Comments (22)

Comment RSS
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Warning

Was this helpful?
0

Since my last call for reflection, I have removed a few posts that continued the argumentative tone. I will continue to do so if there are any more posts that continue in this vein.

Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Deep breaths, everyone

Was this helpful?
+4

We always appreciate a spirited discussion but when it turns nasty, it's time for reflection. Are you here to help improve education or to win your point? We support constructive exchange of ideas. Please keep it both constructive and an exchange. Thank you!

Probably not, M.A. You're a

Was this helpful?
+1

Probably not, M.A. You're a pedant and a bully, so I'll decline.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Quote:Perhaps so. I read and

Was this helpful?
+1
Quote:

Perhaps so. I read and took in the correction without need of your help.

Then how about a retraction of this statement, since you went out of your way to criticize me for the same mistake you made?

Quote:

"M.A., for someone as supposedly adept at evaluation as you, you sure don't understand what the other writer is saying: that the children are eight and nine years BEHIND"

Thanks

Was this helpful?
0

Thanks, Kimberly, for clarifying that point.

Perhaps so. I read and took

Was this helpful?
0

Perhaps so. I read and took in the correction without need of your help.

The point is that we all sit around talking this to death, while the people who are supposed to be the experts leave out the key component without getting called on the carpet. Curriculum is nothing new. Standards are nothing new. It's the "making sure students learn the curriculum, and measure their learning" that is the crux of the matter. These lazy bums sit around like the tailors making the emperor's new clothes, preening and fawning over Wilhoit, and NOTHING GETS DONE...

As a friend liked to say, "He oughta be horsewhipped." I remember emailing Wilhoit years ago with concerns about the assessment portion. He deigned to ask a gofer to reply, telling me that that was their next component. Looks as if he's going to do what people always do in education: leave the hard part up to the befuddled, confused teachers who also happen to be the soldiers in the trenches, and the result is what Gaetan is struggling with. I can take a good old fashioned argument, but I can't take sycophants.

Seventh Grade science teacher from Orinda, California

Cautiously Opptomistic

Was this helpful?
0

In California, it would be hard to have less relevant, developmentally inappropriate standards than we have been struggling with for the last 12 years. I really like that the CC standards come from what we want for our kids: to be prepared to succeed at college and in the workplace. The writers then teased it out by grade level so one builds on the next. Such an improvement from our rag-bag existing standards.

I agree that it would be a good thing to have more guidance for teachers as to what specific standards might look like in practice. These standards are really, really different from business as usual in Ca schools in I think, some powerfully good ways.

Relevance, high level thinking, cross curriculum collaboration, leading to project-based learning I hope. The CCS are revolutionary and will take time and training to implement, assess and evaluate the whole thing.

I really hope teacher evaluation will wait until we have time to get the hang of it and get the kinks out. But let's give 'em a try, I'm actually kind of excited, even though I'm a comfortable veteran teacher. How great to have a shot at California kids being competitive in the global market place and as critical-thinking citizens.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Quote: M.A., for someone as

Was this helpful?
+1
Quote:

M.A., for someone as supposedly adept at evaluation as you, you sure don't understand what the other writer is saying: that the children are eight and nine years BEHIND.

I don't think you understood her, either. Read her response. Besides, for any student to be 8 or 9 years below grade level, they'd have to be very low functioning and would most certainly have qualified for special education services by now.

My point was that we are

Was this helpful?
0

My point was that we are trying to teach the same things to 8 and 9 year olds that we used to teach to 10 and 11 year olds or even beyond that.

We do have a vocational track, however they still have to pass many classes beyond vocational. The advent of the core standards seems to be causing a push down of standards rather than a deeper learning/thinking into what was already being taught. I'm not kidding when I tell you that my 7th grader is doing physics that my husband learned in college. My husband is a licensed civil engineer. Why does my 7th grader need this. I'm disturbed that there is confusion between higher level thinking and just learning things sooner. How many careers require their employees to know all forms of energy transfer, etc.? These are things that we used to take when we started thinking about a major. In highschool we could take classes that would prepare us to go to college with a certain major in mind. I did not take physics because I knew my major would not need it. Now we are starting those standards in 7th grade and lower. This is giving slow learners and MI students very little options. My son is struggling now-what will happen in highschool?

I never intended to make a comment that implied anyone "just gets an IEP". Every state is accountable to NCLB. NCLB makes it very clear that all students who are MI and above are to pass the same standards. This leaves very little room for differentiaton. I can and do differentiate in my classroom all the time and I know my students will show growth. However, many are not going to be able to keep pace with the new curriculums being introduced to meet the common core standards. Their needs are not being met. Our high average to high students will be fine. Our life skills students will be fine. Our low average to borderline students will not make it without some changes. For example, please design a curriculum with four years of math for those students. Four years will now be required to get a diploma. Maybe if they count taking Algebra II twice, my son might get to graduate. There is no room for non-college bound students anymore.

M.A., for someone as

Was this helpful?
0

M.A., for someone as supposedly adept at evaluation as you, you sure don't understand what the other writer is saying: that the children are eight and nine years BEHIND. As for Pennsylvania, they were and are a leader in many educational initiatives, but no need to denigrate other people, is there?

One writer said:

..during the last round of standards alignment, I saw twenty teachers take twenty different approaches and come up with twenty different ways to make their curriculum "meet" the standards. Some would bend the meaning and intent of the standards, simply to continue teaching the same material, or to show that they indeed have "covered" all of the standards.

We need networks of educators discussing the outward reflections you seek for each and every standard...

Great point. This is the problem of an unaligned curriculum/instruction/assessment. It's easier than hell to write curriculum. The hard part is to do the "outward reflections" or the assessment portion. This is the part that no one likes to do, because when we do that, the magic is over for those mainly interested in a dog and pony show. The supposed "educators" can't hold the cards close to their chests, using them to hold over the students. If people knew what the final assessment looked like, they wouldn't much need teachers or school anymore. A friend and I wrote a bill not long ago, which the head of curriculum and assessment for our state said the state "absolutely" must do--not because of any favors to the students, but because state and federal laws require it; education has been allowed to get away with skullduggery like Gaetan writes about above for too long now, and the unease it is now causing may demonstrate pretty clearly that those days are coming to an end. The bill went like this:

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 13

95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE ERVIN.

4052L.01I

Whereas, students and their parents have the right and the responsibility to have a valid measure of students' academic progress based on actual achievement rather than socio-economic status or other nonacademic variables; and

Whereas, criterion-referenced testing is the most commonly accepted means by which true academic diagnoses, progress, and merit might be attained through "clear" and "measurable" standards, objectives, and assessment items; and

Whereas, our state has developed criterion-referenced testing and curriculum frameworks, along with grade-level expectations, and has begun to align high school exit with college entrance requirements, but has not performed a thorough statewide curriculum audit and alignment:

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby resolve:

(1) That a curriculum audit be conducted for the state of Missouri. An external audit would be preferable, but an internal audit would be acceptable, provided that the personnel involved be trained by professionals. In either case, the audit should be performed or overseen by a company which has conducted at least thirty audits in the past three years;

(2) That, upon completion of the curriculum audit, the state develop a scope-and-sequence of all tested skills, and the skills which would fall between them, which is "clear" and "measurable", and which is fully available to all students, parents, teachers, and any other member of the public who would request it, and that it be published in the form of parallel test items, as well as a description, both "clear" and "measurable" of their content and format;

(3) In order for every student in the state to benefit from the curriculum audit, the state must conduct a deep alignment at the state level, using the "clear" and "measurable" standards, objectives, and assessment items, then develop a user-friendly model curriculum, instruction, and assessment guide to be used or not, according to the preference of the district; and

Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for the Missouri State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills101/biltxt/intro/HCR0013I.htm

The emphasis in this was that the information be published in the form of parallel or mirror test items (or as the other writer said, the outward reflections of the standards), showing exactly what the assessment would look like. Unfortunately, we got a new commissioner who is not as enthusiastic about doing her job as I would like, so we're still working on it. The days of traditional education are limited. I believe that all of this standards stuff is the last gasp of the dinosaur. Except for baby-sitting purposes, schools no longer do anything that parents and communities can't do for themselves. As a matter of fact, people could just start with the ACT or SAT and work backwards. Heck, with PLATO and other software, kids could just jump on the game and be ready to leave school when they're fifteen, sixteen and go straight to college (like my daughter did).

see more see less