Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

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Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Jerry Becker
Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled
*****************************
PART I: PART II, A SECOND POSTING, WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY.
-----------------------------------------
From Education Week [American Education's Newspaper of Record], Wednesday, June 2, 2010,      Volume 29, Issue 33. See http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/02/33common.h29.html?tkn=LXRFCyGdoGnX5LYQPcVdYPJHmjCXG0GtaNq6&cmp=clp-edweek
*****************************
Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled
By Catherine Gewertz

The final set of common academic standards [see http://www.corestandards.org/ ] was released today, capping months of closed-door work to write them and months more to revise them with feedback from state education officials, teachers' unions, and other education interest groups.

The project is an attempt to address the uneven patchwork of standards that results in differing expectations among schools, districts, and states and leaves many students unprepared for work or college.

Organizers of the Common Core State Standards Initiative scheduled a press event at a Georgia high school for this morning and invited a high-profile list of guests, including governors and education commissioners, to speak in support of the standards.

The final document outlines what experts decided are the knowledge and skills students should have in mathematics and English/language arts. Convened last year by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, which have worked in various ways to help states raise academic expectations, the writing and feedback panels included university scholars, state curriculum specialists, and teachers; testing organizations such as the College Board and ACT Inc.; and curriculum-design companies such as America's Choice.

Drafts evolved as they were circulated among state departments of education, teachers' unions, and groups focused on curriculum content, and then revised. The panels' work still was criticized in some quarters, however, for affording too little chance for general public input, or for producing expectations that were too rigorous or not rigorous enough.

The first official public draft, released in March, drew more than 10,000 comments on a website set up by the NGA and the CCSSO. The final document incorporates that feedback, officials said, as well as final rounds of input from states and specialized groups.

Away From Washington


The press event for the release of the final standards was to take place at a high school outside Atlanta. The choice of location and the list of expected attendees carry political messages that the organizers of the common-standards initiative hope to send as states decide whether to adopt them.

Peachtree High School in Suwanee, Ga., is 600 miles from Washington, a fact aimed at critics who see the common-standards movement as a federal intrusion into state education decisions. That perception was fueled by rhetorical and monetary support from the federal government. President Barack Obama backs the idea, and the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top grant competition, financed with economic-stimulus money, favors states that adopt the standards.

Additionally, the three groups that spearheaded the initiative all are based in Washington. Those groups have repeatedly pointed out, though, that the common-standards work is "state-led." They note that it began after numerous state requests for such a project, and that the document has been shaped by the states' review and feedback.

The list of attendees at Wednesday's release event-with its inclusion of state schools chiefs, governors of both major parties, leaders of parent and civil rights groups, a corporate executive, an urban superintendent, and top officials of the two national teachers' unions-conveyed a message of widespread buy-in, from the grassroots to the upper echelons, even as many questions still circulated in the states about whether to adopt the standards.

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia signed pledges of support to help develop the common-core initiative, but that did not bind them to embrace the resulting document. Kentucky, Hawaii, Maryland, and West Virginia have adopted the standards tentatively, based on earlier drafts. But now that the document is final-and with the Race to the Top requiring state action by Aug. 2-dozens of states will face adoption decisions in the next couple of months.

*********************************************
-- 
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL  62901-4610
Phone:  (618) 453-4241  [O]
            (618) 457-8903  [H]
Fax:      (618) 453-4244
E-mail:   [hidden email]
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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Kirby Urner-5
> *****************************
> PART I: PART II, A SECOND POSTING, WILL FOLLOW
> SHORTLY.
> -----------------------------------------
> From Education Week [American Education's Newspaper
> r of Record],
> Wednesday, June 2, 2010,      Volume 29, Issue 33.
> See
> http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/02/33common.
> h29.html?tkn=LXRFCyGdoGnX5LYQPcVdYPJHmjCXG0GtaNq6&cmp=
> clp-edweek
> *****************************
> Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled
>
> By Catherine Gewertz
>
> The final set of common academic standards [see
> http://www.corestandards.org/ ] was released today,
> capping months of
> closed-door work to write them and months more to
> revise them with
> feedback from state education officials, teachers'
> unions, and other
> education interest groups.
>

A sad day in America and a blow against diversity.  We
hope this initiative doesn't destroy all remaining
high standards, such as in Oregon and New Mexico.

I bet you my bottom dollar, no mention of Mites, Sytes
and Kites.  OK then, 'nuff said.  Silicon Forest has
better ideas -- it's that simple.

Kirby

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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Gary Tupper
I always get a chuckle out of bureaucratic solutions to educational
"problems"

In their FAQ section from

http://www.corestandards.org/ we see:

*What are educational standards?*
Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the
skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals
for student learning.
*Why do we need educational standards?*
We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they
live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the
workforce. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving
a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state
to state. Common standards will provide a greater opportunity to share
experiences and best practices within and across states that will
improve our ability to best serve the needs of students.

The answer to the first FAQ skates around the question - instead telling
us what they do - and how they do it.
The answer to the 2nd uses the words 'ensure', 'high quality', 'success'
to fluff up the only imaginable valid reason: consistency.
If anyone actually believes that a "standards" document  will raise all
ships on a rising tide - do I have a bridge to sell!

Gary Tupper, Terrace BC

Kirby Urner wrote:

>> *****************************
>> PART I: PART II, A SECOND POSTING, WILL FOLLOW
>> SHORTLY.
>> -----------------------------------------
>> From Education Week [American Education's Newspaper
>> r of Record],
>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010,      Volume 29, Issue 33.
>> See
>> http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/02/33common.
>> h29.html?tkn=LXRFCyGdoGnX5LYQPcVdYPJHmjCXG0GtaNq6&cmp=
>> clp-edweek
>> *****************************
>> Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled
>>
>> By Catherine Gewertz
>>
>> The final set of common academic standards [see
>> http://www.corestandards.org/ ] was released today,
>> capping months of
>> closed-door work to write them and months more to
>> revise them with
>> feedback from state education officials, teachers'
>> unions, and other
>> education interest groups.
>>
>>    
>
> A sad day in America and a blow against diversity.  We
> hope this initiative doesn't destroy all remaining
> high standards, such as in Oregon and New Mexico.
>
> I bet you my bottom dollar, no mention of Mites, Sytes
> and Kites.  OK then, 'nuff said.  Silicon Forest has
> better ideas -- it's that simple.
>
> Kirby
>  
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Joshua Fisher-2
In reply to this post by Jerry Becker
". . .such as in Oregon and New Mexico"

I'm sure a blow-by-blow account of how Common Core will diffuse the great mathematics education accomplishments of those two states is forthcoming.
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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Ihor Charischak-4
In reply to this post by Kirby Urner-5
On Jun 2, 2010, at 6:13 PM, Kirby Urner wrote:

> A sad day in America and a blow against diversity.  We
> hope this initiative doesn't destroy all remaining
> high standards, such as in Oregon and New Mexico.

>  Silicon Forest has
> better ideas -- it's that simple....

...And they will rule - eventually. In the meantime this common core standards thing will get lots of hype. Let  the curriculum writing stampede begin... tons of money will be spent and lots of new revised "common core" Math 1.0 textbooks or as Dom puts it so eloquently "door stoppers" will hit the market with new advertisement cliches like "Our textbooks follow the 'core. Does yours?"  Of course, all of this will be moot, since the horse is already out the stable branded with "silicon valley."

- -Ihor
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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by Joshua Fisher-2
On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM, Joshua Fisher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ". . .such as in Oregon and New Mexico"
>
> I'm sure a blow-by-blow account of how Common Core will diffuse the great mathematics education accomplishments of those two states is forthcoming.
>

Did you mean "diffuse" or "dilute"?  Common Core is irrelevant.  I
doubt there will be much to say about this silliness, at least among
those serious about experimental prototype curricula of tomorrow.

Kirby

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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Jerry Becker
Maybe they should just apply the standards to the exams. Make the exams authentic and contain actual mathematical problems and then let the states, districts, parents etc. choose whatever way they want to teach the kid such that they pass the exam. As and example, I think the AP calculus exam with a score of 70% is an authentic passing. Forget the fact that even the threshold for a score of "5" is below that. And if math is not your thing then you should have options.
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Re: Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled

kirby urner-4
On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Maybe they should just apply the standards to the exams. Make the exams authentic and contain actual mathematical problems and then let the states, districts, parents etc. choose whatever way they want to teach the kid such that they pass the exam. As and example, I think the AP calculus exam with a score of 70% is an authentic passing. Forget the fact that even the threshold for a score of "5" is below that. And if math is not your thing then you should have options.
>

The exams would need to conform to these standards in order to be
"core certified" by the loser governors who sign up for brain rot,
yes.  Sorry, I just don't like the idea of "50 laboratories" being
scrapped in favor of "consistency" -- sounds too much like Fast Food
Nation (not to you?).

Other states, like Alaska, like Hawaii, might have their own ETS
(different name of course) that certifies with a different set of
standards in mind, closer to IB perhaps (European influence), or
borrowing from Singapore (I'm looking forward to news from
Pycon/Singapore, given my status as PSF member and erstwhile Holden
Web trainer (holdenweb.com) for Space Telescope Science Institute
(www.stsci.edu)).

Does Florida have anything unique to offer, given Cape Canaveral etc.?
 Satellite Beach?  (where 4D's DLW went to high school -- I was at
Southeast High in Bradenton, opposite coast, in 1970s).  I'd think
NASA could be like an ETS for some school districts, or for some
brands of math class (what the astronauts learn -- or go with NOAA?).

For those states still absorbed / fascinated (to the point of
obsession) with calculus, we can just go with ETS proper (Princeton).
Sure, lots of states might stay the course in that way (seems the
conservative choice, safely no-brainer).

I get the feeling California might be under that thumb, though I get
the sense Stanford is exploring other options.

Oregon is more following the lead of ONAMI (Hewlett-Packard campus,
though with OSU playing a lead role).

Any K-12 curriculum that doesn't have hexapents (ala HP4E) or
CP4E-type curriculum writing is likely to be laughed off the map in my
neck of the woods.**  Like c'mon, get real.

Kirby
4D

** CP4E was the DARPA-funded initiative to bring Python into the
schools via the Free/OpenSource cross-platform Tk-based IDLE (a pun on
Eric Idle, Python being named for the Monty Python comedy troupe
originally).  HP4E pays homage to Computer Programming for Everybody,
and no, HP doesn't mean Hewlett-Packard (means hexapents).  Both trace
to HCE in 'Finnegans Wake' which stands for various things, e.g. "here
comes everybody" (you need to be something of a James Joyce scholar to
be up on this literature (but then that's part of the standard
(grin))).