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Credibility.

It is something one earns.  

As children growing up, if one’s parent are always telling them somethings that always turn out not to be real or true, then at some point later when they try to advise you on a decision, you are dismissive of there concerns.

Such as:  stand up for yourself, if someone threatens you; don’t say nothing; just punch them in the nose as hard as you can.  After multiple hospital visits a child learns his parents got it completely wrong.

But if their results always turn out in their favor, and the navigate the perils of life with ease compared to their peers, they will have profound respect, often seeking your advice first to expedite matters for themselves…. 

Such as:  there are many ways to handle bullies; most do it because they don’t have attention at home.  If somehow you can bond with a bully while they are still young, you can change them.  Invite him over to play some weekend when I’m here; we’ll make it fun. You do have to let them know, however, that you aren’t scared and if that if they make a mistake and choose to fight you, you will make their life a living hell by involving the school authorities, your parents, lawyers, police, and so on. but do that, only if you don’t win by charm first.  But if he is really crazy and some people are, and does hit you and it is not in a fun way, then aim your fist straight for the nose, and hit it with all you got…. Be prepared, there usually is a small explosion upon contact.

He walks away; wow, mom is really smart after all.

The News Journal got it all wrong on these, the following:

  • Wilmington Port
  • Race To The Top
  • Common Core
  • Smarter Balanced Assessments
  • Charter Schools

I don’t mean the sides they chose; they have that right.  I mean the facts and assumptions they used in each and everyone of these cases which had already been proven wrong….

  • Big ships for the new Panama Canal are too big to come up Delaware Bay
  • Educational scores align themselves ranked solely by poverty. If affluent, higher scores; if poor, lower scores. 
  • Common Core Standards were and are a Federal mandated curriculum governing what students will learn
  • The Smarter Balanced Tests are not even fit for adult consumption, much less determining a child’s progress
  • On average Charter Schools perform worse than public schools at every level of a student’s family’s income.

Each of these facts, were not only left out but their exact opposite was used to promote the very cause they had just been signed on to promote… 

Every opinion piece was based on myth and slogans with the real truth buried under lies….. 

So we shouldn’t be surprised to open our paper and see today’s lie, which is just a white-washed half truth, being used to promote the newest initiative their advertising dollar’s payer, has asked them to promote….. 

Think about that. If anyone thinks that too hard of a climb, consider what is happening in China’s and India’s schools. The children in these six Delaware schools will be competing for jobs with their Chinese and Indian counterparts for the rest of their lives.

Breakin’ it down:

A.  China does not test all its students.  It jealously guards its image and  allows only the Shanghai district to be reported internationally,  Shanghai Law does not allow people who have moved from other regions into their schools. Only those wealthy who have always lived there, are allowed attendance.  Almost all of these students have a private tutor, paid around $40,000 which is hired by their parents strictly to give them excellent scores on these tests.  They are taught to the test, 15-16 hours a day….  In the outer regions of China, the student can barely read and do math.  However against these high scores of Shanghai, we test everyone… from our dumbs to our plums. (and considering all that, are surprisingly close)

B.  Our youth will compete against India and China for jobs but it won’t be over education; it will be over pay rates. Both of those nations will take jobs from us because not of our educational deficiencies, but because our businesses move there for cheap labor.  That is our real competition.  Though China officially puts out more engineers per year now than does the US, those engineers are of considerable lower quality.  As if we put engineering in our VoTechs and called those graduates: engineers. That is why China sends so many students to the US.  To learn what we know.  We have considerable reports from international employers who state that the Chinese employees they monitor are not capable of thinking, but are very good only at following memorized procedures and steps.  When they come to a problem, the entire work process stops while they sit and wait for someone to come in and give them a solution, which is often rather simple or mundane.  They were never given authority to search and develop solutions on their own. 

So although we agree with the News Journal that our children are precious and deserve all we can give them, we disagree that the secret of their success is in making standards higher, tests harder and firing teachers who can’t push their kids to these arbitrarily-set higher standards.  Instead we feel we should focus on children already behind, and to build them up with instruction and confidence so they can live happy and successful lives… 

What the administration is trying to do with pushing these silly tests, is no different than raising a high bar to six feet, and firing the coaches when their third grade kids can’t jump it…  

Raising standards higher for someone not capable of meeting the lower ones, is a waste of time.  The kid looks at the high bar and says, “I guess I have to give it a try”,  runs at it and prays for some type of magic to materialize and gently pick him up and over…. 

We should be using things we know that work, like personal attention, like personal feedback, like rewarding personal achievement, which allow each of those kids to excel as far as they are able.

We, (and one would assume the News Journal as well), are certainly wise enough to know that the only successful schools that new reformers have ever put on paper… is when they cheated on the test scores to say:  look our results are indeed working.  

The believability behind the News journal editorial board unfortunately has now stooped to a level equaling the credibility of those little adds in your weekly mailer which try to convince you to order little pills that are “guaranteed” to eradicate the brownish aging spots on your skin in 21 days…  Miracle Breakthrough the headline touts!  Yeah, that’s why it’s on page 7 in a mailer unceremoniously thrust inside my Thursday mailbox… 

Ass Mints

The interactive site is here…….

Think about these myths as you gaze….

  • All students will be tested by the same test.
  • There is one united curriculum across this nation. 
  • That curriculum is internationally benchmarked.
  • Students in Idaho can be compared to students in Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

Having just returned from a Gates sponsored seminar  “ to further hardwire the Common Core curriculum ” (Gate’s words; not mine; notice he said “curriculum“) Mr. White opines us on what he learned.  He was most taken with a story from Deborah Ball, now dean of education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who was teaching her third grade students about odd and even numbers, when one student, Sean, said that he thought some numbers were both odd and even.

It is obvious this was an exercise at the conference.  For Mr. White asks us how we should respond…. We are given three options.

Teacher A responded that there are no numbers that are both odd and even and that you can always tell which are odd and which are even by which are divisible by two and which are not. Those evenly divisible by two are even and the others are odd. She then moved on with her lesson plan.

Teacher B asks the student to explain why he thinks some numbers are both odd and even. He says that because two goes into some even numbers (like 6 or 10) an odd number of times, those numbers are both odd and even. The teacher says that is a very interesting thought, but then goes on to explain the rule to him as had been done by Teacher A and moves on with the lesson.

Ok, those were almost the same, so you know the Common Core set up is coming up in …. C

Teacher C suspends her lesson plan and asks the class to think about the student’s conjecture. They talk about it and the teacher provisionally calls these odd/even numbers, Sean numbers, saying that is what mathematicians do when they explore a new idea. The class subsequently discovers or notices that every other even number is a “Sean number” and they then discover what kind of number results (odd, Sean or non-Sean) when “Sean numbers” are added to other “Sean numbers”, to “non-Sean even numbers” and to odd numbers. The lesson ends as the class tries to decide whether “Sean numbers” should be added to the list of numbers in their mathematics curriculum, but by then time has run out.”

Obviously I’m not a Common Core enthusiast.  Did you see the part that the teacher “suspends” her lesson plan to cover something totally ridiculous as naming numbers “Sean numbers”?  The immediate question is…….. when will they cover what they were supposed to do THAT DAY?  Tomorrow?  If so, what will be missed on the test because the Smarter Balanced Assessment is tightly wound so everything covered in class, is used on the test… Will each of these children lose 150 points because they missed a most important element of multiplication, because they were kept behind by talking about “Sean numbers”?  Remember the test examples we showed you, so complicated that adults cannot even figure out what is being asked?

This is ruining children… Remember where we said the child’s brain is growing and must get a certain amount of knowledge in on a timely fashion, or it is lost forever?  How does spending a full day on Sean numbers, probably something everyone in the class except Sean had already grasped, help a child in this race against time?

Most of all, this is an example of taking something really simple…. and making it really complicated….  This is exactly why Common Core is so rotten at it’s core….

Remember in high school where certain cliques made up certain rules, and everyone in-the-know had to follow them, and those not in-the-know, were ostracized and put down?  I want you to keep this in mind as we go through the rest of Mr. White’s essay….. 

Whose pupils, Teacher A’s, B’s, or C’s, would do better on Common Core standards? Teacher A seems out of step with the Common Core values as she was not even curious about Sean’s reasoning, although she did explicitly correct what she took to be his error. Teacher B went further in exploring Sean’s reasoning, surely something expected in the Common Core, but Sean was more or less left with the idea he was not doing anything worthwhile mathematically. Teacher C seems to embody the Common Core’s values of having Sean “make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, attend to precision, look for and make use of structure.” Teacher C moreover encourages the whole class to accept the Common Core goals and see what more Sean and his classmates could make mathematically of his unconventional idea.

Did you get that?  Teacher C embodies Common Core’s rules the best… Whoo Hoo… Give him/her a prize!…  No comment or discussion if those rules are even good for children … It is a blind-set:  these are the rules and we must follow them….  Now if you like this example of creative thinking, it is because you are only thinking of Sean. You are ignoring its impact on all the other students… In the opposite approach to Common Core, where you would have an 11:1 student teacher ratio, a teacher could take such time with Sean and then cover her other 10 people.  But in a class of 20, 22, 24, 28, 30?  Most of the children are sitting through this discussion going: “this is really stupid; I hate school….”

Now, in Mr. White’s essay, since we are starting with the premise that Common Core is good for children, notice the evaluations given to Teachers A-C.

But what about those who gave Teacher C low marks, sometimes the lowest marks? Their concerns fell into three categories, all worrisome for the future of the Common Core. Most worrisome were those who felt Sean had made an error that had to be corrected and because of that, it was a mistake to let his error contaminate the whole class. Others felt the teacher’s mistake was pedagogical because having the error named after the student inappropriately shamed him. Others felt that Teacher C simply wasted valuable time as this “odd/even number” conjecture was never going to be on a standardized curriculum test and they, and their districts, want their teachers to focus on what the state will test. Clearly, the topic of numbers being both odd and even has no mathematical future and is not going to be raised by anyone ever again.

Forgive me.  They all sound good to me… Read them over again…. 

But that would not cause this post to be written.  Mr. White completely disagrees…..

Sean, of course, has not made a mistake, and as his conjecture shows, and as too many faculty and students overlooked, he fully grasps the principle that Teachers A and B taught. He is in fact doing the kind of thinking that the Common Core standards also hope to see when they ask students to “make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, attend to precision, look for and make use of structure,” and so forth….

And this is deemed good for education?  As a standard it sounds noble, especially when italicized.  But in the example provided, it is completely ridiculous… And that is why Common Core is going to so confuse children, especially children in the inner cities who don’t get meals, who can’t do homework, who don’t have parents involved with their education because their night job gets them home at 11:50 pm…  2, 4, 6, 8, 10, are even… 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, are odd… any questions?  Let’s practice counting by evens… let’s practice counting by odds… everybody got it?  Recess.

I learned fine that way.  So did you. So did our whole generation.  So did the generation before them….  But now, we are encouraged to have a discussion about “Sean numbers” which to be honest, I couldn’t even follow because I had nothing to write with and draw a little map as to how Mr. White was explaining it…. 

“The class subsequently discovers or notices that every other even number is a “Sean number” and they then discover what kind of number results (odd, Sean or non-Sean) when “Sean numbers” are added to other “Sean numbers”, to “non-Sean even numbers” and to odd numbers.”

Huh? Could you have handled that in 3rd Grade?

So we have confusion, instead of simplicity… For in Mr. White’s terminology, simplicity shows us:  

“The limitations in their subject matter and pedagogical knowledge *which) unfortunately foster the kind of conventional teaching that would undermine the larger goals of the Common Core and preserve the undesired status quo.

If simplicity undermines the larger goal of the Common Core and preserves the status quo, isn’t that now deemed by every parent of a student, to be a good thing?

Flat out, here is what is going on here….

Common Core is a very bad program that is impossible to teach, and impossible to grasp.  IT FAILS 70% OF ITS STUDENTS IN EVERY CLASS!  It is losing support with parents.

So what Bill Gates did, was whisk educators off to a green world where there was only one set of alternatives, an alternative universe so to speak… In that alternative universe, Common Core is spun as the most awesome thing that every happened…  Mr. White descends back to reality…  And suddenly, his ideas plop down in a real world where there are 30 students in a class, all going WTF is wrong with this teacher?  Please, STFU and lets learn something real. 

The Real world…  not Gates’ville… the real world…

This is an example of not being in the “real world”….

“The success on this counting task, if it is taken as an exemplary measure of the standard, means that some students will remain as baffled as were a countable number, but fortunately a relatively small number of participants in today’s teacher education programs buy the sense in which some numbers can be both odd and even.”

 

Wait a minute…. Did he just say that some numbers can be both odd… and even?  I think he did… How is that going to go over when tested to see if one is college or career ready?  “Sure, some numbers can be both odd and even.”

This is exactly what is wrong with Common Core… It is stupid. It is made-up bullshit.  It is fantasy.  it does not correspond to reality.  It has as much relationship to reality as does your attractiveness to the opposite sex being based solely on your beer which is the same as is in a commercial with attractive models… “Hey, slut! Go out with me, I drink Coors Lite.”

With regard to how we will know whether we have succeeded in the Common Core experiment, we won’t know for sure until the tests we mandate find a way to respect and reward the ingenuity of students like Sean….

By failing 70% of Delawares children… Why?  Because they don’t know that numbers can be both odd and even…. 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why there is considerable pushback on Common Core.  it is farcical. The chickens are running the farm and the real teachers, are being called ridiculous… They aren’t ridiculous.  Common Core is what is ridiculous and anyone who tries to rank teachers according to Common Core, will set learning back greatly…

Just remember, that in its effort to resell Common Core to the masses, this op-ed of Mr. White was its high point: “stating that number can be both odd and even…. “

That is Common Core.  That is why all parents are against it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby Jindal, once a Republican hopeful for the President’s chair, is now suing the Federal Government over Common Core… Some interesting factors have come to light out of the preliminaries for that suit….

It was claimed by the opposing Louisiana’s Director of Education (which is a supporter of Common Core and the privatization of education), that Louisiana’s scores held steady despite a tougher test that was geared to Common Core… 

That claim was FOIA’s and we now have insight on how that could have been….

For example, in 2013, 4th grade students taking the ELA test needed to get 51.54% of the answers correct in order to get a scale score of 301 for a level of basic, but in 2014, after the annual “equating of test forms”, students only needed to get 44.62% of the answers correct in order to get the minimum scale score of 301 needed for the level of basic.

This gives the general pubic who does not know how test scores are cut, the idea that Common Core is doing it’s job.  Harder tests… same results… they must be learning more….

Based on a sample analysis of the very meager data LDOE finally released under threat of lawsuit it is clear that not only is student performance not increasing or staying steady, it Is in fact declining, and being masked by a lowering of the number of correct answers required to pass LEAP and iLEAP tests….

Proponents of Common Core, and the High Stakes testing required by it, have claimed the comparability of test scores across states will make for meaningful comparisons. To have this meaningful comparison, all states must teach the same curriculum and all must administer identical tests from one of the two federally funded consortiums (Smarter Balanced and PARCC). However neither consortium controls the cut scores; those are entirely in the control of the states. These scores can go up or down as local politics require.

Let me spell this out for you. If you want to show progress in your state you can artificially inflate the scores to show improvement. If you need to make a case for more charter schools and school closures simply lower the scores and take them over and then raise the score back to show that reform worked. That is exactly what Louisiana has done and no doubt other reform markets as well. The actual data shows the Reforms, including Common Core, have had the exact opposite effect, and a very dramatic one.

When in reality, what this means is simple terms is that Louisiana students are about 18% less prepared now in 4th grade in English Language Arts, and 28% percent less prepared in Math by the time the reach 8th grade than they were before John White and Common Core started being used in Louisiana schools.

Inside the Delaware Department of Education, they also know this is true….  All the Delawarean Common Core pilot classes slumped in their performances, and non-Common Core classes continued their rise…  With corresponding data now from two states, Common Core seems to be a very bad way to get children to learn… 

It took a subpoena in a lawsuit for that data to be released in Louisiana…  Once Common Core is data mined, it is dead on arrival… One can lie all they want, but those lies are exposed as direct lies, not mistakes, once the data is released….

And, the best way to rid ourselves of Common Core, is to have 10% or more of Delaware’s children opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment being given this spring, which Murphy has already leaked will be artificially cut to fail 70% of Delaware’s students.

One can only think it is done in order to have charters take over schools.   Why else would a billions of dollars have been contributed for an otherwise purposeless endeavor?

Corporate interests have been attacking education since Bush 2000 said, “No Child Left Behind”… it was a way to get money from public schools into private pockets… 

When you hear some stupid fool talk against tenure…. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praise Common Core….. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praising any Charter School…. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praising Shanghai or Korean schools…. It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear anyone lie that Common Core is not a Federal program,… It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that the Smarter Balanced Assessment will fail 70% of Delaware’s children… It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that a local school board must do merit pay on teachers… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear teachers get paid too much… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that teachers have too much time off… it’s the corporate war on education……

When you hear inner city schools are failing… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that charters don’t have to be accountable the same way public schools do… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that poverty has nothing to do with low scores; it’s due to bad teaching… it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that Arne Duncun is coming to Delaware… it’s the corporate war on education… 

When you hear a megalithic charter school is moving into the Bank of America building … it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that waivers should be given to failing charter schools, but public schools should be closed if they fail… it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that students with disabilities, will now be mainstreamed and put in regular classes,… it’s the corporate war on education…. 

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You get the idea… It boils down to one thing. If one is concerned about money… they are taking the side of the corporate war on education… 

On the other hand, if anyone is primarily concerned about how new policies and old policies affected the children… they are those playing defense for the children in this corporate war on education…. 

That includes all teachers.  Parents.  Students (themselves of course),  and most district school board members who are accountable not to the Governor or his swaggering Department of Educational Secretary,… but to real people, who work for a living, pay taxes to schools every year, and who have to come home and get their child ready for school the next day….

These people have a different plan. One that worked once before.  One that has much more hope and promise than anything we have gotten from those other people do never did like children, but know a business opportunity when they see one…

To fix education and make our students the most qualified in the world…. we need to do 5 things….

  • Mandate an 11:1 student/teacher ratio in all schools with more than a 50% level of reduced lunch, for all grades k-5 and across the 9th grade as well…. 
  • Tax the top one percent to pay for any extra expense entailed.
  • Remove the high stakes apart from testing.  Use testing as a tool to see what a student has missed solely in order to fill the void that students has.  Technology can do that.  But real information is being covered up by teachers teaching to the test.  Students are learning the test, not how to apply what they know to real world situations.  Changing that will only happen if we stop firing teachers and closing schools based solely on poverty’s influence upon test scores….
  • Fund all Charter Schools by a line item in the state budget.  The property tax funding is meant and must go to fund public schools.  Not some privateer’s investment portfolio.  If a state wants to experiment in education, it must do so out of its General Fund. 
  • Let teachers teach. Stop telling effective teachers with over 25 years of classroom experience that you know how education works, and they don’t…… 

 

 

At the Lee County District Board of Education meeting last night, emotions came to a head when mother Lori Jenkins took the stand. She said her son was on leave from school due to a terminal heart condition, yet the district still sent someone to proctor the FCAT exam at his home. The audience gasped with disgust.

He’s terminal, he’s going to die, but he goes to school! He does the stupid remedial classes! That’s how I know this is all about money,” Jenkins yelled into the microphone before she hit her one-minute time limit and the audio was cut.

 

It’s all about money. It’s always been about the money. No one gives a damn whether kids learn or not. It’s all about the money. Nothing… but …. money.  Just money.,…  Only, money.

The Lee County school board, by a 3-2 vote Wednesday night, decided not to administer the FCAT, the standardized test that Florida requires of its students. Cheers and applause filled the packed auditorium after the vote was taken.

Can we get this on the agenda of all 19 districts here in Delaware?  

The district is opting out of ALL statewide standardized tests. “We cannot allow the fear to hold us back.””

If they can do it……………… 

It was one line in a long article….

“Everyone who is gung-ho and supports Common Core, is somehow financially connected to it’s implementation…..”

I was thinking… Why!  That is absolutely true…. I know of no parent who says “Common Core did my child good.”  I know no teacher who ever said: ” Common Core is awesome.”

Now.  Why is that?

 

 

Here is what Rodel says about this year’s DCAS testing in language….

“Average proficiency has increased from 62% in reading in 2011, to 72% proficiency in reading in 2014…..”

Here is how it should be expressed in the honest truth…. “Sadly, Delaware’s proficiency scores in reading have slid downward over the past three years. Statistically, schools years ending in 2012,2013,2014 have been flat”….

Here are the scores…

Reading:
61-percent in 2010 to 2011
73-percent in 2011 to 2012,
72-percent in 2012, and 2013
72-percent in 2013 to 2014. A increase of nearly 20-percent from 2011….

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Now here is what Rodel says about this years DCAS testing in Math….

“Average proficiency has increased from 61% in math to 69% proficiency in math in 2014…..”

Here is how it should be expressed in the honest truth.  Over the past three years, DCAS math scores slid downwards by four points or a negative drop of 5.4%…”

Here are the scores:

Math:
62-percent in 2010 to 2011
73-percent in 2011 to 2012
70-percent in 2012 to 2013
69-percent in 2013 to 2014……

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You tell me.  Are we going forward or not?   If one goes back far enough, anything is an improvement….  For example, speeds from Albany to Buffalo New York are 37.3 times faster today, ….. if you go back 189 years to the opening of the Erie Canal…  but as for relevance, they are slower then three years ago because of all the construction on Interstate 90….

Is this lying?

I think so. Because what is at stake is  knowing whether this program is working or not…  The record says it is not working.  English is flat. Math falling backwards.  Yet across these three years there has been a massive amount of effort and money that will not be there next year or any year there after….  if we can’t increase with resources; how do we stand to do so without them?

To ignore the truth, that this is not working and fall back far enough so the natural upward curve works out in ones favor, is a form of lying…

No one cares if we are up from four years ago.  Are we going up across the last three years …. or not?

Scores don’t lie.  Old men spending someone else’s money with nothing to show for it…. do.

Pure Shit

The plans were already in place; the required legislative vote was window dressing… But the people spoke.

Able to get to their representatives, they got enough votes to shut down the Smarter Balanced Assessments… Till they got this news, and an order to go back, redo the vote, and make this outcome happen…. Scared like little girls, that is exactly what they did….

Obviously Common Core is dead.  This administration doesn’t know it yet…..