EducationNC is clearinghouse for driving education narratives. I’ve said this from day one and I stand by it. I’m not alone in that assessment, the public sees it too.
Two new cases in point, the Common Core Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) meets today and EducationNC throws up two really rather sadly trite pro-Common Core articles.
This article push by EducationNC is yet more evidence that the pro-Core crowd is clearly worried that the ASRC has been making real progress in identifying the numerous flaws in Common Core. The ASRC might actually make real, substantive recommendations.
Tone Deaf and Blind To Reality
The first article is by a collection of Superintendents in the Triangle area and is titled, Triangle High Five: A letter to the Academic Review Standards Commission.
You can’t leave a comment on it, because comments are disabled for that post. How nice that they won’t wish to hear public feedback. You can comment on the EducationNC Facebook post though. *Update: EducationNC has responded that they enabled the comment function after I commented on it.
If these 5 Superintendents are THAT blind to the flaws inherent in Common Core one has to wonder what their true motivations are in supporting it — because it isn’t “for the kids”.
The main thrust of this article is to protect a math pathways initiative created by the group this collection of Superintendents comes from. This initiative seems to that rely on the Common Core progression.
The math focus of this letter is not an accident. March’s ASRC meeting brought in Dr. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stotsky.
These Superintendents are protecting Common Core and integrated math. Integrated math was shredded in the ASRC March hearing. Neither should be protected when North Carolina kids, who have now had 3 years of Common Core math, are entering 4th grade and ‘have no number sense’ and ‘don’t know where to start’.
In particular, the flaws of the Common Core math were prominently exposed and displayed by Dr. Milgram. These 5 Superintendents would do well to watch the video of the question from ASRC member Jeannie Metcalf to Dr. Milgram regarding NC ‘integrated’ math. [Watch the whole meeting in segments courtesy of Major Dave.]
The Superintendent letter winds down and drops this statement:
“We believe the voices of North Carolina classroom teachers and teacher leaders need to be included in the Commission’s deliberations.”
According to NC DPI, classroom teachers and leaders were in the process which brought us Common Core in North Carolina. They’ve had a constant voice throughout this debate process, or rather, DPI’s handpicked teachers and leaders have had a voice. Those who have found significant flaws have been intimidated and told to ‘go along to get along’.
It’s the parents who should be included in deliberations at this juncture. We’ve been silenced, ridiculed and marginalized.
These Superintendents do not even address parents in their letter other than to dictate what they believe parents think about the standards and to note they ‘educated parents’ on Common Core. The condescension is amazing.
Making A Case With Swiss Cheese
The second article is titled, What does being a Core Advocate mean to me? and is authored by “instructional coach” Kenny McKee, who attended a Common Core pep rally.
No, really, it was pretty much a Common Core pep rally:
On the weekend of March 14-15, 2015, I attended the “Becoming a Core Advocate” training in Raleigh, hosted by Student Achievement Partners. Educators from across the state joined one another to learn more about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and strategies for implementing them. As an instructional coach in my district, I work with the standards often, but participating in the Core Advocate training enlightened me in new ways.
This event assumes that North Carolina will continue forward with Common Core. Gee, what is the ASRC doing then? Is the ASRC just for show?
What exactly is an ‘instructional coach’?
Mckee’s profile tells us that “My job is to work with educators to integrate effective instructional practices into all classes.”
Shorter: I moved from school to school and wanted more money so I left the classroom.
McKee’s article is made out of Swiss cheese. Observe the holes.
This event McKee attended likely included “Resources you can use to speak to parents and the community about the Common Core.”
Achieve the Core is a collection of people who wrote the Common Core and those who have supported it.
The list includes former CCSSO head, Gene Wilhoit and Core math writers Bill McCallum, Jason Zimba and Phil Daro. Daro has a history of being train wreck of math standards writing.
Who funds them? The Achieve the Core website doesn’t say.
ASRC Co-Chair, Tammy Covil, was right when she stated at the March meeting that ‘ it is difficult to find anyone who supports Common Core who is not somehow funded by Bill Gates or the federal Department of Education.’
The fact that Mckee had to attend an event about being a ‘Common Core Advocate’ should be a red flag to even the casual reader. Why would advocacy be needed if Common Core is so wonderful?
You shouldn’t have to “deeply understand” a set of written standards. They should be self-evident to anyone who reads them.
Seeing the “standards role in student success” made me chuckle. They’re “just a set of standards”, Mr. McKee — they don’t have superpowers. Good teaching is what helps kids excel, not a set of standards.
‘Networking with amazing educators’? You couldn’t do that before Common Core?? You know, there’s this awesome thing called the internet. There’s a group for everything out there and it’s been that way since before Common Core and it will be that way after it.
McKee stated, “I believe that ultimately stakeholders have the final say on their approval of the standards, but to draw those conclusions, they need to have accurate information.” “Connecting with the Community” means actually listening to the main stakeholders – the parents.
We’ve been telling Core supporters for three years now, Common Core is a hot mess. Clearly, McKee is not interested in connecting with the community, just dictating to it.