kitchen table math, the sequel: Kai Musing on Common Core

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kai Musing on Common Core

Comment left by Kai Musing (I added the passage from CC):
I haven't read the Moore book, but as a teacher in a major metropolitan school district I have had to read the common core.

I also used to teach at a Core Knowledge (E.D. Hirsch) charter. I think the problem is more that educationalists and progressives see what they want in the common core.

Hirsch has actually quoted from the common core and expressed tentative support for it:

Why I'm for the Common Core

He quotes from this part specifically in the common core as well (last paragraph on the page):

English Language Arts Standards » Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading

To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success.

The problem is, in my view, that progressive continue to co-opt whatever standards there are into reinforcing useless progressive pedagogy.

One more for the road:

Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

(Unfortunately, it shows up in the 11-12th grade band. In fourth grade, where I teach, it asks students to:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

Hirsch makes the point that the people who made the standards could not dictate content knowledge to be taught, because no one would have adopted the standards.

Take that as you will.

No comments: