kitchen table math, the sequel: An Interesting Common Core Exchange

Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Interesting Common Core Exchange

Common Core and Curriculum Controversies

Something really struck me as strange during Fordham's panel discussion last week. At 54min 50sec in the video, there's a very basic, yet revealing, question posed by this young lady.

 Question: Garrett Fryer American Youth Policy Forum Was there ever a discussion, when you all were designing it, to implement it on a kindergarten level and letting it grow with the students as they aged on through each grade, as oppossed to implementing it with the entire school system nation wide? 

Answer: Jason Zimba This is something that states have each approached differently. Some states have done something more like that, some states have done something less like that. I seem to remember at one point I saw a MA plan where the grade level wasn’t the key parameter, but they had a Venn diagram, you know, what we do now the Common Core doesn’t do, what the Common Core does that we don’t, and then what sort of overlap, where we want to do it better. And they decided to take those three... in year one, we’re gonna focus on the overlap and do it better. In year two, we’ll drop things… and then in year three, we’ll add… I got the details of that wrong, but… my only point is that different states all approached it differently, and we may find out that some states were much wiser than others in this way. Singapore has a long standing, high functioning system in which they not only revise their syllabus ever so often, but they do it actually on the basis of how kids do, so think about that, a performance-based loop, a feedback loop. Which is something we are taking halting steps toward, but can only imagine. And so roughly every six years or so, they’ll put out tweaks to the thing. This year I noticed that they’ve rolled out a new thing in kindergarten. 

Lisa wonders... How in the world can one "image" OR take "halting steps toward" creating a "high functioning system" based on a "performance-based feedback loop" when we are STARTING with a top-down DESIGN by the name of Common Core?


Catherine Johnson said...

Lisa - I changed the formatting on your post to make it easier to read (hope you don't mind).

Great post ----

Crimson Wife said...

MA has some of the better schools in the country- why on earth would they want to dumb them down just because they go beyond CC? CC should be a floor rather than a ceiling. If I were in charge of implementing CC in the MA schools, the only thing I would do would be to add the stuff that is in CC but not already in the MA state standards. I would not drop anything.

concerned said...

Oh no, I don't mind at all! Thank you, Catherine!!

I agree with Crimson Wife too! "CC should be a floor rather than a ceiling." And amazingly CC supporters make exactly that claim!

It's apparent in the memorandum of agreement (with the 85% issue) that was not the intention, as it really couldn't have been with the assessments coming down on us now.

Most suspected, from the get-go, that CC tests would replace state and/or local testing, and that they would only test the common 85%. As a result, the "floor" has been raised to the ceiling.

Our MO state statutes clearly state that local school boards MAY use state developed standards as a guide...not as the end all, be all. There are probably similar statutes (that are being ignored) in many states.

Portlander said...

Definitely seeing it as a ceiling locally. I suspect it will be as much everywhere.

Think about it from an administration's POV (ie. principals, superintendents, & school board, and even teachers since they are at the bottom of, and answer to, that chain of command), they are paid based on the percent of students passing the test. Definitely among public schools, there's no benefit for running up the score on your high performers. In fact, you'll quite likely be dinged for exacerbating "the gap." Well, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Just a slight correction on the name of the young lady, she spells her name "Garet Fryar" (I saw it on AYPF's staff page).