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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default H.S. Student Makes Best Case Against Gov't Takeover Of Education

    This Could Be One of the Best Cases Ever Made Against Common Core – No One Expected It to Come From a High School Student

    Speaking at a local school board meeting earlier this month, a Tennessee high school senior issued a brief and incredibly insightful address on the problems with Common Core standards.

    Ethan Young, a student at Farragut High School in Knox County, Tenn., made his case as to why he believes the school district should drop the new national education standards, a set of guidelines that were never voted on by Congress, the Department of Education nor by local or state governments.

    “The president essentially bribed states into implementation via ‘Race to the Top,’ offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states, $500 million of which went to Tennessee,” Young said. “And much like No Child Left Behind, the program promises national testing and a one-size-fits-all education, because hey, it worked so well the first time.”

    “If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest and they lack the research they allegedly received,” he added.

    Young also argued that Common Core standards display a “mistrust of teachers,” a line that prompted applause from the audience.

    “I stand before you because I care about education, but also because I want to support my teachers,” he said. “And just as they fought for my academic achievement, so I want to fight for their ability to teach. This relationship is at the heart of instruction, yet there will never be a system by which it is accurately measured.”

    The high school senior went on to argue that “standards-based education is ruining the way we teach and learn.” He also revealed that legislators and administrators have told him “that’s just the way things work.”

    Now, he’s daring to ask: “Why?”

    “I’m gonna answer that question: Bureaucratic convenience,” he added. “It works with nuclear reactors, it works with business models, why can’t it work with students? I mean how convenient, calculating exactly who knows what and who needs what. I mean, why don’t we just manufacture robots instead of students? They last longer and they always do what they’re told.”

    .
    The problem is, the extremely bright student continued, “education is unlike every other bureaucratic institute in our government” because the “task of teaching is never quantifiable.”

    “If everything I learn in high school is a measurable objective, I have not learned anything,” Young proclaimed. “I’d like to repeat that. If everything I learn in high school is a measurable objective, I have not learned anything.”

    Government bureaucrats will never be able to measure “creativity, appreciation, inquisitiveness” but they are the “purpose of education,” he lectured.

    “Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves — pleading, screaming and trying to say to us that we teach to free minds. We teach to inspire. We teach to equip, the careers will come naturally.”


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  2. #2
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Somewhere in that crowd is a hot teacher that wants to fuck him six ways from silly!

  3. #3
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    And there's your future right there, people. That guy gets it.

    Common Core is more than just a reading list, as Bill Gates is well aware. At some point, I hope the backlash from the states and the educators turns this whole thing around.

    Excellent post, bklynboy68. I'm thinking you probably got this from The Blaze, as I heard about this on Beck's radio show this morning.
    Last edited by Red; 11.15.13 at 02:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    So what kind of actual changes are we looking at, compared to what we have now?
    Little Dreamer

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    So he gave a speech against having standards in education. Not the guy I want running a school in the future. Measuring results is kind of important.

    And any time I hear the words "our founding fathers would" it almost always is followed by something really stupid.

  6. #6
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    At the moment I am in a quandary when it comes to the political party for whom I will vote, come the next General Election.

    Why?

    Because both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have people in charge of education who haven't set foot inside a school since they themselves were pupils, and yet are blatantly ignoring recommendations from teachers, other professionals who specialise in, and have researched, the nature of education for much of their careers, AND the vastly superior systems being implemented by other countries.

    BOTH parties seek to introduce performance-related pay for teachers, based purely upon how many exams their pupils pass, and the grades they achieve. Sounds sensible - initially - doesn't it? Until, as the lad in the article mentions, we realise that we're talking about HUMAN BEINGS - children, not robots.

    You see, the problem with CHILDREN is that they're not all made from the same component parts; they're not manufactured on a conveyor belt - so they're not all going to turn out the same, no matter how hard the factory-worker tries to subject them to the same processes...Some of those kids are going to come from broken homes, where they might experience all kinds of problems; some of those kids might be being abused; some of those kids might be on drugs; some of those kids might have mental-health issues; some of those kids might not speak English as their first language; some of those kids might be more adept at vocational subjects; some of those kids might have learning difficulties; some of those kids might not be able to handle the pressure of exam conditions; some of those kids might be poorly or having personal problems when the exams are run; some of those kids might, just might, not be very clever..!

    You see, this is the problem when it comes to applying a standardised, universal, one-size-fits-all education system, and when we then use that same system to assess teachers' performance and pay. It's simply not FAIR. There are teachers in some schools who feel a massive sense of accomplishment when they get their pupils to turn up for lessons, or sit still in one place for longer than half an hour, or not bash the brains out of another pupil. There are teachers in some schools who justifiably feel proud when they can get their pupils to write a full sentence in English. And yet, we want to sit in judgment of them, and tell them that they're not 'good enough' to get a decent pay-cheque, because, let's say, 80% of their cohort didn't get an 'A' grade? Nice.

    The ONLY result of this system is teachers either leaving the profession in droves, or refusing to work in more 'difficult' schools. And once you have that situation, government get desperate and start employing those who aren't qualified - and the inevitable result of that is that exam grades slip even further...Ooops! Didn't expect THAT, did we?

    It's about time we started trusting those professionals who have spent years training to do the bloody job. Believe it or not, they DO have some idea of what they're doing - unlike the government ministers who seek to limit and control and reduce their capabilities. Once upon a time, before government interference, teachers were trusted, and allowed the freedom to judge and assess their pupils' abilities for themselves, modifying their lesson content and teaching style appropriately. And, guess what, more pupils came out of school able to read, write, and add up...How very ODD!

    The student in this article has more brains than those 'in charge' of education put together. I applaud him, and hope that it is kids like him who go on to become the decision-makers of tomorrow. Future generations might stand a chance, if so.
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  7. #7
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    I'd like to add, by the way, that I am not opposed to a National Curriculum - a set of skills, abilities, and subject matter that a child should possess or have attempted to cover by the time they leave school. I AM opposed, however, to the notion that government ministers know better than those in charge of our kids as to how that content should be delivered, and the expected outcomes for each, individual child.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    I like standardized testing, I like school based results being examined to help look into trouble areas. Paying teachers based on test results of their classes is a system destined for problems though.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    I like standardized testing, I like school based results being examined to help look into trouble areas. Paying teachers based on test results of their classes is a system destined for problems though.
    I think there's a place for it, Mike, certainly. The danger is it being seen as the be-all-and-end-all of pupil achievement - and, as we've discussed, the mechanism by which teachers are similarly judged. The simple fact is that it is too much of a blunt instrument to be applied without censure to something as complex and differentiated as individual pupil attainment.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

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  10. #10
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    I love the rigor Common Core brings to our classrooms. The 7th graders I teach here are similar to the 9th graders in Michigan, a non-Common Core state. I understand this student's gripe against it, because you may argue that a portion of education is immeasurable: people skills and learning how to grow into responsible human being. I have not felt myself having to sacrifice that aspect of my teaching in favor of content.

    Common Core certainly is a thorn in the side of seasoned teachers, but the new kids on the block like me (and the ones I know) are adjusting well. The days of simply standing in front of the class to spread knowledge are over. There is a far more balanced approach now with an emphasis on student-centered and project-based learning. These are those skills we clamor over for the "real world". In terms of assessment, yes, I am not a fan of "teaching to the test," but there is plenty more for teachers to do. One other thing to keep in mind is that the assessments are changing. The summative assessments from the education powerhouses like Pearson will not be on a Scantron. They are moving towards computer-based technology where students need to demonstrate their thought process while on the path to an answer. One can argue that that piece of data is more important than the actual right answer. Common Core isn't perfect, but the way students are assessed is getting better, so maybe once we change what the "test" is (which is what is happening), teaching to it might not be as troublesome.

  11. #11
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post



    You see, the problem with CHILDREN is that they're not all made from the same component parts; they're not manufactured on a conveyor belt - so they're not all going to turn out the same, no matter how hard the factory-worker tries to subject them to the same processes...Some of those kids are going to come from broken homes, where they might experience all kinds of problems; some of those kids might be being abused; some of those kids might be on drugs; some of those kids might have mental-health issues; some of those kids might not speak English as their first language; some of those kids might be more adept at vocational subjects; some of those kids might have learning difficulties; some of those kids might not be able to handle the pressure of exam conditions; some of those kids might be poorly or having personal problems when the exams are run; some of those kids might, just might, not be very clever..!

    .
    when I went to school, the grades were divided into sections numbered 1-6 or something

    each section was assigned kids that the school had determined thru tests and performance to be alike in skills and aptitude.

    section one was the best students ..the "A's" as it were...section 2 the 'B's" and so forth. down to the the last section who were basically the vocational students and what was called OWE for "occupational work experience"

    based upon testing and performance kids could move up a section or down a section each semester. and you had to keep up with the other students in your section or next semester you would be in a section that you could keep up with if you get my drift

    but it allowed the brighter kids to move thru material quickly and the less bright to have time to work thru things at the same pace as the rest of the kids in the class

    TODAY, parents would have a fit about their kids being labeled or singled out or judged. I have a friend who teaches who says her job is becoming more and more politics, social work and psychology.....when she just wants to teach

    we live in a world that is very different from just 50 years ago and we are teaching our kids in America using a structure that takes more from systems in place in 1900 than what modern teaching research shows is effective.

    For instance, we all know that there is a huge drop off in retained knowledge over the summer, yet kids still get almost 3 months off in summer...for what? to bring in the crops?

    but we hold the summer vacation as sacrosanct, despite common sense telling us that is it harmful in many ways.

    we care less about the individual child and the individual needs you cited than about our institutions and traditions.

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    I agree with lots in your post, Daisy.

    I think there's a LOT to be said for sets (as we call them) which allow kids to be organised as per their ability, and yet also allow for the flexibility to be moved up and down, according to the individual teacher's judgment. As your friend says though, the teachers' capacity to judge is gradually being whittled away - and it's our kids who are suffering as a result.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by The J Man View Post
    I love the rigor Common Core brings to our classrooms. The 7th graders I teach here are similar to the 9th graders in Michigan, a non-Common Core state. I understand this student's gripe against it, because you may argue that a portion of education is immeasurable: people skills and learning how to grow into responsible human being. I have not felt myself having to sacrifice that aspect of my teaching in favor of content.

    Common Core certainly is a thorn in the side of seasoned teachers, but the new kids on the block like me (and the ones I know) are adjusting well. The days of simply standing in front of the class to spread knowledge are over. There is a far more balanced approach now with an emphasis on student-centered and project-based learning. These are those skills we clamor over for the "real world". In terms of assessment, yes, I am not a fan of "teaching to the test," but there is plenty more for teachers to do. One other thing to keep in mind is that the assessments are changing. The summative assessments from the education powerhouses like Pearson will not be on a Scantron. They are moving towards computer-based technology where students need to demonstrate their thought process while on the path to an answer. One can argue that that piece of data is more important than the actual right answer. Common Core isn't perfect, but the way students are assessed is getting better, so maybe once we change what the "test" is (which is what is happening), teaching to it might not be as troublesome.
    Ahhh, yes - but don't you think it should be up to the TEACHER to decide what is the most appropriate teaching method at any given time? Sometimes, standing in front of the class and imparting one's knowledge is the BEST way to convey a certain piece of information - and, in actual fact, it teaches an important skill - that of being able to sit, listen, and pay attention...Equally though, that approach should be balanced by "student-centred learning", where the kids get to participate actively in lessons - because that process enables them to develop a whole, other, skill-set.

    Good - and EFFECTIVE - teaching allows for ALL of these different approaches, depending on the nature and ability of the pupils within the class - and that, to me, is where the problem lies with government interference in things about which they know little : they don't allow the professionals to use their judgement.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


  14. #14
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post
    I think there's a place for it, Mike, certainly. The danger is it being seen as the be-all-and-end-all of pupil achievement - and, as we've discussed, the mechanism by which teachers are similarly judged. The simple fact is that it is too much of a blunt instrument to be applied without censure to something as complex and differentiated as individual pupil attainment.

    It should one piece of information on a school - not the only piece.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    It should one piece of information on a school - not the only piece.
    Agreed.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


 

 

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