This is Not a Referendum on the Standards; but It Really Should Be.

NYSED and Commissioner Elia still refuse to listen to the valid concerns of teachers and parents in New York State for the Common Core State Standards.

“This is not a referendum on the standards. Only comments tied to a specific standard will be considered. The objectives of this review are to:

  1. increase awareness and understanding of New York’s current standards in ELA and math that were adopted in 2011; and
  2. gather actionable feedback from all New Yorkers as part of the department’s regular review process of the academic standards with an eye toward continuous improvement.”

Okay, so we can only comment on each individual standard.  But, the problem is not always with a particular standard, but where a standard fits with in the context of other standards or grade level.  A major problem with Common Core is the standards are wonky, above grade level or just all over the place.

For example:

I have been reading though the AimHighNY math standards starting with

The Real Number System

I found this one in an Algebra instruction sheet pre CC.

Explain how the definition of the meaning of rational exponents follows from extending the properties of integer exponents to those values, allowing for a notation for radicals in terms of rational exponents.

I found this one in EngageNY Algebra II (specifically) 

Rewrite expressions involving radicals and rational exponents using the properties of exponents.

I found this one in an Algebra guide pre CC under; pre-Algebra review.
Use properties of rational and irrational numbers.

Explain why the sum or product of two rational numbers is rational; that the sum of a rational number and an irrational number is irrational; and that the product of a nonzero rational number and an irrational number is irrational.

When teachers talk about the fact that the standards are in “disorder” and it is unclear which standards will be taught on which test, this is exactly what they are talking about.

How are teachers supposed to teach to an Algebra 1 test for students to pass in order to graduate when it is not clear how the standards are supposed to fit within the grade level context?  NYSED took the Common Core State Standards as is, with no thought as to how they fit into the NYS Regents exam system.  How did this happen?  Because there were no seasoned educators, no veteran high school math teachers included in the process.  Instead, $12.9 million was pumped into EngageNY modules that do not line up with how NYS’s education model works.

Another example this week, it has been reported that the CCSS 4th grade math  standards do not line with the NAEP exam, resulting in a decline in test scores.  How does this happen?  By education reformers assuming they know better then the teachers in the classroom.

So, how are Common Core standards higher, better, if they were not carefully thought through and vetted?

Or, are these just inherent flaws in the entire standards driven education model?

Now, let us talk

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