Cow Paddies Masquerading as the National / Federal Common Core Standards

Those of you who no longer have a dog in the fight and / or don’t follow education should probably pay attention.  There is a movement in this country to  federalize nationalize what is taught to every child in public school in this county.  That movement is backed with money from the federal government through a US Department of Education program called Race to the Top (you Congress critters who voted to give more money to Race to the Top were giving this program more money and power – knowing what you’re funding is probably a good thing when you’re a Congress critter).  Under Race to the Top, and other programs run by the Obama Administration’s Department of Education, states were either given the opportunity to compete for cash for schools or offered waivers from NCLB’s accountability requirements if they agreed to adopt and implement the national, federal, common standards and assessments. And every state, except Virginia, Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas has willingly jumped on-board.

Here’s the thing.   The standards the feds are ramming down the throats of public schools, stink.  Not need improvement, not OK – they stink.

Forget political correctness.  I’m too tired and impatient for that.  The Common Core standards the feds are pushing down the throats of our public school children will not improve student learning one iota.  They only thing they’ll guarantee is that we will be a nation of idiots.  Uniformly idiotic, but idiots nonetheless.

It seems no one will defend the Common Core Math Standards, as Jay Greene noted in his article Common Core Chickens.  At least no one who understands math.

Even people who seem to be defending them, really aren’t.  As Jay notes in his article, Dr Steve Wilson appeared to be defending the Common Core in a recent debate, but really wasn’t.

Wilson did praise the fact that “Common Core is vastly superior—not just a little bit better, but vastly superior—to the standards in more than 30 states.”  But he also acknowledged “There is much to criticize about them, and there are several sets of standards, including those in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, and Washington, that are clearly better.”  He also acknowledged that Common Core math standards are “certainly not up there with the best of countries…”

I thought Wilson was trying to argue that being better than 30 states represented a good first step and that Common Core would be improved over time.  That was me inferring something that he did not actually say and that he explicitly objected to having attributed to him.

Rather than being the Common Core supporter, it appears more like Wilson was damning the Common Core movement with faint praise.

So, these standards, that are supposed to make our kids College or Career ready, are supposed to make our kids competitive with the rest of the world, and are vastly better than the standards in many states (including Virginia), don’t even come close to the academic expectations of the best of countries. Whoopie?

It gets better.  Dr Wilson clarified some of his reservations with the Common National Standards, which Jay cited in his article (bolding mine):

So, let’s just pretend for a moment that Common Core is just as good as the very best. Who, in education circles, will agree with that enough to put it all in practice? The standard algorithm deniers will teach multiple ways to multiply numbers and mention the standard algorithm one day in passing. Korea will say “no calculators” in K–12, a little extreme perhaps, but some in the U.S. will say “appropriate tools” means calculators in 4th grade. We, in this country, are still not on the same page about what content is most important, even if everyone says they’ll take Common Core. Without a unified, concerted effort to teach real mathematics, there isn’t much chance of catching up.

In other countries, if you say “learn to multiply whole numbers,” no one questions how this should be done; students should learn and understand the standard algorithm. In the U.S., even if you say “learn to multiply whole numbers with the standard algorithm,” some people will declare wiggle room and try to avoid the standard algorithm. {editor’s note.  In Virginia we REQUIRE calculators in kindergarten – think about that for a moment and ask if our kids will ever be able to compete with the best in the world when we give our 5 year old calculators and pretend they’re actually learning math}

A bunch of years ago my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family and moved to a more rural area.  Our house is in a suburban development right on the edge of farms.  It’s great for getting locally grown fresh produce and throwing your kids outside to play in creeks and chase fireflies and climb trees.  And a few times a year, for a couple of days, when the cow farmers do whatever it is they do with cow droppings, the smell is so thick you can taste it.

Everything I hear about the federal, national, Common Core Standards, from those who know math, is negative.  Everything.

But the federal government, helped along by our ignorant Congress critters, just keeps chugging along forcing the federal, national, Common Core Standards on as many public school children as they can.  Maybe it’s because so few of them went to public school themselves, or because their kids are grown and out of school, or because they can afford private school and they know their kids, at least, will receive a good education.  I don’t know.

All I know is the stench coming off the federal, national, Common Core Standards is so thick I can taste it.


One Response to “Cow Paddies Masquerading as the National / Federal Common Core Standards”

  1. Our Modern Day Education System Via quotes and notes and opinions | Citizen Tom Says:

    […] Cow Paddies Masquerading as the National / Federal Common Core Standards […]

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