Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Choose to Refuse Bookmark Evidence

I got bookmarks from an anti Common Core FB group.  They are a good conversation starter, but there is no room on the bookmark to list issues with CC and evidence to support them.  I feel a little uncomfortable handing out the bookmarks without support for the claims, so I'm going to collect evidence here and refer people to this post. 

Click the text for links pertaining to each point.   Bold is the bookmark and regular font is my comments. 

The bookmarks read:
Please join us in our fight and choose to refuse Common Core because Common Core...
  • is illegal! Under the US Constitution, education falls under the domain of the states, not the federal government.  For me personally, I find that the government circumvented the law by making adopting CCSS optional, yet mandatory for Race to the Top funds.  No state had to adopt CCSS, but 45 states did because they needed to in order to have a chance at RttT money.  This piece offers the other side of the debate. 
  • causes suspicion because children are not allowed to take home worksheets, and teachers are not allowed to discuss what is being read in class.  This might be a little misleading.  I've seen much anecdotal evidence of parents saying books don't come home.  However, the problems with gag orders over testing are real, see here and here
  • has never been tested prior to implementation.  
  • means lower academic standards due to inadequate math and literature skills.  More here
  • excessive testing and homework causes tremendous stress to our children, resulting in psychological issues, lower self-confidence and lack of creativity.  Tons of information on this out there.  Alfie Kohn has a whole book about homework.  Check out the web site Fair Test for information on testing. 
  • hinders individualism and success due to its 'one size fits all" approach. 
  • is an invasion of student and family privacy laws by utilizing data mining.  This again can be misleading at face value.  CCSS does not ask for any data collection.  However, the products used in implementing the standards, such as tests and interactive workbooks, do collect data.  And Race to the Top required states to manage data for longitudinal studies
  • standards were determined by and are under copyright of private groups that do not include educational professionals. Part of this is false.  Educators were part of the creation of CCSS; however, there is much lacking in their role.  Sandra Stotsky of the validation committee speaks about the creation of the standards here.   It is true that CCSS is copyrighted by a private organization. 
  • two members of the common core validation committee refused to sign off on CCSS because they considered the English and Math standards to be poor.  These two people are James Milgram (for math) and Sandra Stotsky (ELA). 

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