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Topic: Most Americans Unaware of Common Core
Replies: 7   Last Post: Aug 23, 2013 9:57 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 7,757
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Most Americans Unaware of Common Core
Posted: Aug 22, 2013 7:35 AM
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Responding further to Jerry Becker's dt. Aug 22, 2013 1:20 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2591149).

I have previously responded at http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9229842, on re-reading which I observed there is actually much more in this poll than I had previously perceived, and some of those perceptions may well be useful for the purpose of explaining 'developing an effective system'.

I have therefore listed, below my signature, a few 'elements' as perceived by me that I've 'extracted from the 'Education Week' article - and also from Kirby Urner's response "Americans thankfully clueless about rotten-to-the-core Core" dt. Aug 22, 2013 5:47 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2591170). Of course, most of the elements would need to be edited to render them appropriate for modeling, with a view to find out how they may "CONTRIBUTE TO" the chosen 'Mission'.

I believe that a great many excellent ideas related to the important issue of ensuring that the US educational system becomes truly functional and effective (to enable the US to become competitive in the world) are already available in that list. (Several of those ideas are also readily adaptable for India's educational systems as well).

If stakeholders (in whichever system) were to work to discover just how those ideas "MAY CONTRIBUTE TO" the ambitious Mission of developing an effective 'school system', they would, in short order find practical ways to:

i) implement whatever is implementable today;

ii) work towards whatever is NOT implementable today by finding out just what they need to do to make them implementable); and

iii) overcome whatever barriers and difficulties they may confront.
(Ir's precisely as simple as that! (Just i - ii - iii and that's it!)

Some small amount of learning - along with a fair bit of 'unlearning' - will be demanded of stakeholders* in the educational system (see NOTE on stakeholders) to do the three simple things above.

I claim that the stakeholders in US education do in fact ALREADY have with them all needed ideas and knowledge about the situational background to develop an effective public school system, they are simply not putting it all together effectively: it's as simple as that!

There is plenty of evidence for the above claim - check out, for instance:

-- those portions of the debate on standards as reported in the article;

-- the debate that we've seen taking place here at Math-teach (and elsewhere);

-- the desperate actions taken from time to time by various people who are in the educational system or controlling it (e.g. the Governor of Pennsylvania, who apparently shut down the public school system of an entire district! (See "'Indescribably insane': A public school system from hell"
http://www.salon.com/2013/08/19/indescribably_insane%E2%80%9D_philadelphias_public_school_nightmare/). There is also a thread right here at Math-teach discussing this remarkable action by the Governor of Pennsylvania (see thread "'Indescribably insane': A public school system from hell" - http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2590417) .

-- there is PLENTY of other evidence!

NOTE on *Stakeholders:
++++++++
The CCSS people (along with the critics of the CCSS); the parents school-going children; the teachers and principals; educators; others interested, including politicians interested in the educational system; journalists, etc, etc.

It's a given, of course, that stakeholders - as they consider various aspects of the educational system in question - would surely find many other positive ideas for the Mission (as well as difficulties, barriers and objections to the ideas that they get). All of these ideas need to be *integrated* into the final Action Plan that develops.
++++++++

I recommend a simple process that will help stakeholders involved/enmeshed in any issue within a complex system (such as the public school educational system) to construct an Action Plan from their own available good ideas. In this particular case - starting it from the 'elements' generated in the debate about CCSS, we can easily find out how to develop:

-- effective means of evaluating teachers;
-- effective means of testing students;
(It is quite evident that CCSS has not served either of the above two purposes)
-- effective public school education systems for the USA.

The processes used enable all such further ideas to be readily incorporated into the Action Plan "to develop an effective educational system"

Further NOTE on Action Planning in complex systems:
++++++++
Of course, we will find many naysayers. Chief amongst them would be:

a) Those who may be making a profit out of the ineffective educational systems now current;

b) Various other vested interests;

c) Those who have been shouting futile slogans* over the past many years, who will be reluctant to admit that the answers to the problems of the educational system are in fact as simple as described at i), ii) and iii) above. (It IS, in fact, as simple as "One, two, three"!)

*Examples of futile slogans:

-- "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!" (I)
-- "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!" (II)
-- "Children must be PUSHED to learn. They may also be ENCOURAGED a bit." (stuff like that).

The simple lesson these folk need to learn is that shouting slogans is of no use whatsoever to enable resolution of system problems).

d) Others who will claim that they have been doing "much better modeling" 30 (or 50) years ago - entirely misunderstanding the simple fact that the 'modeling' isn't the issue: what did you do with the models you made?

Did you simply paste up model PERT Charts and stuff of that nature on all the walls of all the halls and all the the corridors of the offices where you worked - or did you actually manage to DO something practical with those models?

I frankly am NOT interested in the complex models that you may have pasted on the walls (or on the ceilings) of your offices. WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THOSE MODELS?

The issue is ONLY: how to get on with tackling the problems and issues of the system that those models are purported to deal with. For those who may be interested in checking out the simple - but very real - background of the modeling that I recommend be done, check out "What is Modeling?", attached herewith.

The SIMPLE way to get over these issues is to work to find out what needs to be done today, and tomorrow, and every day, towards accomplishing the 'Mission' of the part of the education system now under consideration: the public school system. The Mission could be something utterly 'simple', e.g.:

"To ensure that we develop an effective public school system for the USA".

You will find that practically all needed ideas are available with the stakeholders RIGHT NOW. No need of great complex ideas and 'theories of learning' - though it is useful to understand that the only 'learning theory' needed is: "Children naturally learn". Use that as the basis, and you can't go wrong.

As you work on finding out just what of the given ideas can be implemented today, as you work on doing needed things to make other good ideas implementable in the future, you will automatically discover EVERYTHING needed to accomplish that Mission:

"To ensure that we develop an effective public school system for the USA".

It REALLY is as simple as i), ii) iii) above.
++++++++

And it really shouldn't take longer than a couple of years at most to ensure that a truly *effective* public school system is in fact implemented in the USA, satisfactorily reflecting the needs of the nation, and of most of the genuine people in the public school educational system (including students and parents).

The system that develops would not, of course, satisfy the needs of those who've been looting the system; nor will it satisfy the needs of those who've been shouting foolish and futile slogans over the years.

GSC
("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!")
Some 'elements' extracted from article on Common Core - and including elements from elsewhere and which came to mind while reading the article:

1. Two out of three US stakeholders in education have not heard of the Common Core
2. Of those who have heard of Common Core, fewer than half believe that it will help make US more competitive in the world
3. More rigorous academic goals in English/language arts and mathematics will make the US more competitive in the world (less than half believe this)
4. More rigorous academic goals in English/language arts and mathematics will NOT make the US more competitive in the world (more than half believe this)
5. Common Core is rubbish (Kirby and others)
5a. Develop *effective* standards for schools (Kirby)
5b. CCSS is the way to develop an effective public school system (Supporters of CCSS)
6. Parents of public school children: 55% do not know know about the new academic standards of the CCSS
7. Future directions of US public school education: to be determined by CCSS new standards and tests - or by something else?
8. How are students mastering the CCSS?
9. Forty (40) states are working on redesigning teacher
and principal evaluations to include student test scores
10. Public and parents don't understand what new standards are
11. Public and parents are going to be very upset about their childrens' lower scores under CCSS
12. There is very poor implementation of CCSS (Pedro Noguera)
13. Abundance of misinformation about CCSS (Deborah A. Gist, commissioner of education, Rhode Island)
14. Respondents in poll erroneously feel that federal government forced states to adopt CCSS (claim in article)
15. Respondents in poll erroneously feel that CCSS will cover all academic content areas
16. Respondents in poll erroneously feel that CCSS are an an amalgamation of existing state standards
17. We (proponents of CCSS) need to engage parents and public much more with the transition to the new standards
18. PDK-Gallup Poll: fewer than one in four of those responding believe that more student testing has led to better public schools
19.Poll by Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago (AP Survey) - shows very different results from PDK-Gallup Poll
20. PDK/Gallup survey: 2012: 47% opposed using test results in teacher evaluation; 2013: 58% opposed using test results in teacher evaluation;
21. AP Survey: Sixty percent said that students' scores on state tests should be included in teacher evaluations.
22. ... (etc)


Message was edited by: GS Chandy



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