Yesterday Bloomberg had a piece co-written by our own Jack Markell on Common Core… Inside were some myths.  I would like to point them out. (Like the myth of Santa Claus I too so wish these myths were true, (sigh) but they aren’t)

Myth 1:

This is a pivotal moment.   No, that passed when Common Core was created and the decision was made to create it in secret as if it were a corporate campaign.  Oh wait.  It is.  This allowed for a one-sided approach determining what ideal education is supposed to be.  That result  is designed for one type of student—the verbal learner with exceptional executive functioning skills.  The other 99% of humanity is in trouble.  Hence the pivotal point was at its creation.  We are now in mop- up operations removing damaging leftovers …

Myth 2:

Support for Common Core is now wavering in the face of misinformation campaigns.  It goes on decrying  Federal mandates and supporting the status quo.   No.  if that has gotten publicity it because the press does not know how to write what it is not hand-fed. (That was directly aimed at the News Journal, btw).  The impetus against Common Core comes strictly from parents.  Moms, dads, grandparents, guardians, all who have children in Common Core.  It is no different from any other colossal marketing failure.  It is like blaming the poor showing of the Edsel on Eisenhower and the fact that people just don’t want to give up their Ramblers and Studebakers.  I should add there is a huge misinformation campaign coming out in support of Common Core.  I think the advertising for the Edsel is a great example of the misinformation being propagated in favor of this dud.

Myth 3:

Opposition voices are growing louder as new assessments show students aren’t performing as well as they had on easier state tests offered previously.  No, opposition is arising primarily from parents, and secondarily from teachers, and thirdly from districts and legislators who are being buttonholed by constituents over their children, for the first time ever, simply giving up on school.  People directly affected by Common Core, are those whose voices are growing louder. They grow louder to protect other children from the damage they see happening to their own.  The problem is the test.  Like the Edsel, it does not fulfill the promise of making children better.  It actually makes them worse!

Myth 4: 

Our kids as they are falling further behind their international peers.  No they aren’t.  The most recent PISA test separated 3 states from America’s results to be compared to other nations.  Two of those, were the best in the world.  One, one of our worst, was higher than midpoint.   The international tests test those chosen by the host nations.  In the US, we test everyone, of all economic levels.  In China and Singapore, against which we are beating ourselves up over, they test only the top 0. 5% of Chinese students.  It is the equivalent of comparing Indian River’s graduating class (which is good btw) to a private school in Mass where MIT professors send all their children….  It is foolish to punish Indian River because their scores do not match up.  American students per income levels, are the best education students on the planet….  For a quick test of this hypothesis, ask yourself this question:  Is China making American developed products,.. or, is our labor force employed making Chinese engineered products?  That should tell you who is best.

 Myth 5:

 We brought together teachers, education experts and employers to develop the Common Core initiative.  All three teachers who were involved in formulating the math standards for Common Core, refused to sign it, saying it was created over their objections.  In truth, 3 corporate funded think tanks developed the standards.  Achieve, AIR, and the College Board.  They received lots of money to do so.  The education experts creating the test, were not non-profits. They are for-profits, and every single one of them has profited highly from this endeavor.  (Mainly by soaking up your tax dollars btw, so you would and could not get that pay-raise across the past 6 years)….   The employers, are not teachers.  What the head of Exxon Mobile knows about how my kid learns, is probably less than the honesty that remains in this Bloomberg piece we are currently dissecting.

Myth 6:

How educators teach the standards is entirely up to them.  When a state signs agreement to the Common Core, it agrees to a less than 15% deviation over what Common Core mandates.  That means 85% is solidified and supported by the Federal Government.  Recently a local School Board, Christina, tried to make modifications in the bonus structure in how teachers get paid.  This was done to assist the teaching of Common Core.  The governor and Secretary of Education of that state, first threatened, and then carried out, the holding of millions of dollars from that district.  Many other districts are now following that districts lead.  Because being part of Common Core is worse than losing the stipend attached…. Bottom line, it takes great guts to teach the old standards, those better than Common Core’s, as one sees fit to do themselves….

Myth 7:

These three examples of innovative teaching show Common Core is working.  No. None of those listed examples, Delaware, Michigan, and North Dakota, have been validated by Common Core testing.  Not one. Their tests are still in developmental stages.  Delaware will be the first to test the consortium Smart Balanced Assessment tests this spring.  Common Core has nothing to do with these examples.  These examples could have been done with or without the framework Common Core provides. Common Core is the tests… ITTS  —  IT’S  THE TEST, STUPID. The test that was so poorly written in New York that it failed 70% of the entire state. None of these examples Markell listed have been tested.

Myth 8:

 The jobs will go where the skilled workforce is,  No. The jobs will go to where labor is the cheapest.  Why did our factory jobs move to Communist China?  Markell would have us believe it is because of the high quality of their communist sponsored education?  No. Solely because they work for a bowl of rice a day and are grateful for just that… And with no unions, If they ask for more, you can just fire them, and another rice eater will take their place….  In 2013, these Americans states had the greatest growth in jobs… Along with their ranking on the NAEP in parenthesis….

  1. Utah (25)
  2. Nevada (45)
  3. Hawaii (18)
  4. South Carolina (44)
  5. Colorado (6)
  6. Idaho (33)
  7. Florida (30)
  8. Texas (29)
  9. North Carolina (20)
  10. Arizona (35)

In fact, Kiplinger states that future job growth will be soft in the upper midwest and northeastern seaboard,  the locations of our highest scoring groupings of states… Showing there is no correlation between being well educated and lots of jobs.  Working for peanuts is how one gets jobs to come in. Not only does this evidence totally disprove the theory that good jobs follow good education, but the evidence points it is so untrue that it makes  mockery out of those who profess it.

Myth 9:

We will help advocates find the most effective ways to communicate about the Common Core,  The back-to-school nights held in Delaware, where (selectively supportive hand-picked) community leaders were shown Common Core lessons. Those leaders saw that, in practice, the standards set goals that make sense to parents and teachers, including ensuring fourth-graders can multiply large numbers and write an essay.   But did they take the tests? ITTS!  What you showed was a dog and pony show for people who really didn’t want to be there.  Goals are one thing. How you get there is another.  No one would expect a child to achieve a world record high jump by screaming at him and threatening to fire his coach if he didn’t excel.  Did you let those same leaders take this fourth grade test?  This one… here?  Try taking the fourth grade Smart Balanced Mathematical Assessment…   Even better, try to figure out what they are even asking these 9 year old children?  If you can’t figure it out, how will they?  Other tests can be found here…. 

Myth 10:

If we put the focus on the great work being done to implement Common Core in classrooms across the U.S….. Apparently you have a deaf ear over what is really happening in our classrooms?  The scores are low because the curriculum does not teach. It announces and expects children to already know the concept so it will make sense to them.   The great work is being done by teachers across this nation, who are working doubly hard towards what is important, and teaching real material around the margins of Common Core.  Those getting children who cannot understand the gobbledygook of David Coleman to finally understand concepts by the old tried and true methods, are the true defensive heroes of Common Core.  If good teaching abounds, it is being done despite Common Core. Not because of it… It is time to follow those states rebelling against Common Core and get the trash out of the classrooms, giving teachers less time spent removing the garbage from their curriculum and more time spent with students teaching….

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The answer is not an institutionalized Common Core.  The answer is in personal relationships.. Between peers, and between teacher and peers.  Getting children to have an emotional reason to want to learn, is the most critically important aspect of teaching.  It crosses all economic and all racial lines.  Every child when little, wants to learn.  That gets lost somewhere between K and 12th grade. With Common Core being implemented, we are in serious danger of losing in in K, much to the chagrin of this once great international leader of education.

We need more dedicated teachers, lower student/teacher ratios, and more wonder in learning, … and less Common Core.

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