Common Core State Standards. Are They Right For The State of Oklahoma?. Oklahoma Origins of Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Are They Right For The State of Oklahoma?
Oklahoma SB 2033, passed in 2010, contained a number of public education ‘reform’ measures to “support Oklahoma’s application for the second round of federal Race to the Top (RTT) funding”.
“By August 1, 2010, the State Board of Education shall adopt revisions to the subject matter curriculum adopted by the State Board for English Language Arts and Mathematics as is necessary to align the curriculum with the K-12 Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The revised curriculum shall reflect the K-12 Common Core State Standards
in their entirety
and may include additional standards as long as the amount of additional standards is not more than fifteen percent (15%) of the K-12 Common Core State Standards.”
Like all state legislatures that adopted CCSS early on in the process, Oklahoma passed the bill adopting them before they had been made available for full review
Mark Tucker, President of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) wrote his friend Hillary Clinton a letter in 1990
urging the Clintons to pass “sweeping education reform” including National Standards and National Testing using the slogan “high standards”
“Dear Hillary” letter became 1994’s School-to-Work Opportunities Act, Goals 2000 Act and Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 (Clinton’s ESEA reauthorization)
1996 - Achieve, Inc. was formed by the “nation’s governors and corporate leaders” and NCEE at the ‘96 Education Summit in Palisades, NY
Main goal of Achieve was to benchmark education standards and assessments in order to make the 1994 reforms “lasting”.
2008 - Achieve, Inc., The National Governor’s Association (NGO) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSSO) produced Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring Students Receive a World-Class Education
Called for Washington to implement “tiered incentives” to push states to adopt “common core” standards
2009 – Sec. of Education Arne Duncan creates RTT backed by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds for four categories that include:
Adopting Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
No public hearings – Congressional or otherwise - were ever held on RTT or any of the separate initiatives.
Achieve, Inc., NGO and the CCSSO produced Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring Students Receive a World-Class Education
Achieve, “is serving as the project management partner for PARCC, a consortium of 25 states that was awarded a Race to the Top assessment competition grant.”
Achieve creates America’s Choice through Marc Tucker’s NCEE to
“…serv[e] every aspect of that required by RTT”.
Pearson (NGO) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSSO) produced Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring Students Receive a World-Class Education purchases America’s Choice
Pearson provides “Complete and cohesive support to implement the new Common Core State Standards” which includes English and math curricula, consultation services, professional development, and tests, as well as being the largest textbook supplier in the world.
The Bill Gates Foundation has played a PROMINENT role in Achieve, America’s Choice, The Common Core State Standards Initiative and PARCC.
“PARCC is committed to developing a computer-based assessment system aligned to the math and English CCSS”
Missouri, Washington, California and Oklahoma signed on to CCSS without winning an RTT grant
The unfunded cost to Californians is projected to exceed $1.6 Billion dollars
$70 million allocated for textbooks
$800 million for new curriculum
$765 million for teacher training
$20 million for principal training
Other assorted costs
Washington Oklahoma?State’s Superintendent has asked their legislature for $2,156,000 dollars to implement the CCSS in Washington
Texas will not sign on to CCSS partly because the costs to implement are estimated to be as high as 3 billion dollars
Oklahoma would be responsible for the same type CCSS outlays as California
Of interest: the state of Ohio, who won an RTT grant, has a number of districts returning RTT money saying they can't afford to spend more than they'd get from the grant.
Andrew Porter, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education [a previous and early supporter of CCSS], states,
“Our research shows that the common-core standards do not represent a meaningful improvement over existing state standards.”
He also goes on to say, “The common core is not a new gold standard—it’s firmly in the middle of the pack of current curricula.”
Ze’ev Wurman Oklahoma?and Sandra Stotsky (both early CCSS contributors and reviewers) determined, in their paper, Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade,
“Common Core’s “college readiness” standards do not point to a level of intellectual achievement that signifies readiness for authentic college-level work. At best, they point to no more than readiness for a high school diploma.”
John Jensen, Oklahoma?licensed clinical psychologist and education consultant says:
They are a labored way to solve a simple problem
“Reaching the Goal” by the Educational Policy Improvement Center (whose clients include Achieve and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) suggests strong support for the validity of common core standards, but had great concern about the areas they do not cover.
CCSS not a complete recipe for college preparation
“Defining a set of standards as ‘college and career ready’ that overlook ... dimensions beyond content knowledge will result in assuming that students who have achieved a particular score on the common assessments [of the standards] are fully ready for college and career studies when, in fact, they may possess only a subset of the knowledge and skills, strategies and techniques necessary to be fully ready for postsecondary success,”
Dr. David Conley, CEO, EPIC
Closing the Door on Innovation, a manifesto signed by a wide collection of interested parties including the Heritage Foundation,Friedman Foundation,CATO Institute, Goldwater Institute,and ROPE’s Board of Directors
Contains five reasons states should not adopt CCSS, including:
“…lack of consistent evidence indicating that a national curriculum leads to high academic achievement”.
“The effects of curricula on student achievement are larger, more certain and less expensive than popular reforms such as common standards…” Brookings Institute
Standards too narrow in scope, drafted as individual, testable actions rather than as authentic performances in college classrooms or workplaces.
Document claims to be evidence-based, but we note that none of the evidence has been drawn from peer-reviewed research journals or similar sources, but mainly consists of surveys done by testing companies (ie; Pearson).
National Council of Teachers of English
Sandra Stotsky, Ph.D. in reading research and reading education, former CCSS draft committee member
The new Common Core standards will require students to read considerably less fiction.
Julia Steiny, former member of the Providence School Board, education consultant
Cursive writing is not among the standards.
Research proves that handwriting teaches letter formation, a fundamental base of literacy; advances neurological development with perceptual and motor skills practice; supports reading and language acquisition; and augments writing fluency.
Zaner-BloserEnglish book and ancillary supplier
Jonathan Goodman, Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU
James Milgram, Professor emeritus, Stanford University – member of the Common Core Validation committee
United States Coalition for World Class Math
Where’s The Math?
“Students learn perseverance by struggling through—and ultimately succeeding on—very difficult problems. And you just simply cannot do that unless you have mastered the content you need to succeed. Empty problem solving skills simply cannot make up for missing content.”
Kathleen Porter-Magee, Fordham Institute
“Relevant” isn’t supposed to be a synonym for dumbed-down, it just always seems to work out that way. And my hunch is that students might struggle less with algebra, geometry and calculus if they showed up in high school with a strong foundation in basic math skills.”
Robert Pondiscio, Core Knowledge Institute
Grant Wiggins,president, Authentic Education
Common Core Math writers/reviewers have been unwilling to defend the standards,
“Over the past three months, we've now asked six individuals involved in the Common Core math standards to pen a piece making the case for their rigor and quality, and each has declined in turn.”
Rick Hess, editor, EdWeek.
“This framework does not expect our students to be able to do any science, or to be able to solve any science problem.”
“This framework simply teaches our students science appreciation, rather than science. It expects our students to become good consumers of science and technology, rather than prepare them to be the discoverers of science and creators of technology.”
Ze’evWurman, Chief Software Architect of MonolithIC 3D Inc., former senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education
“… The only discernible standard I could find was: “The student will be able to use graphs, for example, graphs of Co2 emissions and global temperatures over time.” The joke was “What do we call this class? Do we call it ‘Global Warming Math’?”
Robert Scott, Texas Commissioner of Education
Computer science largely excluded.
Computing in the Core Advocacy Group (members include Google, Microsoft and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
According to Education Week “Experts See Hurdles Ahead for Common Core Tests”
The current focus on testing has tended to make test results the goal of the system rather than a measure.
Violates Goodhart's Law: when measure becomes the goal, it ceases to be an effective measure.
One-third of a billion dollars has now gone into mere development (not roll-out, printing, training or scoring) of Common Core assessments alone, which will in turn render useless the billions already spent, state to state, to develop, print, administer and score standardized tests tied to state standards and curricula.
Oklahoma’s last contract with Pearson cost the state $16.7 million dollars
“Testing [was to] shine a spotlight on low-performing schools, and choice would create opportunities for poor kids to leave for better schools. All of this seemed to make sense, but there was little empirical evidence, just promise and hope.”
Diane Ravitch, former Asst. Secretary of Education for George. H.W. Bush.
Oklahoma has had significant problems with testing companies (5 have been used in the last decade)
This is a national problem described by one think tank (FairTest) as a “perverted game of musical chairs” where companies move from state to state as they are hired and then fired for poor performance.
Student test results formulate AYP(sometimes incorrectly!) and now will be used to evaluate teachers and principals?
Conflict of interest schools, and choice would create opportunities for poor kids to leave for better schools. All of this seemed to make sense, but there was
Pearson has the worst testing track record of any test company in the nation, but due to corporate mergers, is one of just a handful of testing companies left in the market
The interests of testing advocates and testing companies like Pearson are often the same
Association of American Educators Poll
69% of surveyed membership believes that the federal government should NOT mandate curriculum standards
64% supported the states making the final determination about the standards.
Teachers in the field recognize that students, in addition to being held to a high academic standard, ought to be given the opportunity to learn from state-based curriculums designed with the goals of their state in mind.
Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll 2010 like Pearson are often the same
65% of respondents believed the federal government should NOT set the standards for what students should know
44% of respondents believed the most important national program was improving the quality of our teachers
24%said, “developing demanding education standards”
74% of respondents thought teachers should NOT be required to follow a prescribed curriculum so all students could learn the same content
81% of respondents believed Oklahoma public schools that take federal money are made to follow federal regulations
95% of respondents believed that when local Oklahoma schools are made to follow federal regulations educational opportunities for Oklahoma students decline
A 1994 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on education finance found
2006 GAO reported
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Federal Compliance Works against Education Policy Goals
Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Do Governmental Grants Create Tax Ratchets in State and Local Taxes?
Karl Springer, Superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools says, “ACT is attractive due to the use of EXPLORE (8th Grade) and PLAN (10th Grade) benchmarking assessments that the state pays for students to take across the state. EPAS allows for districts to benchmark student progress toward meeting college readiness standards.”
Kentucky compared NAEP and ACT’s EXPLORE in 8th grade reading and mathematics and used as a benchmark for assessing college and career readiness.
Through these comparisons, Kentucky was also able to determine that Kentucky’s own Core Content Test scores in the area of reading and math were seriously inflated.
Often cited as the model country for school improvement, Finland does exactly the opposite of the NCLB and RTT/Common Core based reform of the US (drills basics, no national/state tests until high school graduation).
Centralized education policy hasn’t worked because it doesn’t address the fundamental problem in public education – proficiency
Home school students have higher ACT scores, GPA’s and graduation rates when compared with public school students – model more like Finland.
National standards present the risk of states accepting a one size fits all, lowest common denominator education standard (Fordham - Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?)
National standards cede more control to Washington and weaken the decision-making power of parents and teachers – those closest to students
CCSS are national in scope, but have been neither debated nor adopted by Congress
National Council of Teachers of English believe CCSS publishers criteria to be a “signal of usurpation of teacher judgment in ways that are alarming”
Now that the CCSS have been in public purview for some time and more is being learned about them, five different states are considering various stages of their repeal - Minnesota, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Utah and Massachusetts