kitchen table math, the sequel: Cluster event

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cluster event

Race to the Top was driven by a bureaucratic application process. The demands were so onerous that the Gates Foundation offered $250,000 grants to 16 favored states to help hire consultants to pen their grant applications. Racing to meet program deadlines, states slapped together proposals stuffed with empty promises. States promised to adopt “scalable and sustained strategies for turning around clusters of low-performing schools” and “clear, content-rich, sequenced, spiraled, detailed curricular frameworks.” Applications ran to hundreds of jargon-laden pages, including appendices replete with missing pages, duplicate pages, and everything from Maya Angelou’s poetry to letters of support from anyone who might sign a paper pledge. As one reviewer described it to me, “We knew the states were lying. The trick was figuring out who was lying the least.”

Lofty Promises But Little Change for America’s Schools by Frederick Hess


Robin said...

When reading Rick Hess' pieces on education it is important to remember he served on the Gordon Commission pushing a very troubling agenda of equity and new types of assessment. I have read all their reports and papers and find them very troubling.

It also appears to me that their work is reflected in what the language of both ESEA Rewrites that passed the House and Senate, respectively, actually do.

The favored states were those already committed to shifting away from content centered on the acquisition of knowledge to behavioral standards. That's also what the Common Core pushes which is why it goes also by the phrases Standards for Teaching and Learning or just learning standards. None of these are about knowledge in the traditional sense and they all reek of constructivism.

Catherine Johnson said...

My district is almost completely kaput, where knowledge is concerned.

We've got personalized learning, 21st century skills, **and** habits of the mind.

Robin said...

I testified out in California last fall on the Common Core and the pro-side was pushing the idea that we were getting rid of rote learning in favor of habits of mind.

I pointed out on rebuttal that complaining about facts known consciously and automatically and celebrating habits of mind to invisibly guide future behavior was creepy.

If you have not been following my analysis of the Every Child Achieves Act that passed the Senate last week, you should when you get time. It explains why that knowledge had to go away and what we are getting instead. Had I not struggled through all the ins and outs of Transformational Outcomes Based Education in my book, I likely could not have seen what the language actually added up to. Plus it fits with the model UNESCO and the OECD are pushing overseas.

The Gordon Commission's work does as well. That's why I think people like Hess or Diana Ravitch should disclose their participation in that venture with Linda Darling-Hammond, James Paul Gee, Lauren Resnick, and other names many of us consider to be infamous for their visions for K-12 education.