Common Core: Some encouraging news? Please Note: Only some!

Video: College Board Accidentally Explains   Dumbing Down AP to Match Common Core


AP tests are aligning to Common Core. So, explain this, Common Core proponents: the reason to change college-credit AP tests to Common Core is to make sure that they were actually college-ready?

Um, that makes no sense.

This video is a must-see. Start at about 1:05 when the College Board representative says that Common Core doesn’t include Calculus.

By definition a college-credit test should be testing college-ready information. So, the only reason to change the AP tests is to hide the Common Core’s decline for true college-readiness.

That does make sense, since Common Core is a concession to national, agreed-upon, defined middle ground (mediocrity). While some states have risen to the new Common Core, other states have dropped their standards to adopt Common Core. That’s what collectivism does, folks. It erases excellence and success because it values sameness above soaring.

It makes sense, then, that college entrance exams and AP exams that are Common Core-aligned, will be dropping their standards, too.

Now that AP, SAT, and ACT tests are changing to be Common Core aligned, we can’t compare pre-Common Core to post-Common Core and will not be able to prove the massive failure that would most likely have been discovered in the near future.

This College Board representative in the video doesn’t come out directly and say that Common Core only prepares students for a nonselective two year college, but he might has well have said it.

Jason Zimba, a lead Common Core writer, did say it. So did Professor William McCallum of the University of Arizona, one of the three writers of the math Common Core standards:

“While acknowledging the concerns about front-loading demands in early grades, [McCallum] said that the overall standards would not be too high, certainly not in comparison [with] other nations, including East Asia, where math education excels.”

Source here.

Common Core Withdrawal Bill Filed in New York Assembly

Bill A07994 was filed yesterday in the New York Assembly and then referred to the education committee. This bill will halt the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top in the State of New York if passed.

Below is the text of the bill:

NYS Assembly Bill Co-Signers A07994

2013 Race to the Top & Common Core Withdrawal Bill Draft by Al Graf

Police chiefs support Common Core standards

NOTE:  I find this article very troubling.  I  have to wonder if these honorable men REALLY know anything about Common Core other than what the proponents have told them.  I think we would all agree that keeping kids in school and helping them to be successful IS a deterrent to a life of crime.  However, despite the content of this article and report, there is not a shred of evidence that the Common Core State Standards will do that.  Remember, they were adopted without ever being tried or tested.

KINGSPORT — Tennessee law enforcement members of “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids,” a national anti-crime organization of over 5,000 law enforcement leaders, with 145 members in Tennessee, are urging the continued implementation of Tennessee’s Common Core standards to help reduce future crime.

Police chiefs from across the state held a news conference on July 17 at Meadow View Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center.

Ashland City police chief Marc Coulon was in attendance.

They released a report, “Helping Students Succeed Cuts Crime,” which highlights the connection between crime and whether young men are employable at decent wages.

Research shows that changes in employment opportunities and wages among non-college educated men may explain as much as half of property and violent crime rates.

As noted in the report, more than 75 percent of Tennessee’s jobs, including many in manufacturing, require some form of post-secondary education — a trend that is expected to continue. Yet, only 24 percent of eighth-graders in the state are proficient in math and only 27 percent are proficient in reading.

Law enforcement leaders stressed that Tennessee students need an education that prepares them for the future and reduces the likelihood they will turn to a life of crime.

The Common Core state standards initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The initiative establishes a rigorous set of standards for what students should learn in English language arts and mathematics to be prepared for higher education and for entry into the workforce.

The standards are critical to success in today’s economy, which requires workers to have mastered core academic content, and be able to think critically, solve problems and communicate effectively

Read more here.

What Parents Should Know About ‘Common Core’ Education Standards

by Dr. Susan Berry22 Jul 2013

Though most states in the country adopted “Common Core” education standards in 2010, many American parents still know little about them.

At the same time that teachers’ unions have joined forces with the institutional left on many issues, and more of children’s basic needs are being met by public schools via meal programs and, more recently, Obamacare’s school-based healthcare centers, uninformed parents could be abandoning significant parental rights to education by not questioning what is at the heart of the Common Core.

Joy Pullmann at The Heartland Institute finds the public’s lack of knowledge of the Obama administration’s Common Core initiative particularly disturbing. In an era in which those who value Constitutional limits to government have been critical of the Obama administration’s overreach in many areas, Pullmann observes that the cause for concern is warranted:

Debate should never be discouraged by appeals to what experts say they know or claims that the “general public” is somehow too stupid or lack the proper credentials to make informed choices. Parents whose children will be subject to these new requirements and citizens who will pay for the standards, associated tests, and myriad related initiatives deserve to know what they contain and to have a say in whether states adopt them.

Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City public schools and current vice-president at News Corp., and Sol Stern, author of Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice, have both been around the block enough in the area of education. Both men support the Common Core State Standards and are critical of both conservatives like Pullmann and the Heritage Foundation, as well as “some hard-liners on the educational left” who oppose them.

In a Wall St. Journal op-ed in May, Stern and Klein described Common Core as “one of the most promising education initiatives of the past half century.” They went on to say that, “if implemented properly, they [Common Core standards] can better prepare students for college-level work and to gain the civic knowledge that is essential for democracy to prosper.”

Stern and Klein took to task the “progressive education thinking that has dominated the public schools over the past half-century,” and the pedagogical approaches favored by liberals (i.e., “child-centered; ”teaching for social justice”). They argued that these educators on the left are opposed to Common Core’s “rigorous academic content” that threatens to “undo” the progressives’ “watered-down version” of education.

At the same time, Stern and Klein claimed to be “puzzled” over the “fervid opposition to the Common Core by some conservatives, including tea party activists, several free-market think tanks and, most recently, the Republican National Committee.”

One of the primary objections by conservatives to the Common Core standards is the view that the Obama administration is intent on controlling what is taught at each grade level in schools across the United States. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Obama Department of Education “has used its flagship ‘Race to the Top’ competitive grant program to entice states to adopt the K-12 standards developed by a joint project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).”

Heritage goes on to say that, in its 2009 Blueprint for Education Reform, the Obama administration suggested that adoption of the Common Core standards could be a qualification for states wanting future Title I funding for low-income schools. Many conservatives considered this an unconstitutional overreach by the federal government into an area reserved historically to the states.

Read more here.

Can you stand some encouraging news on Common Core??

NOTE:  While it is encouraging to see states taking a closer look at these tests, let’s not confuse withdrawing from PARCC or SBAC with getting rid of the Common Core State Standards.  We still have work to do!!!!

1.  Georgia decides against offering ‘Common Core’ standardized test

2. Colorado School District Rejects Common Core National Standards

3.  Oklahoma Pulls Out of PARCC

4.  Alabama Pulls Out of PARCC and SBAC

5. Pennsylvania Signals Departure From Test Consortia

6. Why Indiana Is Scaling Back Participation In Common Core Testing Consortia PARCC

Some states see costs spike with Common Core tests


About half the states in one testing group using controversial Common Core standards will spend more than they already do on their current exams, new figures released Monday show.

On Monday, Georgia cited the increased costs of the tests as it dropped out of the Common Core testing system run by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of the groups that is developing the tests

The report on increased costs will only add fuel to the debate over Common Core, which has stirred furious opposition from critics on both left and right, including an aggressive opposition by tea party activists who see the standards as the latest example of the federal government dictating what goes on in local classrooms.

“Georgia can create an equally rigorous measurement without the high costs associated with this particular test. Just as we do in all other branches of state government, we can create better value for taxpayers while maintaining the same level of quality,” Republican Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement.

No word from Georgia yet on how much the state expects to save by leaving behind the PARCC exams.

Georgia and Oklahoma, which also recently withdrew from PARCC, haven’t backed off of using the standards themselves, however. They just want to use their own tests. A Brookings Institution report last year noted that tests of the same rigor as those created by the testing groups would be more expensive if states went it alone.

The $29.50 PARCC price tag is for a two-part test, one at the end of the year and one three-quarters of the way through. And it includes the cost of tests in both math and English/language arts.

Tests made by the other group developing Common Core exams are cheaper: $27.30, including interim exams. Smarter Balanced’s price for the end-of-year exams is $22.50.

“We were deliberate in designing an ambitious assessment, not a cheap one,” said Mitchell Chester, chairman of PARCC’s governing board and the state education chief in Massachusetts. “We didn’t want to create a test like the tests that are being given today. We wanted students to have to think, to demonstrate the ability to synthesize, analyze, write in response to literature, identify options for solving problems. We needed a test that was more than the multiple-choice questions that can be scored by machines at low cost.”

Read more here.

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