Friday, March 07, 2014

Diane Ravitch on Common Core

Spunky Homeschool recently posted a link to Everything you need to know about Common Core — Ravitch.  The post is based on a speech Diane Ravitch gave back in January.  I found it fascinating.

Here are some parts of the speech which I thought were key:

Early childhood educators are nearly unanimous in saying that no one who wrote the standards had any expertise in the education of very young children. 

Think about that.  Common Core requires various things in regards to young children, but the people crafting the requirements had no experience with young children.

It is kind of like a fireman walking into your kitchen and telling you how to prepare a meal.  Yes they deal with fire, but they may have no expertise in cooking.

Furthermore, what happens to the children who fail? Will they be held back a grade? Will they be held back again and again? If most children fail, as they did in New York, what will happen to them? How will they catch up? The advocates of the standards insist that low-scoring students will become high-scoring students if the tests are rigorous, but what if they are wrong? What if the failure rate remains staggeringly high as it is now? What if it improves marginally as students become accustomed to the material, and the failure rate drops from 70% to 50%? What will we do with the 50% who can’t jump over the bar? Teachers across the country will be fired if the scores of their pupils do not go up. This is nuts. We have a national policy that is a theory based on an assumption grounded in hope. And it might be wrong, with disastrous consequences for real children and real teachers.

If you would like to know more about Common Core I think the article is worth reading.


Susan said...

Regarding the early childhood policy makers - When our kids were in school and I was the mother helper in our kids' kindergarten class, their wonderful teacher and I discussed all-day kindergarten, as opposed to the half-day the kids were in then.
I asked her if the administrators/board considered her thoughts on the subject, because she did have them. (She thought a full day was too long for little ones to be in a classroom and they wouldn't gain from it. )
She said no one had asked her or the other kindergarten teachers for their opinion. The school is full-day now and the teacher was happy to retire.

Henry Cate said...

That is sad.