Date: Jan 27, 2013 7:38 PM
Author: Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

"State says student test scores set to plummet under higher standards
By Sarah Karp

"... The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the
proposed changes at their meeting on Thursday. ... The new test will be
based on the Common Core standards which have been adopted by 45 states and
the District of Columbia. The Common Core standards are thought to be more
rigorous than current state standards. [see ]"

So, current state standards for Illinois are thought to be less "rigorous"
than the *minimum* standards on which most states could agree (a la the CCSS
initiative)? Does that suggest that the (minimum) CCSS are more rigorous
than are the standards for at least 25 states?

Yes, there is strong evidence that *minimum standards* are sorely needed
(even though the CCSS must be continually improved). But *par* standards
also are sorely needed. Any movements in that direction? ... or must we
continue to tolerate the strawman war?

- --------------------------------------------------
From: "Clyde Greeno @ MALEI" <>
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:34 AM
To: <>
Cc: "kirby urner" <>
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

> So as not to court misinterpretation of my "strawman" claim:
> # There definitely IS a serious need for formal statements of MINIMUM
> curricular "standards" ... to which most/all states can agree ... ideally
> in the form of concurrent, alternative versions, thereof ... as generated
> by separate bodies ... each of which should annually update its own
> version, on the basis of new insights. [The current CCSS is the one and
> only such product, from any such group ... and not yet updated.] Healthy
> disputes can occur ONLY when at least two such products exist. That does
> require paying people to do the work ... albeit, some modes of service are
> less cost-effective than others.
> ## There also is a dire need for similar statement of (substantially
> higher-level) PAR curricular "standards". [There currently is no such
> product.]
> ### The "strawman war" is being fought by those who quarrel with CCSS
> because the latter propose some deviation from earlier generations ...
> and/or because *minimum* is less than *par.* It's a little like
> congressmen voting against a bill, because of the presence or lack of some
> ingredients, therein ... without concurrently proposing an alternative
> bill. [Far easier to detect "flaws" in others' attempts to solve their
> problems, than to create one's own solutions to one's own problems.]
> Cordially,
> Clyde
> - --------------------------------------------------
> From: "kirby urner" <>
> Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:51 PM
> To: "Clyde Greeno @ MALEI" <>
> Cc: <>
> Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

>> On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM, Clyde Greeno @ MALEI <>
>> wrote:

>>> A strawman war!

>> I've come mostly to Clyde's view on CCSS, which is that having states
>> churn about all this is fairly innocuous and is a fine excuse to
>> create at least a few positions that pay, even if most are part time.
>> In contrast to how much it costs to keep a standing army sitting
>> around the world mostly doing nothing useful beyond keeping said army
>> fed, sheltered and in uniform, it's relatively affordable to have
>> civilian adults commute or, better, telecommute, to day jobs where
>> they argue about "y = mx + b" and the other memes (dots, nodes) they
>> want to see included in public school curricula, perhaps out of
>> nostalgia or because it's what some of the beacon schools have been
>> doing.
>> As I posted to another list on this same topic recently:
>> "The standards committees are mostly busy work for people who need
>> some kind of income based on what little they learned in school (not a
>> whole lot in most cases). We must indulge our fellow Americans in
>> their busy work because that's a way to stay self respecting, to don
>> business dress and pilot an automobile to a place called an office."
>> Like the military (costly doing nothing, more costly wreaking havoc),
>> the rest of government is very much a jobs program and local
>> governments are seeing a rationale for getting together with
>> educationists and performing innocuous activities that don't even
>> bring them into much contact with the kids (in which case more
>> fingerprinting would be required, at least in Oregon). Once you're
>> "finished" with school you're expected to "work" (is how the thinking
>> seems to go) and here's "work" that requires knowing little more than
>> one "learned" already, so a perfect fit. The same familiar schooling
>> continues but now with a pay check and more meetings. We're adults,
>> yippee. Now you've got mouths to feed, bills to pay.
>> As readers here know, I regard the education most Americans get as
>> laughably out of date and the end product is dorky and scarcely
>> competent (hence the huge military / prison population and the paid
>> jobs those provide). Sweden and Finland: different animals. Lots of
>> diverse opportunities on this planet. If you want your kids to get a
>> good education, there's always home school + distance. Unfortunately,
>> mostly the public schools are for losers these days and we'd like to
>> rescue more kids from the fates of their parents (ignorant jingoist
>> yahoos a lot of 'em -- way too many of 'em).
>> That's work for a lot of people too (rescuing the kids), even if not
>> in government. The private sector has its place.
>> Kirby