Common Core Leaves Out Consideration for the Kids

Common CoreCommon CoreCommon Core education standards have become something of a target for education activists displeased with top-down homogenized education. That's especially true of political conservatives who see the hand of the federal government, and the Obama administration, in the standards. In fact, while the president has cheerleaded for Common Core, the standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and their adoption is voluntary at the state level. That doesn't change the homogenizing nature of the standards, though. And my my family's experience suggests that an important factor has been left out of the development of the standards: the poor kids who are expected to march in unison to meet Common Core's competition-driven goals.

According to Common Core's mission statement:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.

The premise here seems to be that we're just not asking enough of the kiddies. That would be a defensible premise if public school students from sea to shining sea were yawning and acing test after test. Time to step it up!

But they're not. A Cato Institute analysis of the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress scores found:

There have been some slight improvements in the scores of younger children, but they don’t last. By the time students are preparing to enter higher education or the workforce, they are no better prepared academically than they were two generations ago–despite the fact that we have spent three times as much on their K-12 education as we did educating the class of 1970.

Whatever you may think of current standards, kids aren't exactly excelling at pre-Common Core levels, despite increased resources. To be blunt, if the kids aren't learning at what has been deemed unacceptably low standards, we should probably take a close look at how they're being taught and who is teaching them. Simply raising the bar is a recipe for massive failure.

The promo material for Common Core also rubs me the wrong way. A video touts the competitive nature of education and how kids need to learn to the same level so they can go head-to-head with kids across the country and around the world. Gotta beat those whizzes in Shanghai! But kids aren't all members of Team America and they're not factory widgets—they're individuals who learn in different ways and at different paces.

My wife and I picked our son's charter school because it has a culture and curriculum that suits him. The lesson plan was developed by Hillsdale College, the school is small enough that the teachers know the kids, and he's been learning and happy in the environment. We don't hold his school out as ideal for all kids because we assume different approaches work for different children.

But this year, Common Core kicked in, and so did a lot of tears during homework time. Tony's teacher explained to us that the kids are having some rough going, especially with math, because they didn't just jump up to third-grade lessons and expectations as usual, but are now expected to meet Common Core standards. We may have picked a charter, but it's publicly funded, and so the new standards apply.

We're OK with challenging standards. That's one reason we picked the charter over the holding pens run by the school district. But a sudden jump in expectations without preparation to ease the kids (and teachers) to a higher level doesn't improve my opinion of the people setting the new targets. Not surprisingly, Tony started uttering the dreaded "I'm just not good at..." phrase that signals frustration and the potential for giving up.

So we sat down to help him with the concepts. And then we started Googling those concepts so we could understand them to explain them to our son. Who, once again, is in third grade. And then we looked up the Common Core standards. States are free to make adjustments to the standards as needed, although the Arizona implementation (PDF) doesn't look much different than the national model.

"Pre-algebra?" my wife asked.

"I don't remember doing that until fourth or fifth grade," I answered. And that was in a well-regarded suburban school in New York. I didn't do well in math, to be honest, and I'm convinced that it was because I was pushed too hard, before I was ready. My son is being asked to do the same at least a year earlier.

There's a heavy emphasis on abstract thinking and concepts. From the Arizona math standards for third grade:

Mathematical Practices (MP)

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

4. Model with mathematics.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

6. Attend to precision.

7. Look for and make use of structure.

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

My wife, a pediatrician who deals with children and tracks their physical and mental growth every single day, said, "I'm not sure third-graders are developmentally ready for this. Their brains may not be able to handle it yet."

That's not to say that no third graders can do this. Kids vary widely in their abilities and the pace at which they grow. And any school grade covers an age range spanning a year. But it's quite likely that many kids, expectation-wise, are being pushed to or past the limits of their abilities by educational institutions that have already widely failed to teach them to lower standards.

Kids are capable of doing a lot. But the Common Core standards are premised on the idea that dissatisfaction with American public education is a result of the children failing the system. That's not the case. In reality, the system has failed the children.

As I mentioned, Common Core is controversial. Some states are opting out. Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, John Huppenthal, plans to address that controversy by changing the name to "Arizona College and Career Ready Standards," but otherwise says the new standards are here to stay.

With Common Core squeezing yet more variety out of the education options available to us, for reasons that strike me as faulty and using means that seem flawed and damaging, homeschooling looks ever-more attractive.

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  • tarran||

    “We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have an ample supply.

    “The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”

    - Rockefeller

  • Dweebston||

    He had a point, I think (given that I don't know the context, my opinion likely isn't worth much). I see nothing wrong with admitting that for most children, teaching abstract, recondite material offers nothing but frustration and disincentive. Educators should be able to instruct a limited scope of essential material well, and leave everything else to the purview of talented, interested individuals.

    This is not something proponents of public schooling recognize or desire. Mission creep is as much a factor in education policy as it is any other bureaucracy, and "Common Core" seems to be another obtuse effort to paper over the colossal failures of public education while preserving its omnibus scope.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I saw a video that I wish I could find that demonstrated a fairly absurd process for doing math that's part of Common Core. One thing that stuck in my head was the idea that some things could be de-emphasized because of calculators, which I can say from personal experience as a parent is a load of crap. Kids don't get what the calculator is doing at all, and they quickly get lost.

    I suspect that some of what's going on is to make subjects easier to get through by making classes more shallow. It's like teaching business calculus (sans trig) versus engineering calculus.

  • ||

    The reason was that the books were so lousy. They were false. They were hurried. They would try to be rigorous, but they would use examples (like automobiles in the street for "sets") which were almost OK, but in which there were always some subtleties. The definitions weren't accurate. Everything was a little bit ambiguous -- they weren't smart enough to understand what was meant by "rigor." They were faking it. They were teaching something they didn't understand, and which was, in fact, useless, at that time, for the child.

    The more things change.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    +1 haversin

  • CatoTheElder||

    Feynmann.

  • kinnath||

    a great man

  • Cliché Bandit||

    My dad used to sail and he did all that shit by hand (and slide rule). Claimed that an AVERAGE sailor could easily get within several hundred yards of where they were aiming without the benefit of far visibility. Spherical trig can kiss my GPS's ass.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    "business calculus (sans trig) versus engineering calculus."

    I...I...can't do either one *runs sobbing from room*

  • Pro Libertate||

    They need an even lighter calculus, without all of the derivatives and integrals. I deem it to be political science calculus.

  • Pro Libertate||

    An even lighter version, which I call journalism calculus, would eschew any math or geometry whatsoever.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What about English and Philosophy majors, ProLib? What's to become of us?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't think such majors require even the illusion of math.

  • Zeb||

    About half of the work I did for my philosophy major would be indistinguishable from math to most people.

  • Tonio||

    When I was in college the course in Formal Logic was a PHL course, not a MAT course. Still a requirement for MAT majors and comp sci majors.

  • ||

    Thank you! Advanced logic is very math-like.

  • Brett L||

    As long as you can count to four (or however many drinks fit in the carrier at your fast food location), you're management material.

  • Zeb||

    You can't do philosophy without calculus. That's just crazy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was actually thinking that some philosophy involves some pretty serious math concepts. I mean, Pythagoras was a philosopher.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, philosophy also includes things that people like Goedel, Russell, Frege and such did. I don't know much about contemporary philosophy, but most philosophy historically is quite rigorous and logical. People just get the idea that philosophy is sitting around thinking of nice ideas because real philosophy is impossible to read.

  • Tonio||

    Philosophy is like psychology. Some of it are actually rigorous and valid, other parts are navel gazing BS.

  • Bryan C||

    Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

  • William of Purple||

    Blaise Pascal was a mathematician and philosopher.

  • Zeb||

    And Descartes and Leibniz and Pythagoras and many others. Philosophy may have largely become something more silly today, but historically it is a lot closer to math and science than to the humanities in terms of both rigor and subject matter.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No fair going back very far, though, because back not all that many years, science was part of philosophy (it arguably still is, but that's not true in the education sense).

  • Zeb||

    I'd say math is still part of philosophy. Science as we know it was invented in the 16th or 17th century. Before that, it was philosophy.

  • kinnath||

    There is a reason that PhD is doctor of philosophy

  • Acosmist||

    Um, Analytic Philosophy is rigorous and heavily mathematical, and that's...going on right now.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, most philosophy students (and practitioners) today aren't math experts. They do have to get through logic, which can be quite advanced, depending on the school.

  • ||

    I knew of several math/physics/computer science and philosophy double majors in college.

  • Zeb||

    Math/philosophy for me. In retrospect, I probably should have done engineering, but I think it has worked well for me.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's actually not entirely rare to see math/philosophy double-majors. But it's not typical.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Love of knowledge.

  • ||

    I think that's what the infinite improbability drive is based on.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Didn't Obama already change calculus recently? Something to do with how red lines fit into his equations?

    [The red line] would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

  • Acosmist||

    Aw, engineering calculus. So adorable. Analysis says hi from way up here.

  • NSA Corey||

    my my

  • ||

    Libertarian Reasoning (LR)
    1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
    2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
    4. Model with mathematics.
    5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    6. Attend to precision.
    7. Look for and make use of structure.
    8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

    Fixed that for you.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Not all libertarians think like that dude, nor should they be expected to.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You will think in the prescribed libertarian manner, Hugh, or there will be consequences.

  • ||

    It's time for someone to note that Marxists think like that too.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I was once told that failure to use common core was tantamount to child abuse. This is in a discussion with a teacher about public v. private schools. I had to confess ignorance, as I had no idea what she was talking about.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Another thing I think is going on is to use really arcane and nonintuitive methods for teaching the basics, so that parents have no idea what's going on. That way, teachers become the high priests of the knowledge, cutting out the competition, and scum like homeschoolers can either comply on their own or learn everything "wrong" (as far as standardized testing is concerned). It's all quite disturbing and insidious.

  • sarcasmic||

    My stepson was doing math homework, and I went to look at it. He smugly said "Oh, this isn't how you learned to do math. You can't help me with it. Only my teacher can." That really WTF's me out.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No way, no how that's not intentional. I used to rip my education major friends for the fact that they weren't majoring in the subject they were going to teach. Now they're getting me back.

  • NoVAHockey||

    when the nuns at catholic schools start to seem like reasonable people, something is not right.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Do nuns now sleep with their students, too?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    " Well son, here is how I do math. You, a debtor, owe me, the creditor, room and board. Or GTFO!"

    (this is an entirely age dependent comment., adjust accordingly)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I hoped you ripped the little shit a new one for that bit of presumption.

  • sarcasmic||

    I really don't care. Even his mom admits that he's not too bright. He'll probably become a cop like his dad.

  • Tonio||

    Well, since you can't distinguish between decapods and insects, you might want to sit out on this modern learning stuff, Sarc.

  • sarcasmic||

    Lobsters are bugs.

  • Irish||

    I despise unnecessarily complex methods and language because they always seem to be used with the goal of creating a privileged 'in group' that understands the language and methods and is set above the rest of society.

    This is true of legal writing today, it's true of common core, and it's true of 18th century colleges that still taught exclusively in Latin. The goal is to create privileged castes and protected classes that lord over those that did not have the opportunity to learn the same language or methods.

    Remember though, it's libertarians who are elitist and want to keep the lower classes down.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    let us not forget when translating the bible into common tongue had the church going apeshit

  • William of Purple||

    yeah but the Lutherans were cool with it.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Latin WAS considered the common tongue back in the day. French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, are all basically variants.

    Look how many different local dialects are spoken in African countries, for example. Most Africans who are educated will speak either English or French, even if that education is only to 8th grade. They can speak to and understand each other that way.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I do agree 100% with Irish on this, however. It's not much different from 50s fraternities secret handshakes.

  • Tonio||

    Yeah, I notice this a lot with proggie codewords like intersectional and structural.

  • ||

    A friend of mine, who teaches at a private high school, is pissed because her administrators are pushing for them to scale back their coursework to be in line with CA Standards. Right now they're about 1-1.5 years ahead of standards.

  • tarran||

    The problem is that parents transferring kids in from Public school to a private school in 9th grade discover their snowflakes are being put in a remedial program...

  • ||

    Eh, she has a lot of problems with kids from their private feeder schools. She's actively cultivated a relationship with the best middle school English teachers in the area so that she gets a disproportionate number of their students freshman year. She's pushed to create an advanced track 9th grade English and just expects that MOST of her students didn't get the fundamentals down properly making regular English essentially a remedial course.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    She's pushed to create an advanced track 9th grade English and just expects that MOST of her students didn't get the fundamentals down properly making regular English essentially a remedial course.

    If you read Vince Lombardi's biography, it mentions that he taught his classes as a schoolteacher and his football players as a coach the same way--by starting from the beginning every year and going over the fundamentals ("Gentlemen, this is a football."). There's something to be said for re-instituting that foundation every year.

  • Bryan C||

    Better they discover it in 9th grade than after they graduate from high-school

    It's absolutely sickening how many new college students require remedial courses. Not just in math. Everything. Apparently the State thinks nothing of stealing four years of every child's life in order to provide make-work jobs for people who are unqualified to do anything productive.

  • KDN||

    Pretty much. There's an argument to be made for public K-8 education, but mandating single-provider college prep schools for all students is horrifying and a terrible waste of resources. By and large we know by that point who's going to be best served by continuing their education and for whom its just a waste of everyone's time. Better to let the former handle things on their own and the latter get a jump on their future as a mechanic, janitor, cook, or whatever else they have some aptitude in and desire for.

  • ||

    Jesus fucking Christ. An ordinary graduating senior is educated to perhaps a 5th grade level or worse, and apparently they want to make it worse.

  • AlexInCT||

    "and apparently they want to make it worse"

    Knowledge is power. And if they know nothig of value, you have power over them...

  • Ted S.||

    They misspelled "endeavor" for starters.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I'm sorry, it was the MOOPS!

  • Ted S.||

    ALL YOUR CHILDREN ARE BELONG TO US.

  • DJF||

    If you are going to teach a third grader should the standards be written in a way that a third grader could understand? The same with 8th grade or 12th grade?

  • DJF||

    Oops change that too “If you are going to teach a third grader should not the standards be written in a way that a third grader could understand?”

  • Brett L||

    I like the idea that every nth grader should be able to do x and y. In theory. In practice, its just a giant clusterfuck waiting to be implemented to nobody's satisfaction. People who care about education and have some education or intelligence will see their children are educated, people who don't give a shit about their kids or education won't. There's not really a way to fix that other than changing the incentives on people who are on the don't give a shit side.

  • ||

    While the goal of making everyone nationwide mutually measurable is pretty obnoxious, I for one have found the principles of Common Core to be a unilateral improvement.

    In particular, the volume of homework seems to have dropped year-over-year as the homework does more to teach the concept rather than repeat the drill. The homework even includes clever ways to check the answer -- a key skill in math, if not in journalism.

  • ||

    That said, I think that homework should not be assigned in elementary school.

    K-8 is nothing but treading water until your brain is connected enough to actually learn advanced concepts. Subjecting kids and parents to standards and punishments that will all wash out by the time they reach high school is worse than pointless.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, since when do kids in elementary school get daily homework? I think I had an occasional book report to do in 4th grade, but that's all I can remember. Now people I know who have kids tell me that kids get hours of homework every night in 2nd grade. I don't think I really had regular daily homework until 7th or 8th grade. And even in high school it was rare to have more than an hour or so of work on a typical night.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Now people I know who have kids tell me that kids get hours of homework every night in 2nd grade.

    One of my exes had a son who was getting homework in kindergarten. This was in 2002-03.

    Kindergarten? Seriously?

    That's one of the things I'm going to be watching for when my kid gets into school. If these teachers can't get through most, if not all, of their subject matter during the school day, I will not have much confidence that they know how to teach the subject.

    Besides, hasn't there been studies taken that show anything more than 30-60 minutes or so of homework a night is all but ineffective as far as student learning is concerned?

  • DaveSs||

    As I recall, fractions were first introduced in the 5th grade at my school.

    Pre-Algebra was required during 8th grade. A few of us who the math teacher felt had the aptitude were given the option of doing algebra in 8th grade instead.

    I was good at math in school, eventually taking AP Calculus in HS and finding it quite stimulating. I recently looked at my calculus notebooks from SR year in high school though and it all looks like gibberish fifteen years later.

  • Paul.||

    I'm helping my sixth-grader with her math homework on a daily basis. I haven't done manual long division since like the fucking Korean war. Let alone longhand division of fractions, finding the area of a pyramid and other stuff.

    The internet has been my friend.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No doubt. And the Khan Academy is like a brother.

  • Paul.||

    Our education system is essentially nationalized. Wait, no, let's call it 'collectivised'. Yeah, better analogy. Think of the collective farms during the Great Leap Forward, or right after the Soviet State took everything over.

    There are individual, local schools with local boards and leadership, but they have production quotas and the like.

    There will never NOT be a constant push for top-down, homogenized testing and standards until the schools are no longer collectivised. I don't see this happening in my lifetime.

  • Pro Libertate||

    End government education. It's our only hope.

  • Paul.||

    Unfortunately, that's like saying "end the collective farm system" at a Mao Rally in 1951.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, do you want a solution or not?

  • Paul.||

    Yes, where's the plug, I'll pull it.

  • AlexInCT||

    You are about to see the "final solution" applied to you by Mao's enforcers saying shit like that...

    Besides, the guy that really knew how to deal with education and intellectuals was Pol Pot...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh, I'm in a camp someday. Along with everyone who commented here, regardless of his or her personal politics.

  • Paul.||

    I'll say 'hey' from the other side of the firing squad. Because I'm naming names. I'm too old for principles.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That just keeps you out of the first purge, dude. You're fucked, too.

  • wareagle||

    That would be a defensible premise if public school students from sea to shining sea were yawning and acing test after test.

    and this is despite a school comprised of nothing but teaching to the test.

  • ||

    Except they're not teaching jack shit. It's been a long time since I was in school, but I remember 12 years of utter boredom while the lesson was repeated over and over so the dumb kids could finally get it. An entire year's worth of "education" could have been presented in a month. The system is set up, intentionally or not, to punish the smart kids, frustrate and embarrass the dumb kids, and leave the average kids feeling rewarded and happy for having learned at the dumb kid level.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm just thrilled that my wife can homeschool our youngest daughter. She's using multiple methods for teaching, but she actually likes using many aspects of the classical model, based on a modified version of the old trivium. And she's not at all a classicist--that's only me in my family.

    What is interesting to me is that a lot of the modern teaching techniques really don't seem to work very well. You'd think we'd have all that down by now.

  • Irish||

    What is interesting to me is that a lot of the modern teaching techniques really don't seem to work very well. You'd think we'd have all that down by now.

    That's because the people making up school course work aren't punished in any way for failure because there's a borderline monopoly on education. When someone gets paid without regard for the quality of their work, it's not surprising that they don't complete their work in the most effective way.

  • hotsy totsy||

    "That's because the people making up school course work aren't punished in any way for failure because there's a borderline monopoly on education"

    Thank you a million times. And they resent the hell out of any kind of critique, never mind consequences for failing.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So my friend has a 12yo daughter that was B/C student in Princeton NJ. They moved to Florida and went to GREATSCHOOLS.com and found the right district, the right school, etc. She's now a straight A student in a school that ranks in the top 5% in Florida.

    That's the south for ya.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Or, there are other factors at play...

  • Alice Bowie||

    The fact is that FLA public schools, in general SUCK. Kids that graduate with A's from FLA is not the same as kids that graduate with A's in Washington State.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Take this with a grain of salt I suppose, but FL is ranked higher than NJ:

    http://www.usnews.com/educatio.....s-rankings

  • Alice Bowie||

    We've seen these. But all those are relative to the respective states. There is not way to measure the entire country. If you go to your standard and poors sites, Schooldigger.com, GreatSchools.com, and other sites that offer rankis, you'll see that none of them offer a national ranking. That is due to the different standards and policies in different states. This is what common core is trying to address.

    I was originally from NJ. And trust me, the school districts that are bad, are pretty bad.

    When kids prepare for advanced placement, these kids are already better students. In that case, it almost doesn't matter which state. Looking at advanced placement doesn't look at the regular kid.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh, please. I've heard that crap before. I went to Florida public schools then went to law school in Chicago. I graduated with honors, as did a couple of other Floridians.

    I doubt seriously any comparison at the state level is worth much. Some districts may be superior, but I bet that tracks pretty closely to relative affluence.

  • Paul.||

    I graduated with honors, as did a couple of other Floridians

    So three of you? I knew it!

  • Pro Libertate||

    We all answered the questions three correctly.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I am all for the Common Core Approach. All 1st grade, 5th grade, 9th grade should be teaching the same MATH, READING, COMPUTERS, SCIENCE, etc.

    However, it should not start at every grade. I agree J.D. Tuccille that just raising the bar on everyone is a recipe for disaster.

    I think in YEAR ONE, we should start with Kindergarden. YEAR TWO, we include Kindergard and 1s grade. And so on.

  • Irish||

    What about kids who are not functionally ready to learn these concepts?

    Yeah, let's just teach kids things that they are doomed to fail at because the primary goal of our schools should be to enforce total and unthinking conformity.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It depends Irish.

    Let's leave out parents that send their kids to Montesorri or headstart or any other pre school. Let's just assume that 10 kids start Kindergarden on that YEAR ONE that Common Core is established. What's really wrong with having a standard on what you teach all kids in Kindergarden?

    I understand that are slower or faster than others kids. For those that are slower, yes the school needs to give more individual attention and need to bring the kids up to speed. Yes! That's what libertarians hate the most. More money for schools. I believe that is what Common Core pushes.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    What's really wrong with having a standard on what you teach all kids in Kindergarden?

    Who decides this standard?

  • Alice Bowie||

    I'll do it for a mere $2,000,000 one time payment in small, umarked bills :

    All kidding aside, you have to start somewhere. We can let libertarians set the standards and we'll all follow.

    Given the fact that everyone pretty much hates Obama and everything he does, perhaps we should wait for another administration. No matter what he does, even if he wasn't involved, the RIGHT will just throw tomatoes at it. Best to wait for the Next Administration.

    Or, we can always have Liberal and Conservative Public school standards.

  • tarran||

    It's so cute that Alice is such a raging fascist that he cannot conceive of a world where people are educated individually to fit their needs and abilities.

    In his mind, if you object to being ruled, it must mean you want to be the ruler of everyone else.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Hey, for those who can afford it and those that prefer, you can home-school the kids individually. It's becoming easier and cheaper by the year.

    I have one guy here that home-schools and he's your typical middle class person.

    The individual education will always be there and should be there. This is to address the general public.

    But you can still call me a fascist.

  • tarran||

    Alice,

    Children are human beings, not hot plastic forced through an extruder to be formed into identical widgets to meet the requirements of the Volk.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I don't know if I'd call you a fascist, but your own writing and spelling skills are atrocious. Kindergarten, not kindergarden. It's not a garden. Montessori, not Montesorri.

    Often in error, but never in doubt.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Who decides this standard? Hopefully people who know how to spell kindergarten.

  • Zeb||

    Some people are always going to be slower no matter how much attention and money they are given.

  • Sidd Finch||

    What's really wrong with having a standard on what you teach all kids in Kindergarden?

    Nothing. The problem comes later, when you decide that every 14y.o. needs to learn algebra II.

  • Alice Bowie||

    What's wrong with Algebra II at 14 for all kids? And, if you keep to the Common Core, the vast majority of the kids should be able to do it. There will probably still be a drop-out rate. But we hope that it would be lower with this approach.

  • tarran||

    But we hope that it would be lower with this approach.

    Why merely hope?

    You should also sacrifice a few morning doves or captives taken from cities our armies have sacked.

  • Sidd Finch||

    What's wrong with Algebra II at 14 for all kids?

    All the 17yo's who still can't learn it, for one.

    And, if you keep to the Common Core, the vast majority of the kids should be able to do it.

    Why not then set up a Common Core (TM) standard all the way until age 26. That way the "vast majority" can be physicists and doctors and astronauts and stuff.

  • Alice Bowie||

    You mean have Common Core thru College?

    I think we all agree (even a big liberal like me) that college is not for everyone. But we should strive for High School for the masses.

  • Irish||

    This is unbelievably stupid. You seriously don't see the error in your logic?

    So college is not for everyone, but Algebra II at 14 is for everyone? What is the difference between college not being for everyone and a specific class at 14 not being for everyone?

    But we should strive for High School for the masses.

    Which is actually the opposite of what you're doing. Giving people choices so that schools must figure out ways to effectively teach their students would give every individual the opportunity to find a school most appropriate for them. Having identical standards for everyone is the opposite of having high school for the masses because it will result in some people being far too advanced for the course work and some people being unable to keep up.

  • Zeb||

    I can't fathom how it works myself, but apparently there are people in the world who just aren't good at math.

  • Irish||

    What's wrong with Algebra II at 14 for all kids? And, if you keep to the Common Core, the vast majority of the kids should be able to do it.

    This is an unbelievable non-sequitor. Nothing you said leading up tot his sentence in any way shows that the 'vast majority' of kids should be able to meet common core standards. We're basically just imposing these standards and hoping that everyone will be able to keep up when all evidence about the way people learn suggests that a lot of people won't be able to keep up.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I understand that are slower or faster than others kids

    I are understand slower you are of them. Derpity derp derp

  • Les||

    This pretends that "all 1st grade, 5th grade, 9th grade" kids are the same or ever will be.

    As all plans with that pretense, it will undoubtedly fail a good number of students.

  • Sidd Finch||

    By the time students are preparing to enter higher education or the workforce, they are no better prepared academically than they were two generations ago–despite the fact that we have spent three times as much on their K-12 education as we did educating the class of 1970.

    This is duplicitous. Scores among all ethnicities have increased significantly since 1970. Around 1990 the increases started to stagnate. The Cato link states "Scores for white, black, and Hispanic students are all flat between 1990 and today." (This isn't exactly true, e.g. age 17 Hispanic math score increased from 284 to 294.) This statement implicitly concedes that scores increased from 1970 to 1990, so why include that period in the talking point? If I'm reading the graph correctly, spending increased 50% since 1990 with very little to show for it. Isn't that indictment enough?

  • Jon Lester||

    I get paid to look at bad advertising every day through some of those PTC sites, and frankly, I'm really damn sick of the speed-drawing stylistic fad. Nobody's paying me to watch this one.

  • Bucktooth Wookie||

    Common Core programs are funded by corporations that stand to rake in billions of dollars from the materials, software, and testing used for these standards. Shady. We already homeschool. This is just one more reason I feel like we are doing what's best for us by opting out of traditional compulsory schooling.

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