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Comments on: National Standards Nonsense

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By: Ed is Watching » Raising Concerns about Race to the Top and Move Toward National K-12 Standards

Thu, 27 May 2010 17:38:00 +0000

[...] Jay Greene, “National Standards Nonsense” [...]

By: NATIONAL STANDARDS « Greymain's Blog

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 07:31:39 +0000


By: addff

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:33:42 +0000

i disagree with national standards due to; students have to learn at different paces to pass.

By: MOMwithAbrain

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 12:39:54 +0000

Everyone is focusing on the standards and ignoring the driving force behind national standards. Not only are we seeing national standards, we are also seeing a new "graduate your kids after 10th grade" program in different states. Who is behind that dumb idea? None other than Marc Tucker and his Utopian dream. He's one of the biggest proponents of national standards and now he's come up with graduating students after 10th grade when many of our 12th grade students aren't fully prepared for college level work. Ze'ev commented in the NY Times on how absurd this idea was and how we lose our freedom and control to choose our own path in life. Some will be tracked into the workforce, the elites will still have access to colleges and universities. This is a planned workforce development and national standards is part of that utopia. It doesn't matter if they are good/bad/ugly, what comes next? Should be your concern. I looked over the math standards, they are a compromise between the fuzzies and the traditionalists. This is not up to the level of Mass. if we are going to be honest, why didn't they at least make them on the level of what we have as the "best" standards ?? I think instead of focusing on the standards we need to be listening to Tucker and his agenda. Not only listening, but rejecting it!

By: Matthewladner

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 06:40:51 +0000

Jim- As an Arizona resident, I'll say that I would not trade charter school laws with MA. I understand where you are coming from on cautious authorization, but such a system would not have met the needs of Arizona well at all. Almost all of the top public high schools in the PHX metro area are charter schools. When low performing public schools are to be found on every other street corner and you are spending yourself silly to build new all too often low quality district schools, you ought not to fret about protecting children from a low quality charter school. Open them up and shut down the bad ones is a fine model for those circumstances. On your point about standards, however, I agree that Arizona's standards and cut scores need a great deal of work, and that charter schools would benefit. Please return to your regular scheduled debate...

By: Jim Stergios

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 22:38:11 +0000

A couple of points from the Massachusetts perspective, which will reflect on a number of states that have taken standards seriously. 1. Standards are the lifeblood of student achievement in public schools; and that includes even those site-based managed schools that are based on parental choice. You all know the stories of charters and voucher programs that don’t deliver the kind of transformational improvement we all want. In MA, our charters for the most part are of a higher quality than elsewhere and far outperform their district counterparts. In part that is because of the great upfront business planning/vetting and accountability/closure processes (yes, regulation), but it is even more because MA has set really high academic standards, assessments, and teacher testing. Charters are effective at attaining goals but you have to set high academic goals for them to be good charters. Arizona, take note. 2. The March common core academic standards drafts, notwithstanding improvements that we see on the math side and also on the ELA side, still fall way short of what Massachusetts or Minnesota have. We have systematically gone through the previous drafts ( and we have also gone through the latest drafts. No grumpiness here. The fact is we are not there. Not even close. There are lots of problems with specific ELA and Math standards, but there are also two larger points: (1) the wonderful lists included in the appendices are not binding, and (2) the end goal or frame for this whole exercise is the College and Career Readiness standards, which are skills-based gobbledy-gook. And the skills focus will govern the application of the ELA and math standards, and even more so the assessments. Three broader points: 1. Checker is right to lament good-on-paper states, but the creation of new federal standards will not help move that any faster. In fact, the development of all new federal standards will likely slow or in fact reverse the process and gains in some states. Perhaps on that score some federal incentives to ensure implementation of state standards would be a more effective approach. After all, the changes entailed by standards are enormous, and they include local implementation by districts of the standards, assessments, and in most cases even teacher testing (which ought to be aligned with the new standards). After all, were the provisions of NCLB implemented so quickly and with such rigor? 2. Why aren’t we moving forward based on an approach where the federal government sets a “floor” (basically minimum requirements, not “word for word” or 85% adoption of national standards as CCSSIers/ Duncan laid down) with, going forward, guarantees of flexibility for states to develop even higher standards? (See Sam Dillon’s comments in this regard in a New American magazine article: Or why not provide financial incentives for states to improve on NAEP scores and leave it to them to get it done? Massachusetts is not alone in finding that a much more comfortable fit, rather than letting decisions on standards move to Washington, where we know so much, ahem, good work goes on. 3. There are many reasons to think this is going to die of its own weight, but I’ll stick to two reasons: a. There are so many jurisdictional trip wires on the path to moving forward that it is bound to blow up. The CCSSO, the NGA and USED have crossed into the jurisdiction of (1) Congress on the use of Title I funds in a coercive fashion; (2) many state legislatures which will want to review the intersection with key provisions of their respective statutory reforms of education; and (3) some boards of education, which will want to preserve their roles in education policy. b. A number of states that have focused on standards (VA, CA, MN, and TX) have begun peeling off. We certainly hope that we can list MA among them.

By: Patrick

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 20:35:48 +0000

But who is to say a subject area historical order is better than a chronological order? Wouldn’t that kill different and innovative ways of teaching children? What is to say the market can’t create many standards that make many different people happy? Have you heard of Netflix. I rate movies I like and their formula finds movies other people like me like as well. After a year of Netflix, I found that it is usually spot on in making recommendations for movies I will enjoy. Won’t national standards kill virtual education? Virtual education can be quickly changed and adapted to meet the needs of the students. Students can learn at their own pace as swiftly or as slowly as they need to understand the material. National standards would retard the ability of virtual schools to provide an truly individualized education that is tailor made for each unique student.

By: Catherine Johnson

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 19:48:13 +0000

There are buzzwords in the drafts that make it quite clear that it was improved to be solid enough to avoid the worst of the criticisms while allowing project based learning to be the vehicle for all that math “understanding” and recognitions of other points of views and cultures. Classic Bait and Switch-national process and thinking skills standards under the cover of just enough content rhetoric to get political support. I want the edu-world to bring back the words "know and can do." What should students know and be able to do? The word "understand" should be stricken from standards documents.

By: Catherine Johnson

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 19:20:21 +0000

sigh will give parents a means of determining whether their children are learning what they need to learn in order to do college level work....

By: Catherine Johnson

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 19:18:38 +0000

oh heck - bad, bad formatting sorry for the italics will try the title again: Why Race to the Middle>