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The Controversial Common Core: Costs, Implementation, Assessments, and Opt-Outs

25/05/2015   |   No Comments »

Fotosearch_2 Online_Testsing_bld128776Touted as the cure-all for what’s been labelled our ailing education system, 46 states and the District of Columbia initially adopted the Common Core Standards back in 2010 and 2011. Only Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia never took the federal government’s bait.

What are they exactly? Explains their site, “The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live …”

Since those heady reform days of old, though, the Common Core landscape is much changed. In fact, at least twelve states have withdrawn from them, including Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, despite all the politicking and spending.

You see, now that the Standards are out there in our schools, so are their flaws, especially Read the rest of this entry »

Government Reform Measures and the Growing Crisis in Teaching

28/03/2015   |   No Comments »

Making schools better with national standardsIf you measure success by how much money you collect, then the United States Department of Education has to make your list of winners. That’s because Obama’s 2016 budget proposal includes $70.7 billion in discretionary funding for the department, $3.6 billion more than last year and a jump of $14.7 billion since he took office and brought Arne Duncan with him.

He’s also proposing $145 billion in new mandatory spending and reforms over the next ten years.

The result: an alphabet soup of reforms, including the $4.3 billion RTTT (Race to the Top), which helped institute Common Core and the $5 billion RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) Initiative designed “to support efforts to transform the teaching profession.”

And where has all this “help” gotten us so far? Here are a few facts:

• Roughly 500,000, 15%, of our teachers now either move or leave the profession every year.
• Nearly 20%, of teachers, one in five, at high-poverty schools leave the profession every year, a rate 50% higher than those in more affluent schools.
• 40% to 50% of new teachers leave the profession with the first five years on the job.

Even Teach for America is seeing a decline in the number Read the rest of this entry »