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Stella M
08-06-2013, 12:04 AM
Teacher: One (maddening) day working with the Common Core - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/teacher-one-maddening-day-working-with-the-common-core/2012/03/15/gIQA8J4WUS_blog)

farrarwilliams
08-06-2013, 12:59 AM
All of that sucks, but I'm sick of seeing articles conflate CC with curricula aligned to CC. Whether the CC is any good was never really addressed here. The particular unit they ad to look at which was CC aligned was bad. Does CC encourage bad curricula? Maybe, but one example doesn't prove that to me.

sdvelochick
08-06-2013, 01:04 AM
Most of the teachers I have spoken with actually really like the common core because of the fact it requires kids to fully understand why they are doing what they're doing opposed to just knowing how to do it. From what I have seen from the standards, I like it, but the computerized test seems to be a different animal from any other standardized test I have ever seen.
I also question the ability of a 3/4 student being able to write a good opinion essay... seems like quite a reach.

Stella M
08-06-2013, 01:46 AM
Yeah, no dog in the race for me, I just saw it and thought y'all have been talking about it so someone might want to read it. I must admit I have no idea what it is. We don't have it here.

sdvelochick
08-06-2013, 01:59 AM
Is there not one set of standards across all of Australia for children in school? Basically they are trying to make it so all states provide an equal education for children. In the past a hs diploma from NY or MA is probably worth more than one form say from, well I'm not going to name a state at the chance I really offend someone, but one of the states with lower standards. Now with this program children across the entire US will have to meet the same goals.

Stella M
08-06-2013, 02:02 AM
Um. Idk. I think they are trying to bring in a national curriculum, is that the same ? I don't follow the curriculum so I don't pay much attention.

sdvelochick
08-06-2013, 02:02 AM
That being said, there is a good way to implement and a bad way... it sounds like that teacher is in a district that is going the bad route :-( And for some reason the entire time I was reading the article all I could think about was my first week homeschooling and doing Saxon math...

Riceball_Mommy
08-06-2013, 09:33 AM
I heard one teacher talking about the new curriculum, she was lamenting the fact that most kids can't write an essay. She made a very good point that for some kids the curriculum shift is going to leave them with huge gaps in knowledge that they need to fill in in a hurry. Really the kids that will benefit the most from any curriculum change, if it is for the better will be the kids who start school after everything gets settled, that way they go through the system bottom up learning everything in the order that will benefit them the most.

She was also saying she felt frustrated because she got new curriculum standards but they are in the middle of putting together a new test so she doesn't know what to teach for the test. So there will still be a teaching to the test problem.

sdvelochick
08-10-2013, 07:25 AM
I heard one teacher talking about the new curriculum, she was lamenting the fact that most kids can't write an essay. She made a very good point that for some kids the curriculum shift is going to leave them with huge gaps in knowledge that they need to fill in in a hurry. Really the kids that will benefit the most from any curriculum change, if it is for the better will be the kids who start school after everything gets settled, that way they go through the system bottom up learning everything in the order that will benefit them the most.

She was also saying she felt frustrated because she got new curriculum standards but they are in the middle of putting together a new test so she doesn't know what to teach for the test. So there will still be a teaching to the test problem.
It's funny you say that because that was exactly what I said to my friend the other day. It doesn't make sense that they wouldn't just phase it in starting with the K classes next year. They shuffled everything around so kids not knowing basic things is bound to happen.

quabbin
08-11-2013, 09:48 PM
In the past a hs diploma from NY or MA is probably worth more than one form say from, well I'm not going to name a state at the chance I really offend someone, but one of the states with lower standards. Now with this program children across the entire US will have to meet the same goals.
I'd be willing to nominate my adopted home state of NC for the Lower Standards Example state, although we are traditionally a Thank Goodness for Mississippi state [apologies to anyone from there, but I think you're on a homeschooling board for a reason]. :) But the kids will typically not be meeting the same goals--I think kids from poorer education states will continue to fail at different goals, just as there's a disparity on tests like the SAT that are taken nationwide. That's about poverty and state/district spending priorities.

I have to agree with Farrar: that article's an argument against scripted lessons and that lesson in particular, but not against the standards. Not that I'm particularly for the standards, but I think the slipshod implementation many districts are doing is what's going to make for a train wreck.

As far as not providing background information, that's absolutely backward. You'd at least want the kids to mention in discussion the background they knew, for the benefit of those who might not have thought of it or didn't learn it in history. Think of the science section of the ACT, or an AP test in English or history--don't we want the student to know enough to be able to figure out the context of the text that is provided "cold"? (I just had a student I tutored get a 4 on Lang & Lit, and I think the fact that I'd had her read from/discuss one book excerpted in the essay section may have given her a boost.) The more you've read and the better educated you are, the more background knowledge you have and the better you can connect it with what you read. That's what kids should be practicing.

crunchynerd
08-15-2013, 04:11 PM
I'm curious as to what ages of kids are supposed to be writing essays well. I was always a "natural" writer in school, and my kids ARE going to be good writers, at least in the sense that they will have not only my standards, but far worse than that, my MOTHER'S standards to meet, and she was a trilingual proofreader in the days when a split infinitive was a no-no. But all that said, I still think some of the expectations I am seeing from local school curricula are pie-in-the-sky. The stated expectations at each grade at least through elementary, are ridiculous and unrealistic, and treat the growth curve as if it were a linear progression, such that adult competency must be broken into 12 equal portions, to be doled out one per year in order to gain mastery.

dbmamaz
08-15-2013, 04:18 PM
i can tell you, if my about-to-turn-10-yo was asked to write an essay, he would be crying the entire day. we're working on it, but wow, this kid HATES to write. except for fan fiction on the computer

Stella M
08-15-2013, 10:01 PM
My only reference point for this is dd's. Dd15 - oral narrations till she was 10/11, transitioned to written narrations, taught her to write an essay around 14, she can write great essays. Dd14 - unschooled, can write well, school has not yet taught her how to write an essay so we'll do that over summer. I'm not a classical schooler but it really does seem to me that essay writing is a skill that belongs to a certain stage, and primary school isn't it.

farrarwilliams
08-15-2013, 10:25 PM
I have yet to see any evidence that kids writing essays at age 8 makes them any better writers at age 16, when it actually counts. I'm sure for some kids it doesn't hurt, but I'm sure for some it does to make them rush past too many other fundamental skills in writing and potentially make them loathe the whole writing process or later have to spend a lot of time unlearning all that formulaic stuff.

In general, I think most kids should probably be approaching some sort of essay writing by the end of middle school. But it's okay to be flexible. And that's just my own opinion. :)

sdvelochick
08-16-2013, 11:20 AM
It does seem insane to me that there is a writing test given to 4th graders. I feel terrible that my son has to go through that this year. I don't think I experienced the "joy" of a timed essay until HS.

farrarwilliams
08-16-2013, 06:00 PM
It does seem insane to me that there is a writing test given to 4th graders. I feel terrible that my son has to go through that this year. I don't think I experienced the "joy" of a timed essay until HS.

We had one in middle school. I remember I found it silly and there was very little prep done for it.

Some of the "writing tests" they give kids actually seem completely appropriate. I mean, I've seen ones where it sounds horrible for first graders, but then you look at the examples and see that it was actually very gentle and kids have all kinds of crazy spelling and stuff and it's considered fine. But the fourth grade one they want an essay these days. They're nuts. I'm sure you can make a lot of the kids do it. Train em up like monkeys. Don't worry if it's any good.

sdvelochick
08-16-2013, 06:49 PM
The vision of monkeys at keyboards comes to mind... someone will produce Shakespeare right?
The worst part of the writing test for 4th grade are the asinine prompts.

jessica14
08-19-2013, 05:04 PM
It's funny this should come up. I belong to a FB group and a new homeschooler wanted to know about Singapore and Math in Focus which I guess is the American version (not sure). It came up that it was aligned with Common Core and she said she wanted basic math, not CC. Almost everyone who responded to her said they were very good programs. I said that just because it had a CC sticker on it, didn't mean it changed, it just happens to match up with those skills. My friend and I said it was much like saying an apple is gluten free. It's the same apple but a new marketing strategy. Apparently she didn't like the answer we gave and went to another page and asked for a recommendation that was not aligned with Common Core. I think a lot of people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But that's just my opinion. I taught for many years and I'm having a very hard time with homeschoolers freaking out about this.

dbmamaz
08-19-2013, 05:10 PM
haha i just saw a question like that - i am thinking of taking my kids out of school to homeschool them, because of the common core. what homeschool programs are good and NOT common core?

yeah, i answered that there were good and bad programs already compliant before the standards were even published, and you should really know what you want, not just what you dont want, in order to homeschool

jessica14
08-19-2013, 05:30 PM
It's just very frustrating Cara. I know so many who are pulling their kids out because of that. I understand the testing, data collecting, et al. I just think that so many good resources will be ignored because of a sticker. I really like Spectrum books for good basic skills. This year they have the sticker (which I explained to this woman). The books are still good. I'm not going to pick something else that I don't know about because of somebelief that Common Core = Bad and evil.

sdvelochick
08-19-2013, 11:01 PM
These are the same people that threaten to move out of the US because they misunderstand the policy of the $200k tax hike... I am friends with a 4th grade teacher who is working very hard to align stuff to cc and is not sacrificing the kid's education. Always some good teachers and some bad, some good curriculum and some bad.

farrarwilliams
08-20-2013, 12:19 AM
The whole thing just misses the point. I mean, I don't really like the CC either for various reasons, but people seem to have a complete lack of understanding of it.

sunshinet
08-20-2013, 01:37 AM
Shit, I moved out of the US already. . . and came back. The schools in Central America weren't going to cut it. So the house we moved to has a bad school zone. So private school. And $22K and two years later here I am.

In our zoned public school 75% of third graders are having "limited or minimal success with grade level content" in reading. This is on a multiple choice test (FCAT). As far as I understand this is or may be the last year of FCAT- soon to be replaced with a (TBA) common core assessment test.

While I don't proclaim to understand all of this, I do know that our zoned elementary school won't know what the F*** to do with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.5. (Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.)

I believe in standards, and my own standards are high. But the common core forgets that there are children that don't have books in their home, don't have parents that foster a love for learning, don't have nothing. There is no way a set of erratically-alpha-numerically ordered "standards" is going to do anything but turn my local schools 75% of non-achievers into 95%.

I am against it.