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edward long

Association of Old Crows


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C.C.S.S.-- Yea or Nay?

Common Core State Standards is a big-time effort currently under way to make necessary changes in America's public schools to better prepare graduates for employment.
On this specific issue we the people are either ignorant, apathetic, for it, or against it. Those last two groups can help the first two by expressing their reasons for their positions. Let it rip TEDsters!


Closing Statement from edward long

The vote is: Yeas 0, Nays 11. The Nays have it. It is seen by the respondents to be just another expression of opinion about WHAT needs to be done without a plan for HOW to get it done. It is seen as a power grab by the Feds which leaves the states with little or no say in how schools are run. It is seen as an effort to promote certain career paths while inhibiting others. It is seen as a death warrant for all non-STEM programs. It is thought to be off-target in the definition and utilization of Testing. Tedsters who do not like CCSS spoke up. TEDsters who like it kept quiet. Thanks to all for many experience-based opinions worth sharing.--Edward

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  • Aug 16 2013: My point was not that the education from the early 1800's was far below education today, it was that most of the kids didn't go past about 12 years old. If they went, they were not educated to a high level academically. Instead, they learned what they needed then went on to typically hands on type careers. Those that required little education. And a large group never attended school.

    Those that went on to attend university or higher education were far wealthier than the average person as well. The normal child did not go to further education because they did not need to

    I would agree, in part, about the dumbing down of instruction. But part of that is the requirement that everyone, regardless of whether they want to learn or not, is required to learn. Those who don't want to learn or be in school are required to be educated and take an inordinate amount of time a resources to teach. And that is money that is money that is not spent on pushing the top students further. Why? Because every students is supposed to read, write and do math at a certain level and some kids just aren't there. But they are required to be taught like they are going to a university, even though they may never go there.

    There is also no doubt that the students today would be hard-pressed to pass tests from previous eras. On the flip side, those who demand the academic testing at those "high" levels probably can't pass them either but they have no idea what it is that should be taught or tested. Yet they are the ones who make the laws requiring said standards.
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      Aug 16 2013: I see. Your point in the statement, ". . . the education level at the time was far below the level we now see demanded" is that at that time youngsters stopped attending school at about age 12, if they attended at all. You use the word "level" not to evaluate academic and instructional excellence, but as a measure of time spent in class? In other words today a good job requires a college degree. Is that possibly because employers find high school graduates lack the basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills? This is touching on the original purpose of CCSS and STEM, right? Good points Everett, thanks! (By the way Everett. Be sure to use the "REPLY" function when addressing a particular TEDster).
      • Aug 16 2013: Sorry about the "reply" issue I just typed my response in the wrong spot by mistake.

        I think the education level, at Jefferson's time was far below both the time and academic/instructional level of our time. What did you really need to know back then? Basic math, reading and writing at most, all other "instruction" was based on your job, most of which was hands on and skill based.

        Now we look at college degrees as the "expected norm". But do they really need to be so? It seems that the college degree has become the new high school diploma level of academics, though it does not need to be. The college diploma should still mean something and be a higher level of skill and knowledge.

        All standards, whether it is CCSS, STEM, EALR's, or other state standards all touch on the fact that students are graduating with low reading, writing, math, and science skills. But they don't stick with one set and get good at it before changing to a new set of standards. Which, consequently, look like old standards just re-packaged.

        Ultimately, it is not the standard which makes the difference, as it always has, it is the teacher and the administration and their willingness to demand excellence and hold students accountable for poor quality of work. The "standards" as dictated by the government only tell you what the target is. It is on the teachers, administrators, and yes, parents to hold their children accountable to that standard and for what they are learning.
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          Aug 18 2013: You obviously feel strongly that any plan, no matter how impressive the name or the horsepower behind it, which is not built on the foundation of the contributions of teachers, administrators, and parents will fail to rescue America's failing education system. FYI, I agree completely.
      • Aug 18 2013: Any system, no matter what it is, fails when those who are directly involved with the administration of said system are not involved in the process.

        In education, those who are directly involved with students are rarely involved with the standard setting process nor are they even considered in the process. They are simply told what to do.

        What is more maddening is that educators are told to "act more like businesses in their process". Well, businesses are successful because they have faster turn around times and dump ideas that don't work. Ask Boeing how many parts they keep around for use on airplanes that are faulty from the get go. Okay, maybe not the best example, but the point being business and education are radically different. But the model is becoming more business.

        If the government is willing to state clearly and openly that some kids will fall through the cracks and fail, then the system would be functional. But no good teacher in their right mind would say that or toss kids out. When teachers are taken seriously in their profession the system will once again strengthen. Instead, everyone who has been through education thinks that they can do it better but never step foot into the classroom. So yes, I feel strongly that teachers, parents and administrators need to work together to re-build education in failing systems.
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          Aug 19 2013: I see no argument against your several points. The complication comes when it is admitted that self-serving Administrators and Teachers, along with unconcerned parents, are the ones who let the system fall apart. That complication makes it sound logical to exclude them as participants of the design of a solution.

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