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pragmatist

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Monday, April 21, 2014

David Brooks: We are pretty familiar with this story: A perfectly sensible if slightly boring idea is walking down the street. Suddenly, the ideological circus descends, burying the sensible idea in hysterical claims and fevered accusations. The idea's political backers beat a craven retreat. The idea dies. This is what seems to be happening to the Common Core education standards, which are being attacked on the right because they are common and on the left because they are core. ... The new standards won't revolutionize education. It's not enough to set goals; you have to figure out how to meet them. But they are a step forward. Yet now states from New York to Oklahoma are thinking of rolling them back. This has less to do with substance and more to do with talk-radio bombast and interest group resistance to change. read more


Comments

"What possible reason could they have for not wanting to teach hard scientific, mathematical and critical thinking skills to young children? Are they trying to train them all to become politicians?"

Funny last line, but...

Right, there are no science standards. Think for a second, and you'll understand why that is. (Hint: It's similar to no one wanting to touch history standards, even, in some cases, on a state level.) That said, there is a set of standards called Next Generation that are being adopted widely. I haven't researched them, so I can't speak to them, but if you're interested, you can do the research.

What's not mathematical about the math skills? I don't know them well, but I do know one example of higher rigor/expectations in CCSS: moving algebra to 7th grade. Have you read the math standards?

And "critical thinking skills"? Read the ELA standards; you'll find a great deal about critical thinking (interpretation, analysis, counterargumentation...). Or are you one of those who believes erroneously that critical thinking should be its own discipline or course?

As for drubbing, I've asked Afk many questions he has left unanswered, sure. But there is a serious point to be made about who created these and why. To boil it down again: Mr. Prag is for nationwide standards (notice word choice; I did not say "federal"); Mr. Prag is not in favor of high-stakes standardized testing (see: NCLB and Race to the Top); Mr. Prag would like to see the entire shape of public education change (from funding to structure of the daily schedule and the yearly calendar).

Happy Independence Day!

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