Are Schools Too Easy?
Millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs go unfilled for lack of qualified applicants. Children acquire an adult work ethic by suffering consequences for not working as well as they can while they are in school.
Common Core Misinterpretation
Workshops about the new Standards are being held for classroom teachers around the country. Unfortunately, some of the administrators conducting them have little understanding of what they mean. Parents and teachers who don't want to be misled will have to study them for themselves.
Common Core Mission Statement
Subjecting the Common Core mission statement to the kind of close reading recommended by the Standards reveals a goal that is lacking in the human element. Job skills are not enough to get a person through the disappointments, tragedies and humiliations of 60-80 years of living.
Cut Scores and Priorities
Cut scores are selected points on the scoring scale of a test. Like the tests they are created for, cut scores are arbitrary. As the new Common Core Standards bring a new set of federal priorities to American education, it's more important than ever for parents to take charge.
Grade Inflation Meets Course Inflation [offsite link]
Sometimes the "advanced" courses offered in high school are as inflated as the As students receive for merely showing up.
How Meaningful is Your Child's GPA?
Thanks to weighted courses in high school, 4.0 is no longer the highest GPA that can be earned. Weighting enables students to manipulate the system in order to "look good" on their college applications. These days, GPA is not a dependable gauge of high school achievement.
Informational Texts vs Fiction
Parents and English teachers need to resist the propaganda regarding the reading and teaching of fictional literature that comes attached to every presentation of the Common Core Standards.
International Educational Comparisons
Statistics that appear in the media comparing U.S. student achievement to that of students in other countries often come from the PISA survey conducted every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
International Testing Instruments
Journalists often compare U.S. student achievement to that of children in other countries. Here's a brief description of the tests on which these comparisons are based.
School and the Real World
One of the most annoying expressions that I hear educators use is "the real world," as if school existed in some kind of Never-Never Land. School IS the real world, and it ought to have real world consequences.
Shallow Goals of Common Core Standards
The new Common Core Standards promise much, but as long as teacher training and school structure remain the same, they’re simply new wine in old bottles.
The Grade of D Needs to Indicate More than a Pulse [offsite link]
MAEVE MADDOX: As more and more schools permit young people to participate in sports and even graduate with a D average, teachers need to consider what kind of academic achievement a D represents.
What is Proficiency?
Every state is permitted by law to define "reading proficiency" according to their own guidelines. As a result, states often rate their children at a higher level of proficiency than the NAEP does. Parents must adopt their own guidelines and test their children themselves.
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