Wednesday, July 8, 2015

UPDATED! Calling All Green T-Shirts! Oklahoma's New State Educational Standards Are Public - Please Comment


Who could forget the heady days of the Green Shirts as we descended upon the state capitol in droves to stomp out Common Core!? As we said then, eventually our new state standards would be finished and we would ask you to read them and respond with your thoughts, ideas and SPECIFIC comments.

Unfortunately, there is no place set up on the State Department of Education website under the page created for the new standards, to write in comments. Therefore, here's what we would like you to do ASAP. 

Please go to the link to the new standards on the OSDE website. Read as many standards as you feel you can possibly comment on reasonably. Come back to this blog and, using the COMMENTS section, write in anything you would like legislators, the OSDE and the public to know about your thoughts on the new standards.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE: There is a place to make comment on the standards through these links:

Math Standards comments click here
ELA Standards comments click here

The more SPECIFIC the comments, the more helpful they'll be. For example:
Regarding standard K.DP.1. (Apply mathematical actions and processes to collect and organize data to make it useful for interpreting information); it seems less than obvious how we're going to direct KINDERGARTEN students to understand a Venn diagram and also understand graphs and data - even at the very smallest categories. This seems a disproportionately hard topic for this age group. This is concerning because there is no map including tested standards. If a teacher doesn't teach her kindergarten students how to read a Venn Diagram, will she be counted down on her Teacher Assessment or will the child miss a similarly rooted question on an exam (the score for which the teacher is responsible)? Jenni White, President, Restore Oklahoma Public Education.
(Please make sure you list your name and your title if you have one, even if that's "parent" or "teacher") 
Donna Garner, former Department of Education employee under George Bush, and education activist, suggests Oklahomans categorize standards into 5 observations. These are:
  1. Knowledge-based (fact based) 
  2. Academic
  3. Specific for each grade level Pre-K through Grade 12
  4. Explicit and clearly worded
  5. Grows in depth and complexity from one grade level to the next grade level
  6. Measurable with mostly objectively scored test questions
Here are some links to help you check the new Oklahoma standards against the Common Core State Standards:
Common Core State Standards for MathCommon Core State Standards for English/Language ArtsKey Shifts in Mathematics (Common Core)
Here's the link to the text of the bill to stop Common Core; HB3399

If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to direct your efforts in order to make them most helpful to all interested parties; jenni@RestoreOkPublicEducation.com

Thank you for your efforts in this IMPORTANT endeavor!

10 comments:

  1. Note: Serious problems for 8th grade math (PRE-ALGEBRA)

    Considering fractions are inadequately covered and they are not in the new standards for Pre-Algebra, students trying to grasp algebraic skills involving fractions will be very difficult and confusing. Children can learn integer algebra in grade school but unless they have been taught and have mastered fractions and decimals, comprehension of real world algebra skills involving fractions and decimals will be incomplete. Also division using scientific notation will be confusing and if students have not been taught how to simplify a radical they will have difficulty simplifying answers using the Pythagorean Theorem.

    NOTE: The fraction problem has been one of the major problems with Common Core during middle school grades and it appears to be the same with these standards.


    4th grade math
    4.N.2.4 Use fraction models to add and subtract fractions with like denominators in real world and mathematical situations. Develop a rule for addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators.

    5th grade math
    5.N. 3.3 Add and subtract fractions and decimals, using efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms in order to solve real world and mathematical problems including those involving money, measurement, geometry, and data.

    Note: It doesn’t state if the add and subtract fractions for 5.N.3.3 is with like, unlike denominators, or both.
    But considering finding greatest common factor (GCF) and least common multiple (LCM) is not introduced until 6th grade, 5th grade fraction adding and subtracting with unlike denominators would be confusing.


    6th grade math
    6.N.1.5 Determine greatest common factors and least common multiples. Use common factors and common multiples to calculate with fractions and find equivalent fractions.

    Note: Are we to assume 6.N.1.5 means to add and subtract fractions?

    6.N.3.3 Multiply and divide fractions and decimals, using efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms.

    Note: Are we to assume 6.N.3.3 means to multiply and divide fractions with mixed numbers?


    7th grade math
    7.N.2.3 Add, subtract, multiply and divide positive and negative rational numbers that are integers, fractions and terminating decimals; use efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms.

    Note: If adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators and multiplying and dividing mixed numbers are not taught or mastered, then standard 7.N.2.3 will confuse students.

    7.N.2.7 Calculate the percent of a number and determine what percent one number is of another number to solve problems in various contexts (e.g., sales tax, markup, discount, percent error, tip).

    Note: If the skill 5.N.2.4 is not practiced during 6th grade, calculating percent problems will be difficult and confusing.

    5.N.2.4 Recognize and generate equivalent decimals, fractions, mixed numbers and improper fractions in various contexts.


    The Mathematical Actions and Processes listed below for each grade level are very generic and vague.

    Mathematical Actions and Processes
    • Develop a Deep and Flexible Conceptual Understanding
    • Develop Accurate and Appropriate Procedural Fluency
    • Develop Strategies for Problem Solving
    • Develop Mathematical Reasoning
    • Develop a Productive Mathematical Disposition
    • Develop the Ability to Make Conjectures, Model, and Generalize
    • Develop the Ability to Communicate Mathematical

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  2. AnonymousJuly 8, 2015 at 2:49 PM is right re: the vagueness of 'the standards'. Vagueness removes responsibility of real teaching off of state government, DE, school boards, superintendents, principles, teachers, parents. The alternative *starts* w/true scope & sequence which is honest, straightforward, & workable. 'Workable'=a modifiable to fit various tiers of learners combined w/*occasional* assessments to identify 'late bloomers' who are ready to catch up to their age-peers.//In Britain, there are 3 strands of math study working off of the same curriculum: basic, typical, & advanced. It is viewable online by googling CIMT MEP. There is nothing vague about the 'standards' there. Oklahoma's 'standards' are not clear, thus not clearly made accessible for a variety of students. Under yesterday's 'standards', students w/LD's have to pass the same EOI's. There is nothing in the vagueness of the proposed 'standards' which provide better alternatives for such students. While the 'Oklahoma standards' claim that students who struggle more should have an equitable system where they are supported, the varying degree to which they are expected to achieve is no where in sight. A scope & sequence, & specific means by which struggling students are to establish truly individualized goals should be mandatory, period. In direct relationship to the scope & sequence, the 'standards' should clearly set out educational theory to be applied in learning the concepts, symbols individually, symbols in a variety of expressions (reading the symbols as ideas, visualizing the operations, etc.), algorithms and procedures, asking questions, devloping a spirit of discovery for one's self, & applying all the above knowledge in real life word problems and applications, etc (certainly the farmer was much better at math because he lived in a math rich world: how many seeds/mound, for how many rows, with what range for estimated yield....(and that was before entering the kitchen, etc.). These types of specific 'standards' should all be asides to the scope & sequence. // Developing skills in reading/spelling/comprehension/composition should also have a specified scope & sequence, though it can afford to be more flexible for the varied types of students. // Holding the brightest students back while waiting on average &/or struggling students has achieved such mockeries of the Oklahoma educational system in which a valedictorian of a given OKC high school can graduate & still need remediation when entering college straight out of high school. That simply should not happen. The fault is not on the student(s) experiencing such ridiculous scenarios. The fault lies w/vagueness & inflexibility of current scope&sequence/educational-theories. Clearly, if the 'best & brightest' are held back, those students who are 'late blooming' will hardly have significant examples to follow among their 'learned' classmates. --- Summary: clarify scope and sequence, clarify the educational theory associated with each goal along the scope and sequence, clarify the degree of knowledge required for mastery by varying tiers of ability from the most gifted down to the most challenged students, clarify the process by which struggling learners will set specific, transformative goals within a personalized pursuit of the scope and sequence. Clarify, along with the standards, what means of assessment will be appropriate for various 'tiers' of ability (--- including assessments to determine when students who are 'late bloomers' are finally ready to begin catching up to their peers......, and subsequent guidelines for how to help such students achieve reasonable goals towards catching up with their peers). --- Lastly, 'standards' should also include behavior and civility standards.

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  3. I'm posting this on behalf of a math teacher in another state. The blog won't take all the comments so I'm breaking them up between this and the reply post:
    The standards are not written in a clear and concise manner. Many standards have embedded pedagogy similar to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M). In looking through the K-6 standards, while I see similarities like the one just mentioned, it does not appear the CCSS-M served as the model for these standards. The introduction indicates the NCTM standards and some others were used. There are better standards that could be used as models than the NCTM standards or those of any states the intro indicates were used. IN and CA had excellent standards that are well written, clear, concise, and relatively free of pedagogy, yet they were not used.

    The Vision and Guiding Principles indicate these standards as having students becoming mathematically proficient and literate. From looking at the standards, it appears they may be okay for math literacy but it is questionable these standards will develop mathematical proficient students. These standards lend themselves to the same kinds of things parents are not liking about materials being used with their children to address the CCSS-M. Standards for Pre-K are included in this draft. While I have some concern about the developmentally appropriateness of some standards in the early grades, the concern is not as great as with the CCSS-M. I would leave determination of developmental appropriateness to others better qualified. Too much emphasis is placed on the Mathematical Actions and Processes by having them appear with each standard. The standards document would be well served by simply listing clear and concise pedagogy free standards. The related Mathematical Actions and Processes for each standard can be presented in a document to supplement the standards.

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    1. Cont. from above:
      Many of the standards could easily be rewritten to strengthen them. As an example, here is a second grade standard:

      2.N.1.6 Use place value to compare and order whole numbers up to 1000 using comparative language, numbers, and symbols (e.g., 425 > 276, 73 < 107, page 351 comes after 350, 753 is between 700 and 800).

      This could be rewritten to read:

      Compare and order whole numbers up to 1000 using place value, comparative language, numbers, and symbols.

      Even better, clearer, cleaner, and crisper:

      Compare and order whole numbers up to 1000.

      What is it we want students to do? What do we want to emphasize? Use place value or compare and order? With this standard, I would want students to compare and order. As it is written, the emphasis is on place value. Place value is important and I do want students to understand and use it, but it appears this standard calls for students to compare and order. If well taught, given a standard like “Compare and order whole numbers up to 1000” students will use place value without it needing to be in the standard. Could they successfully compare and order without using place value?

      Many of the standards present themselves in a manner similar to the one below.

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    2. Cont. pt 3:
      2.N.1.5 Recognize when to round numbers to the nearest 10 and 100. Emphasis on understanding how to round instead of memorizing the rules for rounding.

      This is an example of a standard that may help develop student math literacy while not helping students become mathematical proficient. This standard only calls for students to recognize when with an emphasis on understanding and does not actually ask or require students to do any rounding. How do you understand how to do something if you don’t remember how to do it?

      The standards do not clearly require students to learn or use the standard algorithm for each operation. Students can and should learn and use the standard algorithm for adding and subtracting multi-digit numbers in second grade. The CCSS-M does not require this until the fourth grade, but it does require it. This new draft for Oklahoma does not clearly require the use of the standard algorithm. Here is the third grade standard that addresses addition and subtraction:

      3.N.2.2 Add and subtract multi-digit numbers, using efficient and generalizable procedures and strategies based on knowledge of place value, which may include standard algorithms.

      “Which may include” does not require the use of standard algorithm. Other standards use wording like “using efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms”. While different, it is akin in ways to the CCSS-M’s frequent use of “strategies based on place value”. Most of those strategies and procedures are not as efficient or generalizable as a standard algorithm. The standard related to division calls for “including standard algorithms”. That is not a strong requirement and actually puts it on equal ground with other procedures that will not serve students well as their math education progresses. Students will need to be well grounded in the use of the standard algorithm for division in order to successfully divide polynomials. Students will need to be able to do this in the second year of algebra and beyond. So, by not requiring the use of the standard algorithm for division, these standards will, as early as grade 4 and 5, effectively set limits on the math a student will be successful with later in their education. They will not be prepared for performing polynomial division or synthetic division as called for in the high school standard A2.A.1.4.

      Oklahoma has the opportunity to develop world class standards. If this draft is any indication, Oklahoma is way off the mark and not making good use of this opportunity. The fortunate part of this draft is that it is a draft and can be improved upon. To be world class, it needs lots of improvement. The big question is will those people involved in crafting these standards rise to the occasion. I hope they will but this draft shows they are not so inclined.

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    3. You are correct. I noticed the embedded pedagogy as well.

      6.GM.1.1: "Develop and use formulas for the area of quadrilaterals (e.g. squares, rectangles, rhombi, parallelograms, trapezoids, kites) using a variety of methods including the formula."

      The standard should simply read, "Use formulas to determine the area of quadrilaterals."

      As it is presently written in the standards, it doesn't even make sense.

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  4. Commenting for teacher Marti Arnold:
    Just a few things. 6.a.3.2., in the classroom examples it talks about a "solve me" mobiles for a tablet and "balance task app" to help with these types of problems. My problem with this is that the state is assuming that all schools have tablets to access and/or that each student has internet capabilities at home. We live in rural America and the one of the poorest counties in OK, we don't all have access to the internet. THis should be from a book and a book of examples. Anything online to me is an absolute NO. I don't want a facilitator, I want a teacher. 6.n.3.1 on estimation - I think it needs to be clear on how it's being taught. I do not believe they are using rounding up or rounding down based on if the next number is above or below the number 5. WHen my child was in 4th/5th grade they were using front end estimation which is NOT the same and NOT what happens in the real world. Also, they try to teach 3 or 4 different ways to estimate and then when the work is assigned, they don't specifiy which way to estimate. I don't think if there are several ways to do things that you don't specify which way you want it done when the work is assigned.
    There are not hardly any class room examples on the standards that I looked at, so my little mind cannot comprehend what all they are saying......

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    1. I thought the same thing when I read that part. Don't give me an app. Give me a standard. A skill... and I will teach it.

      Also, I am concerned about the lack of sample problems. It shouldn't be difficult to provide a problem that exemplifies a stated skill.

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  5. According to the Data and Probability Standard for 6th Grade, (6.D.1.2) the only data representation specifically required is a box and whisker plot. Really? It is the least used type of chart. Nowhere in this section for 6th grade is pie chart, line graph, or bar graph mentioned.

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  6. Standard 6.D.1.1 requires students to "explain and defend which measure of central tendency would provide the most descriptive information."

    This requires all students to be developmentally ready for higher levels of thought. According to Bloom's Taxonomy to be able to debate and defend an argument are at the highest levels of thought. This is one an example of the developmentally inappropriate tasks assigned throughout the new standards.

    Previously, students would learn how to find mean, median, mode, and range of given data. In the proposed standards, students must construct an argument and defend it.

    Similarly, standard 4.N.2.4 states that students will "develop a rule for addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators." Why do they need to be DEVELOPING rules for math in the 4th grade? They should be USING given rules.

    I see way more higher level thinking terms than in PASS. According to the proposed standards, instead of demonstrating knowledge and skills, all students should be able to think abstractly, develop formulas, construct and argument and be able to defend it. Not all students are ready for that. In fact, I would say most in middle school are not. They are LEARNING. They have to master a skill before they can apply, debate, and defend it. Quality teachers know how to push students who are ready, but the new standards leave no room for those who are not.

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