A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

On Sunday, July 20, 2014, I took the day off from writing. No book editing; no blogging.

I think I have done so only for one other day since May.

Instead, I read a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I chose my all-time favorite, a work of fiction by C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.

In the preface, Lewis makes the following statement:

A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.

And so it is with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS was a train wreck waiting to occur from inception (see here, as well). Thus, to borrow Lewis’ math analogy, the CCSS error occurred in the planning stages. To try to “correct” CCSS at any subsequent point is an utter waste.

When 46…

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Stupid, Stupid, Stupid Quote In News Journal On Education…..

Originally posted on kavips:

And I quote:

“In the heat of a battle, the losing team has must double down with greater intensity and resistance to the unpleasant reality it faces. It’s how underdogs gain the mental advantage over imposing forces…..  

Is it?  Is that how the battle of Belleau Wood was won?  And not because we just pushed wave after wave of Marines (the 7th Army refused) into machine gun fire and only because the Germans filled our men with so many bullets that they ran out.  They’ve never planned for killing so many before and didn’t have enough on hand…

Is it?  Is that how Grant won the Civil War, and not by just throwing line after line of American boys at the enemy with no regard to causalities until the enemy lost so much it had to pull back?

It is? is that how America won the Battle of the Bulge, and not by Patton’s 100 mile…

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Back In The Game

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

Last night, my son and I went to XBos.  It’s like Chuck-E-Cheese but bigger and cooler.  I sat at a table with my laptop, looking up information for an article, while my son and his friend were running around on the monstrously huge jungle gym.  My son has a knack for getting a crowd going at these kinds of places.  Within minutes a whole group of kids were chasing each other.  I sat back and smiled, content my son was having fun.

Last fall, when my son was having a very rough time with his previous charter school “in the county of Kent”, there were rare moments of happiness for him.  Once a week though, he would get very excited for a TV show called Back In The Game.  This show was about a woman with a ten year old son who got divorced and moved back in with her dad. …

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@DSEA1 press release brings more schizophrenic fail on DCAS test score release, VAM, and the need to support teachers. #netDE

Not sure where to begin as 7, count them 7, locals forwarded this to me! I will post comments inside the press release in RED.




for immediate release You may want to rethink that in a minute…

Contact person:  David Wright

Company:  Delaware State Education Association

Phone(302) 734-5834

Fax(302) 674-9499




DSEA applauds DCAS results What? Applauds the testing they so frequently deride?; Calls for commitment to full-funding, appropriate materials, and time to fully transition to Common Core Standards Well, this dovetails so nicely with testing doesn’t it?

Dover, Del. July 17th — The Delaware State Education Association celebrates the significant gains I think DSEA needs math class here, we literally went backwards in scores. How is this a gain?…unless you swallow the BULLSHIT DOE analysis achieved by Delaware students in the recently released scores from the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS).

Scores from the 2013-2014 assessments were released to the public by the Department of Education at today’s meeting of the State Board of Education.

“Our education professionals are standing strong for student success in schools across Delaware,” said Frederika Jenner, DSEA President Huh? I thought test scores were not a effective measure of teaching,I’m almost certain DSEA has this exact position…or is that only at their RA?.  “We are especially proud of the students and staffs of Lewis Dual-Language, Booker T. Washington, and Marbrook Elementary Schools for their outstanding gains in both reading and math. We make our greatest, long-term impact by developing consistent and early success in our younger students.” Again, based on flawed tests.

The results released by the Department show that students statewide sustained the gains made in recent years, with even more of these same students meeting their individual growth targets on this year’s tests. So, sustaining gains on tests not vetted to be valid, that are criticized by the same State Board that authorized them, and are being thrown in the garbage, literally this year, is good? laudable? excellent? Is DSEA even serious here?

Fifty-seven percent of students met their expected growth target in math, an increase of five-percent from 2013.  In reading, 55-percent met their expected growth target, up from 52-percent in 2013. Is that pride I read in this paragraph? If so, wow.

These gains are a continuation of a path of consistent growth since 2011. <– DOE ghostwriter earning their keep right there!

The percentage of students proficient in math has progressed from a mark of 62-percent in 2011 to 73-percent in 2012, 70-percent in 2013, and 69-percent in 2014.  A sustained increase of 10% over the past four years is laudable, not stagnant or flat.  Now this, is hilarious. I guess 2 negatives do make a positive. Credibility, vaporized: in two succinct sentences. Also, it’s three years of “sustained gains” 2011 was the baseline. I am dead serious, who ever wrote this needs a copy editor who works in math.


In reading, the percentage of students proficient has progressed from 61-percent in 2011 to 73-percent in 2012, 72-percent in 2013, and 72-percent in 2014.  A increase of nearly 20-percent over where scores were in 2011 is, again, an impressive example of sustained growth and not an indication of scores ‘flatlining.’ Again, 72 to 70 to 70 is NOT flat-lining. Who the hell writes this and believes it. Who?

While these results are encouraging, DSEA continues to press elected and appointed leaders in the State to not rest on these successes Is the DSEA really saying that nearly 3 out of every ten kids being non proficient is the definition of “successes”? , but instead demonstrate their continued commitment to providing both students and educators with every available resource needed to impact and improve the education offered in our schools. No, teachers as professionals deserve this support, NOT as a result of tests that tell us nothing meaningful.

Secretary Murphy stated at the Board meeting that student success is a “District responsibility.” Smooth move by Mr. Duck My Responsibilities.  DSEA agrees, and also believes that responsibility is shared by the teachers, principals, school boards, state officials, and parents. DSEA gives the DOE a 100% free pass here? WTF?

“Everyone shares the responsibility to provide educators the support and resources necessary to help their student succeed,” YES! said Jenner.  “Our schools need funding that is more closely tied to their students’ special needs, our classrooms need appropriate materials for teaching and learning, YES! and our students and educators need time to adequately prepare for the instructional shifts required with the Common Core State Standards.” What? Why? Do these work? Proof please.

Debating Common Core Is Proof that Educators Have Lost

Originally posted on the becoming radical:

Recently, many within and among the AFT and NEA communities have been applauding that summer conventions have devoted time to debating the Common Core, some going as far as hailing that debate as proof of democracy in action.

The key problem with those claims is that the Common Core debate has been decided for educators, and not by educators. And thus, debating the Common Core is proof that educators have lost.

AFT, NEA, and the Democratic party (all long associated with supporting public education) are failing that commitment because each is focused primarily on preserving the organization and not seeking the principles that these organizations were intended to honor (see Susan Ohanian).

The entire Common Core charade, in fact, has revealed the worst aspect of partisanship—the need to support Team A over Team B in the pursuit of winning, ethics and principles be damned. Ultimately, that educators are…

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Paul Thomas on Arne Duncan and the Myth of Low Expectations

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Paul Thomas here reviews many of the public statements of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and finds a common theme: the cause of low test scores is low expectations.

If only society, the schools, and parents had higher expectations, no child would be left behind, no child would ever get low test scores, children with disabilities would excel.

Embedded in this claim is the strange belief that poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, and other social maladies have no effect on students’ ability to learn in school.

Thomas refers to a list of popular but misguided beliefs that Duncan loves to repeat because they support his narrative of blaming teachers, parents, and schools:

In a recent blog post, Jack Schneider identified 10 popular reform claims offered by the current slate of education reformers, including Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, and Duncan himself:

Claim 1: American teachers need more incentive to work hard….

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