Australia appears to have no idea of what they about to receive :(

Below is the trailer of a video American parents were hearing years ago. The full implications are now being felt in the USA. Parents are now in the streets with placards chanting, “No more reform; No more reform.” Far from raising standards, literacy and maths levels are falling, the school systems are broken, with the axing of public schools to make way for private charters with a “No excuses” punitive agenda. These same charter schools are being fed taxpayer dollars courtesy of the Federal Government – bucket loads of it! AND they are further supported by the billionaire consortium. Despite all of the monetary support, rorting and corruption is rife. Beware the Common Core – it’s as viral as the Common Cold and as resistant to treatment after the fact.

Watch the full version on youtube

Oh no. Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) is here to infect Australia with the assistance of Common Core.

I’ve been aware of the threat; little did I realise that it was just around the corner and has come to pass already. In Tasmania, the Catholic education system has adopted Common Core principles already and my students are already coming through the door of my office confused by the “new maths”. Some of the prominent private sector schools have also already adopted Common Core maths principles. The students tend to fall into 3 distinct groups.

1. Students already competent in maths: This group enjoys the challenge of finding and implementing new mathematical concepts and procedures –  it is stimulating and productive for them – mind puzzles.

2. Average students who are just gaining competence but still require practice and consolidation to attain mastery of the main processes: Then along comes the sudden introduction of ‘new maths’ – a disruption they can’t afford – even though the ‘new maths’ in many ways assists in compensating for lack of automaticity in multiplication table facts. (This has not been taught due to the last assault on ‘rote learning’ – even when tables is one of the most appropriate uses of it). Now children learn the 2x table as a ‘doubling’ act – and the 4 x table as doubling the 2 x table – as a ‘crutch’. What about the 3 x table you ask? Shrug – easier to go on to 5 x, 10 x & 11 x first.

Practical issues:

* It takes up a lot of class time when you have to look at & discuss up to 4 different methods to add up (plus).

* This leaves less practice and consolidation time – and group 2. needs that.

* The radical change at this critical stage of maths development is distracting & confusing.

* Group one have already worked it it out – that was the fun of it. So this slower teacher led concentration is a drag. It’s likely that they are the only ones answering the questions and they do so too quickly for group 2 to understand.

* The number of steps in solving a problem increases significantly. Each additional step is yet another opportunity to err – increasing the chances of getting it wrong.

* Parents are locked out. They can’t help their children unless they have the time to attend a ‘new maths’ session organised by the school. It might even be offered in a library near you – soon. Will the under-educated parents attend? Highly unlikely – so yet another marginalising effect will almost certainly occur.

* Consensus on how to teach students is under attack. Teachers will no doubt favour certain methods – changes in teachers means changes in emphasis. – students just have to wear it.

* Regarding teachers: It is just assumed a lot of the time that they will catch up with the new methods on the net. (Yet another expectation to add to the unrealistic burden society places on them).

From a private tutor’s perspective it is a nightmare. All of the above issues for group 2 compacted into 30 minutes a week.

3. For the students who struggle with mathematics – expect a widening gap in maths learning to occur. This is yet another burden for our over-worked, poorly-paid & under-appreciated teachers. It’s amazing that so many find a way to attend to the needs of the less academically able students in their care under such unrealistic expectations – but find a way they do. It is little wonder that so many have to seek stress leave.


The latest push for ever younger students to attend school is yet another experiment to be ‘explored’. Make no mistake that misplaced expectations will harm infants. if infants are forced to fail because incompetent bureaucrats (ignorant of developmental factors, or worse still, choosing to ignore them) deign to demand that teachers carry out their directives – we are in trouble.

Pearson Fails the Standardized Test

I’ve lived and taught in New York State since 1993 when I moved from Chicago to be a professor at Syracuse University; I moved to New York City in 1997. I follow state and city educational po…

Source: Pearson Fails the Standardized Test

The PARCC Test: Exposed [excerpts deleted under legal threat from Parcc]

The author of this blog posting is a public school teacher who will remain anonymous. I will not reveal my district or my role due to the intense legal ramifications for exercising my Constitutiona…

Source: The PARCC Test: Exposed [excerpts deleted under legal threat from Parcc]

Letter to the Media on “Retention Rates” ~ This is for you Jeanne

Way back in early March I wrote to the Mercury about all the pointless trumpeting about raising ‘retention rates’. The title the Mercury supplied was “School problems stem from the root”. So I think my message was understood. AND they gave me the “Blue Spot” 🙂 Read my letter below. PS sorry for my neglect – life has been on the fast train of late.


What is it that “educators” don’t understand about “horse, stable, bolted”?

If students still can’t read & write after 10 years of schooling, two more years of failure & misery aren’t going to make any difference. Such students can’t wait to leave school.

Further, the only card they have left to play is that they are younger and cheaper & therefore still picked up by employers. Some prove to be worthy workers, retain their job and contribute to society. If the current initiative to force them into 2 or even 3 more years in school, what happens when they finally leave?

Funding and time spent on spraying the branches of the tree of knowledge are of little use when the real problem all along has been root-rot. We’ve had 3 decades of ministers being ill-advised to focus on the top end – it hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work this time either.

The elephant in the room represents Prep to Gr 3 where the foundation skills of reading and writing are (should be) laid down. For decades newly trained teachers have been complaining that, on completion of a 4 year B.Ed they don’t feel confident to teach reading. This is no surprise as their training is biased towards a “progressive” (now there is a misnomer if ever their was one) approach that emphasises “facilitating” over “direct teaching”. In infant classrooms this is inappropriate.

A traditional University education frees the mind. Current teacher training ‘boxes the mind’ and is complicit in leaving a swathe of vital knowledge covering our powerful alphabetic system out of the picture … Why? It offends a fatally flawed “progressive” ideology when applied to infant grades.

The so called “Reading Wars” are a fallacy. It was a well orchestrated coup.

How do I know? I lived it. I was a mother of 3; a mature age B.Ed uni student; a participant in many practical experience sessions across both public and private sector schools;an attendee of the big on rhetoric, poor on detail PD sessions; the founder of a learning centre (we saw the fallout in terms of struggling students); an M. Ed student studying in Faculties other than the Education Faculty – needless to say the knowledge paradigms conflicted.

A whole Language emphasis in the infant sector is more than just inadequate, it is harmful.

The same old “blame the teachers” game is in full swing. “We need a better quality of trainees” – well they were fed progressivist methodology in the first place so put the blame where it rightfully belongs – at the feet of the biased academics running the show in Education faculties, supported by equally biased Education Department staffers.

Note: No base testing was conducted prior to the introduction of what was initially called “Language Experience”. As mothers, we were told that our concerns were due to a few initial teething problems. Assurance was given that we would soon see a marked improvement in reading skills. I am now a grandmother – I’m still waiting. How I would love to hit a “reset button”.

Jean Harrison,