education

MORE OPTING OUT OF COMMON CORE

May 30, 2016 By Joseph P. Farrell

Mr. V.K. shared this article, and with the growing focus on Common Core and its real rotten heart, its individually-adaptive computerized standardized tests and the further corporatization it brings, more and more people are opting out, and the revolt is growing to states as well:

Common Core Opt-Out Movement Growing

You'll note something here that I and my co-author Gary Lawrence think is a bit of misdirection, and we so argue in our forthcoming (hopefully, soon to be forthcoming) book, Rotten to the (Common) Core. This misdirection can be highlighted by the following quotations from the article:

When the opt-out movement first gained traction in 2014, it was initially dismissed by some educational policymakers as a movement primarily taken up by middle-class white families concerned that new standardized tests would reveal their children to be lower-achieving than once thought. Data from New York, for example, suggests that those opting out tended to come from more affluent areas and are more likely to be white.

However, data from Ohio have shown a much more inclusive movement, representative of the state population. Early evidence from 2016 suggests that the movement has been gaining momentum in communities of color – the Seattle chapter of the NAACP issued a statement in support of opting out, and principals in New York City have publicly voiced support for giving parents the right to opt out.

...

But when state legislators refuse to act, individual action can also be an effective strategy. Massive opt-outs create a path forward parents wanting to eliminate Common Core standards and put education back into the hands of state and local bodies where it belongs. Ultimately, if enough students opt out of the testing, it could collapse the Common Core system altogether.

 It's that last paragraph in particular that is the focus of our concern, for if one parses it closely, what the major concern is, is precisely the "Common Core standards"(as indicated by the phrase "...to eliminate Common Core standards") which can be achieved by "enough students (opting) out of the testing."
In other words, to collapse the standards, revolt against the testing. The standards are the primary concern, and the tests only secondary, and a means to an end.
In our thinking, however, it should be the reverse: the individually-adaptive computerized standardized tests are the heart of Common Core, and for a variety of reasons we get into in the book, but the bottom line is: these tests will measure exactly nothing, put the corporatization of education on steroids, and hand a vast amount of power to the testing corporations, not only to provide the tests, but the materials to prepare for them. This, in effect, hands the content of curriculum over to the corporations, and takes it away from parents, local teachers, and school boards. And there are many other problems here too, not the least of which is the notion of a standardized test which does not allow a student to generate and argue there answers, which is now made "individually adaptive" by committees of anonymous experts programming the tests. In effect, if you had concerns about these abominable standardized tests before, you're now facing a double and triple whammy.
It's the tests themselves that are the primary issue, and fault, of common core, and with them, the whole underlying philosophy of a "standardized" "objective" "scientific" computerized test. These are, to be blunt, not tests of intelligence, of academic achievement, of reasoning or critical thinking ability, of synthetic reasoning ability, or anything even remotely close to a fair assessment of achievement. There are, however, perfect tests of one thing, and one thing only:
Of the individual's willingness to be passive, and to select from pre-selected answers.
Or to be even more blunt: they are obedience and conformity tests.
And as we argue in the book, it certainly seems as if that was the real objective all along.
See you on the flip side...