From Allison, on EngageNY:
The problem is the name has changed, but the song remains the same.Given the difficulty of the Common Core tests, I wonder if we'll see so many parents up in arms that .... that school boards will finally have to wake up.
Common Core is the new "new Math", unfortunately the umbrella name for everything happening in math ed these days as the standards get put in place, including things that really have nothing to do with standards.
The Common Core State Standards were, and are, a set of standards. Standards are lists of requirements. It's true that CCSSI were more proscriptive than typical standards, but they were still just standards. Standards are not curriculum. For more on this, see my post.
The CC standards in k-8 are better than NY's previous standards. That is about the end of the good I can say in NY's implementation of the new standards.
For whatever reasons, probably largely related federal funding, states adopted CCSS. Except they did so before any textbooks had been written. And before the assessments against the standards had been written.
So NY schools and teachers were supposed to magically teach from the new standards about which they had been told nothing, or use hastily repackaged curricula that wasn't really changed, or who knows what.
But help was on the way! Engage NY was created! It would be an entire curriculum online, free to everyone, digital! No need for textbooks! Isn't that great? And famous mathematicians and math teachers who are pro Singapore math had signed up to lead the writing of the curriculum on EngageNY.
At some point last spring, I saw several job reqs from EngageNY. They needed curriculum writers. I considered taking the position. Then I looked at what was already on EngageNY.
I saw a fraction lesson that was fundamentally wrong from beginning to end. I saw other lessons with equally egregious errors. I told someone who told someone high up at EngageNY. The response was, yes, it's wrong, and the writer was informed, but the writer could not understand what was wrong with it and refused to rewrite it, saying they knew it was better for kids this way.
EngageNY is still beholden to the same NYS ed people. The math people who were supposedly leads don't control the curriculum; the bureaucrats do, and are actually telling the math people what the scope and sequence must be.
This is now all called "Common Core."
Till now, the math warriors in any community were always a minority, but now everyone's child is failing math.
That said, here in Irvington sentiment in the one and only survey ever taken on the subject, was around 80% anti-Trailblazers, and the board still voted to reject Singapore Math & keep Trailblazers.
Of course, the Interim Curriculum Director announced at the time that the survey was favorable to Trailblazers. She also announced, again, that the Parents Forum (me) had misled the public.
I always enjoyed that, sitting in the audience at school board meetings, being slandered via innuendo.
Or is that libeled?
I never remember which is which.
I learned the legal meaning of the word innuendo through direct personal experience of innuendo about me, purveyed by sitting members of the school board and by central administrators.
I'm going to go read the link Allison left to Wu's piece now.