A Common Core Absurdity: Teaching Health

“When I stated that the goal of the unit as well as this assignment was to promote empathy and give students the skill to be an upstander for themselves as well as others, I was told by the Common Core Trainer “We don’t care how students feel we want them to be able to extract evidence from the text”. When I challenged that statement I was labeled as uncooperative.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

A principal sent this account of a teacher’s experience to me:

“Common Core Training for ENCORE Teachers

“(ENCORE = subjects like Health, Physical Education, Art, Music, Technology, Home & Careers)

“The ENCORE subjects were assigned a period to meet with a Common Core Specialist. We were told to bring a sample lesson or activity that we use in class.

“I presented a project that I use at the end of my Violence Prevention Unit. This project allows students to research and bring in any article that interests them about Bullying. The article could represent facts about bullying, prevention tips, victim accounts or any other related material. The article could be from a magazine, a newspaper or an on-line source. Students then are asked to answer 5 questions based on the article they chose.

1. Summarize the Article

2. Personal Reaction to The Article

3. Victim’s Reaction – if you were…

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Have you heard that US education is WAY behind other countries, especially China?!?!?!

Have you heard that US education is WAY behind other countries, especially China?!?!?!

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Most people do not realize 3 very basic things about comparing our education to China’s using the PISA system that this claim is based on:

1. More than half of Chinese children never make it past 5th grade in school. They go to work on farms, in fields, in factories, or they’re forced out of the system for “failure,” which also encompasses learning disabilities. If you’re ADD/ADHD, on the spectrum, dyslexic, etc, you are not welcome in the public education system of China. China has an EXTREMELY high adolescent suicide rate, many citing academic pressure in their suicide notes. PISA only tests 15 year olds. The only 15 year old Chinese kids who are still in school are the ones who are considered academically excellent. In the good ole’ USA, we test ALLLLLLLL of our students, and almost all of our 15 year olds are still in school at age 15.

2. PISA only measures TEST SCORES. It completely ignores things like actual, real world accomplishments, academic accomplishments attained by poor test takers who are nevertheless geniuses, and it ignores the fact that in CHINA they are training for a VERY limited job field. Here, our students can dream of being doctors, lawyers, engineers, pastry chefs, actors, singers, teachers, firefighters, pilots, marine biologists….these jobs are not readily available to the general population in China, which relies heavily on nepotism.

3. If we wanted to live in China, we’d move there. What else about China screams “better than the USA?” Their poverty level, their healthcare, their political oppressiveness, their abuse of child labor??? If you’re going to compare us to other countries, you should probably consider a few other factors about those countries rather than accepting on blind faith that we’re “behind” them in any major way.

WARNING: ANGRY EDUCATED MOM RANT AHEAD

I am SO tired of the “my kids are doing fine/great” load of crap! ALL THAT TELLS ME IS YOU’RE TOO APATHETIC TO DO ANY RESEARCH AT ALL WHATSOEVER INTO YOUR KIDS’ EDUCATION. The end. You 100% ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BELIEVE COMMON CORE IS GOOD FOR YOUR KIDS IF YOU HAVE TAKEN ANY TIME WHATSOEVER AWAY FROM PLANNING THAT ALL-IMPORTANT VACATION OR FINDING THE PERFECT PAIR OF SHOES TO MATCH THAT PURSE, TO LOOK INTO WHAT COMMON CORE REALLY IS AND REALLY ISN’T. At this point in the game, that is just FACT.

Mandatory school beginning at three to further the core agenda. Think it can’t happen?

Three year olds, possibly still wetting their pants, taking two hour naps, will be in all day school. Kindergarten is the new first, reading and math at levels unfathomable. Because someone who has money thinks this will make us globally competitive and change the economy. College and career ready for babies. Literally. If this doesn’t open eyes, what will?

stopcommoncorenys

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This is a follow up on the Universal Pre K and federally constructed rigor we previously discussed.
(Link here: https://stopcommoncorenys.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/universal-pre-k-and-federally-constructed-early-childhood-rigor/)

It has been outlined now clear as day. Here it is, in a nutshell. All that the oligarchs and the like want from our babies, listed here in plain words. Mandatory K AND PRE K, with very difficult (read : age inappropriate) material. Goodbye childhood, hello career ready from diapers on. Cradle to career has never been clearer than now. Common core has changed the face of the American child. We have lost our rights as parents to the corporations and Feds.
Children, babies, possibly still not toilet trained, are to be in all day school with an abundance of rigor and grit.

This piece is must read with a critical eye, as it is under this current regime of gross mismanagement by the USDOE that these words are written.

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NYS ELA & MATH EXAMS, GRADES 3-8: REFUSE, REFUSE, REFUSE!

REFUSE THE STATE TESTS. TELL ALBANY THAT HIGH-STRESS, HIGH-STAKES, HIGH-PROFIT TESTING IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR OUR CHILDREN. TELL NEW YORK STATE THAT WE WANT YEAR-LONG “TEACHING TO THE TESTS” TO END. SEND A MESSAGE THAT WE DEMAND MEANINGFUL AND WELL-ROUNDED LEARNING BE RETURNED TO OUR NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

IS YOUR CHILD STRESSING THE UPCOMING STATE EXAMS?

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN REFUSE THE TESTS?

Myth vs. Fact:

MYTH: My child is required to take the state ELA & Math tests for grades 3-8.
FACT: Under NYS law, any minor child can REFUSE to take these exams.

MYTH: My child might be left back if he/she doesn’t take the tests.
FACT: The only way the test can be held against your child is if he/she fails it.

MYTH: If my child refuses, he/she will be forced to take the harder city/district tests instead.
FACT: If your child refuses, the only legal and common alternative assessment will be a portfolio of his/her classwork & class exams from the year.

MYTH: If my child refuses, my school will lose funding.
FACT: Schools will only lose funding if many children do poorly on the exams.

MYTH: If my child refuses, he/she will be given a zero grade.
FACT: If a child refuses the tests, it is marked code 999, “refusal,” and given no grade at all.

MYTH: My child’s teacher will face negative consequences if he/she refuses the tests.
FACT: Legally, test refusals do not impact teachers at all. If your administration uses refusals against teachers, they are choosing to do so and are very wrong to do so.

MYTH: The state exams are required for entry into middle and high school.
FACT: The portfolio assessment is completely acceptable by virtually all public schools.

MYTH: The state exams show how my child is doing in school.
FACT: The state exams are often so convoluted they aren’t accurate indicators of any genuine academic progress.

MYTH: Teachers need the state exam scores to see where my child is and to help him/her with any deficiencies.
FACT: Nobody sees the state tests’ scores until MONTHS later, so teachers cannot use the scores for any instructional purposes.

MYTH: It is very difficult to refuse to allow my child to take the state exams.
FACT: In 2014, over 77,000 students refused to take the New York State ELA & Math Exams for grades 3-8. All you have to do is fill out this letter, print it, and send or bring it in:

http://www.united2counter.com/refusal-form

PRINT THIS FLYER AND SHARE IT!  Refusal Facts 

A mom, an educator, and a lover of creativity…oh, and a hater of Common Core.