Category Archives: curriculum

Common Core Critique from Diane Ravitch

“[T]he U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of Education, is prohibited by law from taking any action that would direct, control, or supervise curriculum or instruction. … but it would be hard to find a teacher who would agree that neither Common Core nor the federally funded online tests has any effect on curriculum and instruction. Common Core and the related testing has had a dramatic effect on both. And, so, at risk of being called a name by Alexander, I would say (having worked for two years in the U.S. Department of Education) that the federal encouragement of Common Core and the federal funding of the Common Core tests directly conflicts with federal law.”

“In 2010, I was invited to the White House to meet with Melody Barnes, the director of domestic policy; Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; and Ricardo Rodriguez, the President’s education advisor, and they asked me what I thought of Common Core. I urged them to field test it. I suggested that they invite 3-5 states to give it a trial of three to five years. See how it works. See if it narrows the achievement gap or widens the achievement gap. They quickly dismissed the idea. They were in a hurry. They wanted Common Core to be rolled out as quickly as possible, without checking out how it works in real classrooms with real teachers and real children.”

“We are #1 among the rich nations of the world in child poverty; nearly one-quarter of our children live in poverty. Our kids who live in affluent communities do very well indeed on the international tests. If we reduced the proportion of children living in poverty, our international test scores would go up.”

“…Stroup came to believe that the biggest portion of the test scores that hardly changed—that 72 percent—simply measured test-taking ability. For almost $100 million a year, Texas taxpayers were sold these tests as a gauge of whether schools are doing a good job.”

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Filed under curriculum, teaching, standardized testing

In the news…

“As for keeping up with the news I wonder what passes for “news.” Who played Mozart that day or composed a new symphony? Who wrote a beautiful poem? Who fell in love with their child that day? Who suffered of loss and pain? Who was born? Who died? Which bird finished its tour of the sky? Which penguin made it alive through the ice? How many people died of hunger? Who is suffering? Who is enslaved or abused? What games of joy and connection people played that day? Who had a new wise thought or a peaceful scientific discovery?… Most of what is happening in the world is not broadcasted.” — Naomi Aldort

See also:
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, Naomi Aldort

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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, alternative education, news, attachment parenting, curriculum