(Hour 2a) Rich offered condolences to the Yakuboff family. Merrimack Town Council Chairman David G. Yakuboff passed away yesterday.
Our local coverage on Common Core has caught the attention of Glen Beck and The Blaze. We’ve been invited to be part of their organizing efforts, “We Will Not Conform.” Rich shared the details.
Bill Duncan of the NH BOE isn’t going to be too happy with us. No matter, we’re happy to call out Duncan and his cohort Bill Gates for the hypocrites that they are. And we’ve posted two articles with this archive to prove it.
Listen to our segment on Bill Duncan, Apologist for Bill Gates, Common Core
Bill Gates loves Common Core for your kids, BUT NOT HIS
Now Bill Gates Demands that Common Core Tests be POINTLESS for Two Years
Hello – as a parent of very young children just entering the public education system, I have been trying to educate myself on the Common Core State Standards and the opposing viewpoints being expressed in the media. I am confused by the arguments being expressed that appear contradictory. Rich, could you please clear some of this up for me and the rest of your listeners? Do you feel that the standards are too rigorous, as the quoted teacher from Hooksett states? Or do you feel that the standards are not rigorous enough, as stated by your guest Dr. Stotsky? Do you oppose any specific standard or standards, or are you only opposed to the method in which they were developed? If you oppose the method, could you clarify how the prior standards were developed, and state if you were in agreement with those? Or, are you only opposed to the assessment? Are the standards acceptable, but the assessment is not? On friday’s show, you were critical of Bill Gates for sending his children to an affluent private school that does not adhere to the Common Core Standards. Which set of standards does the Lakeside School implement? And, since you have been doing so much research on the subject, which school have you chosen to send your children too? Have you found a NH school for them that has a better set of standards than the Common Core? Thanks for clearing up my confusion!
Hi, Nancy. Thanks for the note. I understand why you’re confused.
On the question of rigor, there’s a difference between the standards being tough and being developmentally inappropriate. They have always been considered developmentally inappropriate for elementary school kids because they demand kids do things before they’re able to do them, often laying an improper foundation on how to learn them and demanding teachers use questionable, unproven methods of teaching them. And, by the way, the Hooksett teacher didn’t say they were too rigorous, she said they were developmentally inappropriate. A low algebra standard is one thing, teaching it to a first grader is another.
Why would teachers do this, you ask? Because the tests will force them to, that’s why. The kids’ test results will determine, in large part, whether or the teacher is effective in the classroom. So, what’s happening is the test determines the curriculum and the curriculum will determine what teachers teach and how they teach it because, at the end of the day, if the results don’t show them being qualified to teach, they lose their job.
I was critical of Gates because, one would think if the standards he’s invested hundreds of millions of dollars advocating for were so good, he’d send his kids to a school that used them and he doesn’t. If he were that concerned for your kids and their future, he’d spend that money getting districts across the country to adopt the standards he thought were good enough for his children, whatever they may be.
I oppose the standards and I oppose the test because of who and what has brought them about and the manner in which it has been done. It’s not been above board, transparent or open to the public nor has it been “state led.”
As to my own situation, we’ve home schooled our kids over the past year and are determining what to do in the next. One daughter will be at The Founders Academy Public Charter School in the fall, the other will remain home schooled. We are reviewing options for my son.
If you’d like to see the research we’ve done over the past year, click here: http://www.girardatlarge.com/tag/common-core/ This should help you get up to speed, though it might take some time.
Thanks for your comment and for tuning in!
Thank you for your response Rich. You do realize that the Founders Academy Public Charter School’s application indicates its curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards on page 14:
“Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment –
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will serve as the framework to develop a curriculum. The curriculum will ensure that all students will achieve or exceed competency expectations for grade levels and required courses as they progress toward college and career readiness. The Academy’s approach to literacy across the curriculum will reflect the NHDOE’s Criteria for Curriculum Materials in ELA & Literacy, Grades 4-12, with special regard to its focus on close reading of “the text itself” at increasing levels of complexity across a balance of iterary and informational materials. “
I had not read that. Having spoken with the chairman of their board, both on the air (http://www.girardatlarge.com/2014/04/founders-academy-charter-school-opening-mht/) and off and having attended an informational session and quizzed the teachers, my concerns over whether or not they’d be “teaching to the test” or otherwise hemmed in by Common Core never found a reason to be expressed. For example, they’re using Saxon Math, classical literature (informational texts didn’t seem to be on their radar at all), and original/primary source materials for history. My gut is that while they paid homage to the government gods of education to get their charter, they’re going to do “their thing.” They also have a track record. Several of the school’s founders are on the board of The Academy for Science and Design, which has been a runaway success. All that said, I will inquire based on this information to see to what extend they envision participation in the Common Core, if any. Thanks again.
I sent your comments to The Founders Academy. This is the reply I got regarding the passage you cited. I’m satisfied with the response, which is consistent with what they’ve said in interviews I’ve done on the air, discussions I’ve had privately and information they’ve shared at their informational sessions.
Thanks again for your comments.
As a Public school we are required to participate with the State mandated testings. We are not going to teach the Common Core curriculum but we will have to participate on the test because the Smarter Balance test (Common Core related test) will replace the NH’s NECAP testing. There is a small number of regular public schools and districts that are seeking an exemption from Common Core curriculum and testing and we are watching that very closely. Due to its flexibility with curriculum, Charter schools do not have to adhere to the common core curriculum like regular school but we have to participate with testing. The reality is that if a charter school does what it is supposed to do it will blow the test out of the water anyway. We are not altering any parts of our curriculum.
Our official position is that we will participate on State testing as required but won’t alter our curriculum.
Your listener is probably referring to a paragraph in our original charter application. The paragraph was written before the State made public the specifics on CCSS and at that time we had to take a position to get the application in and through the approval process. Again, our position is that we will participate on State testing as required but won’t alter our curriculum. Almost all charter schools take that position. I am not sure about the dropout prevention charter schools.
Hope this helps.