From: Linda Szugyi
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 . . .
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?