Archive for Education
More good links: 1. Think Like a Nazi….Argue why jews are evil–4th grade common core assignment, Albany, NY: http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/48049380443/common-core-writing-assignment-think-like-a 2. Suffolk County Education Forum Video: 3. Attend School Board Meetings: http://www.semissourian.com/blogs/campbell/entry/55546 4. Common Core: “If You Like Your Curriculum, You Can Keep Your Curriculum”: http://www.cato.org/blog/common-core-you-curriculum-you-can-keep-it 5. Dr. Gary Thompson Testifies to […]
So…Sequester? Continuing Resolutions? Debt Limit? ObamaCare? Defunding ObamaCare? ‘Health Exchanges’? Amnesty?
How are those Conservative Rock Stars like Marco Rubio working out for you? Is the support you gave the GOP living up to your expectations?
Are you done pussyfooting around yet? Are you done wasting time on foolish ‘Get Liberty Quick!’ schemes?
Are you done sending politicians to do a citizens work? America is a nation of Ideas, yet our schools are producing students that don’t understand those ideas, and the Common Core Curriculum, by its very nature, is a threat to those ideas and the constitutional system they require.
There is no political solution – it requires You., here, not in Washington D.C., but here, in your own back yard – lose here and lose it all. There are no quick answers, but there are steps that can be taken to halt the slide, and those require you to lend a hand in taking back our schools.
I’ll be giving the opening presentation, starting at 1:00 Sunday, the 20th, I hope to see you there.
Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core:
St. Louis – Sunday October 20, 2013 1-6:00*
The Wildwood Hotel 2801 Fountain Place Wildwood 63040
- The History of Common Core Standards – How Did We Get Here?
- High Quality Standards For Everyone? Not so much. What about special needs kids? How could CC harm early learners?
- Testing Testing Testing
- Data Collection – The government wants to know everything about your children. How can you protect their privacy?
- What are your rights according to Missouri state law? How can you begin to assert those rights?
- What is happening at the federal level when it comes to Common Core, Data Collection and state’s rights to control education
- The future of education in Missouri – a common sense approach based on local assertion of rights already granted by our constitution and legislature.There will be break out sessions for various interest groups to network with other grassroots activists.School Board Members – Know your rights as a School Board member. Compare experiences and network with other board members who are trying to get their district out of the public/private system of common standards.Grassroots Activists – For parents, taxpayers, teachers, legislators. We’ll talk about everything in our activist kit, answer questions and get you networking.Non-Public Schools (Catholic/Private/Home Schools) – Whether or not CC is in or coming to your school, you need to know what to watch for and how to keep the quality education you are paying for or providing.Learn more and receive your Grassroots Action Kit with everything you need to inform people in your district about Common Core and data collection.Don’t wait for government to hand you back control.Take back the control that has been yours all along.* (These times are accurate. Times on Eventbrite might not match due to a service limitation.)Help us spread the word about these conferences.
Share and Enjoy
At the Rally for Common Sense on October 12th, we were privileged to have Noah O’Grady from “Gun Smart Kids” speak to the patriots in attendance. Noah is nine years old who has been shooting guns since he was five. No surprise that his family is pro Second Amendment, and it is evident that his [...]
First off, props to Jefferson County Tea Party for allowing me to post here! And props to all, like the St. Louis Tea Party, for paying it forward by sharing this! So, with out further ado… Did you get your FREE ticket yet? This Weekend IS the Rally for Common Sense! The Foundation for Common [...]
If you were at Rally 2012, you remember how it felt as you entered The Patriot Field of Dreams More than 1,000 Midwestern grassroots “boots on the ground” gathered on May 19, 2012. A lot has happened since then. You asked. We heard you. Let’s gather the tribe AGAIN! Saturday, Oct. 12 Gates [...]
Did you ever have one of “those” days, where you look at the world around you and wonder what in the heck happened to make the current turn of events spiral so absurdly out of control? I have been having that day a lot, lately. The loss of control over daily life and culture is […]
|What 5th graders are learning in a Missouri classroom.|
The following information is from a Missouri mom. Is this an example of “College and CAREER ready” the Common Core proponents are talking about? This type of education will sure make our kids globally competitive! It just might not be in the fields you thought Common Core was pushing:
kids can’t read….most can’t do math any more…we can’t find time to
teach history, but we sure can teach them how to straighten hair. This
note sent from school was shared with me by a mom in our district. On
the off days from hair class 101, her daughter is learning about
choreography in 5th grade.
Alarmed yet? Welcome to Common Core and the 21 Century learners. College
and CAREER readiness. Like this mom said…if they don’t teach her
daughter to read or do math, she will have learned necessary skills to
maybe become a stripper someday all while in the 5th grade.
Not funny, but you have to laugh.
Hair Styling 101
Week of 9/10/13 -9/12/13
Supplies will be needed.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: Flat Irons (also known as straighteners).
Please bring your flat iron to class. We will learn
how to properly straighten hair and various hair styles we can create
using the flat iron. Also, if you use hair spray, spray bottle (of
water), or straightening protective products then bring those along with
a comb or a brush.
Here’s an example from Kentucky 6th grade Common Core standards (pg 2) and how flatirons are incorporated into the standards and classroom activities. Maybe the Missouri classroom’s activity will incorporate this same standard and provide “show and tell”:
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
RI6.3 Analyze in
detail how a key
individual, event, or idea is introduced,
illustrated, and elaborated in
a text (e.g., through
How a key
event, or idea is introduced,
illustrated, and elaborated
Provide an article about how to choose a new small appliance.
This might be a
new drill, chainsaw,
flat iron or coffeemaker. Ask the students
to read the article and determine if this
other articles can be found by conducting a Google search.
the meaning of
phrases as they
are used in a text,
connotative, and technical
words and phrases
Present the following
scenario: Your employer has
new vacation policy. You have been asked to read
it and sign
a statement saying that you understand it. Read
this policy. Ask, “Do you have any questions about the
policy?” “Do you
have any questions about the words
used?” Ask questions to
determine if the
students understand words like accrued,
and minimum. A
sample policy can be found by conducting a Google
search of sample vacation policy. One
Aren’t you just blown away with these rigorous standards that instruct students how to use flatirons, coffee makers, and chainsaws? Watch for notes home on sending coffee, filters and logs so kids can learn how to make coffee and cut timber. Isn’t Common Core great?
UPDATED: A reader sent in this youtube video showing the dangers of using hot electrical items in hair. We hope the school has a large liability policy. From youtube and Hair Iron Fail:
|This is the definition of Common Core rigor.|
Read this blog’s Common Core definition of rigor. From Beyond the “Rigor” Buzz: Myths and Truths about Rigor in Common Core Classrooms:
(MEW’s comments are highlighted in yellow and contain links with further information)
Rigor is a popular education buzzword – especially right now with the implementation of Common Core
standards. Politicians, corporate leaders, and educators at all levels
have echoed some version of President Obama’s words from 2009: “It is
time to expect more from our students.” Rigor is a key element of CCSS,
and as students head back to school over the next few weeks, it’s being
discussed in classrooms all over the country.
But what is rigor? Is it higher expectations for achievement? Is it harder questions and more homework?
No. But when many people think of rigor, they’re falling prey to some false beliefs about what rigor means in the classroom.
Common myths about rigor
•Students must do more work. Oftentimes “more work,” including increased homework, really means low-level activities and repetition.
•Students need to solve problems independently.
Learning to figure out a problem is important, but that doesn’t mean
the teacher shouldn’t offer support and help guide students in the right
• Rigor is just one more thing to do. Many educators view adding rigor to their instruction as an entirely separate undertaking.
The truths (and the good news) about rigor
Let’s look at how a few leading academics and educational foundations define rigor:
• “A demanding yet accessible curriculum that engenders
critical-thinking skills as well as content knowledge.” – MDRC, a social
policy nonprofit MDRC has received Gates funding
• Students should “raise questions, think, reason, solve problems and
reflect.” – Beverly L. Hall, 2009 National Superintendent of the Year Beverly Hall was at the center of the teaching cheating scandal in Atlanta
• Students “should be asked to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, evaluate – using that knowledge.” – Education Trust Education Trust received Gates money
The good news about these definitions is that rigor is not something
extra you need to do, nor is it something that needs to be so rigid or
difficult that children (and teachers) suffer. So what are some truths
• Rigor means more challenging work instead of just “more work.” Each student learns differently, but incorporating elements of differentiated instruction will challenge students at a level that’s comfortable for them.
• Rigor means supporting students. Rigor happens
somewhere between fully independent learning and spoon-feeding answers.
Forming student groups and offering help builds a classroom atmosphere
where students feel safe asking questions. Teachers can accept
high-level responses or ask more probing and extended critical thinking questions: “Have you considered . . .?” “Why did you assume that?” It doesn’t matter if 3 x 4 = 11. Just explain your answer and you will get credit: even if it’s wrong.
• Rigor means incorporating critical thinking strategies.
When you incorporate critical thinking strategies into your classroom
(e.g., scaffolding thinking, assessing thinking, group discussion),
you’re automatically encouraging rigor. You’re engaging students, and
moving them beyond basic recall tasks into higher-level thinking.
If you’re incorporating critical thinking strategies into your lesson
plans, you’re already providing rigorous instruction. Engaging
students, challenging them, and creating an environment that encourages
curiosity and questions will provide students with skills like
inquisitiveness, determination, and creative thinking – all skills they
need to be lifelong learners.
Here’s my answer to this article of talking points not based on best practice, research or data. I like my definition of rigor:
all due respect, this is PR nonsense. The rigor you speak will leave
students behind international peers in math by 2 years BY 8TH GRADE
according to the lead validator, Dr. James Milgram. He was the only
mathematician on the validation committee and refused to sign off on
them because they are “substandard” standards.
were found to be developmentally inappropriate for young children.
Oops. I guess CCSSO didn’t have that on its website. Here it is: http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/25/gesell-institute-the-common-core-standards-are-wrong-for-young-children/
Dr. Sandra Stotsky also refused to validate the ELA standards. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/12/questionable-quality-of-the-common-core-english-language-arts-standards
Rigor doesn’t mean what you state. Here is the definition of rigor from Merriam-Webster:
a (1) : harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment :
severity (2) : the quality of being unyielding or inflexible :
strictness (3) : severity of life : austerity
Maybe you’d like to visit this blog and leave your comments on rigor, Bill Gates and Common Core?
|He’s BAACCCKKK. Tell your school district Arne Duncan should stay out of our states, districts and schools. If your district takes Federal money, go ahead and abolish your school board. A centralized system doesn’t need/want local input.|
Some info about the new round of race to the top – district grants that are due on October 3rd.
School districts who want to take federal money directly from the Federal Government and bypassing state agencies are listed below. What taxpayers, parents and legislators must understand is with money comes enormous strings. Why not just abolish state educational agencies and school boards if the Federal Government gives money directly to school districts? Forget about the constitutional authority of state agencies and local school boards. The US Department of Education is now directing local and state educational directives.
Here is a list of school districts by state that have indicated that they intend to apply for RTTT-D funding: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/2013-list-intent-apply.pdf THERE ARE DISTRICTS FROM EVERY STATE on this list!
There is a state and local comment period — start working on the mayors or town administrators to influence their comments!
LEA included in an application must provide its State at least 10
business days to comment on the LEA’s application and submit as part of
its application package: (a) the State’s comments or, if the State
declined to comment, evidence that the LEA offered the State 10 business
days to comment; and (b) the LEA’s response to the State’s comments
(optional). Similarly, each LEA included in an application must provide
its mayor or comparable official at least 10 business days to comment on
the LEA’s application and submit as part of its application package:
(a) the mayor’s or city or town administrator’s comments or, if that
individual declines to comment, evidence that the LEA offered such
official 10 business days to comment; and (b) the LEA’s response to the
mayor’s or city or town administrator’s comments (optional).”
grant application also requires the signature of the head of the
teachers union in the district– they are sealing this one airtight.
“Required signatures for the LEA or lead LEA in a consortium are those
of the superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and (where
applicable) local teacher union or association president.”
Public education gets the blame for producing dumb students and not providing business with qualified candidates. The ball is 100% in the school’s and teacher’s court right? Hold on a minute. Let’s look at some U.S. business hiring practices that may also be contributing the problem. And then let’s ask the geniuses at the Business Roundtable what they are going to do to fix their end of the problem.
The lament from business is “Oh boo hoo, we can’t find any good candidates with the skills we want. The public education system just sends us dumber and dumber kids.” They then point to cherry picked statistics, like PISA and TIMMS score comparisons with other countries, to prove that those statements are true. But let’s take a moment to examine their statements.
The moats, fortified walls and iron gates of ancient fortresses are easily overcome defenses compared to today’s equivalent, the Human Resources department which can keep out even the bravest warrior and most qualified candidate for a position. When a company says they can’t find any “good” candidates, consider the purple squirrel. The Urban Dictionary says this about purple squirrels, “For all practical purposes, there is no such thing as a ‘Purple
Squirrel’; not in nature and not in the job market. It is a metaphor
used by recruiters to identify the unrealistic expectations of a client
company.” The purple squirrel is the bane of the modern recruiter. They can find excellent candidates, yet the company still won’t fill the position.
The purple squirrel, or perfect candidate, comes preloaded with
exactly the right qualifications and experience, and is willing to work for the lowest salary. In today’s job market, as
more workers become unemployed, companies become more selective and
ever more slowly to fill positions. They hold out for the perfect candidate who can perform a wide range of skills but who is going to be economically competitive with the workers in other countries who; a) have a lower wage scale and b) have not racked up enormous college debt trying to find that magic mix of skills that will get them past the HR department screening and whose salary expectations are high due to the need to pay off that debt.
Companies must also be concerned about legal liability in an environment where EEOC guidelines provide every potential candidate with fodder for a possible law suit. They become risk averse to hiring anybody with
the slightest blemish in their careers making them even pickier in their assessment of possible candidates. All of these concerns fall under the HR definition of a “good” candidate. Its getting easier to see why there might not be so many of them.
There is another business practice that may be affecting the quality of candidates who are applying for advertized jobs (where recruiters are not involved). Some companies advertise a job at a certain salary
and then, after they get enough responses, start beating down the
applicants to see who’ll work for the least amount of money. Its easy to see how highly qualified job applicants who’ve been through that process a few times conclude that it’s not worth their time to respond to advertisements for
job openings. Employers give the appearance of wanting lower quality candidates by offering correpsondingly low salaries, so guess who
shows up for their job interviews? The low quality candidates.
Common Core standards are advertized to make students ready for college and the global job market. They seem to promise employers that purple squirrel which, is it any surprise, makes businesses all vociferously support the standards.
In all my research on common core I have never come across a report done by the US Chamber of Commerce that defined what specific skills businesses want students to master. They have studies that say that businesses can’t find candidates with the skills they want, but those skills are never named.
Beth B. Buehlmann, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber’s Center
for Workforce Preparation before the House Education and the Workforce
Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness had the only definition I could find. They say candidates are illiterate, and here is how they define literacy.
The definition of literacy has changed over time and will continue to
change. One hundred years ago, “literacy” was defined simply as the
ability to write your name. In the new high-tech, highly competitive
21st century workplace, literacy means the ability to read, write,
compute and solve problems, communicate, listen, and perform basic
tasks. The National Institute for Literacy finds that almost 50 percent
of American adults have low literacy skills making it difficult for them
to do many of the tasks required to carry out work and family
Beyond the foundation skills of basic literacy — reading, writing and
arithmetic — the meaning of workplace literacy has expanded as
workplaces have changed. Technology has had a particularly profound
impact on today’s workplace skills requirements. New technologies,
information, and competition will make today’s state-of-the-art products
and processes obsolete tomorrow. It has been estimated that jobs will
be wholly restructured every seven years. Few working Americans will be
able to remain competitive in their existing jobs without continually
learning new skills.
I challenge the Chamber to define a single set of skills that all their members would agree represent the skills they want workers to have. That list would either be very short in order to get 100% consensus, or would take the average person until age 40 to complete. Public education therefore represents a cross section of all those wants with a sampling of skills from many areas that can be covered in 12 years. Is it any wonder then that we aren’t producing students that match their desired skill set?
The problem of matching job candidates to
job openings is a complicated issue that could stand some improvement
by ALL parties — the schools, the student / job applicants, AND