Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Pro-Common Core Video Out from Expect More/Stand for Children

Recently, a Stand for Children-affiliated organization, "Expect More Ok" has put together a rather expensive-looking PRO-COMMON CORE video called, "Teach Me".

I thought it interesting enough to post a 'rebuttle' if you will.

Look at the blackboard.  This child is doing math problems using TRADITIONAL math - NOT the PROGRESSIVE form of math prescribed by the Common Core State Standards where, 
"HOW the mathematics content is approached to engage students in doing mathematics, as articulated in the mathematical practices is as important - if not more important - the WHAT is taught".
From the book, Common Core Mathematics in a PLC at Work

The voice over says that Common Core is "common sense standards for math and English language arts - but other pictures are of a child practicing chemistry.  So now Expect More/Stand For Children are admitting Oklahoma has national (Common Core-like) science standards - which we will if they are approved.  I don't understand what this video is trying to say.

This video seems to indicate a happy classroom where teachers are teaching Traditional math.  The Kids seem to have the answers.  

That's not what's currently happening in classrooms - especially in the younger grades. An excellent example of this phenomenon is seen in this Common Core third grade reading exam where four out of seven questions have NO RIGHT ANSWER.

Many childhood educators (including those in Oklahomahave told anyone who will listen that Common Core are NOT developmentally appropriate for kids K-5th grade.

Here are a couple of claims made in the video that are easily refuted.

Claim: Voiceover says "Common Core...raises expectations for our kids today."

FACT: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute - an Ohio think-tank that supports the Common Core State Standards, rated Oklahoma's previous standards for ELA as 
"Better organized and more clearly presented than Common Core." 
For Math, Fordham found,
"Standards are briefly stated and frequently include examples, making them easier to read and follow than Common Core." 
Additionally, Fordham found that Oklahoma's previous English/LA standards Math and Common Core's standards were rated  'too close to call' to say if Common Core was any better. 

What was wrong with the standards we had?  Our ELA and Math NAEP scores were not as horrible as Common Core proponents want us to believe.  Was it a problem with the standards or the way the state tests were graded under previous State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, who lowered the cut scores on PASS tests to try and meet NCLB's regulations?  In fact, Common Core Math standards won't even prepare kids for a STEM career.

Claim: Voiceover says, "But right now, self-serving partisan mindsets are tying our teacher's hands from preparing our kids from thinking creatively, to problem solve, to be competitive in a global economy."

FACTS: Common Core was passed into law in 2010 as one paragraph in a 34 page bill under a working title describing teacher incentive pay. The Common Core State Standards weren't even finalized for English/LA until June of that year - after session was over. 

How is there any creativity or problem solving in a classroom there there is no more than 15% of any information allowed over and above what is in the actual standards themselves?  

Teacher's hands are being tied by the implementation of Common Core.  How do we know?  We have information from over 60 Oklahoma teachers in a survey done last year who say exactly that.  Here is a video from a teacher who is quitting teaching because she isn't able to teach anymore the way she would like - and this is only one of MANY we've encountered that say the exact same thing.  Gosh, I wonder why there is a teacher shortage?

Who exactly are the PARTISANS protesting here?  Parents?  Teachers?  Kids for Pete sake?  I guess we should be glad Stand/Expect used this term and not the emotion-evoking words of the Oklahoma Chamber who called dissenters fear mongers and liars.

No wonder kids in the commercial are begging their teacher's to "Teach Me" - that can only be done when teacher's hands are UNTIED by UNRAVELING Common Core.