Warning! Warning! … USA has totally lost the plot … DO NOT FOLLOW them …

images-7Below you will find 2 sections a) part of a blog entry by Diane Ravich and b) direct quotes from an advisory group advocating for Common Core Standards / with some commentary between the two.

a) Indiana: Where Testing Has Reached the Height of Absurdity

by dianeravitch

Required testing time:

SAT-3 hours 45 minutes
ACT-3 hours 30 minutes
Indiana BAR-13 hours

ISTEP- 3rd grade:18 hours
4th grade:20 hours 10 minutes
5th grade:19 hours 42 minutes
6th grade:19 hours 55 minutes

In what universe does this seem even remotely to be a good idea?

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The quote below seems reasonable till you realise that the ‘Elephant in the Room’ is conveniently missing.

In Asia all children are directly taught to read and write accurately & fluently – they are given the skills with which to achieve the goals.

In USA the inane expectation is that poorly taught student will suddenly perform better is you expect them to. It’s ridiculous in the extreme. NOTE: There are no teachers, principals or students on the committee making the calls.*

Sadly this is bringing standardised testing into disrepute, when in fact it is a very useful tool in the hands of competent educators.

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b) In 2008, National Governors’ Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc. convened an

* advisory group consisting of governors, state commissioners of education, business leaders, researchers, former federal officials, and state and local officials. Their task was to investigate what states would need to do to have standards that rival those of top-performing countries.

Their report, Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education, called on states to upgrade their standards by “adopting a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12.” William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, laid out in the report the key elements of standards in high-performing countries: focus, rigor, and coherence.

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It is then thought reasonable to judge teacher performance on the basis of student outcomes on these tests! Regardless if you teach in the Broncs or an elite college!!! BE AFRAID … spread the message.

Jean

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