Thursday, April 11, 2013

And The Survey Says....

Several weeks ago now, ROPE published a survey to find out what people knew about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards here in Oklahoma.  A total of 135 responses were collected.  This survey was not designed to identify reactions to specific Common Core topics, but more to find out how much people know about the implementation of the Common Core.  The results were quite interesting as there were many who were not as informed about the facts as we thought.  Here are the results of the survey.  Here are the results of our survey from last year which sought to identify perceptions and feelings about local versus federal control of education.  It is interesting to see the results of that study and our latest, together.

The important thing to look at for this survey are the heterogeneous mix of individuals who answered - we have teachers and parents and administrators and homeschool parents - quite a varied lot.  This variation makes the survey richer as it's not confined simply to the 'taxpayer' category.  For the most part, respondents will have to deal with the Common Core on a personal level in one way or another and that makes the astonishing fact that so few knew about its genesis even more impactful.  The fact that over 40% of respondents didn't know that the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers were the progenitors of the standards was impressive and speaks well of our proponents ability to message the completely false notion of the CCSS being "state-led".

Below, I have picked out a few of the more interesting and informative comments (out of 67) collected with the survey.  Please read.  I was surprised at how personal so many of them were:
  • I'm a mom of a 2nd grader in a public school; I totally disagree with the CCSS. My child is intelligent with a responsible, well-balanced family that encourages and supports her in schoolwork and beyond. I have been told by her teacher that she struggles. With this being said, I compared my current 2nd grader's learning requirements to my older child's requirements 4 years ago as a 2nd grader. My current 2nd grader IS NOT BEHIND!. The standards have been raised to a ridiculous high. The things my 2nd grader is having to do now is the same thing my other child did in the 4th grade. It's impossible for a child to be able to grasp all the things that are now required. Their brains are not physically mature enough to even understand concepts in the new CCSS. Too many skills are only being touched on, but never mastered. Completely outraged at the amount of pressure put on the students/parents because CCSS. I am the parent, not the teacher! It's sad that my child thinks she is dumb!

  • Are you also aware about the data collection that is connected with CCSS? Most people think of the state tests, once a year, but for 6 years (before CCSS was signed by Brad Henry), teachers in OK public schools have been required to scan weekly tests (reading and math) in to a scanner. The first year, teachers could choose a random number, but the 2nd year, they had to turn in a master list, matching the students to the number. Beginning the 3rd year, OCPS (and probably other schools) required teachers to use the student ID number. Beginning the 2nd year of these weekly tests' implementation, teachers are required to sit down with the principal and discuss every student scoring below 80%, and the principal then forwards this information on. Teachers don't talk about these tests because they don't consider the data as being available to anyone besides the principal, but they absolutely are available to anyone with a password.

  • I can't believe that common core was put into schools without public knowledge and without the legislature even knowing about it. I don't like the common core's constructivist math, elimination of so much classic literature, ending cursive instruction, and massive data collection on kids. I think it's the most invasive thing to have happen to our nation in decades. I am totally alarmed and want Common Core gone.

  • In theory, common standards across states sounds great (so that all kids are learning what they need to at each grade level, which would help if a family moved to a different state), but in reality, everyone's moral values vary (especially from state to state); therefore, I do not want a more liberal state deciding what students in Oklahoma are taught. I think if you give more liberal people control of schools (especially if they don't even live locally - which is unconstitutional), that is an extremely dangerous place to be that opens up all kinds of doors I do not even want to be cracked open.

  • I am a PE teacher. I am being told to use what little time I have with my kids teach math reading and so on as we do PE. I do not want the math teacher teaching gym why would anyone want the gym teacher teaching math.  It weighs heavy on my mind the endless children that suffer from childhood obesity, some call it the new polio. We are slowly getting new laws to make sure children are not expected to set still for eight hours a day. Now thanks to common core PE is being dummied down to have your gym teachers to teach common core. My only question is what is next? Recess.  To say the least I am disappointed.

  • At the university level, education majors are being taught Common Core, I feel the school is mot being upfront with us regarding details, including effectiveness research, who writes the standards, who pays for them, and how they will help our students OR our teachers. I feel this is the beginning of our public education system falling into rubble with no one to help is dig out and save our students' futures or our careers as educators. Educators should be writing standards for education, not corporations!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey.  We may have another one yet - keep a weather eye!  Until that time, keep up with all the latest news and information on Common Core on our Facebook page!