Only Use for Common Core Standards is Testing the new Paper Shredder

Paper ShredderImagine taking the time to actually “read” the Common Core Standards before promoting them as the solution to all our educational ills. Sara Harkins, in the Wyoming’ Star Tribune did exactly this and determined that the Common Core Standards do not live up to its hype. Below is her “spot on” evaluation that is clear and specific. Please take the time to read through her assessment as her points can easily be used to tell your neighbor “why” the Common Core needs to be passed through a paper shredder. Now if we can only get Governor McCrory and the Chamber of Commerce to read them.

“These standards expect a high-level way of thinking from young children, while lowering the bar for secondary education. The standards writers state that they are designed to get children into community colleges and non-selective state schools, but not high-level colleges or STEM programs.

The English standards encourage writing before reading, and informational texts before culture developing classics, both despite extensive research to the contrary. Young children are to read beyond their level, but seniors are encouraged to read at the low middle-school level. The standards insist on the same reading and analysis methodology whether for Shel Silverstein, Homer, or a dissertation in particle physics. Fiction is mostly eliminated as un-educational. Writing is reduced to technical writing, without an emphasis on factual continuity.

Mathematics standards encourage abstract thinking in kindergarteners at the cost of practice and methodology, despite evidence that the brain is not sufficiently developed for much abstract thought before age 10. However, advanced addition and subtraction are not taught until fourth grade, and long division delayed until sixth, two years later than current curriculum. Prime factorization and conversion between decimals, percentages, and fractions have been removed. The recommended track for seniors peaks at Algebra II, though research says that students who enter college with no more math than Algebra II have a less than 40 percent chance of receiving any four-year degree.

The highly debated science section, while objectionable, is comparatively benign. Of greater concern is the claim that these “minimum” standards will allow students to transfer between states without falling behind. This encourages states to make them de facto maximum standards as well, irreparably impairing our children’s chance at success and putting us well behind the international community.”

This article was posted in Blog by Nina Rizzo on April 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Comments (3)

  • This is not the first time I’ve read such comments. I can’t believe this information is ‘out there’ but some people refuse to acknowledge it or at least start to research on their own. I don’t have the slightest idea what they’re waiting for? I really don’t know….

    Michelle Furtado
    Michelle Furtado Apr 22, 2014 at 7:55
  • At first I thought, “finally! someone is going to tell me which specific standards are causing them concern”. I read on and realize the author doesn’t do this AT ALL. How do we know she’s even read them? I have. If YOU have, please- post SPECIFIC standards that are problematic.

    Amanda Moore
    Amanda Moore Apr 23, 2014 at 21:19
  • I have found specific standards (when aligned to other standards) that are problematic or developmentally inappropriate. I have seen ELA standards that over emphasize informational text and require students to research, formulate ideas, and support opinion writing without the life experience or foundational knowledge needed to interpret information correctly and logically.

    There are ELA (anchor) standards that integrate science, history, and social studies. When implemented, students are purposefully not given any context, background information, or foundational knowledge to assist in a fact based and logical understanding of the content. These standards are designed to encourage students to research, debate, and articulate information based only on information introduced in the passages themselves. For example, my 3rd grader read informational text about cloning. The text used words and phrases like embryo, fertilization, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), implanted the embryo in a surrogate, and then at the end, students were asked to answer a “critical thinking” question . . . Would you clone your pet dog? Why or why not? How is she supposed to answer a question like than and support it with opinion writing when she has had a minimal amount life science to date and know very little about where babies come from?

    It’s difficult to argue one standard at a time, because collectively, they represent a dramatic shift in education in how students are taught, how they are to receive and process information, and how they are to apply it. Overall, I think the CCSS disregard developmental stages that have been, observed, tried, and tested for decades.

    Proponents of the CCSS often “hen peck” critics or the opposition to name specific standards that they have a problem with, but many of the standards work in tandem with others and when you start to pick them apart one by one it dilutes the most pressing concerns. And please . . . don’t get me started on the CC math standards.

    Michele Castillo
    Michele Castillo Apr 23, 2014 at 23:26

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