MORE ABOUT THE ROTTENESS AT THE HEART OF COMMON CORE

MORE ABOUT THE ROTTENESS AT THE HEART OF COMMON CORE

The bad news about the rotten heart of the Common Core program keeps coming. THis article was shared by Mr. S.D., and it contains yet another profound clue as to the scam being perpetrated on public schools are the western world by corporations that own and "calibrate" the standardized tests they have caused governments to force their students to take:

Teacher: What third-graders are being asked to do on 2016 Common Core test

Here's the crux of the problem, as outlined by New York teacher Katie Lapham on her blog:

Over the course of three consecutive days last week, students in Grades 3-8 took Pearson’s New York State Common Core English Language Arts tests.  As was the case in 2013, 2014 and 2015,  I felt that the the 2016 English Language Arts tests were developmentally inappropriate, confusing and tricky.  Despite the New York State Education Department (NYSED)’s “adjustments” to the 2016 assessments, there was no improvement to the quality of the tests.

While I am barred from disclosing the reading passages and questions that appeared on the tests, in no way will I refrain from broadcasting to the world how outraged I continue to be – year after year – over New York’stesting regime.  Since 2013, when Pearson’s Common Core tests were first administered in New York state, I’ve been documenting this on my blog.

...

Later, Ms. Lapham has this to say:

3.) The questions were confusing.  They were so sophisticated that it appeared incongruous to me to watch a third-grader wiggle her tooth while simultaneously struggle to answer high school-level questions. How does one paragraph relate to another?  Unfortunately, I can’t disclose more.  The multiple-choice answer choices were tricky, too. Students had to figure out the best answer among four answer choices, one of which was perfectly reasonable but not the best answer.

Here’s what P.S. 321’s principal, Elizabeth Phillips, wrote about the 2014 Common Core tests.  Her op-ed, “We Need to Talk About the Test,” appeared in the New York Times on April 9, 2014.  These same issues were evident on the third-grade 2016 English/Language Arts test.

“In general terms, the tests were confusing, developmentally inappropriate and not well aligned with the Common Core standards. The questions were focused on small details in the passages, rather than on overall comprehension, and many were ambiguous. Children as young as 8 were asked several questions that required rereading four different paragraphs and then deciding which one of those paragraphs best connected to a fifth paragraph. There was a strong emphasis on questions addressing the structure rather than the meaning of the texts. There was also a striking lack of passages with an urban setting. And the tests were too long; none of us can figure out why we need to test for three days to determine how well a child reads and writes.”

As Gary Lawrence and I document in our forthcoming book Rotten to the (Common) Core, this corporatization strategy is the latest twist in an old "argument from authority" in the standardized testing business: when the specific questions of a test are challenged (as they have been since their appearance in education) by various people, the stock-in-trade response of the "industry" has been to defend the questions, no matter how poor, by an appeal to the corporation's "anonymous experts" and "committees" and staticians. A pretense of listening to the opposition is offered, but the overall philosophical problem with the standardized test remains, and oftentimes, the "replacement" questions are worse than the ones challenged and, in a few cases, successfully overturned.

Stop and consider just that point alone: someone takes a test, gets a standardized test score, based on a test containined dubious test questions, which score is then used to "guide" a student in his or her career decisions. For the student, the standardized test is a life-affecting mechanism. Yet, are their scores modified (in time) for them to make appropriate life choices, even when a test question is rejected (and an even more dubious question is inserted)? And how valid then are the statistics over time on which the "industry" relies and upon which it bases so much of its "defense" of its dubious tests?

There's a further problem exposed by Ms. Lapham in the above quotations: namely, in spite of criticism from teachers themselves, the testing companies (in this case Pearson) continue to plow blithely on with their bad tests.

Additionally, the old defenses have now taken on a new tone of authoritarianism, for criticisms of these tests must be confined to generalized remarks, unable to refer to details of specific questions, because, of course, this is considered to be properietary!  So the corporate defenders of the test are allowed to refer to details to butress their arguments, while their critics are confined to generalized remarks and commentary, and hence, to a more ineffective form of argument! So much for the standardized testing industry promoting and defending true academic discussion, argument, and disagreement. In effect, what the corporations are doing is allowing themselves to "footnote" while denying the opposition the ability to do the same. They have used mercantilist policies to unlevel the playing field. And I submit, in so doing, they are committing an egregious fraud on the public they only ostensibly "serve."

I suggest that the corporations cannot have their cake and eat it too: they cannot lift quotations from literature and art, slap them into their tests, and then claim that these details constitute proprietary information or that their revelation for purposes of evaluation and debate and discussion would be a breach of confidentiality or skew the results of their tests!  The point is, their own bad questions, bad practice, and defense tactics are already skewing the results, and hence, the results of such tests cannot be considered "scientific" or "objective" in any meaningful sense.

The whole situation brought about by the corporatization of education in the West is, in other words, the exact opposite of education in any meaningful sense as it has obtained in the western tradition. Imagine a Peter Abelard or a THomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages being prevented from citing their opponents' writings and texts in their discussions and debates in the medieaval universities because of such dubious copyright or confidentiality or proprietary claims: the whole tradition and evolution of education in the western tradition would have never been born.

It's time for teachers and the general public to face the facts: corporatization of education, with all it entails, does not work because in its core philosophical principles it is utterly contrary to the process of education itself. And for those corporations to argue that they are compatible is to commit fraud on a rand scale.

It's time to put these racketeers out of their fraudulent business, We don't need educartels, we need a return to our traditions of education.

See you on the flip side...

9 thoughts on “MORE ABOUT THE ROTTENESS AT THE HEART OF COMMON CORE”

  1. “And the tests were too long; none of us can figure out why we need to test for three days to determine how well a child reads and writes.”

    This quote leads us to the crux of the situation: The tests are not to “determine how well a child reads and writes.” That is, of course, the public face. Beneath that, three days of tuned-questions is probably good enough to construct an intellectual/emotional ‘model’ of a child – by machine.

    This could indeed be the run-up to a “Brave New World” society. But, it looks equally-probable that we have a rogue AI ‘requesting’ data…

    1. makes more sense than anything else. or just testing the extent the sheeple will follow their judas goats.

  2. Robert Barricklow

    They are engineering the next-generations’ public, out of any shade of governance ownership. There will be no public accountability, as it will all be privately owned – and therefore, unaccountable.

    Educated by propriety means that are unrepresentative & unaccountable.

  3. I recently took a test for admission to grad school (one of those industry standard ones) and I was struck by the same things. Questions that didn’t seem to have right answers, rather varying degrees of opinion. Upon reflection it felt like a psychological profile rather than a test designed to measure my brains. It made me consider the possibility that the tests are as much to generate profiles for would be brainiacs and policy influencers as to determine the likelihood that I can complete the course work and write a paper!

    Without giving away any test secrets I will give an example:
    The NAFTA is good for North America because:
    1. It helps banksters push a globalist agenda
    2. It is more respecting of diversity
    3. It creates jobs and helps boost the economy
    4. The President thought it was important enough to be fast-tracked without a 2/3 vote from congress

    More than one answer may be justifiably correct and it would be my political/social alignment that gives me the feeling that one is (more) clearly right. Ultimately, my answers are recorded and some of my “feelings” were also recorded and I am required to state that I wouldn’t disclose anything (actually writing, in cursive, a whole paragraph about how I wouldn’t talk about it).

    I did some reading and the question formation and results are so secret that there isn’t even a blog about it out there, just the lead wall. I still wonder about the validity of some of the questions.

    As a side note only some of the questions were like this. Many actually seemed to be taken from someone’s exam, but every 4th question or so one with very current, politically charged actual events (juxtaposed with the questions about Raul and Rosa) and these odd answer options that remind me of the Myers-Briggs personality sorter.

    Which brings me to the link to today’s blog. It looks like some of the K-12 tests may be ready to identify potential political whistleblowers and assembly-line workers. The lack of transparency with the test question creation and following analysis smells no less fishy.
    PC

  4. This non-disclosure business is disgusting. What takes place in a public school must be public, and details be made available, whether they regard tests given or the food served (hard to say which is worst). Everybody now has a cell phone with camera, so photos can be sent out, preferably on a massive scale.

  5. I have to repeat myself here read if you can get you hands on it Robert Silverburg’s Tower Of Glass. Aldous Huxley Brave New World and other dystopias. This is a variant of these contests between man vs machine in chess, go and other games the elites like to setup to prove how mentally superior machines over people. When I was in public school they pur me in a class for students with reading problems where the gave you a card with a story to read then you you were given another in which you had to answer question about the story you read. It was so successful that I went to use the school library then the public library and wend books were affordable create my home library.

  6. Corporations do not want educated employees to whom they would have to pay an appropriate wage. They want “worker bees” and “robots” who do what they are told without question to whom they can pay what “they” deem appropriate thus improving their profitability. What they fail to realize is that eventually this will come around to bite them on their arse. By stifling the creativity of their employees, they are limiting, if not preventing, any improvements in their products and pricing those products out of reach of the very employees to which they may wish to sell them, eventually putting themselves out of business. I might even go so far as to say they want their employees to have to be required to seek subsistence from the government as part of their livelihood thus improving profitability even more while the corporate officers suck all the money from the business into their bank accounts.
    They want that totally dysfunctional “Brave New World” where they can pigeon hole everyone to suit their desires.

    1. They plan to make this system work by having a complete monopoly over everything. Communism in communist countries were never true communism, but a total dictatorship of all aspects of society and commerce for the total benefit of only a few top ruling families. When you own the creation of a fiat digital currency, all of production and services, and the educational and political process it doesn’t matter anymore if the numbers don’t add up anymore much like common core. Common core appears at its core a process for conditioning the future youth to get used to things not adding up, making sense, or being fair.

Comments are closed.