MORE COMMON CORE: THE CAMEL’S NOSE IN THE DOOR
After yesterday's rant about the Rotteness that is Common Core, with all its unique ability to highlight that nothing in the American system works for the people any more, but only for the corporations and their corrupt political sponsors, consider this rather thought-provoking article shared by Mr. S.D. on what's going on in just one American state with the "new standards" and latest trendy fad of the edugarchs:
If you thougght my rant about pampered and privileged corporations in the "testing business" was a bit over the top, consider only what one such privilieged group of corporations in just New York stands to gain:
There is a fable in which an Arab miller reluctantly allows his camel to stick his nose under his tent on a cold night in the desert. This is quickly followed by other parts of his body until the camel is entirely inside the tent and refuses to leave. The moral of the fable is to illustrate that once the “camel” (Governor Cuomo’s $2 billion Smart Bond Act) gets his nose in the tent, his body (competency based education) will soon follow. This is what we have with the Questar testing company, with which the NYSED Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia signed a $44 million contract (http://www.nysed.gov/news/2015/3-8-assessment-contract-awarded-questar-inc). The contract locks into place a five year deal and offers districts the “option to administer the tests on computers”. Isn’t that convenient.
As part of the NYSED press release, Elia is quoted as saying, “Questar, Inc. will also provide computer based TESTING (emphasis added) platforms that will help reduce the need for stand-alone field tests, and more importantly, help make our assessments even better instructional tools.” For the sake of brevity, let’s forget about the fact that the contract with Pearson is still in effect for the 2015-2016 school year and the multi-billion dollar British conglomerate will still be producing the spring 2016 NYS ELA and math tests.
And, of course, there is the familiar tactic of the corrupt edugarchs and politicians and billionaire busibodies with the "blame-the-teachers" for their "outmoded pedagogical styles" :
According to Questar’s April 1st publication (sadly, it is not an April fool’s prank), “Reimagining the Classroom Experience” (http://www.questarai.com/reimagining-the-classroom-experience/), Eric Rohy, Questar’s Chief Services Officer, writes, “Most educators agree that the current LECTURE-STYLE (emphasis added) approach to teaching is flawed.” He further writes, “….this approach limits the teacher’s ability to adapt his or her classroom to meet a number of 21st century teaching needs such as INDIVIDUALIZED AND PERSONALIZED INSTRUCTION (emphasis added), personalized learning, competency-based grouping and progression, seamless blending of instruction and assessment, and timely impact of assessment results to affect instruction.” WOW! When was the last time Eric Rohy visited an American classroom, the 1950’s? Teachers do not use “lecture style” anymore, nor have they in several decades.
And maybe that's the point: I learned from teachers who used the "outmoded" lecture style, and they were some of my favorite teachers. Rumor has it that a whole bumper crop of people in western history were taught by thaat "outmoded" method. Many were even taught at "home schools." Tthe product worked; that's whhy we kept buying it.
But now, the product does not work, has not worked, for several decades, and this is why the edugarchy and its supporting corporations mustt now use the mercantilist policy of government privilege and force to compell people to buy their overpriced and defective products. Think of it as Obamacare for "edgykayshun." After all, who of us would buy a used car from a dealer that immediately fell apart, cost an arm and a leg, didn't work, and endangered a family, if we had bought one from that same dealer before, and it did the same thing, over and over? And the answer, of course, is, we wouldn't.
My prediction? Amairikuh is going to have a brain drain of professionals, teachers, and even people, just plain fed up with it all, who simply will go elsewhere for their sake, and their children's, while Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Gates, the Schrubb family in all its mediocre glory, and the Clintons and the "testing corporations" continue to repackage their philosophical and pedagogical failures and corruption and resell it to the rest. And this, I suspect, is the real implication of Farley's closing remarks:
Would Bill Gates, President Obama, current US DOE Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, soon-to-be US Secretary John King, and Andrew Cuomo subject their own children to this education environment? No, nor should they and nor should we. I do not want my children to be connected to a tablet all day in the name of “individualized instruction.” I want a high quality teacher to teach my children.
If Commissioner Elia believes that the opt out movement will become a moot point due to competency based education and assessments, she had better re-think her belief. Opt out numbers are likely to hit 500,000 this spring. When the 2016-2017 school year begins, opt outs will be close to 1,000,000.
See you on the flip side...
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My worry about ‘commoditized’ learning has more to do with Subject Matter than with computer-based learning, itself. It has to do with Control…
In the older days, individual teachers were given outlines of WHAT his/her students were expected to know at the end of the session. HOW the students got there was basically up to the individual teacher. Thus, lots of ‘goodies’ and slants-on-things could be thrown-in along the way. Many options for ‘street-wise’ learning could occur.
Under ‘commoditized’ learning, what is within-boundaries and what is verboten is decided at the Corporate level. (This mirrors the classic debating-strategy concerning limiting WHAT can be discussed, at the outset of the debate.) This ‘world view’ is then written into the instructional material as a package and dispatched directly to the student. Under this system, the teacher is relegated to a disempowered Administrator status. (One can almost see, coming down the road, that lower-quality Teaching Assistants will be pushed, for ‘budgetary’ reasons.)
I don’t know about you, but I am skeptical that large corporations (particularly if they are ‘fronts’ for certain movements) have the best-interests of humanity at heart…
In a 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, Aldous Huxley spoke about the real world becoming the ‘Brave New World’ nightmare he envisaged. Huxley spoke primarily of the ‘Ultimate Revolution’ that focuses on ‘behavioural controls’ of people.
Sir Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley’s brother, was also the President of the British Eugenics Society. Sir Julian Huxley became the first Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
In 1961 President Eisenhower warned “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity”.
I have no doubt common core is coming along exactly as they envisioned.
Interesting quote Sandy. Could this mention by Eisenhower of the “solitary inventor” be an oblique reference to how they were (and probably still are) persecuting anyone developing certain technologies outside of the black projects world?
Dana, I think when Eisenhower made NASA a “civilian” space agency in 1958, it opened up some nice doors for black ops projects and funds.
I imagine it made Wernher von Braun happy too.
On the other side of the coin — or desk — I’ve been aghast at the students at Missouri and Yale, who have shown themselves to be a bunch of frighteningly spoiled little PC Stasis. The sweeping intolerance, fundamental obliviousness to individual rights and the infantile navel-staring/whining/tantrums are a depressing display of what cultural Marxism, helicopter parenting and a hollowed-out educational system have already wrought. Oh my.
Common Core will just add fuel to an already raging conflagration.
they’re not doing so much for the ubermensch as they are forcefully making undermensch. Gary Paulsen wrote a bit about slaves forcibly kept illiterate. Wrote well for most reading levels. Think it was in Night John. Used slave journals in Library of Congress. Good stuff. Passed a few copies to less eductated youth who supervise me. They’re improving fast. Amazing and reassuring to see how not so smart youth can be so incredibly wise. We all learn as we can. Now to find a way to learn faster better easier than the privileged classes. at least it’s not as bad as sweden yet. homeschooling illegal? wow.
Makes you wonder why Hollywood made the movie “Dumb and Dumber”, in other words what did they know and when did they know it, answer….drum roll…
“ALL THE FRIGGING TIME”
Not to mention the “debt trap” that is replete throughout the world/institutions.
How backwards it is to place the young at such outrageous debt levels.
What a measure stick to use for society, as to how they educate…
Trap their young!
…”the Schrubb family in all its mediocre glory…” LOL. I have been calling them Shrubs for the last five years but your spelling says it all. You definitely made my day, Dr. Farrell!
Common Core = separating the Ubermensch (which of course, these swine think they are) from the masses. Dean Kamen is the antithesis of these arrogant people. Dyslexic, the guy is a genius inventor who has dedicated himself to reward the junior inventor in all of us. We need more Dean Kamens and Paul Serenos (Project Exploration in Chicago). Pockets of brilliance like these can only result in the expansion of thinking in all of us, at all ages. i don’t think we should focus so much on being alarmed by Common Core, although we should encourage our state governments to ignore it (like Texas) but should be working more to expand the centers of brilliance for our children. I think that is what CAF promotes in her urge for all of us to see what we can do locally to create global influence.
The problem is this is the same education clap trap our elites have been shoving down the throats of all the nations and people. They have conquered and enslaved around the World dumb them down. Going back to the boobtube analogy there was a lecture series on Western Civilization on The Learning Channel where I learn more than all the years I was in school about that subject. I go back to the days when during the summer there were educational series and shows on literature on commercial television on one they were talking about the novel Frankenstein it was so good I went out a bought a read the book.
You Americans have no sense of humour. The past few years, at work, the older employees try to make sense of the letters produced by the computer by the new fresh from school employees and quessing/puzzling what sentences they might belong to.
One might think reading/writing is a very basic condition you must have mastered. Seems not any more and no you can’t give that feedback to the management.
They know the problem but they don’t know how to solve the problem.
The last ten years my little corner somewhere in Europe is falling apart in such a speedy way I am watching it in disbelief how fast a society “can” fall apart.
Naomi Wolf describes in her Letter of Warning To Young Patriots, how fast fascism can shut down a “free society” in 10 steps.
One might begin with this to teach about the facts of life about the world:
The fact that the world isn’t just flat, round, or even pear shaped. No, the fact is, the world is just plain…. crooked.
Easy to get lost for a straight way to [real education] in a crooked world.
[put in anything, not just education, for today’s corporately owned world]
I can imagine a scene where armed Feds kick down the door to a home to arrest a parent for reading the classics to a child.
“You are being charged for disseminating racist, homophobic, misogynist and supremacist material to a minor…but but your Honour Shakespeare used to be Western cannon.”