Common Core Uncommonly Restricts Education Choices

High-pressure, cookie-cutter education for all

(Page 2 of 2)

Education Week's Katie Ash pointed out:

"Charter schools throughout the country are coping with myriad challenges in preparing for the Common Core State Standards, an effort that could force them to make adjustments from how they train their teachers to the types of curriculum they use to the technology they need to administer online tests...

Many of the academic, financial, and administrative issues charters face closely mirror those of their regular public school counterparts, including concerns about the high costs of implementing the standards and the challenges of putting the technological infrastructure in place for online testing. Charter advocates have complained for years that they have not received funding comparable to that of regular public schools, which could pose an additional burden.

Plus, questions remain about whether the common-core standards will bolster or hinder the independence and flexibility that charters see as their greatest strengths.

Under the circumstances, "Waldorf," Montessori," "traditional academy" and "IB" risk becoming Coke vs. Pepsi brand names peddling similar products—assuming they can even survive the transition costs.

Private and religious schools, while mostly exempt from legal mandates to adopt Common Core, are also under pressure to toe the line. Some that accept tax-funded vouchers are required to adopt the standards to continue in such programs. Others find that non-Common Core-compliant textbooks are becoming difficult to find. And the biggest motivation might be the move by college entrance exams to test for mastery of Common Core standards.

Is there any refuge left for families seeking an education not driven by one-size-fits-all benchmarks?

Well, many companies that provide homeschooling materials proudly advertise their intent to ignore Common Core, and the names of such companies (as well as those aligning with Common Core) are collected and disseminated by independent-minded activists.

For families that don't care for rigid, cookie cutter standards, the requirements for personalized education in the years to come may resemble those for so much of what matters in life: If you want it done right, do it yourself.

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  • fish||

    So how come they're revamping the schools again? I thought we already had the finest educators working in the finest system that the bureaucrats could concoct?

  • JWatts||

    They decided we weren't spending enough money on education, of course.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    This time they've got it right! Just don't remind anyone of all those previous times they said they got it right, only a teabagger racist would mention such things.

  • mtrueman||

    "only a teabagger racist would mention such things."

    I get it Eduard, you too are a victim. Keep in mind the victims shall inherit the earth,

  • JWatts||

    That's just an ignorant comment. Eduard wasn't complaining about the effects on him personally. He was making a sarcastic comment about people who have reasonable objections to this program, but are being tarred as unreasonable.

  • DuplicationCube||

    I'm not so sure that most 3rd grade teachers are ready for pre-algebra

  • Stephdumas||

    One guy got arrested when he questionned the Common Core in a Maryland school district. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEQmUnisDEM
    and Julie Borowski posted a video about this http://youtu.be/lX7ddVUuf-E

  • Gabriel Hanna||

    "toe the line"? Isn't it supposed to be be "tow the lion"? As I understand the origin of the phrase, in ancient times gladiators who didn't perform up to standard were demoted from fighting lions to hauling up the lions from animal pens under the Colosseum.

  • jdtuccille||

    No, it's "toe the line" as in go right up to, but not over, the starting line.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is a common misconception. Actually, it's "Go to Lyon," a popular tourist slogan in the 1950s.

  • Gabriel Hanna||

    For all intensive purposes the two are the same--at least as far as my self of steam is concerned.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I hate phonics.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm guessing "sound economic logic" isn't in the standards at all.

  • larry hammond||

    That would just be dangerous dear comrade. Why would you even mention such a thing?

  • Marshall Gill||

    Whoever says that an 8 year old isn't developmentally ready doesn't know what the fuck they are talking about. While algebra does require a tad more discipline than most children that age posses, they can do it. My 8 year old daughter is working on algebra right now.

  • JWatts||

    Not all children are the same. I think that's the point.

  • Marshall Gill||

    When someone says "a third grader isn't X" they do not usually mean some specific individual but the mass of all third graders. She should have said many or most according to her actual data, except for the fact that she undoubtedly doesn't have any.

  • mtrueman||

    His 8 year old daughter is a leftist?

  • Careless||

    She was developmentally ready for that.

  • Publius123||

    No offense, but what your 8 year old is doing is not algebra, even if current textbooks like to use that term. The ages and stages referred to by the pediatrician are real, and I recommend reading Piaget's work on the different stages of learning.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I home school and I can assure you that my 8 year old IS doing algebra. Just like she will be doing geometry next and trig after that. Just like her brother who finished pre-calc when he was 12.

    So no, the ages and stages referred to by the pediatrician are absolutely NOT real. Indeed, those numbers are almost certainly pulled out of her ass. Why in the fuck would I want to read anyone who denied something I have seen with my own eyes?

  • Publius123||

    And this is exactly what I hear from people who are in favor of the Common Core Standards: "It works... I have seen children learning advanced topics at an early age with my own eyes."

    I do not agree with the approach, I think that there are genuine differences in children as they age (terrific at acquiring language during the first 5 years, not as good in the teen years).

  • JWatts||

    Marshall Gill: Why in the fuck would I want to read anyone who denied something I have seen with my own eyes?

    I think you need to re-read the quote:
    "Pre-algebra?" my wife, a pediatrician who deals with children and tracks their physical and mental growth every single day, asked. "I'm not sure third-graders are developmentally ready for this. Their brains may not be able to handle it yet."

    That's not quite the same as saying that there are no 8 year old's who can do algebra, which seems to be how you are interpreting it. It's clear to me that she is referring to 8 year old's as a group. You'll note that she uses the qualifiers, "I'm not sure" and "may not be able to". Furthermore, for Common Core to be successful most 8 year old's would need to be able to perform at that level.

    If your kids are smarter than average, then their personal abilities are irrelevant to the conversation about whether the material is appropriate to the age level or not.

    Oh, and congratulations on having such smart children and taking the time to personally teach them. It sounds like you are great parents.

  • wadair||

    "Furthermore, for Common Core to be successful most 8 year old's would need to be able to perform at that level."

    I think that MOST ALL 8 year olds would need to perform, because those that cannot will be left behind. The Bushes would not be happy with that.

    A common core that's not common is no good.

  • Marshall Gill||

    "Not sure" and "may not be able to"? You are correct, I should have simply ignored such an unspecific and anecdotal opinion, however educated the person giving said opinion.

    She read a paper once and thinks, maybe they can't, or can, but kind of thinks maybe not and and she is a doctor? I stand by my original characterization.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I'd like to know what exactly is pre-algebra. Multiplying and dividing are pre-algebra, hell, even addition and subtraction. You have to know how to add or subtract when you do an equation, don't you?

  • Publius123||

    Great point--current textbooks claim that if there is an "x," then it is algebra. When a young student is asked to solve x + 8 = 10, they think and solve the problem numerically ( what number works) not algebraically ( what process can I apply to transform this equation).

    Common Core does not understand this, and it pushes advanced concepts where they do not belong.

  • Marshall Gill||

    This is what they are calling pre-algebra, anything with a variable.

    I home school. Does factoring trinomials count as actual algebra? Just one of the many things my children learned when they were 8. Of course, they don't waste time with any socialist indoctrination so they have time for actual learning.

  • Publius123||

    First, the magazine is called "Reason," so let's keep it civil--the "f-bomb" that you dropped in your first post is not helpful.

    As for the math question, factoring trinomials or any other technique is meaningless and can be taught to very young children. There is a famous 60 Minutes profile of a home-schooled child who learned all sorts of math techniques through calculus and went off to college as a young teen. The problem was that he did not understand any of the ideas behind the techniques that he had practiced, and he had a disastrous college career.

    Richard Feynman, a Nobel-winning physicist, learned algebra on his own at an early age. It certainly is possible, there certainly are people with gifts and talents. What the pediatrician in the article was pointing out was that for the 99.9% of humans, the abstractness of algebra (not its techniques) can not be learned until around age 14. There are plenty of studies on this, and Piaget is the man who started it all.

  • Marshall Gill||

    You mean to tell me that someone who has credentials from the Education System is absolutely certain that a proper education takes 14 years of exposure to others also credentialed in the same system? You don't say.

    I don't doubt that there are tons of "studies" on this. I am certain that they were attempts at the collectivization of human beings, and therefore flawed. I also don't doubt that a centrally planned government school system is the only possible "solution" to the question of education, in the minds of Top. Men.

    I guess my children must be in the top 0.1%. There is no doubt my 12 year old understands the abstractness of algebra, or even calculus.

  • otto von doom||

    Pre-algebra does have some of the numerical 'algebra' problems, however it also includes this thing they do with chess pieces. Black and white chess pieces go on 'scales' and you have to 'add' and 'subtract' chess pieces from both sides to balance the equation. That's really the part where you're learning algebra. Then they put the two together.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I can see why they would arrest parents and charge them with assault rather than answer questions about this.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "There's a lot of misinformation about Common Core, up to and including the idea that it's a federally developed curriculum chock full of politicized takes on literature, history or what have you."

    OK, it's not federally-developed, it's just federally-endorsed, and federal officials go out of their way to "discredit" opponents of these totally non-federally-developed standards.

    And no, the parent who found that teachers' guide to getting kids to use "emotional language" to persuade their parents to support more spending on their local public schools is totally not politicized, or in the alternative, it's only an isolated passage taken out of context. And if they find that the teachers' guides are full of such passages, then the next line of defense will be that this is all optional, etc. Then that it was just a couple of rogue curriculum developers. Then - oh, no, some dictator used chemical weapons!

    Have I got that about right?

  • JWatts||

    After watching that crap I'm depressed.

  • Ron||

    After seeing this, the video, it is teaching children, little kids, how to act just like liberals. If there is anything to discuss it should be done with emotion and no facts and the study guide actually teaches children the rudest way of talking to people with no respect for alternate oppinions. If a generation of children are going to be taught this way they will eventually treat all others like trash. Schools used to teach civility this teaches hatred.

  • JWatts||

    Schools used to teach civility this teaches hatred.

    Well pedantically, according to the video, they are teaching how to invoke hate and fear in your communication as an effective appeal to emotion.

  • Marshall Gill||

    We may have picked a charter, but it's publicly funded

    And staffed with Union brainwashers teachers. And the curricula isn't that different from other public indoctrination centers.

    You are going to find out that charter schools are nothing more than polishing a turd.

  • JWatts||

    I'm on the fence about Common Core. Setting standards is IMO a function of the Federal government. And it's clear that this isn't being forced on everyone regardless of their opinions.

    I think it comes down to
    a) How good are these standards?
    b) How hard is it to get a waiver?
    c) Do they punish schools that go "faster" than the standard?

    On a scale of: 1 to Obamacare, this sounds pretty benign.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It wasn't even on my radar until I learned (eg, above) that their teachers' guides encouraged 1st graders to use "emotional language" to lobby their parents for more school funding, and that a parent got arrested and charged with felonies for speaking up at a meeting to promote these standards.

    And a TIME article said how great it was, and how the mean old tea partiers were criticizing it. Because they're stupid, and because local control of education conflicts with academic excellence.

    That makes me think maybe it's not such a great idea. If it were a good idea, the people now praising it would be denouncing it instead.

  • JWatts||

    After watching the video above, I agree. I'm almost shocked that someone would attempt to teach that kind of emotional advocacy to 6 year olds! I actually had to go back and double check that it was for 1st graders. I thought the video narrators might be lying to me. But it's pretty clear that the intended audience for that material is very young children. And the crap is clearly indoctrination.

    They are quite literally teaching 6 year olds to rely on appeals to emotion rather than logic. And furthermore they are emphasizing anger and fear as the emotions to evoke.

  • Ron||

    this is how all liberals debate, fear and emotion no facts or logic. they will raise an army of self haters and they inturn will get no respect from their students and they will wonder why they can't control their classrooms, it will be because of this.

  • Jordan||

    Education is not a function of the Federal Government.

  • mtrueman||

    I expected to see more support for your position here: taylorism, and what's good for the factory is good for the school.

  • UnCivilServant||

    That would require consistant inputs (uniform children) or a strenuous purification mechanism to make them uniform before uniform processes can be applied.

  • mtrueman||

    "That would require..."

    All that's required is the belief that this kind of standardization is desirable and beneficial. And that students should live up to them.

    As I expected, I'm seeing more support here for this kind of regime.

  • JWatts||

    As I expected, I'm seeing more support here for this kind of regime.

    I fail to see much support here for this. Personally, I'm technically on the fence. I support the basic idea of a base line standard. However, I'm absolutely against the kind of puerile indoctrination of the sample text book in the video above.

    But I'd say, I'm the outlier here, even being on the fence and almost everyone else is firmly against it. Or am I misinterpreting your comment?

  • mtrueman||

    I didn't see much support for standardization when I posted this, and said as much. I thought there would be more, and a few more supporting comments have trickled in since.

    Standardizing education, it seems, inevitably leads to standardizing students, and teachers too for that matter. Libertarian acceptance of this kind of social engineering shows the limits of its view of the world.

  • Kroneborge||

    Of course with the lack of real standards at most public schools this shouldn't come as a surprise. It's better than what we had before

  • ||

    I have 2 boys that are just starting Common Core math. I'm not much for national standards, but by focusing on topics this curriculum will probably be better at teaching concepts than the old review-everything-every-year technique. And here's something Hit-and-Runners will love: they have gotten rid of grading on effort! If you get the answers right you get a good grade whether you conspicuously tried hard or not.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    At some point we have to have testing and standards. I'm not talking about Common Core laying out exactly what will happen at each grade but surely there has to be a minimum level of skill demonstrated upon high school graduation. How about 8th grade as well? Have all the flexibility you want in between.

    When you look at the rigor of American schools compared to industrial peers, it's just not that impressive. So we end up playing catchup in our universities which are still the best in the world. I'm not advocating for suicide-inducing Japanese or Chinese standards but we can do a tad better than some of the underwater basketweaving social promotion that's out there. And yes I know all about AP and college classes in high school. Those are great. I'm talking about the pathetically low standards of non-AP classwork.

  • Will Nonya||

    I think the focus is on the wrong set of standards. All schools have reasonable academic goals but few in the post secondary promote reasonable behavior, independent thought or critical thinking.

    I think the states should be in charge of determining which type of skill development will best support it's economies in the long run but the passive approach to child behavior falls apart at adolescence and leads to lower levels of success in life because they simply aren't able to function as an adult. They're all left waiting for their trophies and snacks.

  • JWatts||

    The teachers have to have those skills in order to teach them.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Well watch out for those pre-Algebra classes, because it may set the kid on the path to thinking sensibly about Economics.

    "Finish the equation", when applied to Economic thought, tends towards free market capitalism.

  • JWatts||

    That only works on the dumb statists. The smarter statists will just insist that the "equation" is incomplete and that it needs to factor in SJ "social justice", TC "tragedy of the commons", PS "people are stupid" and then at that point it says whatever the hell they want it to say.

  • triclops||

    I just hope it doesn't get too much worse before my son gets through school. I don't want to home school.

  • montana mike||

    ggod luck with that, sincerely

  • Marshall Gill||

    I don't want to home school.

    Why not? It is a challenge but it is also very rewarding for both parent and the children. Even the most stupid parent (not saying that is you) can do better than the socialist indoctrinators.

  • mtrueman||

    I've met some extremely well educated people from Eastern Europe, like Russia and Hungary, while I was studying in Taiwan.
    They weren't home schooled and the notion would never have occured to them to study away from school where they received a government stipend, each month, I believe.

    Still, that's only my personal experience. I'd be interested in learning more about how you know that the that the stupipest parent can out educate socialist indoctrinators.

  • JWatts||

    I've met some extremely well educated people from Eastern Europe, like Russia and Hungary, while I was studying in Taiwan.

    That would be an extremely cherry picked sample, wouldn't it?

    They weren't home schooled and the notion would never have occured to them to study away from school where they received a government stipend, each month, I believe.

    You seem to be basing part of your argument against homeschooling by saying he would miss out on "free" government money. Is that what you really meant?

    I'd be interested in learning more about how you know that the that the stupipest parent can out educate socialist indoctrinators.

    I agree, that's clearly an exaggeration. But since his audience is a group of adults that are quite likely of above average intelligence, as evidenced by what they read and write, he probably didn't mean it literally.

  • mtrueman||

    Nothing was cherry picked. I'm simply recounting my meagre experience of socialist educated classmates I've come across over the years. They were exceptionally good students. Never remember discussing why they chose to be educated in schools, stipends certainly didn't hurt, but it's worth noting here that big time socialist V.I. Lenin was homeschooled and successfully passed the bar without the benefit of a stipend or law degree.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Sorry I couldn't respond sooner, I also have to work.

    Primary education is quite simple. Only the people incapable of learning the subject matter called K-6 would be incapable of teaching the same. This isn't to say they have the basic belief that they can, or should, but the vast majority of adults could do it.

    Home schooling makes no implication of original texts. I have used a number of different books and programs and websites. Even at the high school level, I can usually find Teachers manuals and answers, if I don't know or remember the material.

    Home schooling provides the thing the indoctrinators praise almost more than any other, small class size. Individual attention is better in most if not all cases. You know what your children know when you home school. When I taught my daughter long division, I made her do quite a bit of it because she wasn't as proficient as I wanted. So instead of her being placed in the huge collective of "Third Grade" she gets to learn at "her own" pace.

    Another huge plus is that your children are not taught things which are not true. My children's knowledge of FDR, for example, is probably considerably different than the tiny bit the government "teaches". As you can imagine, they don't worship Gaia, either.

  • Maggers||

    Mr Tuccille, thanks for your interest in CC, I do wish that you would research a little more. It is the federal government stepping in a states rights area...as proven by such coercion from the Feds to accept money through ARRA , RTT! And ESEA. Waivers in exchange for the 4 assurances...Also, the states do not own the copy rights to CC, so there is no ability to change, or delete a standard if it is flawed, states can only add 15% (which, in talking to teachers, there is not a lot of extra time in the CC standards to add, let alone slow down to cover a subject the class may be struggling with. Also, if you research a little further into the SBAC agreement, it clearly states, " it is a combination of standards, CURRICULUM , teacher training, testing, and data collection." Lastly, I would steer you to look into the FERPA laws that were amended without the consent of congress to allow the invasive data mining....FERPA now supercedes HIPPA, meaning that ALL your family's medical records are now open to anyone that the Feds calls a "stakeholder" This does have fed finger prints all over it, and the strings attached are going to financially stick it to tax payers once all the FREE money is gone,and we will be left with, as Bill Ayers calls it, "NCLB in drag" a huge, untested, expensive experiment and race to a deeper bottom.

  • grey||

    She says, "We need clear goals for...all the states."

    Does she mean? "We need clear goals controlled and enforced by the federal government."

  • burserker||

    if its federally mandated, its shit

  • benracer1||

    We have kids in two high performing, academically rigorous Arizona charter schools (early elementary on up). Each school has a unique school culture and teaching method. Both approach standardized testing as a momentary stall in the usual school business, and then they return to their regularly scheduled programming. Regardless of which standards are used, the schools are still in charge of their culture, philosophy, methods,etc. When questioned by parents, school leaders don't see much changing, except for adjustments to the technological requirements to administer the tests.

  • GLK||

    I would think da people dat's gonna hate this da most are the one's that share the same accent as the video commentator.

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    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to Economy tab for more detail ...

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