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  • Teachers Lose Under National Standards Proposal

    There are numerous misconceptions about the impact that national education standards and tests would have on education. But a new misconception has surfaced: that centralized standards-setting will free teachers to teach.

    National standards proponents claim that standardizing what every public school child in America will learn will somehow liberate education. Take Melinda Gates’s recent remarks during the Foundation for Excellence in Education summit in October:

    Let’s say I’m a beginning teacher in a rural area of a small state, about to teach equivalent fractions to 3rd graders for the first time. But there are so many options. I could draw diagrams on the board. I could show that four quarters are equivalent to one dollar. But how do I know what works best?

    It used to be that having all of these options was a benefit for teachers; teacher training programs and education schools have long stressed the concept of differentiated instruction. After all, children learn differently. But Gates seems to believe that teachers couldn’t possibly make that decision without the official help. She continued:

    If my state has implemented the common core, I should be able to consult an on-line library where I could watch videos from “Teachers of the Year” in every single state to see how they make this concept clear and hold the kids’ attention.… [National standards] will give teachers and schools more freedom, not less.

    What would liberate education is a thriving marketplace of ideas, not nationalization. As Jay Greene notes, “a nationalized education system in the US could be done but it would run roughshod over the needs and legitimate interests of many individuals.”

    National standards are unlikely to make U.S. students more competitive, will fail to provide meaningful information to parents, and will put more emphasis on uniformity rather than standards of excellence. And children won’t be the only ones to lose out: With Washington dictating what will be taught in every classroom across the country, teachers will be anything but free to teach how they see fit.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Teachers Lose Under National Standards Proposal

    1. onlyjustwords says:

      Unless your goal is to dumb down kids and manufacture delinquency, you're not going to get anywhere with Melinda Gates in charge…

    2. bteacher99 says:

      I disagree.
      I teach 7th grade pre-algebra (for students who will take Algebra 1 in grade 8). Here is one standard that I must meet to teach my math class: 8.EE.7.a. Give examples of linear equations in one variable with one solution, infinitely many solutions, or no solutions. Show which of these possibilities is the case by successively transforming the given equation into simpler forms, until an equivalent equation of the form x = a, a = a, or a = b results (where a and b are different numbers).

      How does that standard limit what I teach? I must teach these concepts, but I can use a variety of technologies, start with infinite-solution equations first if I desire, or even (as is planned) teach this standard in pieces over several lessons. No one is telling me to use this book, page number, problem set, or assessment tool. I get to make those decisions.

      My school also has 7th graders who must meet the 7th grade standards as 7th graders, the 8th grade standards as 8th graders, and the Algebra 1 standards as 9th (or 10th) graders. Those decisions continue to be made locally, not nationally.

      In CommonCore states, all students in a particular grade/course will be taught AT LEAST a particular set of skills. If teachers teach well, and students work diligently, more kids will be successful than ever before.

      Common Core is an attempt by citizens (not the government/DeptOfEd) to coordinate what is taught at each level. If a kid has language issues or a learning deficit that needs to be resolved, the time needed to succeed at each level will increase. Kids need to know how to think, and problem-solve, and communicate clearly, regardless of their geographical location within the US.

      What we have now isn't working. I'd like to see if CCS will work.

    3. Bobbie says:

      and if teachers think that taking mandated instructions from the federal government is commendable, they are sadly mistaken or working with government in changing the mindset of all if not many! A teacher stated "but how do I know what works best? clearly expresses the lack of qualities that show insincerity to their position costing more money than worth and at the cost of minds that deserve sincere education. People sincere in teaching do not need influence by government authority.

      A teacher stating "but how do I know what works best?" how about not being a teacher would work best if you're unwilling or unable to think for yourself? These people are teaching??? what low standards we're forced to pay high wages for?! what an ugly, misleading America!

      • You are not a teacher. We need constant information…everyday… on new research in education. Common Core is NOT a government program…it is an educational standard to elevate the confusing, misinformed, antiquated standards of 50 differently standardized states. Of course your punctuation and confused grammar are so telling:(

        • Bobbie says:

          talk about misinformed and confused, ignorant one. If you need constant information…everyday? on new research in education? mandated by government you're not genuine to your profession or to the children you claim to educate! while you're being bombarded with constant information how much time in the day are kids acutally learning? ANY? nothing but needless make work

          I 'm a teacher that doesn't cost you a DIME! Education is teaching fundamentals that opens the mind's ability to think on it's own. Not teach kids in elementary school more than one way to count, add, subtract. it's a true waste of time when the mind picks up various ways if and when interested without your government mandated direction!

          who determines the Common Core? if it isn't, me it's corrupt! And if it costs the tax payers a PENNY then it's government coerced! where does competition the government claims come in when there is a national "common core?" "common core" is just a sweet way to covert the truth. Depleting individualism. You better get your facts straight before parents of America hold you accountable to your ignorance regardless of you hiding behind government! weak…

          I apologize for any grammar taken by you as confused. I wasn't educated by your conceit of perfection! I thank my parents for that!!!! your attitude is so telling for your love of government control over your own…

        • Bobbie says:

          oh and how did confusion and misinformation of other government run public schools standards become the center of attention all of a sudden under this administration to frantically implement a "common core?" sounds like creating a crisis with costly, needless, demeaning make work! more of what the government does behind the backs of those left to trust but wiser not to. get the government out! You and they are not a bit trustworthy with an agenda of your own using the vulnerabilities of CHILDREN!!!!! so telling of a government employee to disrespect the people served.

    4. FYI to Lindsay Burke. Common Core is not a federal program. It is based on states rights and individual states are joining the Common Core one after the other with no federal coercion. Get your facts straight. Look it up on the internet maybe.

    5. susan says:

      So I guess by putting this back at the state level there will be no need for me to pay taxes for education at the federal level? That sounds real good. How do parents know what should be taught at any given level if they do not have the education most school officials work towards prior to entering the educational field? Sounds to me like a repeat of BOE clashes we have seen in conservative politics which do nothing for the education of the students. When you allow people who are not educated to decide curriculum you raise children who think Slavery and the Holocaust never happened or remove Thomas Jefferson from history. YOU cannot change history to suit your ideas and it is naive for people to think you can just change it. Someday somewhere that child will read something on real historical facts and you will lose all credibility

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