Logical Thinking about Common Core

by Linda Szugyi | April 14th, 2014

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Logical Thinking about Common Core

LindaTo: The Folks at the Ford­ham Institute

From: Linda Szu­gyi

Re: Your Com­mon Core Movie Fact Sheet

Fordham Fact Sheet

Fordham’s Fact Sheet lists thir­teen ‘facts’ to counter thir­teen ‘false asser­tions’ in the HSLDA movie about Com­mon Core, Build­ing the Machine. Here are the first two. I will con­tinue with the rest in later posts. My com­ments are italicized.

1. ASSER­TION: THE COM­MON CORE WILL NOT BEN­E­FIT CHIL­DREN. FACT: NO LONGER WILL A ZIP­CODE BE THE LEAD­ING INDI­CA­TOR OF WHAT ACA­D­E­MIC GOALS A CHILD IS EXPECTED TO REACH.

Since the goal of advanc­ing edu­ca­tional excel­lence is embed­ded on Fordham’s logo, the author of this fact sheet prob­a­bly knows that nei­ther the asser­tion nor your refu­ta­tion are state­ments of fact. They are both opin­ion. I may not be on the staff of an edu­ca­tion pol­icy think tank, but I’ve seen the “fact v. opin­ion” les­son over and over. My older son’s cur­ric­ula empha­sized it every year, begin­ning in 1st grade. The skill of dis­tin­guish­ing between fact and opin­ion is a favored edu­ca­tional sub­ject these days, and it is fully incor­po­rated in the Com­mon Core Stan­dards.

Per­haps next time, Fordham’s fact checker will fol­low the exam­ple of Mr. Far­ris, a man who knows the dif­fer­ence between con­flict­ing evi­dence and dif­fer­ing opin­ions: “I think that on bal­ance [David Cole­man’s] pro­pos­als are not for the good of the pub­lic schools … he wants to try to improve the pub­lic school sys­tem. He gen­uinely believes that sys­tem­iza­tion, cen­tral­iza­tion, and data col­lec­tion are good things for kids.” (Build­ing the Machine, 32:0032:40)

2. “ASSER­TION: THE STAN­DARDS ARE TOO LOW OR, ALTER­NA­TIVELY, TOO HIGH. FACT: THE STAN­DARDS PRO­VIDE ACA­D­E­MIC BENCH­MARKS BY GRADE. IF THE BENCH­MARKS ARE ACHIEVED, A STU­DENT WILL BE READY FOR COL­LEGE OR CAREER. THE BENCH­MARKS ARE A FLOOR, NOT A CEILING.”

It’s a floor, not a ceil­ing, so of course a stu­dent can learn more than the stan­dards require. Except, wait a minute. Com­mon Core is adver­tised as rig­or­ous, “informed by the high­est stan­dards,” and “informed by the top per­form­ing countries.”

So which is it? Are they the min­i­mum required, or are they “new demands” and “high expec­ta­tions?” Logic dic­tates that they can­not be both a floor and a ceil­ing at the same time. By the way, the skill of exer­cis­ing logic is also fully incor­po­rated in the Com­mon Core Stan­dards.

The folks at Ford­ham want us to believe that the Com­mon Core stan­dards are like Mamma Bear’s por­ridge: “just right!” Um, guys. You are try­ing to impose a sin­gle set of stan­dards on every pub­lic school kid in Amer­ica. There are a lot of pub­lic school kids in Amer­ica. They have very diverse life expe­ri­ences and goals. How in the world are those stan­dards going to be “just right” for every sin­gle one of them?

Bonus: here is one of the authors of Com­mon Core, explain­ing how the stan­dards are too low for stu­dents who plan to either enter a STEM field of study or apply for a pres­ti­gious, com­pet­i­tive university:

The Ford­ham Fact Sheet car­ries on at length about stu­dents per­form­ing poorly in math, but how exactly does the exis­tence of this prob­lem prove Com­mon Core is the solu­tion? It does not fol­low. Here’s some reme­dial work for Com­mon Core pro­po­nents: a CC-​aligned les­son on log­i­cal fal­lac­ies.

Here’s the third assertion/​fact to chew on:

3. ASSER­TION: “THE COM­MON CORE DIS­IN­CEN­TIVIZES PAR­ENT INVOLVE­MENT. IT STOPS PAR­ENTS FROM A DEEP AND ABID­ING INTER­EST IN THEIR CHILD’S EDU­CA­TION.” FACT: WITH STAN­DARDS, PAR­ENTS CAN CLEARLY ASSESS IF THEIR CHILD IS BEING CHAL­LENGED TO GAIN THE SKILLS AND KNOWL­EDGE NEEDED TO SUC­CEED IN COL­LEGE OR CAREER.

I’ll pick up with this one next week. Hint: I think I see some false premises in there …

***************************************************************

[olimome­ter id=5]

The time has come to ditch the weekly goal to focus on the monthly fig­ure, that’s where the real action is at.

In order for this to be a viable full-​time busi­ness this blog has to take in enough to make the mortgage/​tax pay­ment for the house (Cur­rently $1210 monthly) and cover the costs of the writ­ers writ­ing here (another $255)

As of this writ­ing 7 AM EST we need $1278 to meet this goal by April 30th.

That comes out 51 peo­ple kick­ing in $25 over the rest of the month or basi­cally three peo­ple a day.

I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please con­sider hit­ting DaTip­Jar below .

Nat­u­rally once our monthly goal is made these solic­i­ta­tions will dis­ap­pear till the next month but once we get 61 more sub­scribers at $20 a month the goal will be cov­ered for a full year and this pitch will dis­ap­pear until 2015.

Con­sider the lineup you get for this price, in addi­tion to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pun­dit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreve­port) on Sun­day Linda Szu­gyi (No one of any import) on Mon­day Tim Imholt on Tues­day, AP Dil­lon (Lady Liberty1885) Thurs­days, Pas­tor George Kelly fri­days, Steve Eggle­ston on Sat­ur­days with Baldilocks (Tue & Sat) and Fausta (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

LindaTo: The Folks at the Fordham Institute

From: Linda Szugyi

Re: Your Common Core Movie Fact Sheet

Fordham Fact Sheet

Fordham’s Fact Sheet lists thirteen ‘facts’ to counter thirteen ‘false assertions’ in the HSLDA movie about Common Core, Building the Machine.  Here are the first two.  I will continue with the rest in later posts.  My comments are italicized.

1. ASSERTION: THE COMMON CORE WILL NOT BENEFIT CHILDREN.  FACT: NO LONGER WILL A ZIPCODE BE THE LEADING INDICATOR OF WHAT ACADEMIC GOALS A CHILD IS EXPECTED TO REACH.

Since the goal of advancing educational excellence is embedded on Fordham’s logo, the author of this fact sheet probably knows that neither the assertion nor your refutation are statements of fact.  They are both opinion.  I may not be on the staff of an education policy think tank, but I’ve seen the “fact v. opinion” lesson over and over.  My older son’s curricula emphasized it every year, beginning in 1st grade.  The skill of distinguishing between fact and opinion is a favored educational subject these days, and it is fully incorporated in the Common Core Standards.

Perhaps next time, Fordham’s fact checker will follow the example of Mr. Farris, a man who knows the difference between conflicting evidence and differing opinions:  “I think that on balance [David Coleman‘s] proposals are not for the good of the public schools . . . he wants to try to improve the public school system.  He genuinely believes that systemization, centralization, and data collection are good things for kids.” (Building the Machine, 32:00-32:40)

2.  “ASSERTION: THE STANDARDS ARE TOO LOW OR, ALTERNATIVELY, TOO HIGH.  FACT: THE STANDARDS PROVIDE ACADEMIC BENCHMARKS BY GRADE. IF THE BENCHMARKS ARE ACHIEVED, A STUDENT WILL BE READY FOR COLLEGE OR CAREER. THE BENCHMARKS ARE A FLOOR, NOT A CEILING.”

It’s a floor, not a ceiling, so of course a student can learn more than the standards require.  Except, wait a minute.  Common Core is advertised as rigorous, “informed by the highest standards,” and “informed by the top performing countries.”

So which is it?  Are they the minimum required, or are they “new demands” and “high expectations?”  Logic dictates that they cannot be both a floor and a ceiling at the same time.  By the way, the skill of exercising logic is also fully incorporated in the Common Core Standards.

The folks at Fordham want us to believe that the Common Core standards are like Mamma Bear’s porridge: “just right!”  Um, guys.  You are trying to impose a single set of standards on every public school kid in America.  There are a lot of public school kids in America.  They have very diverse life experiences and goals.  How in the world are those standards going to be “just right” for every single one of them?

Bonus:  here is one of the authors of Common Core, explaining how the standards are too low for students who plan to either enter a STEM field of study or apply for a prestigious, competitive university:

The Fordham Fact Sheet carries on at length about students performing poorly in math, but how exactly does the existence of this problem prove Common Core is the solution?  It does not follow.  Here’s some remedial work for Common Core proponents:  a CC-aligned lesson on logical fallacies.

Here’s the third assertion/fact to chew on:

3.  ASSERTION: “THE COMMON CORE DISINCENTIVIZES PARENT INVOLVEMENT. IT STOPS PARENTS FROM A DEEP AND ABIDING INTEREST IN THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION.”  FACT: WITH STANDARDS, PARENTS CAN CLEARLY ASSESS IF THEIR CHILD IS BEING CHALLENGED TO GAIN THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE NEEDED TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE OR CAREER.

I’ll pick up with this one next week.  Hint:  I think I see some false premises in there . . .

***************************************************************

Olimometer 2.52

The time has come to ditch the weekly goal to focus on the monthly figure, that’s where the real action is at.

In order for this to be a viable full-time business this blog has to take in enough to make the mortgage/tax payment for the house (Currently $1210 monthly) and cover the costs of the writers writing here (another $255)

As of this writing 7 AM EST we need $1278 to meet this goal by April 30th.

That comes out 51 people kicking in $25 over the rest of the month or basically three people a day.

I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

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