Circ activation contest

Common core article off-base

2013-12-08T00:00:00Z Common core article off-baseJon Rush Helena Helena Independent Record
December 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I was shocked to read in the Independent Record (Dec. 2) the story concerning Common Core and the inference of how little regard the newspaper has for the area schoolteachers. The article addressed the actions taken by a school district in Delaware to alter the teaching methods of their staff and by implication stated that our districts teachers have been short changing students for many years.

Let’s not pretend that the “new wave” of standards/curriculum is anything more than the old “Goals 2000” which was designed to centralize all districts efforts to what bureaucrats in our nations capital felt was the one and only way to impart selected data to the students through the public education system. The IR prints an article, really an opinion piece that slams the continuing efforts of the Helena School Districts teachers to educate. Common Core is a system that is also designed by bureaucrats and is endorsed by school systems hierarchy because it, like Goals 2000, is seen as a path toward career climbing by the by administration (and teachers who want to exit the classroom) for administration positions. Meanwhile the teacher is put into an extraordinary position of being told that all previous efforts were not “good enough” and are handed a new “teach to the test” program.

At least if this is the direction the district wants to follow, and not lead, the IR shouldn’t pile on to the staff laboring in the trenches. One last note in reading the article it states that the new standards/curriculum will have kindergarten students learning to add. Whose child couldn’t add when they entered kindergarten? And is the teacher to hold that group back for the unfortunate one?

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(1) Comments

  1. Atheist Educator
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    Atheist Educator - December 08, 2013 8:29 am
    Jon, good response. A few years ago I did project where I wanted to show the life span of these educational fad. Using an experienced group of educator and some basic research, I came up with a long list of fads, hot topics issues, and "improvement" systems.

    I then did a literature search, primarily using ERIC, to see how many articles were published on those topics per year over several decades. What emerged was a bell curve that showed the wax and wane of each. The life spans varied but, if I remember correctly, the mode was 15 years or so.

    This leads to the attitude many teachers have that "this too shall pass" when a "new" system comes down the pike.

    Regardless of the system, I've always been amused why student performance is not dealt with head on. What I like to ask is that since we know we have many students excelling in the system and those who are not, why don't we compare the differences in those groups and even see if it is something within the power of the schools to address.

    Those of us in education know what the answer is but it is an unwritten taboo to go there.



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