kitchen table math, the sequel: Theater-of-the-Absurd

Friday, May 28, 2010


From Checker's Desk [Fordam Institute]
Rushing to Judgment?

Indeed, we'd probably be better off in the long run if the federal Race to the Top program were not crowding states to make this decision within sixty days. Worse, they're expected to commit to such a decision (to qualify for RTT funding) by June 1, even though the standards themselves don't appear until June 2! This has the makings of theater-of-the-absurd. It also raises anxiety levels about this worthy state-initiated, state-led venture turning into yet another federal mandate that will get caught in the wringer of Washington politics.


At day's end, it's still states that are responsible for public education in the U.S.—and states that must determine whether and how to change it. To be sure, the "common core" carries with it significant implications for the federal government, too, most obviously in the revision of NCLB/ESEA, as well as any later iterations of Race to the Top (and, of course, the grant competition now underway for new assessments).

The Emperor’s New Clothes:
National Assessments Based on Weak “College and Career Readiness Standards”

Recommendations to a range of entities before states adopt Common Core’s standards. They include:

· State boards of education and state legislatures
· Local school boards and district superintendents
· Congress
· CCSSI/The Common Core consortium

“These proposed national standards are vague and lack the academic rigor of the standards in Massachusetts and a number of other states,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios. “The new report shows that these weak standards will result in weak assessments. After so much progress and the investment of billions of tax dollars, it amounts to snatching mediocrity from the jaws of excellence.”

Brookings Institute
Did Congress Authorize Race to the Top?


Anonymous said...

I taught high school math from 1994-2000 then left because of the "math wars."

I've been teaching community college since and been very happy.

We had a meeting this week with the local high school about their curriculum efforts with regard to RTT and the Common Core.

They were all very nice and very dedicated, but what worried me were two things that are symptomatic of what I think is the hallmark of the "reform" movement - lack of information.

1. In a one hour meeting, we never once discussed actual topics (scope and sequence) in the math curriculum.

2. The person who will be in charge of the whole effort at this high school is - a new hire, who of course wasn't there and won't even start work until this summer.

concerned said...

Scroll down to April 06, 2010
$350 Million 'Race to the Common Test' Starts Now

Even as EdWeek reporters begin wading through the 85 pages of regulations and even more hoops in application materials, intrepid Teacher Beat reporter Stephen Sawchuk already has found one noteworthy item about this competition:

If states get letters of support from their colleges and universities, saying, for example, that they'll use these tests to exempt students from remedial work, then states will get bonus points in the competition.


Yep, we saw it coming...colleges and universities may be pressured to offer a credit bearing course well below College Algeba.

cell phone said...

I am very happy to read your articles, more useful for me especially
I have the same thing with you. I am so very petrified of this in my lectures.

Minu29 said...

Thank you for your interesting contribution! Greetings from Germany.