THE “NEW” NEW MATH
Why we oppose common core
By John Eppolito
Common Core State Standards (CC) are the biggest proposed change to education in the United States in our lifetime! CC was written and adopted with little public input. NV teachers who oppose CC have been silenced. Common Core is a ‘one size fits all,’ attempt to improve education.
1) STUDENT DATA COLLECTION, STORAGE, AND SHARING
2) MATH – the standards put us two years behind high achieving countries; and similar to ‘new math.’
3) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS – the standards are fundamentally flawed: the reading standards are mediocre at best, the writing standards are ‘intellectual impossibility’ for the average middle grade student, there is less literature, inappropriate reading material, and cursive handwriting is eliminated.
4) SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS) – Fordham Institute got 8 million dollars to support CC they said: “We would not encourage states to adopt the science standards.” There is “virtually no math” in NGSS. Some object to the fact that evolution and global warming are taught as fact with no opposing views.
5) COMMON CORE IS DEVELOPMENTALLY INAPPROPRIATE AND NOT RESEARCH BASED
6) THE SCHOLASTIC APITUDE TEST (SAT) HAD BEEN ‘DUMBED DOWN TO ALIGN WITH CC. The architect of Common Core is now miraculously president of the College Board. The College Board is changing the SAT and all AP classes to align with CC.
7) AP US HISTORY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO SHOW A CONSISTENTLY NEGATIVE VIEW OF OUR NATION’S PAST.
8) IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE TO IMPLEMENT CC.
9) THE FLAWED PROCESS. The writers were not K-12 teachers, the process was secret, and those involved had to sign confidentially agreements. There were only two content experts on the Validation Committee who had written high K-12 state standards, those two plus three others, would not sign off on CC.
10) Most states, including Nevada, AGREED TO COMMON COVER BEFORE SEEING THE FINAL STANDARDS. The reasons: a chance for federal funds, and waivers from No Child Left Behind.
11) COMMON CORE HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED – PBS: “A major experiment is underway in American public education.” Others call CC a “massive risky experiment.” Bill Gates is the largest non-government funder of CC, on 9/21/13 Mr. Gates said: “It will be about a decade before we know if our ‘education stuff’ worked.”
12) EDUCATION EXPERTS OPPOSE CC.
13) THERE ARE NUMEROUS PROBLEMS WITH THE HIGH STAKES TESTS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CC
14) PRIVATE SCHOOL AND HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS CANNOT ESCAPE CC.
15) STATES FIGHT (DROP) CC AND WITHDRAW FROM CC TESTING.
Five states did not adopt CC.
Three states have dropped CC, at least 11 states are considering same.
There is legislation pending to slow, not fund, or stop CC in at least 31 of the 42 (74%) states still in CC.
The bad news NV is moving full steam ahead with CC!
Of the 42 states in CC 20 have withdrawn from CC (fed. gov. sponsored) testing.
The bad news NV is moving full steam ahead with CC testing!
16) CC AND NCLB WAIVERS MAY BE ILLEGAL. Congress was circumvented twice; the creation of CC, and reinterpretation of FERPA laws to allow the intrusive student data collection without parent consent.
17) WHO IN NEVADA OPPOSES CC
18) THERE IS LIKELY A POLITICAL AGENDA BEHIND CC.
19) POLITICAL LEFT AND RIGHT FIND COMMON GROUND OPPOSING CC
20) LACK OF LOCAL CONTROL – NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CC WRITERS
21) There is no proof CC will improve student learning
If these standards could truly improve education in the United States why didn’t we; take our time developing them, get appropriate feedback from all stakeholders, test them in a limited area to see if they really improve student performance, modify as necessary, then roll out the standards on a national level?
THE MORE AMERICANS LEARN ABOUT CC THE LESS THEY LIKE IT.
Common Core is a waste of time and money, is too controversial, will not improve student learning, and should be stopped.
Please share this article with your sphere of influence.
THE MEETING WITH THE EDUCATORS
What happened at the Common Core Forum in Carson City on 1/13/15
The ground rules agreed to by both sides for the two forums: two people would participate on each side of the issue. The pro side would contain two policy makers from either the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) or the Nevada State Board of Education; the con side would contain Drs. Stotsky and Milgram. Drs. Stotsky and Milgram were the only two members of Common Core’s Validation Committee who are content area specialists and who have also written high K-12 standards.
You can watch the forum here, http://www.NevadansAgainstCommonCore.com/.
The forum started with two “authorized” speakers from the NDE – Deputy Superintendent Steve Canavero and Public Information Officer Judy Osgood. After Ms. Osgood introduced herself she left the panel and didn’t speak again.
Before their travels to Nevada (one from Boston) both the Drs. made it clear to everyone involved they were coming to discuss Common Core Standards.
At the 33:33 mark Mr. Canavero made it clear the NDE does not want to discuss issues with Common Core Standards only the implementation of same.
At 35:24 the NDE brought in an unauthorized speaker, Aaron Grossman. The Drs. allowed Aaron to speak even though as a teacher he did not meet the qualifications to be on the panel. After Mr. Grossman’s presentation the good Drs. were prepared to discuss Common Core with Steve Canavero and Aaron Grossman.
At 56:48 Mr. Canavero attempted to bring in a second unauthorized speaker, note – by this time Mr. Grossman had already left the panel. The Drs., audience, and moderator did not allow it. By 59:25 there was more disagreement.
At 1:00:00 the moderator reminds the NDE the participants were supposed to be Steve Canavero and Judy Osgood, and there was more arguing.
At 1:36:00 the NDE tried to bring in a third unauthorized speaker, a teacher, and the arguing got pretty bad. Local teachers who do not fully support CC were told not to attend these meetings, but some brave anti-CC teachers were willing to speak against CC. When they were told no teachers would be speaking, they understood. Unfortunately the NDE encouraged the pro-CC teachers to speak anyway.
The Drs. have been to about 30 states to discuss the problems with CC and they have never been treated so rudely and with such disrespect as they were by the NDE.
Four of the Nevadans Against Common Core Board members were present.
Board Members: John Eppolito, Pat Lynch, Virginia Starrett, Carol Wright, Angie Sullivan
The Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) statement on what happened at the Carson City Forum and
Why they backed out of the Common Core Forum in Fallon
“For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 14,
2015 STATEMENT FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION DALE ERQUIAGA REAGARDING THE SYMPOSIUM ON COMMON CORE
Carson City, Nevada – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga today issued the following statement regarding the Nevada Department of Education’s participation in the symposium on Common Core in Fallon:
The Nevada Department of Education was invited by the Citizens for Sound Academic Standards (C4SAS) to participate in a forum they organized in Carson City to discuss the Nevada Academic Content Standards based on Common Core. The organizers invited two professors from out-of-state to participate in the forum. As with all requests to engage in a discussion about Nevada standards, my staff invited Nevada teachers to participate in this discussion. I consider our educators to be the most credible and knowledgeable speakers about Nevada’s standards. This fact was communicated to the organizers and to the legislator who reserved the room in Carson City. When my staff arrived at the forum last night, they were abruptly notified that the Department’s teacher presenters, including an associate superintendent and educators from the Carson City School District, would not be allowed to speak at the forum. Attempts by my staff to provide teachers a voice in the conversation about their standards were met with a disrespectful, if not aggressive, response. Worse, one of the organizers physically removed a Nevada educator invited to speak on behalf of the Department; that educator filed assault charges with Legislative Police earlier today.
This is not the Nevada way of engaging in public discourse. I am compelled to denounce the Citizens for Sound Academic Standards and the visiting professors for silencing Nevada teachers to speak at a public forum and for resorting to intimidation tactics before and during the meeting to silence teacher voices. There is room for differences of opinion on this topic, but I cannot support participation in a forum that incites bullying and censorship. Department staff will not participate in the Symposium on Common Core scheduled to occur in Fallon tonight, or any other event involving these organizers and their out-of-state professors. Furthermore, I expect these individuals to apologize to Nevada educators.
1) Superintendent of Public Instruction Erquiaga was not present at the forum.
2) Through 1/20/15 no police report is available.
3) NACC is in not associated with C4SAS.
The real reason the NDE didn’t show up in Fallon
The NDE attempted to break the ground rules set for the Carson City forum, and it didn’t work out. The NDE has no substantial response to the very serious issues brought up by the two most qualified members of the Common Core Validation Committee about the Common Core Standards; therefore, there was no benefit to them to show up to the Fallon forum.
WORDS FROM Drs. Stotsky and Milgram
Flaws in Common Core’s English Language Arts and Literacy Standards
I. Missing Standards
1. No standard on the history of the English language.
2. No standard on British literature/authors aside from study of one Shakespeare play.
3. No standard on authors from the ancient world, especially classical Greece and Rome.
II. Overall Deficits
1. Standards are not real academic standards but processes or skills. See below.
2. Standards stress writing, not reading. Contradict 100 years of reading research and (more recent) prose model research in English. Good writers are first good readers.
3. Standards stress reading informational texts, not complex literary texts, for college readiness; no support from education research.
4. Standards foster little development of critical thinking; no research in cognitive psychology showing it is developed by reading informational texts in the English class.
5. Standards reduce literary study in the K-12 English class (only 9 of 19 reading standards address literary study at each grade level); also reduce vocabulary growth because older complex literary works feature larger non-technical vocabularies.
6. Document provides no selective lists of recommended authors, literary movements, or literary periods or traditions for classroom curriculum development or state assessment.
7. Standards document violates local control of curriculum by reducing literary study and requiring more “informational” texts at every grade level in the English/reading class.
III. Badly written, unclear “standards,” not fewer, clearer, deeper true standards
For example, a literature “standard” for grades 9/10 asks students to: “determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.”
This poorly constructed sentence jumbles at least three different activities: determining a theme, analyzing its development, and objectively summarizing a complete text. Moreover, it is not a true standard because it can be applied to Moby-Dick or to The Three Little Pigs It does not address literary knowledge, literary history, or a specific reading level.
Compare to an example of a true ELA standard, in California’s pre-2010 standards for 11/12:
3.7 Analyze recognized works of world literature from a variety of authors:
a. Contrast the major literary forms, techniques, and characteristics of the major literary
periods (e.g., Homeric Greece, medieval, romantic, neoclassic, modern).
b. Relate literary works and authors to the major themes and issues of their eras.
Or an example of a true ELA standard, in Massaschusetts’ pre-2010 standards for grades 9/10:
16.11: Analyze the characters, structure, and themes of classical Greek drama and epic poetry.
IV. Inappropriate literacy standards for study of history.
History study requires the use of such skills as contextualization, sourcing, and corroboration. These skills differ from those used in literary analysis and are not in Common Core.
Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky. How Common Core’s ELA Standards Place College Readiness at Risk. Pioneer Institute White Paper # 89. http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/how-common-cores-ela-standards-place-college-readiness-at-risk/
Anthony Esolen, Jamie Highfill, and Sandra Stotsky. “The Dying of the Light:” How Common Core Damages Poetry Instruction. Pioneer Institute White Paper #113. http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/the-dying-of-the-light-how-common-core-damages-poetry-instruction/
Ralph Ketcham, Anders Lewis, and Sandra Stotsky. Imperiling the Republic: The Fate of U.S. History Instruction under Common Core. Pioneer Institute White Paper #121. http://pioneerinstitute.org/featured/study-common-core-ela-standards-will-further-harm-u-s-history-instruction/