along with my own list of flaws in Common Core’s English language arts standards, I have been accused by non-mathematicians of relying on an incompetent mathematician. Why are Common Core’s supporters so desperate to discredit those with orders of magnitude more mathematical knowledge than they have at any educational level?  And to do so in such a cowardly fashion.

 

For example, I was warned by a very angry, self-identified local school board member and former K-12 mathematics teacher at a St. Louis, Missouri meeting in October that Professor Milgram is not “truthful.”  I was told in a November e-mail sent to me by a mathematics educator at a Missouri university not to “trust Milgram’s opinions.”  I was also told by an employee of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education at a Marshfield, Massachusetts meeting in October that, in contrast to Professor Milgram’s comments, a mathematics professor at Boston College thought highly of Common Core’s standards, and that for every analysis I did, there was another one that found that Common Core’s standards strengthened, not weakened, the high school curriculum.”  She also accused me of saying that “the old Massachusetts standards were so good that they couldn’t be improved.”  In response to a follow-up e-mail query from the organizer of the meeting asking for written evidence of her claims, she replied: “Professor Friedberg has not done a paper on the topic but he and other Massachusetts professors of mathematics strongly endorse Common Core’s standards and believe our previous standards were not sufficiently rigorous, didn’t stress mastery or understanding, included too many topics, and were not sufficiently focused. I’m sure Sandra Stotsky is already familiar with Bill Schmidt’s peer-reviewed study that found the standards comparable to the highest achieving nations.”

 

Yes, indeed, I am aware of William Schmidt’s study.  I am also aware of its fatal methodological deficiencies. As Ze’ev Wurman noted in his review of Schmidt’s study:

 

“Advocates of Common Core’s mathematics standards claim they are rigorous, reflect college-readiness, and are comparable with those of high achieving countries. The two members of the Common Core Validation Committee with college-level mathematics content knowledge [R. James Milgram and Dylan William] refused to sign off on them, finding them significantly lower than those of high-achieving countries….

Schmidt and Houang’s 2012 study—the only study that claimed the standards met international expectations—lacks reliable coding of the standards, and uses a variety of visual and statistical strategies to create the illusion that the profile of topics in Common Core’s mathematics standards is, indeed, comparable to the curriculum profile of six high-achieving countries. In fact, their own data suggest that Common Core’s mathematics standards are not at all like those of international high achievers, and that—at least from a statistical point of view—they do not carry any promise of improving American educational achievement.”

 

Wurman went on to conclude:

 

“Not only do Common Core’s standards remain unvalidated, but there are now many doubts that they could ever be validated as research-based, rigorous, and internationally competitive. Indeed, there is growing concern that they are far below the level of standards in high-achieving countries. Yet, these standards were officially adopted by over 46 states, national tests are being piloted based on them, textbooks and other curriculum materials have been aligned down to them, and all our seemingly independent indices of academic achievement or potential for college-level work have been or are in the process of being aligned down to them. What should be done?”

 

It is easy to understand why Common Core’s proponents would be unhappy with criticisms of Common Core’s mathematics standards. Especially when other mathematicians publicly corroborate the thrust of Professor Milgram’s criticisms (for example, the op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Marina Ratner at the University of California/Berkeley).

 

But they should be ashamed of making spurious charges to people who do not understand high school mathematics any better than they do. And they should learn to speak directly to mathematicians themselves to try to understand the criticisms.


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Notes:

1)  http://www.modbee.com/news/local/education/article3594327.html

2)  Common Core Informational Forum, St. Louis, Missouri, October 23, 2014.   Watch these six 15-minute videos in this order.

 

  1. http://youtu.be/z_Ps_25U1VI
  2.  http://youtu.be/JRahJRom4r8
  3. http://youtu.be/9FffrrRsryY
  4.  http://youtu.be/-t8IIfr_h8U
  5.  http://youtu.be/4Wb5KclkKa0
  6.  http://youtu.be/hpvY0ymINjk

4)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZvUa4mGGQA. The Q and A is not available on this video of the Marshfield meeting.

5)  Email communication from Noel Ashekian, November 4, 2014.

6)  Ze’ev Wurman, Common Core’s Validation: A Weak Foundation for a Crooked House, Pioneer Institute White Paper #112, April 2014.

http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/common-cores-validation-a-weak-foundation-for-a-crooked-house/?utm_source=Common+Core+Validation+Apr+23+2014&utm_campaign=Common+Core+Val+April+23+2014&utm_medium=email

7)  Marina Ratner.  Making Math Education Even Worse.  Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2014.  http://online.wsj.com/articles/marina-ratner-making-math-education-even-worse-1407283282

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Thank you, Dr. Stotsky!

Dr. Sandra Stotsky (English Professor) and Dr. James Milgram (Math Professor) served on the official Common Core Validation Committee and after reviewing the standards, each refused to sign off that the Common Core was academically legitimate.

Watch these video presentations where Dr. Stotsky and Dr. Milgram explain at forums across the nation why these standards do not live up to their college-and-career-ready billing.

 

Utahns Discuss Common Core Math   10 comments

I’m going to share some email strings from Utah school board members who are pro-common core, and me, and two mathematicians who are opposed to common core on academic grounds.

Ze’ev Wurman: 2010 California Common Core math validation committee member and former Dept. of Education advisor; opposes Common Core.

James Milgram: Stanford and NASA mathematician; served on official common core validation committe and refused to sign off on the academic legitimacy of the Common Core.

Dr. Milgram wrote (responding to a request for clarification about math standards) in a very recent email:

  ““I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards, and the reason I didn’t sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations. They were at least 2 years behind the practices in the high achieving countries by 7th grade, and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, course in Algebra I or Geometry.  Moreover, they cover very little of the content of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course…  They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries when it comes to being hired to top level jobs.


Tami Pyfer: Utah school board member, pro-common core


Dixie Allen: Utah school board member, pro-common core

Tami,
I am a little confused — From your email yesterday I thought you said that you, Brenda and others at USOE had decided we shouldn’t answer any questions from the Anti-Core patrons.  Could you please make sure we know what the expectation is for all of us as Board Members.  I had tried to answer anyone that was my constituents and some others, as I felt like it was my job as chair of Curriculum and Standards.  But we probably need to know what the expectation is in regard to these questionable emails, etc.
Thanks,
Dixie

On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Tami Pyfer <tami.pyfer@usu.edu> wrote:

Christel – Here is the specific standard that requires students to know how to convert fractions to decimals. (Fractions are rational numbers, perhaps that’s how you missed it in your examination of the standards.) See (d) and also the sample assessment task at the very bottom which asks kids to convert 2/3 to a decimal using long division.

Board members – Feel free to forward this chart along to legislators, constituents, and others asking you about the incorrect claim that we are not going to be teaching kids to convert fractions to decimals. It’s taken from our Utah Core Math Standards documents. I’ve already sent it to everyone who has emailed me about it.

Hope this helps!

Tami

Dear Tami,
In seventh grade?
My ten year old fourth grader (home schooled) knows how to convert fractions to decimals and ratios.  Does the Utah Common Core recommend this skill be taught only at the level of seventh grade?  That seems not very “rigorous.”
However, I am happy that it is taught at all.  I am glad you found this for me. Thank you.
Please look at exhibit B which is on page 26 of this document, as you will see that in the math review of Common Core, by 2010 California Common Core validation committee member and math expert Ze’ev Wurman, Wurman states that Common Core fails to teach many key math skills along with the one we are discussing.  I would love to see your review of his complete review to see if these things are taught, and at what grade levels.
Perhaps Ze’ev was reviewing the non-integrated math portion of Common Core, which as I understand it, only Utah and Vermont have adopted.
Christel
Tami,
Minutes ago, I forwarded to James Milgram a copy of your email about Common Core math.  He served on the official common core validation committee, and would not sign off on the academic legitimacy of these standards.  Milgram was also a math professor at Stanford University and a NASA consultant.
Dr. Milgram wrote back:
“I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards, and the reason I didn’t sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations. They were at least 2 years behind the practices in the high achieving countries by 7th grade, and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, course in Algebra I or Geometry.  Moreover, they cover very little of the content of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course…  They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries when it comes to being hired to top level jobs.   – Jim Milgram 
Please, return our state to local control of eduation and to academically legitimate, empirically tested standards.
Christel
Dear Christel,
The 7th grade standard Tami refers to is, indeed, the only   Common Core standard that deals, at least partially, with  converting between representations of fractions:

7. NS. 2.d: Convert a rational number to a decimal using       long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number   terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.

It only obliquely deals with converting a regular fraction to      decimal, with a particular focus on the fact that rational      fractions repeat. It does not deal with conversion between      fractional forms (representations) per se. Further, it doesn’t      deal with conversion of decimals to rational fractions, it does      not deal with conversion between decimal fractions and percents      and vice versa, and it does not deal with conversion of rational      fractions to percent and back. In other words, it deals with only      one out of 6 possible conversions. It also does it — as you      correctly say — too late, and only obliquely at that.
Compare it to the careful work the NCTM Curriculum        Focal Points did on this important issue:

Grade 4: Developing an understanding of          decimals, including the connections between fractions and          decimals Grade 6: Developing an understanding of and fluency          with multiplication and division of fractions and decimals                          … They use the relationship between decimals        and fractions, as well as the relationship between finite        decimals and whole numbers (i.e., a finite decimal multiplied by        an appropriate power of 10 is a whole number), to understand and        explain the procedures for multiplying and dividing decimals. Grade 7: In grade 4, students used equivalent fractions        to determine the decimal representations of fractions that they        could represent with terminating decimals. Students now use        division to express any fraction as a decimal, including        fractions that they must represent with infinite decimals. They        find this method useful when working with proportions,        especially those involving percents

(Curriculum Focal Points are available      from NCTM for a fee, however you can get them for free here)
Here is what the National Research Council had to say      about this issue in it’s Adding It Up influential book:

“Perhaps the deepest translation problem in pre-K to        grade 8 mathematics concerns the translation between fractional        and decimal representations of rational numbers.” (p. 101, Box        3-9)
“An important part of learning about rational numbers is        developing a clear sense of what they are. Children need to        learn that rational numbers are numbers in the same way that        whole numbers are numbers. For children to use rational numbers        to solve problems, they need to learn that the same rational        number may be represented in different ways, as a fraction, a        decimal, or a percent. Fraction concepts and representations        need to be related to those of division, measurement, and ratio.        Decimal and fractional representations need to be            connected and understood. Building these connections takes            extensive experience with rational numbers over a            substantial period of time.” (p. 415, emphasis        added)

(Adding It Up is here.      If you register you can download the book rather than read it      online)
And here is what the National Math Advisory Panel said on      this issue in its final report:

Table 2: Benchmarks for the Critical Foundations        (p. 20)          … Fluency With Fractions         1) By the end of Grade 4, students should be able to identify        and represent fractions and decimals, and compare them on a        number line or with other common representations of fractions        and decimals.         2) By the end of Grade 5, students should be proficient with        comparing fractions and decimals and common percent, and with        the addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals.

The NMAP final report can be found here.
All these important and widely acclaimed documents (by both sides)      are quite clear that conversion between fractional representation      is a critical component of mathematical fluency in K-8, that it      takes time to develop, and that developing it  should seriously      start by grade 4.

Arguing that a single grade 7 standard, which  only tangentially and partially addresses this critical fluency,  is sufficient as “coverage” is disingenuous, to put it mildly.
-Ze’ev Wurman

Thanks, Dixie.

Still wondering about a few basic questions that Judy Park says she will not answer. These are simple! Who will answer them?

1.Where’s the evidence that the standards are legitimized by empirical study– that they have helped, not hurt, kids who’ve been the guinea pigs on Common Core?
2.Where’s the study showing that lessening classic literature helps students?
3.Where’s the study showing that not teaching kids how to convert fractions to decimals helps students?
4.Upon what academic studies are we basing the claims that the common core standards are academically legitimate?
5.What parent or teacher in his/her right mind would approve giving away local control to have standards written in D.C. by the NGA/CCSSO?

–Am I being unreasonable here, or is Judy Park? These are our children. These are our tax dollars. Is it too much to ask to see a legitimate foundation for altering the standards so dramatically?

Christel,

I can’t answer any of your questions with research data — because I don’t have such data — but I can answer your questions as a teacher and administrator in the Public Education System for 26 years and a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 11 (some of which have been in public school and some in private school and some in home school) and a State School Board Member of 11 years.

1. There is no empirical study of the Common Core Standards — rather they have been vetted by college professors in our state and others, specialists at our State Office of Education and others throughout the nation, other specialists outside the educational community, and patrons, parents and teachers around our state who had a voice in the approval of the Core Standards and their recommendations before they were completely adopted by our State Board of Education some 2 1/2 years ago.

2. There is no study that shows we should lessen the study of classic literature, but there are endless recommendations from universities and the job creators of our nation that our students need to learn to read informational text, as well as classic literature. So my hope is that our students are getting a mix of both, but believe that we need to insure that students can read informational text and understand what it says.

3. There is no study that says that converting decimals to fractions and visa versa isn’t an important part of mathematical study. However, there is a great understanding in the educational field that if we don’t start teaching algebraic and geometric understanding early in public education and expect all students to understand these mathematical facts, as well as fractions and decimals, that we will have students who cannot make it through the mathematical courses necessary to graduate from high school and be ready to go to college. As a high school principal, I had 300 students move into Uintah High from 9th grade that had to take remedial mathematics classes, because they had not passed Pre-algebra. All students need to understand basic algebra and geometric calculations.

4. We have based our faith in the Core Standards, based upon the specialists that created them and support their validity in the educational programs for students. I believe after a couple of years of getting these standards to students, that we are seeing improvement in a deeper set of abilities to process information both in mathematics and English/Language Arts. (Of course my proof are my own grandchildren and what teachers share with me.)

5. Local Teachers and parents don’t know everything about what is quality education — and we did not give away the standards to the federal government or Washington, D.C. — we asked experts in the field, at both the national and states levels of instruction to help develop standards that would help all students be Career and College Ready. The world has changed since we were educated and our students need to know different skills to succeed in the new world of technology and world wide companies.

I am so sorry that you feel so strongly about this issue that you have created such turmoil in our state. We are truly trying to do what is best for our students and if you can pinpoint any Core Standard that you feel is problematic or doesn’t help our students be prepared for college or work, please let me know and I will take it to the experts to see what they think and if they agree we will change the standard.

However, I do not plan to throw out the Common Core, as long as I am a State School Board member, because I believe it is a step in the right direction. I will, however, help correct and update any Standard that we feel needs to be revised.

Dixie

What Experts Realize About Common Core Standards: 2012   1 comment

  Is it smart to ignore the mathematical advice of a mathematician so highly regarded that he’s on the NASA advisory council?  Dr. James Milgram, Professor of Math at Stanford University, emeritus, had such serious reservations about the fuzzy math of Common Core (Obama’s educational movement) that Milgram refused to sign off on the standards’ adequacy– as an official member of the Common Core Validation Committee.*

  Dr. Milgram’s NASA Advisory Council bio:  http://www.nasa.gov/offices/nac/members/milgram-bio.html

Dr. Milgram’s specific concerns about Common Core math are recorded in the white paper put out by Pioneer Institute:   http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120510_ControllingEducation.pdf

Meanwhile…

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, another Validation Committee** member, felt the same way about the Common Core English standards.

   Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas

Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram not only refused to sign off on the standards, but have gone on to testify with a warning voice to state legislatures and school boards about the inadequacy of the standards.

Dr. Stotsky’s concerns about Common Core can be read here:  http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/People/Stotsky/Heritage_April_17_2012.pdf  and here http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/sandra-stotsky-offers-utah-the-best-ela-standards-in-the-nation/ and here http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/People/Stotsky/Comment_for_South_Carolina_April_18_2012.pdf and here http://www.uaedreform.org/People/stotsky.php

Meanwhile…

Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based think tank, gave two thumbs down to Common Core, based on three principles:

1. Utah standards should be broad in substance and application in order to preserve a personalized learning environment for each individual student.

2. Utah standards should be the best possible.

3. Utah standards should be independent, with the ability to be changed at will.

To read the executive summary: http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/uploaded_files/sdmc/Common%20Core%20Executive%20Summary%20FINAL%207-9.pdf

To read the full report:  http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/uploaded_files/sdmc/Common%20Core%20FINAL%207-9.pdf

And meanwhile…

                                            

And  Pioneer Institute,  a Boston-based think tank, partnered with American Principles Project to research the topic and they both gave two thumbs down to Common Core, based on five similar principles:

1. The Common Core Standards Are of Mediocre Quality and Rest on Questionable Philosophies

2. The Common Core Standards/Race to the Top Effort Violates Three Federal Statutes and Eliminates State Autonomy

3. The Common Core Standards Scheme Requires a Governance System that Will Further Impair State and Parental Rights

4. States and Their Taxpayers Will Incur Substantial Costs to implement Common Core

5. The Common Core Standards System Intrudes on Student and Family Privacy

                          Full text of formal white paper:  http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120510_ControllingEducation.pdf

                                 Pioneer’s blog:   http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/blog/news/handwaving-away-opposition-to-the-national-standards/

And meanwhile…

    Pennsylvania’s bipartisan Commonwealth Education Organization has truckloads of links to articles on Common Core, that display why so many nationally respected education experts are sounding an alarm about Common Core:   http://www.ceopa.org/education-standards.aspx .

Happy Reading:

Common Core Standards

Dr. Bill Evers of the Hoover Institution discusses how the education is turning into a federal power grab that has profound effects for America’s children. While most advanced countries expect their children to learn algebra in the 8th grade, the federal government is setting a 9th grade standard. Is the new math worse than the old math? Is the Obama Administration deliberating setting lower standards for your children? Find out as Alexis Garcia brings you the latest from the front lines of US education policy.  >>link to video>>

*Summer 2012             THE COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS             “I believe the Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government.” >>read more>>
*August 7, 2012             SOLVING THE TEXTBOOK-COMMON CORE CONUNDRUM             “Educational publishers have the resources to create comprehensive and effective materials that could significantly support teachers’ efforts to realize the promise of the new standards. Empowering well-informed adoption teams to make intelligent selections of effective instructional materials and then having teachers use them in the classroom are key steps in making the necessary changes to implement the new standards with fidelity.” >>read more>>
*August 6, 2012             UTAH DROPS OUT OF CONSORTIUM DEVELOPING COMMON CORE TESTS             “The state school board decided to withdraw Friday from a consortium of states working to develop tests based on new Common Core academic standards, after months of pressure from some conservatives.” >>read more>>
*Aug. 3, 2012             INDIANA SUPERINTENDENT: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NATIONALIZED COMMON CORE STANDARDS             “At a Tea Party gathering last month, Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett expressed his concern with the growing federal overreach of Common Core education standards. ‘This administration has an insatiable appetite for federal overreach,’ he said. ‘The federal government’s involvement in these standards is wrong.’ ” >>read more>>
July 24, 2012             DON’T BUY THE SNAKE OIL OF COMMON CORE             “…the nation’s teachers will find it difficult to implement these standards. And that the training they received in the nation’s education schools is one of the major sources of their difficulty…The very effort to develop the national standards that have been sprung upon this country is a response (however poorly thought out and executed) to the dismal results of the ideas about curriculum and instruction prospective teachers and administrators have been taught by our education schools for over half a century.” >>read more>>
July 20, 2012             MILGRAM ON COMMON CORE vs. INDIANA MATH STANDARDS             Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University answers some questions about the Common Core Standards. >>read more>>             Related article:             July 17, 2012             JIM MILGRAM ON THE COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS >>read more>>
July 19, 2012             COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IS HEAVY ON THE ‘COMMON’             “The Common Core seems to create a façade of academic rigor to hide the perpetuation – or even proliferation – of mediocrity. The new standards supposedly will produce students who are ‘ready for first-year credit-bearing, post-secondary coursework in mathematics and English without the need for remediation.’ This suggests that all post-secondary coursework is created equal.” >>read more>>
July 17, 2012             STANDARDIZED TESTS OF TOMORROW BEHIND SCHEDULE, ACCORDING TO INSIDER SURVEY “(A) new survey, … suggests that ‘education insiders’ aren’t so sure that the one of the new tests will resolve all of the issues with standardized testing. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed reported that they believe the Smarter, Balanced Assessment Coalition one of the two state-based consortia developing the tests, is on the wrong track.” >>read more>>
June 16, 2012             ROMNEY CAN SCORE BY HITTING OBAMA ON ACADEMIC STANDARDS “Where will the states get the money to pay for CCS? No one knows, except that it won’t come from the feds. States that are laying off thousands of teachers and cutting school days are expected to mortgage themselves to subsidize the publishing and testing industries. And for what? The Brookings Institute says the net benefit of the new standards for American students will be zero. Academic standards, by themselves, don’t do much.” >>read more>>
May 23, 2012             DESIGNING COMMON CORE TESTS FOR ALL PROVING A CHALLENGE             “Although more students with disabilities than ever are included in state testing programs, the task of giving these students high-quality assessments in the future that measure how adept they are at mastering the Common Core State Standards seems to have an endless number of hurdles to overcome before students face these new assessments in the 2014-15 school year.” >>read more>>
May 16, 2012             INCOMING COLLEGE BOARD PRESIDENT WANTS S.A.T. TO REFLECT COMMON CORE             “With $360 million in federal Race to the Top funds, all but five states are collaborating, in two groups, to design tests for those standards. Public institutions of higher education have pledged support to the idea of using a “college-readiness” cutoff score on those tests to allow students to skip remedial work and enroll in entry-level, credit-bearing courses. Leaders of that effort have been careful to emphasize that the common assessments will be used for course placement, not college admissions.” >>read more>>             Related article:             May 21, 2012             THE WRONG LESSON ON NATIONAL STANDARDS “The next time you would like to opine about why you and others should set national standards, curricula, and testing for America’s 50 million schoolchildren, I would ask you to reflect on your and your peers’ lack of even the most basic understanding of our Founding principles.” >>read more>>
May 10, 2012             NATIONAL CURRICULUM PLAN MAY FACE CHALLENGE “An influential group of conservative state lawmakers is on the verge of proposing model legislation to block the Common core national education standards that have been heavily promoted by the Obama administration.” >>read more>>
May 9, 2012             IS THE COMMON CORE JUST A DISTRACTION?             “One interpretation of the emphasis on developing the Common Core curriculum is that these debates provide a convenient distraction from potentially more intractable fights over bigger reform ideas like teacher evaluations, expanded school choice, or improved accountability systems.” >>read more>>
May 6, 2012             COMMON CORE RESEARCH IS ‘JUST ANOTHER PIECE OF MISLEADING ADVOCACY’             “What Dr. Schmidt presented is just another piece of misleading advocacy research, brought to you and paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and channeled through the friendly services of Achieve (which received a recent $375K grant for advocacy from the Gates Foundation), the Foundation for Excellence in Education (which received a recent $1M grant for advocacy from the Gates Foundation), CCSSO (which received $9.5M last year from the Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core), and Chiefs for Change (funded by the Foundation for Excellence in Education).” >>read more>>
May 3, 2012             COLORADO BOARD OF ED REJECTS ADOPTION OF MULTI-STATE TESTING             “Colorado Board of Education isn’t the only body expressing concern of federal intrusion into education decisions traditionally made by states and local communities, and that sees national test-drafting and curriculum-drafting groups being “clearly all about” the eventual adoption of a national curriculum.” >>read more>>
May 2, 2012             CONTROVERSY OVER COMMON CORE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SUBSIDING             “As the adoption of Common Core Curriculum is drawing closer, the critics on both sides of the political divide are attacking the efforts. Although the national standards that became the CC were envisioned as voluntary, after the Obama Administration made their adoption a prerequisite to the further granting of the No Child Left Behind waivers, conservative lawmakers, who saw the CC as federal overreach, started protesting.” >>read more>>
May 1, 2012             SELF-DEALING AMONG EDUCATION OFFICIALS             “I fully agree with Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution who has been saying that in most instances higher standards don’t correlate with higher student achievement, but those states (like Massachusetts) that have used standards to drive the iron triangle of curricula, accountability and teacher quality, win big on student achievement.” >>read more>>
April 30, 2012             COMMON CORE STANDARDS DRIVE WEDGE IN EDUCATION CIRCLES             “A high-profile effort by a pair of national education groups to strengthen, simplify and focus the building blocks of elementary and secondary education is finally making its way into schools. But two years ahead of its planned implementation, critics on both the right and left are seizing upon it. A few educators say the new standards, supported by the U.S. Department of Education, are untested, and one Republican governor wants to block the measure, saying it’s a federal intrusion into local decisions.” >>read more>>
April 29, 2012             BATTLE LINES DRAWN IN COMMON CORE STANDARDS: WHOLE LANGUAGE VS. PHONICS             “(A) big argument has erupted over the Common Core Standards between those who know it is crucial for students to achieve mastery in sounding out words to the automaticity level vs. those whole language proponents who rely upon their prereading strategies (i.e., metacognitive strategies) that actually eliminate the need for students to be able to read the text.” >>read more>>
April 26, 2012             SARAH PALIN WAS A PROPHET ABOUT OBAMA’S EDUCATION TAKEOVER             “Sarah Palin was the first to recognize the problem: By participating in President Obama’s signature education initiative, the Common Core Standards, Alaska would lose control over its own curriculum.” >>read more>>
April 25, 2012             CONCERN ABOUNDS OVER TEACHERS’ PREPAREDNESS FOR STANDARDS, AS MANY TEACHERS NOT READY FOR THE COMMON CORE             “many teachers won’t be inclined to actually change what they are doing until they become familiar with the assessments aligned to the new standards.” >>read more>>
April 24, 2012             MATH TEACHING OFTEN DOESN’T FIT WITH NEW STANDARDS             “Many mathematics teachers are teaching topics at higher or lower grade levels—and for more years—than the Common Core State Standards recommend, according to preliminary results from new research. That finding suggests that when the new standards are fully implemented, many math teachers could face significant shifts in what they will teach.” >>read more>>
April 23, 2012             WHY STATES SHOULD HOP OFF THE NATIONAL STANDARDS BANDWAGON             “States across the nation are doing just that: reforming education by putting control back into the hands of parents and local leaders and empowering them with school choice. Common Core education standards would undermine these efforts by giving greater control to Washington. States that have adopted Common Core standards should reverse course and push back on federal control of standards and curriculum, ensuring that the needs of students—not Washington—come first.” >>read more>>
April 23, 2012             COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS FAIL TO ADD UP             “The push to nationalize the content taught in public schools across the country should be of great concern to state leaders. The Common Core national standards effort represents a massive federal overreach into what is taught in local schools, further removing parents from the educational decision-making process, and likely to cost state taxpayers $16 billion over seven years just to implement.” >>read more>>
April 19, 2012             ANTI-COMMON CORE FLIER HITS DELEGATE MAILBOXES             Stakeholders in Utah fight the Common Core standards participation by their state. >>read more>>
April 18, 2012             DOES THE COMMON CORE MATTER?             “On the basis of past experience with standards, the most reasonable prediction is that the common core will have little to no effect on student achievement.” >>read more>>
April 16, 2012             ROBOT ESSAY GRADING “A direct comparison between human graders and software designed to score student essays achieved virtually identical levels of accuracy, with the software in some cases proving to be more reliable, a groundbreaking study has found.” >>read more>>
Related article:             April 30, 2012             ROBOT GRADERS BEHAVING BADLY “In Concord, MA, there was a print shop that had a sign: “Good, Fast, Cheap: CHOOSE TWO, the point being you could not have all three. It seems clear to me that the Deeper Learning Project of the Hewlett Foundation is looking for writing assessment that is fast and cheap. It is hard to beat 16,000 “scores” in 20 seconds.” The interview goes on to discuss just how “good” it can be. >>read more>>
April 16, 2012             STATES MUST REJECT NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME             “States and local school districts can have success improving their standards and assessments without surrendering control to Washington. Increasing transparency of outcomes in a way that is meaningful to parents and taxpayers, providing flexibility for local school leaders, and advancing systemic reforms that include school choice options for families will go a long way in improving academic outcomes while at the same time preserving local control of education.” >>read more>>
April 12, 2012             OBAMA’S 2013 EDUCATION BUDGET: COSTLY FEDERAL CONTROL EXPANSION             “At a time when American taxpayers are calling for fiscal restraint in Washington, including restraint at the Department of Education, the budget and blueprint create a path to continued federal profligacy. These are proposals that exacerbate the existing bureaucratic maze of federal programs and further remove educational decision-making authority from state and local policymakers.” >>read more>>
March 30, 2012             AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE GASS: THOSE PESKY LITTLE THINGS CALLED LAWS “It’s a very troubling development in our democracy, but especially in K-12 education, which is supposed to teach our schoolchildren about the basic tenants of the rule of law. When unelected DC education trade groups and private foundations are willing to work with federal officials to either violate or circumvent federal laws, something has gone seriously wrong. These laws that proscribe the limits of national standards, testing, and curricula are not just a list of recommendations, but clear and longstanding prohibitions.” >>read more>>
March 25, 2012             THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN (TEACHER-PROOF RIDES AGAIN)             “The process of implementing the Common Core Standards is under way in districts across the country as almost every state has now signed onto the Common Core, (some of them agreeing to do in hopes of winning Race to the Top money from Washington D.C.). The initiative is intended to ensure that students in all parts of the country are learning from the same supposedly high standards. As we looked through the exemplar, examined a lesson previously created by some of our colleagues, and then began working on our own Core-related lessons, I was struck by how out of sync the Common Core is with what I consider to be good teaching. I have not yet gotten to the “core” of the Core, but I have scratched the surface, and I am not encouraged.” >>read more>>
March 2012             AN UNCOMMON APPROACH TO COSTLY COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS “Almost every state in the nation has rushed to join the Common Core curriculum movement with hardly a thought of the cost, financial or otherwise. In most cases, however, the ‘states’ have barely been involved. Simply put, massive educational bureaucracies have signed on to the Common Core and have expected, and generally received, no interference from the three branches of government….The Common Core provides a perfect example of how quickly a state can lose control of its K-12 educational system. Obviously, curriculum is central to education.” >>read more>>
Summer 2012             THE COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS: ARE THEY A STEP FORWARD OR BACKWARD?             “… Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government. Moreover, there are organizations that have reasons to work for lower and less-demanding standards, specifically teachers unions and professional teacher organizations. While they may not admit it, they have a vested interest in lowering the accountability bar for their members.” >>read more>>
March 1, 2012             THINK COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS ARE STATE LED? GET THE FACTS             A history of how Common Core Standards have been in the works for years and where it all began. >>read more>>
February 2012 NATIONAL COST OF ALIGNING STATES AND LOCALITIES TO THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS             “Implementation of the Common Core standards is likely to represent substantial additional expense for most states. While a handful of states have begun to analyze these costs, most states have signed on to the initiative without a thorough, public vetting of the costs and benefits.” >>read more>>
February 27, 2012             MEET THE CHILDREN WHERE THEY ARE…AND KEEP THEM THERE             “Say what you will about CCSS, but there are three big ideas embedded within the English Language Arts standards that deserve to be at the very heart of literacy instruction in U.S. classrooms, with or with or without standards themselves. ” >>read more>>
February 24, 2012             THE CORE CONUNDRUM             “Whether you think that is a worthy goal is beside the point. Over the last fifty years Congress has repeatedly told the executive branch of the U.S. government “keep out” of the school curriculum.” >>read more>>
February 24, 2012             ‘SAY I THREATENED YOU AGAIN, AND YOU’LL REALLY BE SORRY!’             “Why is Duncan lashing out? Quite possibly, he’s reacting to a recent spate of research and commentary attacking the Common Core based on its highly dubious legality, quality, and odds of success.” >>read more>>
February 23, 2012             WHY COMMON CORE STANDARDS WILL FAIL             “The idea that common standards might create efficiencies and motivations that raise achievement is disproved by what has happened in the many states that created their own standards. Those states still have some schools scoring very well and others scoring miserably. That variation has not declined, defying happy talk from Common Core advocates.” >>read more>>
February 16, 2012             TEAM OBAMA HIJACKS SCHOOLS’ CORE STANDARDS             “Last week, two of the top former lawyers for the federal Department of Education released a peer-reviewed report showing the administration violating or evading three separate federal laws by pressuring states to adopt a national core curriculum. Those laws exist for good reason: Control of educational content by the national government risks creating a national system of indoctrination, without local recourse to diversity of thought.” >>read more>>
January 2012             COMMON CORE STANDARDS AREN’T CHEAP             “Numerous states currently struggling in the midst of steep education budget cuts may have more fiscal problems than they realize. Though 45 states rushed to adopt Common Core standards in the past two years, many have not taken the time to evaluate what the adoption of these standards will cost them. States that jumped on the Common Core bandwagon in hopes of securing Obama administration grant money may find themselves increasingly strapped for cash in the next few years as implementation costs begin to accumulate.” >>read more>>
January 2012             KENTUCKY TEACHERS SHOW LITTLE PROGRESS UNDER COMMON CORE             “A new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality has claimed that the state of Kentucky has failed to show considerable improvements in the two years since it implemented Common Core standards.” >>read more>>
December 19, 2011             NATIONALIZATION TRAIN STARTS GOING OFF THE TRACK             “As the train moves further along and the full implications of nationalizing key aspects of the education system become more obvious to everyone, more and more people will jump that train. Without significant coercion it will be very hard to keep everyone on board until they reach the station where standards, assessments, and curriculum are all centrally imposed.” >>read more>>
December 4, 2011             CHOKING ON THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS             “In reality, then, these standards were written by highly educated adults who do not teach children at present and, possibly, never did. Unconnected to the scientific research on children’s intellectual and emotional development and the everyday realities of children’s needs, interests and behavior, these writers relied only the folklore of academia, fantasizing not only what children should be expected to know and do, but also what adults need to function in actual colleges and workplaces.” >>read more>>
November 28, 2011             IMPLEMENTING COMMON CORE COULD COST STATES $30 BILLION “Many states have not evaluated the cost of implementing the Core, notes a 2011 McGraw-Hill education brief, but will be working through implementation in the next three years, so by 2014 most changes will be in place….Beyond the taxpayer-paid costs of implementing the Common Core, states are weighing the perhaps even greater cost of ceding education authority to federal control.” >>read more>>
November 2, 2011             OBAMA ED AIMS AT U.S. TAKEOVER             “Home School Legal Defense A’s federal relations staff have read this 868-page bill, and we believe that while it does not directly impact homeschool freedom, the bill will 1) increase the federal role in education at the expense of state, local and parental control, and 2) will greatly increase the pressure on states to align their curriculum and standards, resulting in de facto national education standards…While some specifics that could be included in a final bill remain unclear, ‘the trend of national standards could lead to homeschoolers losing the freedom to choose the curriculum for their children.’…national standards would remove control from local boards and districts and allow ‘unelected bureaucrats, not parents’ to decide what subjects should be taught.” >>read more>>
October 20, 2011             THE MARXIST REDISTRIBUTION OF TEACHERS AND FORCED CCSS “Good news for schools on getting rid of AYP but if you’re successful, it’s time to chop that school up and send some of those teachers to failing schools to make sure they get quality teachers too. Oh, and don’t miss the great news that the Feds aren’t mandating national standards, they’ll just force you to be on “college- and career-ready” standards. Gee, I wonder where we can find national standards that will fit that bill? Oh yeah, the CCSS are available for use.” >>read more>>
October 11, 2011             NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN RESOLUTION             NFRW passed this resolution unanimously to ‘Defeat National Standards for State Schools’ >>read more>>
September 26, 2011             WITH WAIVERS, NATIONAL STANDARDS ANYTHING BUT VOLUNTARY             “Now, the conditions-based NCLB waivers, with their requirement for national standards, get to the heart of the matter: The Common Core State Standards Initiative has been pushed as far as it has gotten in large part by federal dollars and pressure. This push for national standards and tests has become a federal enterprise—and a dangerous direction for our nation’s education system.” >>read more>>
September 21, 2011             JAY GREENE’S TESTIMONY ON NATIONAL STANDARDS BEFORE US HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE “The progress we were making in education, however, stalled when we started significantly centralizing education and reducing the extent of choice and competition among districts. The policies, practices, and funding of schools has increasingly shifted to the state and national governments and greater uniformity has been imposed by unionization. The enemy of high standards and improving outcomes is centralization.” >>read more>>
September 14, 2011             SENATOR RUBIO TO SECRETARY DUNCAN: CAJOLING STATES TO ADOPT OBAMA EDUCATION REFORMS UNCONSTITUTIONAL             Rubio: “This initiative is an overstep of authority that undermines existing law, and violates the constitutional separation of powers.” >>read more>>
September 4, 2011             NATIONAL STANDARDS WON’T HELP, WON’T WORK             “They are executing plans for instruction in all grades and, eventually, common assessments in math and English language arts. It sounds great. But it won’t help and won’t work. Such specific standards stifle creativity and conflict with a two-century American preference for local decision-making about schools….We should focus on better teaching methods and better training of teachers, as well as school structures that help educators work more as teams.” >>read more>>
August 22, 2011             THE STEALTH STRATEGY OF NATIONAL STANDARDS “It was also interesting that once I pressed people to say why they supported nationalization out loud, the flaws and limitations of their arguments became apparent — even to themselves. Having to articulate your reasons can serve as a useful check on whether people have really thought something through.” >>read more>>
August 10, 2011             FEDERAL EDUCATION AGENDA DUMBED DOWN             “There seem to be few limits on how far the administration will go to foist its ill-conceived national standards upon states. That apparently includes slamming the door on the only escape hatch available to countless underprivileged students. What began with great promise has devolved into disaster.” >>read more>>
August 10, 2011             SCHOOLS MISLEAD BY DUMBING DOWN THE MEANING OF ‘PROFICIENT’             By offering waivers and removing the “failing” school label, the Education Department hopes to give states more flexibility and encourage them to raise standards by removing the risk they’ll be stigmatized by low test scores. But raising the bar isn’t the cure-all for states and school districts: Their students should be expected to reach it.” >>read more>>
August 4, 2011             EDUCATION TO RAISE TECHNOLOGY CONSUMERS INSTEAD OF TECHNOLOGY CREATORS             “This framework does not expect our students to be able to do any science, or to be able to solve any science problem. This framework simply teaches our students science appreciation, rather than science. It expects our students to become good consumers of science and technology, rather than prepare them to be the discoverers of science and creators of technology.” >>read more>>
June 24, 2011             CONFUSION OVER NATIONAL STANDARDS “If, as Bush and Klein argue, most states have woefully inadequate standards, isn’t it likely that the central bureaucracy you’re creating will gravitate to mediocrity rather than excellence? And isn’t that just what Common Core represents, given that its standards for what count as “college ready” are actually set below what you need to even apply to, much less succeed at, most colleges?” >>read more>>
June 2011             COMMON CORE SPARKS WAR “Despite all the financial inducements to cede state educational control to federal bureaucrats, counter-manifesto signatory Shelby Steele of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution urged Americans to consider the long-term consequences. ‘Decentralization has been the engine of educational innovation. We shouldn’t trade our federalist birthright for a national-curriculum mess of pottage,’ he said.” >>read more>>
June 2011             “COUNTER-MANIFESTO” CHALLENGES COMMON CORE STANDARDS “A coalition of more than 150 education reformers, state and federal policymakers past and present, teachers, and opinion leaders has released a manifesto opposing a state and federal government effort to establish a national curriculum and testing system.” >>read more>>
May 23, 2011             THE CORE BETWEEN THE STATES “ ‘Common Core’ is the name attached to 12 standards for mathematics and English Language Arts/Reading that 40-plus states have now adopted. These standards are to guide the development of common assessments and curricula for these states. A good many colleges and universities also use the name “common core” for the mandatory part of their curricula, but the capitalized Common Core is very much its own thing.” >>read more>>
May 9, 2011AGAINST A NATIONAL CURRICULUM “A national curriculum backed by national tests will stifle innovation, freeze the status quo into place, end state and local control of schooling and “impose a one-size-fits-all model on America’s students,” argues Closing the Door on Innovation, signed by 100 education and public policy leaders.” >>read more>>CLOSING THE DOOR ON INNOVATION: WHY ONE NATIONAL CURRICULUM IS BAD FOR AMERICA “A Critical Response to the Shanker Institute Manifesto and             the U.S. Department of Education’s Initiative             to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments             Based on National Standards” >>read more>>
April 6, 2011             STANDARDS OVERREACH, OR ACCORDING TO PLAN? “(J)ust by defining the goal you are driving curricula, stating what must be taught. Indeed, there would be no point to the standards if the intention weren’t in some way to affect curricula — what is actually taught in the schools.” >>read more>>
April 5, 2011 SCHOOL DISTRICT PETITIONS LEGISLATURE TO OPT OUT OF COMMON EDUCATION STANDARDS”A Massachusetts school committee has petitioned their legislature to opt out of Federal education standards which most states have adopted in attempt to get federal funding during lean budget times.” >>read more>>
September 27, 2010SCHOOL REFORM’S NEXT FRONTIERE. D. Hirsch says: Translate new standards into good curriculum that puts reading first >>read more>>
September 17, 2010             COMMON CORE STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS: A BAD IDEA “Children will never be adequately educated under a system run by bureaucrats handing out money and the teachers unions (the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers) spending the money in the classroom. The NEA and the AFT also have extraordinary millions of dollars extracted from their members to lobby for policies they want to have enacted by Congress, state legislatures and school boards and also to elect their favored political candidates.” >>read more<<
September 15, 2010             ARE WE READY FOR TESTING UNDER CCSS? “There’s a bumpy road ahead on the way to a successful Common Core State Standards (CCSS) movement. Already states and districts are examining the match between current standards, what they currently teach at various grade levels, and the CCSS. Of particular significance is that online tests will become the norm in the years ahead for many states.” >>read more<<
September 9, 2010             MARK YOUR CALENDARS “September 9 was the date that Checker Finn and the Fordham Institute began to turn against the national standards movement they so enthusiastically championed.” >>read more<<
September 9, 2010             SHAKY NEW STANDARDS FOR COLLEGE READINESS “It is not too early to ask what will happen when high school sophomores or juniors pass these high stakes tests and are declared to be “college-ready.” Will two or four year public colleges be required to place them in credit-bearing freshman courses if these students want to avoid meeting high school graduation requirements? Probably. It is also likely that college instructors will find themselves compelled, for the sake of survival, to adopt texts at the middle and high school level of difficulty in order to ensure that these “college-ready” students can read what is assigned, do the mathematics in them, and pass their college freshman courses.” >>read more<<
September 2010             THE DEBATE OVER COMMON CORE STANDARDS FOR K-12 IS HEATING UP “Although the idea of common standards at the state level has long been talked about by educators and policymakers, the movement received its most significant support last year. That was when the Common Core States Standards Initiative was announced, promoting the same set of standards for use in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. The initiative won the backing of the National Governors Association as well as the Council of Chief State School Officers. Governors and chief state school officers from 48 states promised state-led efforts to develop core standards that will be based on research.” >>read more<<
August 25, 2010             THE NATIONAL STANDARDS COME WITH NO GUARANTEE “These standards and the upcoming assessments are a huge and long-shot gamble. That may be okay for a state and localities to do, when they are picking up 90 percent of the tab for K-12 education. It’s another thing when the feds pay a mere 10 percent of the cost of educating our kids and then insist that we be their guinea pig.” >>read more<<
August 12, 2010             WHAT CAN PARENTS EXPECT TO SEE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSROOMS AFTER COMMON CORE’S STANDARDS BEGIN TO BE IMPLEMENTED? “A Worst Case Scenario—But Probably Not Far from Reality Common Core’s ELA standards assume that if English teachers are compelled to assign a lot of informational texts, students will learn how to read them. They won’t if these teachers don’t teach close, analytical reading.” >>read more<<
August 10, 2010             THE QUIET REVOLUTION DESERVES LOUD OPPOSITION “This “quiet revolution” isn’t about better educational options for American children. It’s about control, pure and simple.” >>read more<<
August 5, 2010             THE ASCENT OF AMERICA’S CHOICE & THE CONTINUING DESCENT OF AMERICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS “With an additional $30,000,000 to come to Marc Tucker’s NCEE from the USED’s “competition” for assessment consortia grants, his hare-brained scheme for enticing high school sophomores or juniors deemed “college-ready” by the results of the Cambridge University-adapted “Board” exams that he plans to pilot in 10 states (including Massachusetts now) comes closer to reality.” >>read more<<
August 4, 2010             ACQUISITION NEWS IN THE WORLD OF STANDARDS, TESTS “Some players in the common-standards-and-assessments arena have announced a business deal.” >>read more<<
July 30, 2010-08-06             PROFESSOR JAMES MILGRAM’S REVIEW OF COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS             Professor Milgram’s Full Review with Detailed Grade Level Comments >>read more<<
July 29, 2010             STOTSKY ON THE COMMON CORE VOTE IN MASSACHUSETTS “There needs to be more public attention to the quality of Common Core’s ELA (and mathematics) standards. There also needs to be public attention to the methodology of the reports of several national organizations all claiming to show that Common Core’s ELA standards are among the best in this country, all being used to sway the vote of our state boards of education.” >>read more<<
July 29, 2010 ‘HARD TRUTH’ ON EDUCATION NEW, HIGHER STANDARDS FOR PROFICIENCY ALTER VIEW OF YEARS OF PERCEIVED GAINS “Erasing years of academic progress, state education officials on Wednesday acknowledged that hundreds of thousands of children had been misled into believing they were proficient in English and math, when in fact they were not.” >>read more<<
June 2, 2010             NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION & STATE EDUCATION CHIEFS LAUNCH COMMON STATE ACADEMIC STANDARDS “Today, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released a set of state-led education standards, the Common Core State Standards, at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, GA. The English-language arts and mathematics standards for grades K-12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators and parents. The standards establish clear and consistent goals for learning that will prepare America’s children for success in college and work.” >>read more>>Math standards English Language standards Opposing view:             *May 21, 2010             WHY NATIONAL STANDARDS WON’T FIX AMERICAN EDUCATION: MISALIGNMENT OF POWER AND INCENTIVES “Abstract: American education needs to be fixed, but national standards and testing are not the way to do it. The problems that need fixing are too deeply ingrained in the power and incentive structure of the public education system, and the renewed focus on national standards threatens to distract from the fundamental issues. Besides, federal control over education has been growing since the 1960s as both standards and achievement have deteriorated. Heritage Foundation education policy experts Lindsey Burke and Jennifer Marshall explain why centralized standard-setting will likely result in the standardization of mediocrity, not excellence.” >>read more>>
May 10, 2010             DO YOU BELIEVE US NOW? “Pearson will not only provide the curriculum and test materials but will also provide teacher training and community support. I cannot even imagine how much the entire Pearson package will cost a local school district, but it will undoubtedly be a small fortune.” >>read more<<
December 29, 2009             Red Flags, National PTA, and Common Core Standards “Some general and well written articles have been published recently with serious concerns about the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), a federal push to nationalize mathematics and reading standards in American public schools.* Other, more specific, articles have focused on the National PTA’s involvement. These reports should send an alarming signal to parents, educators and legislators as that group ‘positions itself as a key player at the front line of education reform” with regards to the CCSSI’.” >>read more>>
December 11, 2009             Alternative Needed to Common Core Standards “The new consortium would endeavor to create better and more rigorous academic standards than those of the CCSSI. These alternative standards will be truly internationally benchmarked. With over twenty per cent of the American population, such a consortium of states would easily qualify as “significant” as well. Such states might even be joined by other states that do not want to embrace the intellectually impoverished and internationally uncompetitive Common Core standards.” >>read more>>
January 6, 2009Racing to National Tests”While everyone in educatorland obsesses over the $4 billion competition among the states for Race to the Top (RTT) funding, the Education Department (ED) is readying a separate competition for less than one-tenth as much money that may nonetheless prove far more consequential for American education over the long term. I am referring to the upcoming announcement of how $350 million will be meted out to “consortia of states” to develop “common assessments” that are aligned with ‘common standards.’ “>>read more>>

January 14, 2010             FIRST, DO NO HARM “We Americans have had an allergy to tackling the content problem at any level—ignoring the fact that somebody (mainly textbook makers) must always be dictating content in the schools, even if it is trivial, fragmented, skills-based content. If the crafters of our standards don’t encourage or require content coherence and cumulativeness (just to name two necessary elements), they will have failed the most basic requirement of this task: First, do no harm. And they will have done little to improve the unacceptable stasis in American education.”>>read more>> January 14, 2010             U.S. COMMON-STANDARDS PUSH BARES UNSETTLED ISSUES “Elected officials and educators have been talking about establishing national, or common, academic standards for at least a half-century…..Some regard nationwide standards as a threat to the United States’ federal system and the widely supported principle of state and local control over curriculum.”>>read more>> January 22, 2010             OBAMA IS BRIBING STATES TO ACCEPT NATIONAL CURRICULUM “School reformers have cheered the Obama administration for using RttT to pressure states to be more receptive to independently managed charter schools and use student test scores in evaluating teachers. But if the feds are calling the shots via standards-setting and enforcement, charter schools will be accountable not to local parents but to Washington power brokers, and teachers will teach to tests manipulated by national special interests and be held accountable for results having nothing to do with academic excellence.”>>read more>> January 31, 2010             EDUCATION’S ‘CORE’             “No one will object if Massachusetts adopts new standards as good as the ones it now has. But draft Common Core standards for English and mathematics released Jan. 13 are unacceptably inferior – not for any “dumbing down,” but because they are incoherent and unusable by real teachers.”>>read more>> February 6, 2010             CRITICS: STANDARDS PUSH THREATENS ED GAINS “Caught between wanting to participate in the process {of helping with national standards} while protecting the high benchmarks already set for Massachusetts students, education officials insist they will settle for nothing less than the rigorous curriculum already in place. Critics, however, worry that the state could find itself pressured by the lure of federal grants and other incentives to adopt the new standards and undermine nearly two decades of achievements that have lead to national and international accolades.”>>read more>>

**The full list of the members of the Common Core validation committee included:

  • Bryan Albrecht, President, Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Arthur Applebee, Distinguished Professor, Center on English Learning & Achievement, School of Education, University at Albany, SUNY
  • Sarah Baird, 2009 Arizona Teacher of the Year, K-5 Math Coach, Kyrene School District
  • Jere Confrey, Joseph D. Moore Distinguished University Professor, William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, College of Education, North Carolina State University
  • David T. Conley, Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon CEO, Educational Policy Improvement Center (Co-Chair)
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Alfinio Flores, Hollowell Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Delaware
  • Brian Gong, Executive Director, Center for Assessment (Co-Chair)
  • Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Kristin Buckstad Hamilton, Teacher, Battlefield Senior High School, NEA
  • Feng-Jui Hsieh, Associate Professor of the Mathematics Department, National Taiwan Normal University
  • Mary Ann Jordan, Teacher, New York City Dept of Education, AFT
  • Jeremy Kilpatrick, Regents Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Georgia
  • Dr. Jill Martin, Principal, Pine Creek High School
  • Barry McGaw, Professor and Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute, University of Melbourne; Director for Education, OECD
  • James Milgram, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
  • David Pearson, Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley
  • Steve Pophal, Principal, DC Everest Junior High
  • Stanley Rabinowitz, Senior Program Director, Assessment and Standards Development Services, WestEd
  • Lauren Resnick, Distinguished University Professor, Psychology and Cognitive Science, Learning Sciences and Education Policy, University of Pittsburgh
  • Andreas Schleicher, Head, Indicators and Analysis Division of the OECD Directorate for Education
  • William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
  • Catherine Snow, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District
  • Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality, University of Arkansas
  • Dorothy Strickland, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Ed., Emerita, Distinguished Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, The State University of NJ
  • Martha Thurlow, Director, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota
  • Norman Webb, Senior Research Scientist, Emeritus, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin
  • Dylan William, Deputy Director, Institute of Education, University of London

I cannot find each member’s analysis of the common standards.  But I did find out that Linda Darling-Hammond is an Obama insider and that she approved of Common Core. http://gothamschools.org/2008/11/19/its-official-linda-darling-hammond-heading-obama-policy-team/   The search goes on.

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