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Monday, November 18, 2013

Common Core: rotten details

If you are planning to go to Columbus on Wednesday for the second hearing on Common Core "standards", be sure to read Michelle Malkin’s column today to assess the testimony you hear. From Malkin's column:
While the GOP tries to solve its ills with better software and communications consultants, the conservative movement — and America — face much larger problems. It doesn’t start with the “low-information voter.” It starts with the no-knowledge student. . . . “Common Core” [is] the stealthy federal takeover of school curriculum and standards across the country. . . .
The good news is that grass-roots education and parental groups, brave teachers, and professors are fighting back.
And they’re winning. Big time. Over the last 10 months, Common Core has imploded under withering scrutiny from the tax-paying public, informed parents and educators, and more national media. States under both Republican and Democrat governors have adopted moratoria on the untested standards, withdrawn from the costly testing consortia, and retreated from partnerships with Common Core-promoting educational software data-miners like inBloom.
. . .
 the nationwide revolt against Common Core’s constitutionality, costs, dubious quality, threat to local control, and privacy invasions has proponents in a panic. 
. . .
Principals [in New York] reported problems with the assessments, including:
  • Difficult and confusing questions (some on unrelated topics).
  • Unnecessarily long testing sessions—“two weeks of three consecutive days of 90-minute periods”—that require more “stamina for a 10-year-old special education student than of a high school student taking an SAT exam.”
  • Field-test questions that do not factor into a child’s score but take up time.
  • Confusing directions for the English language arts sessions.
  • Math problems that repeatedly assess the same skill.
  • Multiple choice questions that ask the student to choose from the right answer and the “next best right answer.” The fact that teachers report disagreeing about which multiple-choice answer is correct in several places on the English language arts exams indicates that this format is unfair to students.

. . .
Stop Common Core moms of all colors have done their homework, brought their arguments and evidence to their school boards and state legislatures, and acted responsibly to protect their children’s best interests.

Read the rest here

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