Thursday, December 31, 2015

Favorite comments of '15, cont: SteveH

On It’s not just the Common Core: how vagueness and complexity entrench current practices:

SteveH said...
At my son's high school, all of the teachers, including honors and AP teachers, had to align their content with the book, chapter, and verse of CCSS. One teacher was so pissed off that he gave it to the students to do as homework. My son had an assignment where he had to not only do the assignment, but break it into CCSS tasks or goals - citing specific sections, and explain why each part fit the CCSS standard. I remember helping him with it. Our reaction was "Whatever."

Education is the only public policy area that I ever analyzed (and experienced) in detail. I'm still amazed by how stuck and entrenched it is. I am also amazed at the bias, the shallowness, and amount of misunderstanding. I call it a turf thing. That's all they have, and ironically, ed schools directly teach it to their students by rote. The problem is that if you take that away from them, they have nothing. However, when my son got to 7th grade, when our state required subject certification to teach, things began to change. High school was a completely different world (which is not true everywhere) where none of his classes cared about CCSS. For those parents who know better, CCSS is meaningless. They will have to ensure learning at home. For other parents, high school content focus comes too late.

Since "education" is now its own separate content (devoid of subject content), they assume that it informs them about best practices in other areas. I found it astounding to be lectured by a first grade teacher about understanding in math and why it's good for kids to explain why 2+2=4. Their position seems to be that content experts were naturally good in the subject so they don't know what's best for most other students. They also claim that parents only want what they had when they were young - that they just don't understand modern ideas of learning. Critical thinking? No. Bias and turf.

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