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Five Best Blogs: A Million Homeless Students

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 Homeless kids reach 1M, 15 states see 20 percent increases, says new report via @HuffPostEdu @Joy_Resmovits ow.ly/bV0Lt 

Educators increasingly familiar with (&liking) Common Core but public still mostly in the dark via @Achievesurvey ow.ly/bV5EW 

Randi Weingarten floats a "bar" exam for teachers at the #aspenideas festival -via The Atlantic and @EdWriters ow.ly/bV7fx 

Whew. Obamacare decision doesn't endanger current or future use of of commerce clause, says @prospect @lemieuxigm ow.ly/bV6AJ 

Sky Gallegos, latest @StudentsFirstHQ hire, might have the best name in school reform ow.ly/bV8B3

Dan Willingham explores the ridicule @valeriestraussand others heaped on the Gates "engagement" bracelets ow.ly/bV6LV 

Nobody Loves Standards (and That’s O.K.) « The Core Knowledge Blog  ow.ly/bV77s @robertpondiscio @5bb From 6/14

Pictures of the USDE-branded basketballs Duncan has on school visits? I simply must see (and share) them.

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Contrary to Achieve's claims, the more I read about the Common Core (I was an early supporter), the more skeptical I become. Four tests a year, in English and math only, with results "used for accountability purposes"? Entirely on computer, with results available in 1-2 weeks? A common aim of college and career readiness for everyone after 12th grade, with a single set of standards for everyone, and no algebra until ninth grade (my son will start algebra this autumn in the seventh grade, as did his brother)? The description that these standards, at least in maths, are benchmarked to international standards is demonstrably false. This has all the earmarks of an expensive national fiasco in the making, and portends the possibility of ruining for many years the reputation of interstate cooperation in educational matters at a time when we need more outreach beyond narrow local perspectives, not less.

I'm with you on this one, Bruce. I was involved with my state's Math and Science Advisory Council during the "development" of the math Common Core turkey, and it is nothing so much as a backward-engineered test marketing scheme.

We teachers are now being subjected to endless "training" to align every aspect of our teaching to Pearson's yet-to-be-disclosed "literacy" accountability instruments. TFA kids jostling for coveted data-driven Professional Learning Group leader positions have to say they welcome it, but they're as appalled as everybody else by the wretched thing.

Mary, I'm interested in learning more from an insider about the development and roll-out of the Common Core, and in particular, whether or not this project is still salvageable. This could prove an exceptionally important, disastrous instance of a good idea (a common set of standards across the states, saving a lot of needless repetition and make-work) turning into a fiasco, with millions of students lastingly damaged and the name of educational reform permanently sullied. Is there still any way to save this project so that it turns out to be beneficial?

No.

There's no way to save any project which is under the control of the edubusiness market-by-mandate axis; the name of educational reform is permanently sullied already. The "roll out process" included lobbyists and political operatives threatening my state legislator for opposing the common core mandate when it was legislated in 2010.

The sticking point is the doctrine of "accountability" itself. Technocratic monopolists have leveraged control of our education policy-making apparatus. They've developed a political instrument that gives oversight of children's minds (and spirits) to vested, insider interests. Their policies are toxic, and their many paid advocates need to think own their little pieces of it through.

You're looking for a way to undercut opposition to the take-over agenda, without even admitting it's there. That isn't going to happen. Every layer of opposition they buy out and peel off is just replaced by more and more people who are finding the integrity to resist.

If you find the common core promising, stand up and defend the Achieve/Pearson/Gates axis out loud. Suggest some way to hand the power of assessment of every scrap of every child's writing over to self-promoting liars and monopolists, that will turn out to be beneficial.

It's hard to know where to begin in replying to such a comment. I don't know that there is an "Achieve/Pearson/Gates axis"; it sounds more like a dark fantasy, like a popular conspiracy theory. I don't know Bill Gates personally, but I do know quite a few people who do, and they never mention Achieve in the same breath, much less Pearson; I don't think either group is well established on the West Coast (although Pearson's publications are all over). I do know something about Achieve, which seems particularly well placed with respect to the Common Core; and Pearson's business strategy (which I think risky) is obviously to infiltrate the American education market more and more. I don't know that these three are in any sense cooperating, although if Achieve and Pearson were I wouldn't be much surprised. Do you have any hard, direct evidence? Perhaps you gleaned some when you were on that commission you mentioned. In particular, I don't understand the Gates reference.

I was never really a proponent of the idea of Common Core, because for every good intention it displays, standardizing education will always, has always, resulted in settling to ensure US education statistics don’t look too horrible, regardless of how decently we’re actually doing. The system doesn’t really work now, either, don’t get me wrong, but the rather lax collection of testing ideas proposed by government so far seem like more of what we saw with NCLB.

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