Sections

Neighborhoods

Features

Follow Us

NHI Newsletter

Some Favorite Sites

Government/ Community Links

A Common Core “Wake-Up Call” Sounded

by Melissa Bailey | Jan 27, 2014 8:06 am

(27) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools, School Reform

Melissa Bailey Photo Dacia Toll gave her board members a math quiz—and a heads up about a new kind of testing sweeping the nation.

Toll, CEO of the New Haven-based Achievement First (AF) charter school network, issued the quiz to members of the four boards that govern the organization’s Connecticut charter schools in a meeting at Amistad Academy at 130 Edgewood Ave.

The quiz came from a new test that’s set to hit schools this spring—computerized tests aligned aligned to new national standards called the Common Core, which sets benchmarks each kid should be able to reach in English and math from grades K to 12.

The benchmarks—and the tests—demand much more of students. Connecticut, one of 45 states that have agreed to adopt the Common Core. They will require all school districts to switch to new Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Test by 2015; Achievement First and New Haven public schools have opted to make the switch a year early, in just a few months time. The new tests replace Connecticut’s legacy standardized tests, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) for grades 3 to 8 and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) for sophomores.

In preparation, Achievement First has shifted its curriculum at its 25 schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, which include five in New Haven. The curriculum reflects tougher standards that ask kids to think more deeply and critically.

Toll (at right in photo) said despite an effort to revamp AF curriculae and get ahead of the new tests, students are struggling.

She passed out a handout showing average scores by grade, for each grade from K to 8, on practice tests that AF generated to prepare for the Smarter Balanced Field Test in May.

AF’s Connecticut schools showed red across the board.

“Red is not good,” Toll explained. It meant that no single grade broke 70 percent, which is considered passing.

Achievement First kids aren’t the only ones bombing the Common Core tests: New York students’ scores dropped dramatically when they piloted the tests last year.

To give board members a taste for why this is happening, Toll gave them a quiz. The first problem represented the old style of math questions that appear on CMT. The question (above), aimed at 6th-graders, asks students to take two numbers, figure out which should be the numerator and which should be the denominator, then reduce the fraction. The question is multiple-choice.

Board members aced that question.

Then Toll offered a peek at a Common Core-style math problem. This question (pictured) was aimed at the 5th grade. It asks kids not to fill in bubbles on multiple-choice, but instead to “make a visual fraction model” to solve the question.

The question was harder. More complicated. And it tested conceptual understanding.

“It’s not plug and chug,” Toll said.

Toll also issued a quick English quiz. She handed out a sample 7th-grade English question. (Read it above.) The question asks students to write an essay on Amelia Earhart. In an old test like a CMT, Toll said, students might have had to identify which character trait Earhart embodied, and use evidence to support that claim. The new test assumes kids already know that Earhart was brave. Students have to read three essays, then “analyze the strength of the arguments about Earhart’s bravery in at least two of the texts.”

The question asks students to think on a whole new level—analyzing the effectiveness of arguments instead of just writing arguments themselves.

“This is a sea-change issue,” Toll said of the switch to Common Core. “Most people don’t realize” how big the impact will be.

Toll offered a quick history lesson: States were basically forced to adopt the Common Core standards due to requirements attached to the competitive federal Race to the Top grants and then the waivers of No Child Left Behind. The swift changes are taking place for all grades at once in 2015.

“It’s hard,” Toll said. “The Common Core is not being phased in” grade by grade. “What our guys are struggling with,” she said, is that “the 5th-grade standards assume they had Common Core in grades K to 4.” Students have “huge gaps” from past years, she said.

“This is a wake-up call that we are not prepared for,” Toll said. “That’s why I’m worried, frankly, about the political response.” Toll said she’s worried that if test scores plummet, “we’ll grow weak in the knees at a time when we need to stand tall.”

AF currently serves over 8,000 students in 25 schools in Connecticut, Providence and New York. Over the next five years, the organization aims to grow to support 35 schools serving over 12,000 students. AF is already facing some political pushback in its expansion efforts in New York, where a charter opponent just replaced a charter advocate in the mayor’s seat.

AF plans to open three new schools in New York and one in Hartford in the fall of 2014. Then it aims to open another two schools in Connecticut in 2015—schools that might look radically different from the traditional K to 8 model.

In a frank confession, Toll said she feels AF was previously too focused on teaching to the CMTs, which test basic literacy and math instead of deep understanding of concepts.

“The biggest mistake we made as an organization was pitching to low-level tests,” she said.

She welcomed the Common Core: “It’s so healthy and so good to be really focused on higher-level thinking.”

But she acknowledged the challenge it poses for schools. School staff are feeling “anxiety,” said Toll, relaying a conversation she recently had with an AF principal.

“This is going to be tumultuous. It’s going to be painful,” the principal told her, she said.

Toll said she has been looking around for other schools that are doing well with Common Core. She said she has made several visits to Success Academy, a charter network in New York, which “blew it out of the water” on the tests. The schools feature lots of field trips and lots of science, she said.

“We’re trying to embrace this level of rigor and make it fun for the adults and the kids,” she said. Staff need to reframe the pain and say: “Wow, this is beautiful.”

Amistad High teacher Kate Stasik said she sees the beauty. Stasik, who teaches 10th-grade literature, said the Common Core is promoting “more exciting” problems than the CAPT. That presents an engaging challenge for teachers, she said: “We’re all nerds at heart.”

Amistad Middle School Parent leader Khadijah Muhammad, meanwhile, said parents are “petrified” because they are not ready to support their kids on the new tests. Her own 7th-grade kid is “dealing with that challenging test right now.” But she welcomed the switch to more conceptual learning. The Common Core promotes teaching kids the same math concept in several different ways—concrete, pictorial and abstract. “Having the visuals” could help some kids grasp a concept they otherwise would not have understood, Muhammad argued.

Muhammad later asked how prepared kids are with computer skills: Common Core-aligned tests will take place entirely on the computer.

Toll gave a frank response.

“Our kids’ typing skills range, but on the whole they’re on the ‘horrible’ range,” Toll said. “Thank goodness” the test is not timed, she said, because the typing is going to be hard. When you spend a lot of effort typing, it distracts your brain from more important matters—such as analyzing authors’ arguments about Amelia Earhart’s bravery—she argued. Now, in addition to literacy intervention, “some kids are getting typing intervention” at AF schools, she said.

Common Core has prompted a brewing revolt among some public school teachers and parents, some of whom have formed a movement to “opt out” of the testing.

Some of the backlash comes from moms who say the test is too “stressful” to kids, Toll said. She said that misses the point.

The test is stressful to kids? she asked.

“What’s stressful is they don’t know the math.”

Tags: , ,

Share this story with others.

Share |

Post a Comment

Comments

posted by: Threefifths on January 27, 2014  9:17am

Here is the real deal.

The Trouble with the Common Core.

For starters, the misnamed “Common Core State Standards” are not state standards. They’re national standards, created by Gates-funded consultants for the National Governors Association (NGA). They were designed, in part, to circumvent federal restrictions on the adoption of a national curriculum, hence the insertion of the word “state” in the brand name. States were coerced into adopting the Common Core by requirements attached to the federal Race to the Top grants and, later, the No Child Left Behind waivers. (This is one reason many conservative groups opposed to any federal role in education policy oppose the Common Core.)

Written mostly by academics and assessment experts—many with ties to testing companies—the Common Core standards have never been fully implemented and tested in real schools anywhere. Of the 135 members on the official Common Core review panels convened by Achieve Inc., the consulting firm that has directed the Common Core project for the NGA, few were classroom teachers or current administrators. Parents were entirely missing. K–12 educators were mostly brought in after the fact to tweak and endorse the standards—and lend legitimacy to the results.

The standards are tied to assessments that are still in development and that must be given on computers many schools don’t have. So far, there is no research or experience to justify the extravagant claims being made for the ability of these standards to ensure that every child will graduate from high school “college and career ready.” By all accounts, the new Common Core tests will be considerably harder than current state assessments, leading to sharp drops in scores and proficiency rates.

Read the rest.

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/27_04/edit274.shtml

posted by: Wooster Squared on January 27, 2014  9:25am

Ms. Toll is a breath of fresh. It’s nice to see someone who wants to push and challenge kids to prepare them for the future rather than coddle them and pump their self esteem with meaningless platitudes.

These new tests looking promising.

posted by: Teacher in New Haven on January 27, 2014  9:47am

I think higher standards matter, and if it takes a national movement funded by private money to get us there, I am all for it.  Year after year we graduate students from our schools that are not ready for college or work life.  That is to say nothing about the legions of students who don’t graduate at all.  In order for our work to have meaning to the community, to our students, and to society at large, graduating students must be literate, and master basic mathematics.  Common Core is one way to get us to that goal.

posted by: shadesofzero on January 27, 2014  9:48am

This country has long needed a set of standards to measure performance. I understand students have different needs, but right now, way too many children are graduating from school without anything resembling a decent education.

I do not understand, conceptually, why states should have the right to define what is an acceptable education. We live in a globalized society and have a strong need for a thorough education policy.

That being said, there is absolutely going to be a painful transition as we move towards the Common Core. You can’t expect to just turn things around overnight. But I don’t think we need “evidence,” as Threefifths suggests, that Common Core “works.” These are things we need these kids to know, whether or not it’s convenient for our current teaching methodologies.

posted by: Sagimore on January 27, 2014  10:03am

I have a friend who teaches in CT.
He loves teaching. He is disgusted by the new testing requirements. For him he is now bound to a template on how to teach. He has been a teacher for 18 years at Jr High level. He is still in contact with a lot of his students. He goes above an beyond for them. He now feels boxed in because he will need to drop a lot of the lessons etc which he designed and felt were important for his students- Instead he must get his students to pass these test- there is no room for his abilities. This teacher has twice been named teacher of the year in his town. And runner up in the state. He is debating a new career path.

posted by: Smithers on January 27, 2014  10:12am

Threefifths is dead on the money again.  Here we are making another harder test when our kids were already struggling with the easy test.  Why? More consultant fees required and now we need more computers and computer training. 

What business is Bill Gates in?  Think about it people.

Take a look at the curriculum at Choate and Hopkins.  Do you see any reference to Common Core or whatever the “flavor of the year” test method is?  Of course not.  “They” never serve that junk to “their” kids.

posted by: mechanic on January 27, 2014  11:46am

It’s interesting that AF is so concerned about Common Core and the Smarter Balanced tests that are being introduced in CT to test student progress on those tests.  The CT legislature voted these new standards into law in spring of 2010. We’ve known for almost 4 years that the CMT and CAPT were going away, and that these new, more strenuous standards would be required. 

Has AF only started implementing the new standards this year?  Many districts (including NHPS) started introducing the standards in fall of 2010 or 2011, knowing what a sea change it would be for their students.  However, many other districts have waited until this year to implement the standards, continuing to teach to a test that they knew would be going away, and ultimately doing their own students a disservice so that their schools continue to look good on paper.

posted by: Threefifths on January 27, 2014  1:02pm

posted by: Smithers on January 27, 2014 10:12am

What business is Bill Gates in?  Think about it people.


Gates unmasks the real face of Davos.

The global elites meeting at the World Economic Forum must not get away with pretending they have the interests of the world’s majority at heart says Nick Dearden
January 2014

Bill Gates is worried – too many people are talking about raising the minimum wage. Appropriately, the world’s richest man spoke on the eve of the World Economic Summit in Davos. Gates is a great symbol of the Davos summit, an annual away day for global capitalism, at which the world’s 1% mouth concerns about poverty and climate change, while working on policies which fuel inequality.


Last year Gates increased his wealth by $15.8bn and has now once again become the world’s richest man, worth about $78.5bn. He’s not alone – as a whole the world’s millionaires got 11% richer last year. For the rest of us, the decades-long trend of stagnating income continues. In some countries – Greece, Spain and Britain – median household income fell sharply.

The policies dream up by those who meet in Davos are a direct cause of these historically unprecedented rates of inequality. Last week, even the financial press was taken aback at the concentration of corporate wealth. Just six companies – including Apple, Microsoft and Google–are sitting on more than a quarter of the $1.5tn reserves held by US non-financial corporations.

Read the rest.

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/gates-unmasks-the-real-face-of-davos/

posted by: JohnTulin on January 27, 2014  1:07pm

WS,

It is easy to see things your way, easy as in simple.  This ain’t that simple, and Ms. Toll ain’t a breath of fresh air - she, AF, the Core ..all of it are ruining our schools, and it appears that they have you and Mr. Levinson duped.  See 3/4, Sag, and Smithers (and most educators) for a more accurate interpretation.

posted by: Wooster Squared on January 27, 2014  2:26pm

@John Tulin,

Actually, it is that simple and you don’t need to be and education expert to reach that conclusion. The only people being duped are those who think we can fix our schools without making major changes to the way we do things. Is common core the answer? Maybe, maybe not, but we’re going to find out once we try it.

The fact is, New Haven’s schools are doing very poorly right now by virtually any measure. And When something isn’t working, you change course.

Does that mean that every change is going work? No, of course not. But the last thing you do when something is failing, is more of the same.

New Haven schools have been performing poorly since at least the 70’s and 80’s. After three to four decades of this nonsense, I think it’s worth trying something different.

posted by: shadesofzero on January 27, 2014  3:12pm

Wow, Threefifths has been sucking down the Illuminati Koolaid.

Gates isn’t really in the computer business anymore except as a stockholder. His increased worth is generally from investing.

Furthermore, he has given away a staggering amount of wealth. He’s donated 28 billion dollars to the Gates Foundation. The Foundation is worth 40 billion. They’ve already awarded about 28 billion themselves.

I understand educators aren’t happy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong. Workers generally have some self interests in mind. I’m not saying all educators are selfish, but they’re human. Human beings do care about themselves.

I do think we can agree that the US has fallen pretty far behind in education and not every problem is going to be solved in the classroom. Some of this is cultural. But we need to have real goals. We need to provide a real education with real, hard data behind it.

posted by: Threefifths on January 27, 2014  3:44pm

posted by: Wooster Squared on January 27, 2014 2:26pm

Actually, it is that simple and you don’t need to be and education expert to reach that conclusion. The only people being duped are those who think we can fix our schools without making major changes to the way we do things. Is common core the answer? Maybe, maybe not, but we’re going to find out once we try it.

The only people being duped are those who do not see The Corporate Assault on Public Education.What in God’s name qualifies any company to teach, guide curricula, provide sound policy, or ethical student practices? They may have the marketing of product down, but not the minds of educators and concerned practitioners. The cloaking of profits and earnings disguised as compassionate education smacks of despotism.

The fact is, New Haven’s schools are doing very poorly right now by virtually any measure. And When something isn’t working, you change course.

If New Haven schools are doing very poorly right now,They how do you explain Hooker and Davis Street Arts and Academics School.

New Haven schools have been performing poorly since at least the 70’s and 80’s. After three to four decades of this nonsense, I think it’s worth trying something different.

They How come the New Haven schools will not bring Back the Comer School Development Program.

http://medicine.yale.edu/childstudy/comer/index.aspx

Tell you what.Let us do this test.let us take the teachers from the high performance schools and put them in those failing public schools you are talking about and then take the teachers from the low performance schools and put them in the high performance schools and then wait to see what happens.

posted by: Threefifths on January 27, 2014  4:06pm

posted by: Josh Levinson on January 27, 2014 3:12pm

Wow, Threefifths has been sucking down the Illuminati Koolaid.

Gates isn’t really in the computer business anymore except as a stockholder. His increased worth is generally from investing.

Furthermore, he has given away a staggering amount of wealth. He’s donated 28 billion dollars to the Gates Foundation. The Foundation is worth 40 billion. They’ve already awarded about 28 billion themselves.

Give me a break.Bill Gates is just another example of the rich CEO looking to make a few more bucks Explain this.

The Faces of School Reform.

http://www.indypendent.org/2010/01/29/faces-school-reform

Did you also that you main man Bill gates wants to scrap H-1B visa restrictions so he can get rid of American IT workers to be replaced by cheap foreign labor.

Microsoft wants immigration reform to bring in foreign workers,

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Microsoft-wants-immigration-reform-to-bring-in-foreign-workers-169845136.html

Look like you better get a glass of this Illuminati Kool-aid.

posted by: Smithers on January 27, 2014  4:18pm

Josh,

I’m not sure that I should take you serious with this comment you provided. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps you’re just nervous. (Not in the business just a stockholder…  LOL)

“Gates isn’t really in the computer business anymore except as a stockholder. His increased worth is generally from investing.”

You sound like a guy who told me crime in New York City is worse than ever.  I guess so if you decide to forget about crack in the 90’s. Same way with your statement about US education falling behind others in the world.  Who told you that?  Perhaps it’s the same people who are selling textbooks, pimping consulting fees, tutoring classes, and changing standardized test every few years.

Enough with the simple generalizations and ignorance to the facts.  There is no Illuminati Koolaid, even President Obama and Congress is beginning to acknowledge this foolishness by pretending to discuss income inequality.  Don’t be foolish.  These (not just New Haven but especially New Haven )schools and their policies are ground zero for income inequality.  Wake up New Haven!

posted by: shadesofzero on January 27, 2014  4:49pm

Smithers,

One needs only compare the basic abilities of math, literacy, and computer skills in the U.S. compared to other countries to see how we’ve fallen behind:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-adults-lag-most-countries-in-literacy-math-and-computer-skills/2013/10/07/c4654f54-2f91-11e3-8906-3daa2bcde110_story.html

Yes, we have great schools like Yale and Harvard and Princeton for the elite, but for most people receiving a public education, they are not getting the same results as they are in other countries.

Is it our education? Is it cultural? Is it because we’re a much larger immigrant country? I don’t know. But to imply that what we’re doing is fine and whatever states want to do autonomously is “working” seems naive to me.

posted by: Teachergal on January 27, 2014  5:36pm

Threefifths: Tell you what.Let us do this test.let us take the teachers from the high performance schools and put them in those failing public schools you are talking about and then take the teachers from the low performance schools and put them in the high performance schools and then wait to see what happens.

I’m with threefifths on this one. And why does Davis School get to be the ONLY school that is not a K-8????? Hmmmmm. Inequities are the problem. I would love to see all the high performing schools send their teachers to the low performing schools to prove a very important fact. It is not the teachers that are failing their students but the student populations that certain schools possess. I’ve always felt that rotating teachers would be a wonderful way to expose teachers to a variety of learners. The student at Roberto Clemente and Davis are two very different groups. JMHO!

posted by: Smithers on January 27, 2014  7:39pm

Josh,
Interesting article choice to make your point. The article talks about adults not measuring up to some “global standard”, not kids.

I would surmise (based on your article) that we have been struggling a long time since the people surveyed are aged 16-65. Have we ever performed well on these tests? Nope! Maybe some Pearson consultants can sell us some new textbooks or hold some train the trainer sessions for teachers again (Yawn).

And no, everything is not ok with our urban education. Unfortunately, the contents of this article do not come close to providing a solution. In fact, I believe it even makes things worse.

posted by: Threefifths on January 27, 2014  7:59pm

posted by: Josh Levinson on January 27, 2014 4:49pm

Smithers,

One needs only compare the basic abilities of math, literacy, and computer skills in the U.S. compared to other countries to see how we’ve fallen behind:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-adults-lag-most-countries-in-literacy-math-and-computer-skills/2013/10/07/c4654f54-2f91-11e3-8906-3daa2bcde110_story.html

How about this from the same paper.

“We’re Number Umpteenth!”: The myth of lagging U.S. schools


The assertion that our students compare unfavorably to those in other countries has long been heard from politicians and corporate executives whose goal is to justify various “get tough” reforms:  high-stakes testing, a nationalized curriculum (see under: Common Core “State” Standards), more homework, a longer school day or year, and so on.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/03/were-number-umpteenth-the-myth-of-lagging-u-s-schools/

Seton Hall professor Chris Tienken understands the myths, fears, and lies that have spawned the Common Core and the plan for national high-stakes testing.

http://youtu.be/wEkN8Sgca0I


Why People of Color Must Reject Market- oriented Education Reforms: A Compilation of the Evidence.

Market-oriented education reform is corporate driven reform that includes policies that are motivated largely by the amount of monetary profit and political or economic control that can be gained by the individuals, organizations, and corporations whose “behind-the-scenes” efforts created the policies in the first place.The reformers have used two false narratives to push their reform measures. They sold the idea that public education is failing its children, particularly its “minority children.” And, they convinced many that with the use of charter schools, vouchers, national standards, and high-stakes testing.

http://unitedoptout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Minority-opt-out-online-version-revised-2.pdf

posted by: poetbum on January 27, 2014  8:29pm

Believing that the Common Core tests will improve education is like thinking that you can heat or cool your house just by purchasing a more accurate thermostat.

The kids is or isn’t as educated as they is or isn’t; changing the metric doesn’t matter.

posted by: CreatingUrgency on January 27, 2014  8:49pm

Just four days ago “In making the announcement, Toll acknowledged that the charter schools have focused too much on teaching to low-rigor standardized tests.”

And now…we have to teach to the test.

Nothing learned. Four days ago there was no “aha” moment. Or if there was, it was short-lived.

Teaching to any test is NOT THE ANSWER!

(And it only took AF how many years to figure out that teaching to the CMTs and CAPT was not the way to go? What was the percentage of passing on Advanced Placement Exams? 4%? That should have told them something YEARS AGO! But now that the Common Core is out…oh well, I guess teaching to the test is not what education is ab…wait…it is. We’re going to TEACH TO THE COMMON CORE TEST!)

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on January 28, 2014  9:06am

Great to see the NHI finally report on this issue. The institution of Common Core is the biggest overhaul in American public education in decades. As a parent of a child in the district I was embarrassed at how little I knew about Common Core, and it is astounding how many parents in New Haven still know little-to-nothing about Common Core. At no point did the state or the district think to bring in parents and teachers for input, and now Common Core is in the midst of being implemented in our schools.

There are myriad concerns about Common Core, from massively stressing out kids and teachers to privatization of public schools. Threefifths has addressed several of these, and I think he is right on in his assessment. Show me another country that tests every single student every other year. It is a farce that people think this is what education is or should be, when it is really a massive market bonanza for various corporate interests that will profit from the test. Meanwhile, the “achievement gap” is guaranteed to widen significantly as most students are guaranteed to fail the tests. Common Core is just another way to force privatization of public schools, taking away one of the most grass-roots democratic institutions in our society.

Common Core has shown how radically we have lost our way about what education is and should be in our society. The weight of the irony between demanding our kids perform better on these standardized tests and not educating ourselves about the tests is soul-crushing. There is a massive opt-out movement taking place across the country, driven by parents and teachers of all political shades. See, for example, United Opt Out: http://unitedoptout.com/.

posted by: RichTherrn on January 28, 2014  2:08pm

It is not the test that matters. It is that we are best preparing students for their future.
I will just note ” network that “blew it out of the water” on the tests. The schools feature lots of field trips and lots of science, she said.”
so Common Core (literacy and math standards) require higher order thinking, which requires giving students enough rich experiences, such as science, that they can use in that thinking…. sounds good to me!
-Richard Therrien, NHPS Science Supervisor

PS @TeacherGal.. Not sure what you were referring to:
Davis St School is in its 3rd year as a K-8 school. Quinnipiac, Strong, Lincoln Bassett, Microsociety are K-4/5/6. ESUMS and Betsy Ross are middle schools. The rest are K-8s.

posted by: Teachergal on January 28, 2014  2:20pm

Rich, I stand corrected but I do know it took them a little longer to get on board. And BTW, you might want someone to change the info on the website which posts it as a K-7 school. Just sayin!

posted by: trixy on January 29, 2014  9:05pm

What will happen to the kids that can’t pass these new tests?  Will we still be promoting them like we do now?  I have been so sick and tired of hearing the endless accolades of American teachers.  If teachers are so wonderful, why are more and more kids DUMB.  Using words like “ax” and “expesically"or saying things like “where you at.”  Why can’t they make change from a cash register unless it tells them how much?  They don’t know that Martin Luther King was a Republican, they don’t know the difference from a Democrat and a Republican. They don’t know current events. I have several retired teachers as friends.  When I asked them about a child that I knew of that had graduated 8th grade, without knowing how to properly write his name, and could read on a 2nd grade level, they, 3 of them, responded with “Listen.  If the parents don’t care, there is nothing we can do about it.  When we taught, spending time on kids whose parents didn’t, held the rest of the class back… No wonder the kids today are getting less and less, education wise.  Parents don’t spend time with their kids. Having a meal with them,  overseeing homework, friends, etc.  It was our job to teach, not to parent.”... So, these new tests, in reality,  will what?? show us just how dumb our kids are?? Will teachers be replaced if kids fail?  Will they care?? NO! They don’t have to! They have UNIONS!  Yep… UNIONS.  Ain’t they great?
Ax anyone!

posted by: Threefifths on January 30, 2014  2:51pm

posted by: trixy on January 29, 2014 9:05pm

Parents don’t spend time with their kids. Having a meal with them,  overseeing homework, friends, etc.  It was our job to teach, not to parent.”... So, these new tests, in reality,  will what?? show us just how dumb our kids are?? Will teachers be replaced if kids fail?  Will they care?? NO! They don’t have to! They have UNIONS!  Yep… UNIONS.  Ain’t they great?
Ax anyone!
A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader - July 1999

Recent research into human brain development is proving that parents truly are their children’s first teachers. What parents do, or don’t do, has a lasting impact on their child’s reading skill and literacy. For example, there is considerable evidence of a relationship between reading regularly to a child and that child’s later reading achievement (National Research Council, 1998). Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90 percent of their eventual adult weight. A child’s intelligence, so long as it falls within a normal range, does not determine the ease with which the child will learn to read. Rather, as children grow and experience the world, new neural connections are made. This orderly and individualized process, varying from child to child, makes reading possible. As parents talk, sing, and read to children, the children’s brain cells are literally turned on. Existing links among brain cells are strengthened and new cells and links are formed. That is why infants’ and toddlers’ health and nutrition, along with good functioning of the senses, are so important. The opportunity for creating the foundation for reading begins in the earliest years. Moreover, many pediatricians now believe that a child who has never held a book or listened to a story is not a fully healthy child

Stop blaming the teachers and unions.It starts
At home and ends at home.

posted by: trixy on January 30, 2014  8:32pm

In response to three fifths:  So what your saying is that if a parent does not read to their children before they start school,  they will never progress… they are “unteachable”?  Hmmm.  So this explains the “daycare drones” I see so much of these days.  You know… Mom has the baby and at 6 weeks or sooner, she hires some stranger to take care of the child.  Please don’t try and say these people are reading to the children!  So many kids don’t even have a personality because they are being raised by strangers that really have no investment in their turnout!  Believe me.  I am fortunate in that people always comment on what great kids I have.  I love them dearly, but they are just nice kids.  They were raised by someone that actually had them because she wanted them.  And I know plenty of children that did not have parents that read to them and didn’t even know how to speak our language and they have done exceptionally well in life.  Phd’s, Masters, etc.  These people are all over 40.  I feel for the most part that back in the day,  you had a couple of kids that couldn’t cut the mustard and they were held back.  Today, kids have things like open book tests!  They also correct their own papers and when they are graded by the teacher, they are allowed to take the tests home AND if they correct their wrong answers, they get the points back!  Talk about the dumbing down of America!  On another note, I know of a college gal that while taking a test, several kids were outwardly cheating with their iPhone.  When she commented about it to these same guys, they laughed and actually said to her “when your father gives the school a library, you can too!’ and laughed. (Bentley)  I really feel we’re doomed.

posted by: Tom Burns on January 30, 2014  9:42pm

So let’s teach to another test—which is even worse for our children—really??—Tom

Events Calendar

loading…

SeeClickFix »

Man knocking on doors
Dec 21, 2014 10:31 am
Address: Nash St. New Haven, CT
Rating: 8

There is a man walking sround knocking on doors and asking for handouts.

Parks Request
Dec 21, 2014 10:01 am
Address: 76-148 West Park Avenue New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Rating: 10

Trash in the river at Edgewood park. Looks gross

PosterWallAdd your Poster

Sponsors

N.H.I. Site Design & Development

smartpill design