It’s over! Politico says so.
Politico has an article up claiming that the fight is lost and Common Core is here to stay. They might be right about that – for now – but what they are not right about is why it isn’t good or how radical its opponents are.
The opposition to Common Core is bipartisan as is the support. Having common and high standards were never the problem, but what is the problem is what is being done with it by ideologues and corporate interests.
In their effort to challenge children, they’ve made math absurdly complicated for young children, they are teaching age inappropriate material and material that is out of context, and they are using the tests and materials to go with it in a manner that takes education out of local control.
The article mentions New York, currently under the leadership of a tyrant, where the backlash has been intense and swift. What they did not mention is why. The governor and his plants in the New York State Department of Education want to put the clamps on the union and tenure but they took the cowards way out and are trying to do it by tying the tests to teacher evaluations in the most bizarre way.
Teachers are being evaluated according to scores achieved by students in other classes and in other subject areas.
For instance, in our local school, music teachers’ evaluations include student performance grades in language arts. The same goes for social studies teachers, science and art teachers are often rated on math scores and gym teachers are usually rated by English Language Arts scores, but it varies.
There are issues like poverty, intelligence, parental adequacy that are not included in student achievement tests, but that is supposedly addressed with a formula known as value added models. If you think that’s absurd, it is.
How would you like to be rated on the opinion of a colleague’s clients? That’s what is happening in education. It’s all part of the Common Core revolution and the allegedly higher standards we are striving for.
Even school test averages are factored into teacher evaluations at times.
When politicians get involved in education, they ruin it. When they’re not passing unfunded mandates, they’re passing illogical laws. They said they wanted to stop teachers from teaching to the test but all they care about are tests – bad tests. They will eventually test every grade, even kindergarten. Teachers are given no respect.
In some cases, if teachers have high performing students and they don’t improve, say they stay the same – high performing – the teacher gets penalized. How is that possible? It’s those Value Added Models (VAMs). If the student exceeds the “predicted score”, the teacher gets credit, but if the student does not meet the predicted score, the teacher gets the negative mark on his/her evaluation.
So, say you have a class of brilliant children and they all get 95s. Well there is no improvement because they got 95s last year and the year before and the year before that so, bad teacher – no improvement.
The fact is that in New York the teachers don’t even know all that goes into the evaluations and there are ways to get a good undeserved score. They are trying to objectify the subjective.
Good teachers are getting hurt. That wasn’t the goal.
Common Core was put together by corporatists who have a lot to gain, no matter how good their intentions might be, and teachers weren’t really involved so you ended up with topics in kindergarten fit for middle school. One of their inventions is “closed reading” where children might read The Gettysburg Address with no context as one example. You read without context. It’s actually an old idea most disliked.
The supplemental literature includes leftist dribble and the science curricula is enveloped in global warming hysteria. The left wants you to believe it won’t nationalize education as the US Department of Education threatens any and all who don’t follow their agenda.
Teachers I know are stressed and they teach to the test more than they ever did before. Teachers work around the Core and compensate as much as possible. The weaker students are suffering, despite what the left likes to say.
It’s all ying and yang. Eventually the pendulum will swing back. The war is not over.