Date: Jan 29, 2013 12:24 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

Kirby Urner posted Jan 29, 2013 11:15 AM:
> On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM, GS Chandy
> <> wrote:
> << SNIP >>

> > I have yet to see an adequate demonstration that
> the opinions of the one
> > side are entirely correct or that of the opinions
> of the other side are
> > entirely incorrect. If such is the case (that the
> one side is correct and
> > the other side is incorrect), why not then proceed?
> >
> >

> Why does it really matter which opinions are correct?

At a 'global level' (say, like "will the Eurozone survive [or, for that matter, will the USA or India survive]" - no it (probably) does not matter at all which opinions are correct.

At the level of an intent like "Developing an effective public school education system" or "PUTTING THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!", the opinions of stakeholders probably do matter a bit.

(At least, that is my opinion, though I grant I may be mistaken in this).
> The fact of the matter is CCSS is a reality and it
> will continue to go forward with some inertia.

True enough. As clearly noted in an earlier message, I know rather little about CCSS - and, I might observe, I care rather less about it. In any case, I don't believe the CCSS is terribly important (as you may come to understand if you examine with adequate care my messages where I might have expressed my opinion).
> What's to argue about then? Who cares if they're
> "bad" if they're completely inevitable? CCSS is doomed
> to progress.
> Why waste time on fulminations?

Yes. Why indeed? And why waste time asking foolish questions?

As you SHOULD, in my opinion, have noticed, I have by no means fulminated about CCSS (and you may come to understand this if you examine my messages on it with even minimal care).

In fact, as noted in an earlier post than the one you are referring to, I had clearly stated that I knew very little about CCSS - which state of relative innocence continues.

If you were to examine the posts at this very thread with adequate care, I believe you will find that there are others who are in fact fulminating about (or at least objecting in some measure to) the CCSS - or defending these standards. Those were their respective opinions, which, in my opinion, they had every right to hold.
> What, no Euclid's Algorithm? Doesn't matter. Of
> course they're not "high
> bar" standards. What, no ASCII and Unicode covered?
> In my book, you're
> wasting their time, trust, everything, but that's par
> for the course.

What, in your opinion, was the opinion I might have expressed by which I was "wasting their time"!

I had merely suggested that the stakeholders (including students) should properly put their minds to what they (the students) should learn (and want to learn - in math and in everything else). [That was, and remains, my opinion].

Currently it does appear that this is not being done effectively at all in the USA.

In India for sure, the great majority of students come out of school fearing/loathing math - which to my mind indicates there is something profoundly wrong with the way the 'learning+ teaching' of math is being done here.

(At least, that's my opinion - of the situation in the USA and in India respectively).

In the USA, I believe you recently had President Barack Obama actually 'boasting' about his poor standards in math, which fact (if it is a fact) also may indicate something to those who are able to perceive what they need to.

What, how come hardly anyone these days would boast about being 'illiterate' - and how come it is perfectly acceptable to boast about being 'innumerate'? It was once, I believe, perfectly OK to boast about being illiterate. I for one find it quite remarkable that society has changed in this regard (in quite a short period of time). Even in backward India, one no longer boasts about being illiterate. At least, this is my opinion, in support of which I believe empirical evidence could probably be brought forth [but not by me].

(Perhaps the next big societal paradigm shift may be that boasting about 'innumeracy' will no longer be acceptable - even in the USA).

The stakeholders in the school system (including the students) do need to decide what they should learn through school. This is my opinion, though I'm willing to concede that my opinion may be in error.
> Schools tend to suck for the most part, because
> e teachers are just given
> monkey work, and students too.

Yes, I entirely agree with your opinion expressed above. So then (in my opinion) the correct underlying questions to ask in these circumstances would be:

- -- "Do the teachers want to continue doing this 'monkey work'"?

- -- "Do the students want to continue doing this 'monkey work'"?

- -- "Why have they been doing this 'monkey work' all this time?"

If "YES" to the first two questions, then - in your opinion - what they should do is to continue what they have been doing/ are doing??? Is my opinion correct about your opinion?

If "NO", then perhaps it is time to think in terms of working on those underlying systems a bit. (In my opinion).

As to the third question, perhaps they (or you) might like to write a little essay about it. Some opinions elicited on this matter may shed some useful light.
> As Clyde says, these are ultra-minimal standards,
> like you should also keep
> the restrooms well stocked with toilet paper.


So let's fundamentally define "school" as being

"THE place where the restrooms are kept well stocked with toilet paper"

and then design the system to do just that in the ultra-maximal case.

All will then no doubt be well and tickety-boo with your US public school education system - and there will be no more calls from anyone to "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!"

I personally believe I would want the Indian public school system to do just a wee bit more - and I shall be trying to urge for systems in this country which would do that "wee bit more". (At least, that's my opinion on which my action in this case will be based).
> Having the janitors caucus would probably help
> students a lot more, at the
> end of the day -- and the nutritionists.

Indeed. See above. Why don't you push for just that for the USA, the "janitors caucusing" and the like? If that, in your opinion, is what would help US students best, why don't you get just that done? (It should be a lot easier to do this, in my opinion, than the various things you have written about. Or maybe my opinion is wrong here).
> Lets talk about common core
> minimum food standards and leave the curriculum
> standards to people more
> qualified than government bureaucrats.

Do tell me: just what, in your opinion, was the whole point (explicit or implied) of my post(s) on this thread, to which you seem to be responding? Or were you responding from something drawn out of your imagination?
> But then the latter aren't qualified to set standards
> regarding food
> either, so lets give them their innocuous busy work.

If this is the way you want to utilize your resources (of money and human resources of various kinds), fine, do go right ahead and give them that "innocuous 'busy work'".

Possibly that is precisely what in fact is happening right now, which may be why you are getting shouts and murmurs to "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!"
> Why be so spiteful and ungenerous, when we're with
> the other hand
> apparently quite willing to pay full room and board,
> transportation, for
> thousands upon thousands of people in Okinawa, Guam,
> Korea and elsewhere
> (talking about government camps for poor people and
> the military jobs
> program they've enrolled in, big time welfare).

Why, indeed? I agree entirely, as you may notice if you examine my opinions provided in my response to the message where you initially raised the issue of 'defence' forces.
> School is NOT just about students getting an
> education, and never has been
> just about that. That's not being cynical, that's
> telling the truth.

I agree entirely that "School is NOT just about students getting an education" (and yes, we're not being cynical, just telling the truth).

However, school is in fact where at least part of the system resources in there are expected to cater to some aspects of the learning that students do. (Or, I should perhaps say, this "SHOULD BE" the case - i.e., in my opinion).

Alternatively, let's define school otherwise, namely, as:

"THE place where the restrooms are kept well stocked with toilet paper".

Do feel free to do just that (in the USA).

In my opinion, we should try to do it a wee bit differently here.
> Why do we lie about the ultra-basics? That just
> makes the conversations
> lag reality, at the expense of the conversations'
> relevance, as it doesn't
> change what's so one iotum.

You tell me your opinion why. To the best of my opinion, I have NOT lied, about the 'ultra-basics' or about anything else. (As may agree if you examine my posts with adequate care to arrive at some real understanding of what I had written).
> > I keenly await your further opinions on these
> issues.
> >
> > GSC
> >

> Opinions, opinions, what a waste of time.

I on the other hand believe that a good bit of what we *do in life* springs from the opinions we currently hold on the issues on which we wish or intend to act.

I also claim that it is possible, if one understands systems a bit, to change opinions to a considerable extent (and thereby the way the actions taken by reason of those opinions).

If you disagree, I would state that it is your inalienable right to believe exactly that (i.e., to hold exactly such opinion) - exactly as it is the inalienable right of Domenico Rosa and Clyde Greeno to have their own separate opinions on the matter of the CCSS or anything else (subject to some limitations that may be imposed on them by your society in the USA). As they're entitled to hold their own opinions in such matters, it may often be most useful to know those opinions, in order to enable effective work on the underlying systems. That is the basis of 'system design' as we followers of Warfield understand the process.
> CCSS is an enterprise upon which
> many have embarked and that's just the way it is.

If you'll examine the thread with a minimum degree of care, it was Domenico Rosa and Clyde Greeno had expressed opinions about CCSS, not I.

I had merely expressed my opinion that it is entirely their right to have their own opinions. Do you want to object to that? Do tell us why, in your opinion, you want to object. I shall, in return, provide my opinion as to why your opinion is wrong.

(As noted in an earlier message, I know rather little about CCSS - and I care less about it. I do agree with Domenico Rosa, however, in his 'opinion' about 'door-stopper' books instead of well designed and focused instruments to help students learn).
> Just let it be why not? Soliciting opinions about the > weather and wether it rains too much would be
> about as useful, no?
> Kirby

Possibly. So why do you not address Domenico Rosa and Clyde Greeno about this matter?

Would that not be more useful?

Or do you believe that it is useful to insist on soliciting my opinion regarding the CCSS (about which I know rather little - and care rather less)?

Further, in regard to your last, possibly you are correct (if you are in the rain-fed farming business or are addressing someone who is; I am not in that business at all).

As you are responding to messages in a thread on educational systems containing a fair number of posts, you might like to do yourself the considerable favor of checking out the messages you are responding to with a bit more care and accuracy than you have shown here.

That (in my opinion) would be at least as useful as inquiring about whether it is due to rain.


Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Message was edited by: GS Chandy