Guest post from teacher Mark Butler: Kicking the Common Core Football @parccinfo

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

On the surface it might seem confusing as to why Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) would  suddenly come out in opposition to the PARCC assessment - and in doing so, undermine the authority of State Superintendent, John White, Jr. Jindal hand-picked White for Superintendent in January 2012, and has until this recent turnabout, remained lockstep with him on all significant issues.


But politics is politics- I suspect some Republicans now have decided that there’s capital to be gained from linking PARCC (a botched & widely unpopular standardized online assessment) with Common Core State Standards, and in turn to Obama’s Race to the Top initiative. If this strategy means also throwing corporate giants, Pearson under the bus, then perhaps it’s a necessary sacrifice: power trumps money every time.

To be clear, Common Core State Standards (adopted/tweaked by almost every state in the Union) are in and of themselves, a set of learning outcomes:…

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Gates and Duncan and Their Common Core “Freedom” Charade

Originally posted on deutsch29:

In his purchased keynote at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) (I know, huh?), billionaire-with-zero-teaching-experience Bill Gates insisted that the feds are getting the bum rap when it comes to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As  Huffington Post’s  Joy Resmovits notes ,

Gates went on to address critiques that the Common Core represents a national curriculum, a federal takeover or the end of innovation. He said these claims are false and distract from teaching — and that teachers can provide the most effective response to critics. [Emphasis added.]

However, Resmovits continues with details that do indeed implicate US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his USDOE in attempting to fashion “a national curriculum, a federal takeover, and an end to innovation”:

The creation of the Common Core started in 2009, and thanks in part to nudges from the federal government via the Race to the Top competition…

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Why you can’t compare simple achievement gaps across states! So don’t!

Originally posted on School Finance 101:

Consider this post the second in my series of basic data issues in education policy analysis.

This is a topic on which I’ve written numerous previous posts. In most previous posts I’ve focused specifically on the issue of problems with poverty measurement across contexts and how those problems lead to common misinterpretations of achievement gaps. For example, if we simply determine achievement gaps by taking the average test scores of children above and below some arbitrary income threshold, like those qualifying or not for the federally subsidized school lunch program, any comparisons we make across states will be severely compromised by the fact that a) the income threshold we use may provide very different quality of life from Texas to New Jersey and b) the average incomes and quality of life of those above that threshold versus those below it may be totally different in New Jersey than in…

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In her own words. Mother Jones releases audio of Susana’s graphic attacks on women, Hispanic business and teachers [graphic audio]

Originally posted on PROGRESSNOW NM:

The true Susana Martinez, in her own words.  That’s the first big takeaway from today’s Mother Jones article, “Is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the Next Sarah Palin?”

One Republican state legislator described her tactics thusly:  “Nastiness, misinformation, innuendo, and flat-out lies have created a toxic political environment.”

Just a week after Martinez released her first highly-polished campaign ad denouncing her national ambitions and promoting her warm and fuzzy side, new audio recordings from inside her 2010 campaign show the sexist, belittling and vindictive nature of the true Susana Martinez behind closed doors.

On Teachers & Hiding Her True Positions During the Campaign

Martinez told campaign staffers she would hide her opinions on teachers during the campaign, but she didn’t like teachers who “already don’t work,” referring to summer school breaks.

She then laughs with her chief campaign strategist, Jay McCleskey, about ways to avoid accusations that she hid her true…

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