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Beware of Vague Common Core Hype

Jason Endacott | Posted 12.09.2014 | Education
Jason Endacott

As voters we must be careful about believing the rhetoric of anybody who stands to gain or profit on the backs of our children. Each of us is responsible for developing a better understanding of why we support or oppose major reform initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards.

One Excellent Outcome from the Common Core

Vicki Cobb | Posted 12.22.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The protests over the Common Core Standards have been more about the destructive effects of testing to assess how we're meeting the Standards than about the actual Standards themselves.

Education Reform and Evidence

Vicki Cobb | Posted 12.08.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

Public policy for public education is destroying it. Wholesale. That's the only conclusion I can draw from screening "Rise Above the Mark," a new documentary designed to spark a much-needed conversation about what is happening to public education.

Common Core Revisited

Vicki Cobb | Posted 11.25.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

We will never rid the system of dead-wood teachers, short-sighted administrators, and negligent parents. But there is a huge body of literature on what the best practices are and there is a wealth of high-quality instructional material out there, if only teachers had more time to find it.

How The Common Core Lost Teacher Support

Peter Greene | Posted 10.20.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

The Common Core lost teacher support because so many teachers spent the year face to face with it, looking it right in its beady little eyes. They don't love it because they know it so well.

Common Sense and the Common Core

Vicki Cobb | Posted 09.09.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The furor over the implementation and testing of the Common Core State Standards is detracting from dealing with the very basic issues involved in putting these standards to work.

Children's Nonfiction Rising

Vicki Cobb | Posted 08.31.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

Why read nonfiction? The utilitarian reasons are the ones cited most. We read to understand the fine print of contracts, how to operate the new-fangled gadget we just overpaid for, to make sure we don't get the side effects of a new medication.

A Chemistry Book Is Not a Novel

Vicki Cobb | Posted 08.11.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The NCLB focus on literacy has had the perhaps unintended consequence of emphasizing reading and writing fiction or autobiographical material.

Welcome to Common Core Hospital

Peter Greene | Posted 08.04.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

Nurse Duncan: Welcome to Common Core Hospital. How may I assist you? Chris: My name's Chris Wobble. I was just in a car accident. My arms seems to be broken in about three places.

Business Group Pledges $500,000 Campaign For Common Core -- Who Will It Really Benefit?

Diane Ravitch | Posted 07.30.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

Someday, maybe 12 years from now, they think, all children will be college-ready, even if they live in squalor or have no home, even if they attend overcrowded classes with inexperienced teachers. Are they gullible? Or do they believe the public can be easily deceived?

Is Common Core Failure President Obama's Fault?

Peter Greene | Posted 07.27.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

The state-led initiative was chugging right along, moving forward without any interference from the feds, when somehow, they decided to leap in. This is part of the current conservative CCSS support narrative. The story goes something like this.

Glenn Beck's Angry And Ignorant Book About Common Core

Diane Ravitch | Posted 07.21.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

This is crazy stuff, and it makes it difficult if not impossible to have a reasonable discussion about the pros and cons of the Common Core.

So, What Good Question Have You Asked Today?

Vicki Cobb | Posted 07.19.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

It seems that the answer-driven culture in schools, which has been conditioned by endless test-prep, has rubbed off on science teachers where the content should be approached by inquiry.

The Testing Insanity and Collateral Damage

Vicki Cobb | Posted 07.04.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

For parents, the fear is that their precious child might become collateral damage in the struggle to correct this unmitigated destruction that is happening to public education.

The Answer-Driven Culture

Vicki Cobb | Posted 06.23.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The new emphasis on high-stakes standardized exams has changed the culture of schools -- it is now overwhelmingly answer-driven. Why?

Chancellor Carmen Fariña: First 100 Days at the Helm of NYC Public Schools

Vicki Cobb | Posted 06.15.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

Carmen Fariña, Mayor DeBlasio's choice for Chancellor of the NY City Public Schools, may be small in stature but she has big dreams and a hugely ambitious agenda for the nation's largest public school system.

Good Writing Honors the Reader

Vicki Cobb | Posted 06.09.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

No matter how high the bar is set, simply stating the standards does not mean that students will perform at a higher level. The absurd weight now accorded to standardized testing is destroying public education and, I fear, a generation of learner.

The High-Profile People Who Are Doubling Down on the Common Core

Mercedes Schneider | Posted 06.02.2014 | Education
Mercedes Schneider

They can purchase publicity. They can offer talking points. But they cannot back their diehard delivery with evidence that the Common Core does anything other than divest American public education of its democratically-protected autonomy.

National Urban League Endorses Common Core State Standards - Here's Why: Part One

Marc H. Morial | Posted 04.28.2014 | Black Voices
Marc H. Morial

It does not serve our nation or our future when some children are systemically less prepared than others, nor does it serve our nation to have this issue tossed onto a political battlefield where it becomes a casualty of partisanship and deliberate misinformation.

The Making of an Excellent School: Not So Easy, Not So Fast

Vicki Cobb | Posted 04.13.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

I did not understand how something as benignly written as the Common Core State Standards could be hi-jacked by political and corporate powers to create schools that are now submersed in mind-numbing test prep and fear in the name of "accountability."

A New Story for Black History Month

Vicki Cobb | Posted 04.09.2014 | Books
Vicki Cobb

The Port Chicago 50 is a huge departure from the usual dry reading for young people studying American History. Kids need to read books like this to put humanity into the basic principles of America and how we have struggled to live up to them.

Celebrating Ten Years of Road Trips on Mars

Vicki Cobb | Posted 03.12.2014 | Books
Vicki Cobb

These books will interest adults and open everyone's eyes to the kind of books kids should be reading to meet the CCSS; if only more teachers and administrators were aware of them.

The Gift of a Gifted Teacher

Vicki Cobb | Posted 03.04.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The current climate of fear in public schools brought on by a misguided attempt to standardize learning and testing will not empower teachers or students. There is a growing groundswell of discontent at the grassroots.

An Irresistible Invitation From Diane Ravitch

Vicki Cobb | Posted 02.21.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

I was surprised and delighted by a recent shout-out about one of my Huff Post entries by Diane Ravitch, a brilliant and tireless crusader to save public education in the face of the Common Core State Standards. Diane claims in her post that she and I disagree about the CCSS.

The Teaching Profession: Then and Now

Vicki Cobb | Posted 02.10.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

The department chair handed me a textbook to teach from. I took one look at it, and decided I couldn't inflict such dry, pedantic stuff on my students. I also noticed that my classroom door was closed and no one was watching me.