Arguing in Circles.

25 days ago, I typed a response to a comment on an article promoting “One Parent’s View of Common Core”.  It was written by a shill from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who is a known paid supporter of national Common Core standards, not good standards, not Indiana’s pre-Common Core standards which graded better then Common Core.  So, the Thomas B. Fordham institute is to Common Core what the Marlboro Man is to cigarette smoking.

Me:  One article with references about the age inappropriateness of Common Core.… There are many more. It is a relatively simple concept to understand that children in the early years of education can be 12 months apart in age with in the same grade. This is a significant gap in development in those early years, but now children will be “failing” just because they were born on the wrong day.

Response:  NYGal–I have read many references to the age inappropriateness. However, most seem to derive directly from the omission of early childhood experts from the writing of the standards. While this is regrettable (as they have much to add), I am not certain that this sets CCSS apart from any of the many other standards/curriculum excursions on which we have previously relied. Nor do I believe that this necessarily adds up to “developmental inappropriateness.” There seems to be an assumption that every child is somehow hardwired to only be able to learn the alphabet from some magical age of readiness–different for each child, and to count when some switch turns on internally and so forth and so on. If this is truly the case–then our schools are and have been poorly organized to meet student needs for a very long time, if not forever. Further, any movement to be MORE accommodating of a variety of hard-wired developmental rates would require an enhance ability to assess students at every point–something that is actively being fought by many of the same people who claim developmental inappropriateness. When you speak of not differing patterns of development as “gaps,” I begin to suspect that you would be all right with the kinds of thinking that fall along the lines of poor children arriving at the school house door “behind” their peers, and structuring schools in which the never “fail,” but in fact continue to be “behind” their peers, by a gap that increases over the years of their education.


Actually no. I have real world experience with children who were behind in reading in the first grade, who received additional help along the way, that was appropriate to their level at the time and these students were guide by a team of special ed and regular ed teachers to improve over the years. These same students are now achieving AP English and AP US History at the high school level.

Standardized tests to common core standards had nothing to do with how these students were able to achieve. Under Common Core, all students have to be at the exact same place at the exact same time. It is a floor and a ceiling. If you are in third grade, you will read at a third grade level, regardless of whether you are ready for it or not. Why do you think areas with high levels of ESL students do not do well on ELA tests? Chronological age has nothing to do with what their English reading level would be, yet CCSS forces them into standards that they are yet not ready to handle.

I actually do trust a team of qualified and dedicated teachers to be able to assess and help a student to achieve and progress far more so then some canned test. That is actual, real world regular assessment. If you have any practical experience in special education you would know that there are tests given to students one on one to see where they are and what needs to improve.

Chronological age, especially in the early years does make a difference, but all children reach different mile stones at different times, have different strengths and weaknesses. And, what about the students who developmentally will never meet “standards”? Forcing them to read high school level texts, which is now happening, makes no sense. Further more, there has been no evidence that setting “standards” has a direct bearing on achievement across the population.

Finally, since these standards are both a floor and a ceiling, and the CCSS standards for higher level math

are either gutted or non-existent, what are the gifted math students supposed to do?

What we have now is a top-down, societal experiment on the entire education system with no remediation.


Let’s see if she answers in another 25 days.







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