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Watch student decimate Common Core: Founding Fathers ‘turning in their graves’

Watch student decimate Common Core: Founding Fathers ‘turning in their graves’


November 15, 2013 by Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

A Tennessee high school student spoke from personal experience when he gave a highly critical speech on on the Common Core curriculum at a Knox County School Board meeting earlier this month.

The initiative “seemed to spring from states,” and it was developed by educational testing executives and only two academic content specialists, neither of which approved the final standards, Ethan Young, a senior at Farragut High School, said in the recorded speech, according to The Daily Caller.

Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/11/15/watch-student-decimat...

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Value relativism even in mathematics . . .

I'm sorry friend, but you obviously have a public school 'education'. You don't know up from down and think that's perfectly fine and the way it should be.

One needs a solid foundation of tools for mathematics (and many other subjects). After mastering those tools, they can be used for doing creative things.

'No right answers' ? Math books with few numbers ? 'Relativism in our society, moral or otherwise' ? (So are there no right math answers ?)

Please don't design the car that I drive when I'm going 70mph down the freeway !

This isn't your fault. THIS is what the public 'schooling' system is designed to produce.

And I'll let you in on a little secret - - - the most exclusive private prep schools attended by the children of the so-called 'elites' don't do any of the stuff that's been used to indoctrinate you. They demand that their students master skills for learning and thinking.

Are you smarter than a 6th grader?

if you are, you'd notice that I don't condone relativism. Your snap to judgement says more about you than me.

Sorry, I shouldn't attack you. You simply need to read what I wrote once again.

I read your previous statement again . . .

perhaps you meant to recognize value relativism in this society without condoning it. Your message was rather mixed. By the way - there is no reason to apologize for an attack. I don't take them personally. Passionate, spirited debate can produce great results, in my opinion. Its so much better than the lukewarm 'its all good' approach of value relativists. Spirited examination/debate of opposing views is one of the foundations of Western civilization going back at least as far as the ancient Greeks.

There isn't the space here to get into the history and the impact of value relativism on this society. It is so common that it usually isn't noticed - like the air people breathe. I have seen where it has harmed young students. Attitudes of 'there are no right answers', 'one way is a good as another', 'don't judge' - - can impede students from building mastery in basic skills which will later be needed for more complex problem solving. I have met many students who were harmed in this way. They lacked skill in mathematics, writing, and general critical thinking. Its not a good idea to 'devise a math program that embraces the relativism in our society, moral or otherwise.' You were incorrect in linking your house building hypothetical example to relativism. The students in that case would merely have defined specifically the desired results. A construction crew does the same thing in the real world. They choose among options after weighing what was available to them... given the desires of the person paying the bills. This has nothing to do with relativism.
This destruction of foundations for learning isn't an accident. Former Dept of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt has written extensively on this. The 'change agents' in the schools are indoctrinating children with collectivist ideology and dumbing them down so their heads are full of mush.

You were incorrect . . (about) relativism

Actually, the problem itself (as you point out) is not relativism - the context in how it's used is.

With this sort of problem type, teachers can now grade students on something else besides the their mastery of the current topic - Addition in this case.

I've seen examples where the student is asked to write a paragraph about the problem in addition to doing the problem itself. Students can get most of the credit for the problem based on the paragraph, even if the math itself was wrong (relativism).

In the example, each student solves a different problem and gets a different answer. This allows teachers to encourage the belief that there's no such thing as a single correct answer to the problem (relativism).

While the example may be fine as an occasional exercise, it's not appropriate as the core methodology for teaching basic skills, in this case, Addition. Here, number problems should be used to teach basic skills, then a "ready to solve" word problem would be used to show the application of the skill learned. The k-8 texts adopted by California in 2001 had answers to odd problems in the back of the book (like in the 50's) since constructivist problems were not part of the texts. I know this since I was part of the review committee.

I think the new-new math of the 90's (which is still very much alive) had the best intentions. The idea was to improve the grades of women and minorities in mathematics as these groups typically under-perform when compared to white males and Asians **. The problem is those under-served groups still need to learn math while they're at it, which these programs did not accomplish. This is why university math profs were not happy with the programs - too much remedial work was needed at the college level. This is why Jaime Escalante disliked the programs (Stand and Deliver).

** One of the founders of Mathematically Correct debated the (past) President of the NCTM (Dr. Jack Price) on radio. In that debate, Price actually stated the new programs were aimed at women and minorities.

I don't know if you saw my post below from Nov 16th . .

these threads spread out pretty quickly.

I mentioned the research of teacher John Taylor Gatto and former Dept of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt. Also you'd find an interview of Congressional investigator Norman Dodd to be very interesting. - - The bottom line is that beginning in the late 1890s- early 1900s mandatory public 'education' was used to undermine students ability to learn and to think.

In such an environment, genuine reform efforts will not be allowed to work. Teaching & learning isn't the objective of the system.

good morning

You correctly deduced the implications of the constructivist math programs. I think you may have missed the part that I fought against it for years. I started 2 groups in the process, one local and one national. The math wars are still in progress at http://nychold.com/

Sorry again for being spirited, which was literally the truth at the time :-)

Btw, I have seen problems almost exactly like the one I proposed in children's textbooks. We convinced the state of California to stop providing these textbooks in 2001. At that time, districts could only get them using a voucher.

We all need to do something besides complain, right?

I wrote the post the way I did on purpose. Perhaps people who read it will finally understand how these programs are devised and how they will effect their children. I meant to provoke emotion, so thanks for providing that.

Thank you for the discussion . . .

very interesting airing of the subject.

You mentioned the Prussian 'education' model so you are aware of the origins and the purpose of the system now. You're likely familiar with the work of John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyt and others. (If you haven't had the opportunity to read and listen to them, you'd find it very interesting given your background with reform. Iserbyt had first hand experience with the 'change agents' which undermine teaching & learning.) When you were involved with trying to improve public education in Calif, did you know about the Prussian system & its impact, or did this come later ? Gatto quit in 1990 after being TEACHER OF THE YEAR. He wrote his book "Dumbing Us Down" in 1991. I wonder how well known were his ideas when you were working on reform ? There has been a great deal of information spread through the internet about the origins and objectives of the schooling system. This is an area that interests me greatly, so I am aware of this. (IMO this is important to all of us since the young people will be the next generation of American citizens bringing us into the future.) Mothers actually rioted in protest when mandatory public education was first being implemented. Do you know if parents & teachers understand what they're dealing with ?

The mandatory public 'education' system does what it is designed to do. I agree with you that mandatory schooling is not viable. Reform of that system is not very likely. Its about as productive as trying to bake a potato to fly you to Hawaii; adjusting the oven temperature isn't going to get you there.

I do what I can working with parents and kids that I personally know to better educate themselves. I attended public schools as a kid and went on to undergrad and graduate studies at university. Despite 'good grades' I hadn't realized how poorly educated I was. This is usually true even for those with specialized Phds (but that's another topic). I've helped h.s. students with homework in math, science, and economics and been shocked at the poor level of their math, writing, and critical thinking skills. These were kids with A & B averages, attending one of the 'Top 10 Public High Schools' in our state. They're in an upper middle class school district with many business owners and professionals. Millions are spent by the school district each year.

P.S. - - - I'm a history buff, especially the history of the American Revolution. If one reads documents & accounts from that time, there are some very fire filled debates. When it was all said and done, those Americans knew they were all patriots on the same side. I've enjoyed our discussion. (I should have read - and identified you as author - of all your posts before commenting so strongly above. If I had, I would have seen that you were speaking tongue in cheek. But it did make for a good exchange of ideas.)

Gatto, etc

I hadn't read anything by or about Gatto until just now.

So I see he knows the history of the schools, hates the way they propagate mediocrity, and rails against it. Then he offers no practical solution to take it's place.

Is it a grand conspiracy? It could be, as bad as it is. Parts of it probably are. Some of the issues are caused by a consecutive series of good intentions gone bad. The constructivist, "child centered" approach to education has been around since Piaget:
This "child centered" movement has been growing in strength for a long time now and really blossomed in the mid 90's. Gatto's rant seems to play right into it - I hate school, so lets do the exact opposite. Maybe we should let the kids teach themselves instead of teaching them. Well, that doesn't seem to work either. Perhaps there's a better way that includes some of these theories, but I haven't seen it.

This circular conversation gets us back to standards. Are standards a good thing or a bad thing? So I was at a banquet in Sacto one evening and went outside for some air. On the other side of the door stood Bill Honig (http://tinyurl.com/kuq4yjw). The banquet was to celebrate the state standards that just past and to honor the founders of MC, which I was one. All of the education big wigs were there, so I introduced myself to Honig and blurted out this idea I had in my head. I said something like "you know, if we had a perfect math program, we'd move away from it as soon as it was implemented" He asked why? "The problem is that all research dollars are allocated based on the notion of developing something new. No awards are ever given for doing the exact same thing". He replied, yes, you're right. I really had no idea who he was.

You see, if there is no fixed standard to measure goodness against, you have no way to determine if a new idea is good or bad. It's really just control theory.

So this is the good and the bad of standards, state, federal, or otherwise. If the standards are low or non existent, the new programs will ensure the worst possible outcome will be realized. If the standards keep moving, the programs will never reach steady state. Only high standards will allow new programs to actually improve. Sadly, student testing is the only way to measure how well a program is working. California created a system that put pressure on the schools, and not on the students. It was high stakes, but not for the kids.

Reading more on this, apparently both Sandra Stotsky and Jim Milgram refused to sign off on the Common Core: http://tinyurl.com/k9h43y2

This means they are set way too low to be useful.

Thanks for that relevant

Thanks for that relevant history. Long live inquisitiveness!


problem solved.

Props. That kid is goin

Props. That kid is goin places.

Be Your Own Media!!!

what an intelligent young

what an intelligent young man,this kid is a badass! I am willing to bet that this kid is 2 to 3 times more intelligent than most of the adults in that room. he is very aware of how our world REALLY works


The kid rocked the room and probably shocked the board.