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40 percent Ohio school grads not college-ready | The Tribune

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

"But nationally, an estimated $3 billion is spent a year by students and states on remedial education “with little success to show for it,” according to the nonprofit Complete College America organization."


Three billion dollars spent on remediation. Read it, and weep.

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It's Not About the Standards
Common Core. College & Career/Work Place Readiness.
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Obama Wants To Limit Class Time Devoted To Standardized Tests

Obama Wants To Limit Class Time Devoted To Standardized Tests | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

Targeting one of education's most divisive issues, President Barack Obama on Saturday called for capping standardized testing at 2 percent of classroom time and said the government shares responsibility for turning tests into the into the be-all and end-all of American schools

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is classic. "To drive the point home, Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan an Oval Office meeting Monday with teachers and school officials working to reduce testing time." Arne Duncan. The guy who has made a career of pushing the value of standardized tests? The guy who helped increase the pressure on administrators and teachers to make sure test scores are high because high test scores are somehow an indicator of quality teaching? And they now have the temerity to call for the reduction of test prep time? Seriously? When that prep time time vacuum is only a symptom of other problems? I have no words.

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Name not all that must change in Common Core - Albany Times Union (blog)

Name not all that must change in Common Core Albany Times Union (blog) I agree renaming the Common Core learning standards in New York will do little to gain greater parental and educator acceptance, as branding expert John Greening asserts.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love these kinds of editorials. I do. Really. I'm not being mean or facetious. There are two wonderful points made: quality teaching has been distilled to how well students perform on standardized tests and learning has been distilled to how well students perform on standardized tests. Even though we know such tests do not measure all that students know or can do and are unreliable indicators of student learning. Common Core has been tied to the Common Core assessments, and that was one of the many mistakes in implementing Common Core. The standards are the standards: not the teaching methods and strategies, not the learning activities and explorations. They're just standards. The standardized assessments have completely skewed what many think about the standards. And the test results, such as they are, come back way too late to be meaningful or useful to anyone.


So sure we can change the name of Common Core, but, more importantly, we have to improve how learning standards are and can be used, we have to stop measuring teacher quality and student learning based on standardized tests. And if we insist on using standardized tests, we have to design better tests which could be much shorter.

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“At First We Felt Angry”: Four Teachers Explain How Common Core Changed Their Jobs - Slate Magazine (blog)

“At First We Felt Angry”: Four Teachers Explain How Common Core Changed Their Jobs - Slate Magazine (blog) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
One teacher says she’s reading harder books with her students. A second is asking them to provide more evidence to support their answers. A third is now pushing students to find the solutions to math problems on their own.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

One of the great things about the Common Core Standards is how teachers can be encouraged to reimagine their teaching and see their students' capabilities differently. The tests? Those are a different story.

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Guest commentary: Making the promise of Common Core standards work for all ... - Contra Costa Times

Guest commentary: Making the promise of Common Core standards work for all ... - Contra Costa Times | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
The exciting promise of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is that they offer the chance for all California students to get the same world-class education wherever they live.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Yes, training and implementation have been poor; often counterproductive. But where implementation has been done well and where teachers get the support they need, teachers have often found they once again have the ability to be creative in the ways they approach teaching. Will the standardized tests tell us anything about the "success" of Common Core? No, and it's silly to think they will.

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How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge

How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
High-stakes testing isn’t the only problem, and it’s time for schools to change their approach.

Via Darren Burris
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Recently I had a conversation with someone who was still frustrated about the failure of a change in her school nearly 20 years ago. Then I reminded her how slowly change can come to schools, especially when educators don't feel equipped to implement the change well or when they doubt its validity. Yep, it's past time for changes.

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Stanford Study: Common Core Is Bad For The Brain

Stanford Study: Common Core Is Bad For The Brain | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

Here is scientific proof from Stanford University that the Common Core way of teaching and learning is totally unnatural and definitely bad for brain development.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Oh my. This is choice. First, the blog is titled "Just The Facts, Ma'am" but there is nothing quoted from the referenced Stanford study. So I went to find the actual working paper which is titled "Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts." Unfortunately the author of the blog post doesn't seem interested in opinions that do not align with his own. So be it.


The emphasis on the paper is on the role of fluency and how it contributes to students learning and understanding math facts. But that is obvious from the title. The authors' contention is that we misunderstand what it means to be fluent, and those misinterpretations are part and parcel of US textbook publishers as well as in the math standards. So the origin, for those of you interested in facts, is not with Common Core. In fact, there is nothing in the paper nor the article that suggests that Common Core--or learning math facts--is bad for the brain. The point of the paper is that the compounding emphasis on speed and memorization increases math anxiety which contributes to struggles with fluency and learning. So the authors are stating there are better strategies to help students learn and retain their math facts and, thereby, decrease math anxiety and increase math fluency. With or without Common Core.

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When Parents Are the Ones Getting Schooled by the Common Core

“It feels like a dark time,” wrote the comedian Louis C.K. in a tweet last April. “I’m pissed,” he wrote in another, a few minutes later. C.K. was, indeed, very, very angry. And this time, it wasn’t his own “yucky” existence that was making him fume. Rather, it was a different kind of “massive stressball” irking him: the Common Core State Standards.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

So, nowhere in the Standards are teachers told to use skip counting, which predates Common Core. In fact, one of the Standards reads "Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction." There is NO mention of any specific strategy students or teachers are to use to solve problems. So kids can draw an array or use manipulatives or count on their fingers. Any process students are being required to use is because their teachers are requiring them to use that process, which suggests it's a strategy the teacher learned or was told to use and is now expecting students to use.


Here's the big demand of Common Core. "Kids, subtract 29 from 248. Tell me why you chose to work the problem that way and how you know you got the right answer." All of that other claptrap in the article about how Common Core is requiring kids to solve problems is just that: claptrap . . . combined with a poor implementation of Common Core and, potentially, a lack of teaching strategies and/or math knowledge by the teacher.

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The False Promise of Core Knowledge - Huffington Post

The False Promise of Core Knowledge - Huffington Post | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
The Common Core famously emphasizes evidence-based reading and writing. For Common Core assignments and exams, students only get full credit if they answer questions using evidence from the passage under consideration.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I was vaguely familiar with Core Knowledge prior to reading this article. I agree with @NTampio of the danger of a sequenced curriculum that suggests core knowledge is an ideal. We've had plenty of experience with such kinds of approaches to K-12 education and they've rarely succeeded, and they're counter to the personalized learning movement that seems to make so much sense to many. On the other hand, most of education is about core knowledge in terms of skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. And perhaps for some schools having a sequenced curriculum makes sense. I like the option, but I worry about the dependency when teachers think the curriculum (or the teacher's ed) is a substitute for good instructional planning and practice.

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Are Test Scores Proving Fears About Common-Core High School Math Correct?

Are Test Scores Proving Fears About Common-Core High School Math Correct? | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
In three states that released preliminary common-core test scores in July, high school students failed to meet predictions for math proficiency. Did experts warn us this was coming?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

The debate about the difficulty of the Common Core HIGH SCHOOL math standards continues, and will continue. I hope this will be healthy debate rather than finger-pointing and nay-saying. I think we have an opportunity to think realistically about what really needs to be a part of math instruction for high school. Heck, there are math experts who believe anything beyond Algebra I is a waste for most students, so let's have a constructive conversation about what really makes sense for high school math.

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What Education Technology Could Look Like Over the Next Five Years

What Education Technology Could Look Like Over the Next Five Years | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
In a fast-moving field like education technology, it’s worth taking a moment to take stock of new developments, persistent trends and the challenges to effective tech implementation in real classrooms.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is exciting. There are so many wonderful providers of edtech resources and I'm privileged to work with/for some of them. What we must, must, MUST do is be sure teachers have the support and the training they need to be successful, and not to bombard them with options. We can do this--and overcome those challenges--and I believe we can do this amazingly well.

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Don't Shrink Fiction In America's Common Core Reading Lists - Daily Caller

Don't Shrink Fiction In America's Common Core Reading Lists - Daily Caller | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
As a novelist I never realized how much skin in the game I had in terms of the Common Core curriculum. Only recently did I discover that fiction, according to common core, is being shrunk in favor of
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And still misrepresenting the role of fiction in Common Core. Sheesh! I read the article to which folks are referring. The poor implementations of Common Core really frustrate me as do the misunderstandings of teachers and administrators have not yet, apparently, actually read the Common Core Standards.

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Why Do High School Teachers Lecture So Much?

Why Do High School Teachers Lecture So Much? | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

Why do high school teachers lecture so much?
Almost every high school I go to I see teachers talking and kids listening (or not) more in History than any other course.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And not just in history, folks.

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Common Core's Effect on Teaching Classic Literature

Common Core's Effect on Teaching Classic Literature | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Common Core Standards have forced educators into a “teach to test,” kind of role and one report shows that Common Core might also be responsible for a shift in the way students learn classic literature.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

No. No. No. Teachers have been "teaching to the test" long before Common Core so don't blame that on Common Core. Is there a Common Core expectation that high school students will read more non-fiction? Yes. THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL DAY. So if English teachers want to teach classic literature, they can because high school students should be reading non-fiction informational texts in other classes. If an administrator is telling an English teacher to teach less fiction, that's a misunderstanding of the Standards. As for student interest in reading, well, that's another challenge and not related to Common Core. That's cultural and nearly every teacher in every content area in every grade struggles to get kids to read.

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People are up in arms over these Common Core math problems - Tech Insider (blog)

People are up in arms over these Common Core math problems - Tech Insider (blog) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Five times three is not the same as three times five, according to a teacher.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Sigh. These are not COMMON CORE math problems. These are problems created by a teacher who is trying to implement Common Core but clearly doesn't understand how to do that well.


Anyway, this prompted a blog post of my own: http://www.irreverent-learning.com/2015/10/content-knowledge-collides-with-common.html

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The promise of Common Core / ViewPure

Frey sees her students take on more challenging work as a result of the Common Core. And she thinks that all of the lively debate around the standards is helping to develop the teacher as an intellectual.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

http://viewpure.com/xZOBr-eUjBo


Common Core has offered us "the opportunity to talk again." How amazing it could be if we could actually discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Common Core rather than publishing perspectives of unwarranted hysteria, doom, and decline.

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Why is High School Achievement Flat? by Michael J. Petrilli

Why is High School Achievement Flat? by Michael J. Petrilli | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
The latest SAT scores came out on Thursday, and as I remarked to Nick Anderson at the Washington Post, education reform appears to be hitting a wall in high school.
In truth, we already knew this.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It's not about the standards, though the standards offer guidelines for what students should know and be able to do by the end of a grade. Even so, what good education is about is good teaching with opportunities for students to learn. Good education is about making the kinds of reforms truly needed for the most at-risk, being transparently and apparently aware that their learning environments--at school and at home--are often complicated and difficult. Let's get real about appropriately improving high school educations while being very clear that what works to improve elementary schools and middle schools will not work in high schools.

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Schools face incomplete data after Common Core test troubles - U.S. News & World Report

Schools face incomplete data after Common Core test troubles - U.S. News & World Report | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Last school year, Common Core-aligned standardized tests marched forward, going from paper-and-pencil to the computer to allow for questions to adapt in difficulty based on a student's answer.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It would be wonderful if critics actually read the Common Core Standards and understood the standards rather than simply mouthing and quite often twisting whatever misinformation they've heard. Having said that, this is a nice summary. The best part is the last line: why even test? Yes, why even test when we know standardized tests tell us little of value and we know teachers, students, and parents get test results too late to matter for much of anything.

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National poll shows majority oppose Common Core standards - EdSource

National poll shows majority oppose Common Core standards - EdSource | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Most also believe there is too much emphasis on standardized testing.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Yes, but the PDK/Gallup poll also indicates that most people don't seem to know what Common Core really is or if their states and schools have adopted Common Core. This could be a fascinating sociological study of the outrage of the misinformed and uninformed.

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Advice For Teachers? 10 Things To Not Lose Sight Of This Year

Advice For Teachers? 10 Things To Not Lose Sight Of This Year | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

Advice For Teachers? 10 Things To Not Lose Sight Of This Year

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Print this out. Put it where you will see often. Share it with your colleagues. Make a review of it a part of your standing agenda for your grade-level, staff, faculty, and/or PLC meetings. To paraphrase, you can be your students' best chance to be and become something they might not be able to imagine is possible.

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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 10, 2015 6:30 PM

Print this out. Put it where you will see often. Share it with your colleagues. Make a review of it a part of your standing agenda for your grade-level, staff, faculty, and/or PLC meetings. To paraphrase, you can be your students' best chance to be and become something they might not be able to imagine is possible.

Mark E. Deschaine, PhD's curator insight, August 10, 2015 6:45 PM

Print this out. Put it where you will see often. Share it with your colleagues. Make a review of it a part of your standing agenda for your grade-level, staff, faculty, and/or PLC meetings. To paraphrase, you can be your students' best chance to be and become something they might not be able to imagine is possible.

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4 Lessons Learned From Common Core Implementation

4 Lessons Learned From Common Core Implementation | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Some effective ways for CCSS implementation include ongoing and embedded PD, clear connection to instruction, focusing on assessment rather than testing, and leveraging teacher leaders.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Well said, Mr. Miller. So much of the drama we've seen about Common Core has been because the implementation has been poor: bad or ineffective communication, unclear expectations and objectives, lack of a clear vision, and no plan or an insufficient one. Schools and districts that tried to flip the switch on Common Core without sufficient planning, preparation, and professional development for teachers, parents, and administrators were doomed to do badly if not flat out fail. But that's true for any new initiative.

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Principal: How I know something is wrong with Common Core standards and tests - Washington Post (blog)

Principal: How I know something is wrong with Common Core standards and tests - Washington Post (blog) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Eleventh in a series of letters between two principals, one who likes the Common Core and the other who doesn't.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is an interesting conversation but the opting out of education because of a test-based system is ludicrous. We've been test-based for over a decade. Hello!!!! Even so, I appreciate the quality and tone of the conversation. I hope it represents the on-going conversations that there is no single solution to what ails education, that we cannot legislate reform, that what makes an excellent--even good--teacher cannot be determined by students' test scores, that what makes a quality education for what student may not be the same for any other student.

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Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core)

Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
' I admit that this proposal, that we leave Shakespeare out of the English curriculum entirely, will offend many.'
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

First, Shakespeare is not REQUIRED in the Common Core. Yes, Shakespeare is recommended and, in my opinion, with good reason. But note there is specific work of Shakespeare's required so if you want to stop teaching Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet and choose a work you think will resonate better with your students, do it. (BTW, though not Mr. diCaprio's best work, Romeo + Juliet is an excellent film version of the play to show that offers an updated and more diverse view of what is essentially a feud, perhaps even the beginnings of a gang war.) Second, what even armchair Shakespeare scholars know is that he was an astute observer of human behavior which hasn't lost much in translation AND he is responsible for some of the marvelous additions to the English language (http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html).

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Years into Common Core, teachers lament lack of materials

Years into Common Core, teachers lament lack of materials | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

The learning standards were new. The textbooks were not.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Americans are so spoiled, and sometimes we're not very good at sussing out solutions to problems. First, Common Core is not a curriculum. Second, while the Standards may make recommendations about what to teach, there is rarely anything explicitly stated. In fact, teachers have great latitude in choosing how to ensure students are able to know and do what's in the Standards. Third, between the Internet (printable and digital content), video, and a whole range of digital content providers, teachers don't need no stinkin' textbooks, which is one of the reasons publishers are working harder to get digital. Finally, there is really no need to align curriculum to the standards. Just as Hallmark got us believing in certain holidays, publishers have taught us to think curriculum content must align to standards. It doesn't. You can be free (depending on your district and/or school administration) to choose your curriculum content and determine which standards are achievable and to what degree for that particular content and that particular lesson. You can be free to teach.

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Common Core: Goodbye, Homer; Hello, UN Declaration of Rights - The New American

The Common Core English standards have replaced classic literature with government reports and UN declarations. By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Nope. Not right, and I can't believe after all these months this tripe is still part of the conversation. Is there less fiction required? No. Is there more emphasis on non-fiction? Yes. Is that a reminder that science, social studies and other social studies, math, CTE, and other content areas focus on non-fiction? Should be. Does the non-fiction focus mean that English teachers should stop teaching fiction or teach less fiction? NO!!! The Standards call for up to 50% of a student's reading to be non-fiction THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL DAY. Not 50% in a single class.

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What One Administrator Learned from Two Days of Sitting in The Student Seat

What One Administrator Learned from Two Days of Sitting in The Student Seat | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Editor's Note: With the vast array of schools and districts out there, it's impossible for educators to travel from place to place, gathering edtech best practices and tidbits along the way.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It's obvious that every administrator's experience would be different and potentially dependent on the grade level. The school whose teachers work collaboratively--in the truest sense of collaboration--will be much different from the school in which teachers work in the classroom or grade level silos. Regardless, seeing the school from a student's POV is bound to be informative. Administrators just need to be prepared for what they learn.

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