The Most Disturbing Post Yet…

Kate:

This is the second piece I have read about how the Common Core standards are not helping students.

Originally posted on The Indignant Teacher:

Hello, America!! As I sit here enjoying the 86 degree daily sunshine & palm trees in Dubai, UAE, I am thinking of my friends and family in Boston, where I understand winter is upon them. As much as I continue to be homesick, I do not miss the impending winter weather, and have decided to focus on the good in my life instead of whining!

I have – just this week – settled into the position for which I was hired here in Dubai…the SEN Coordinator. I must admit I am glad to be out of the first grade classroom in which I was covering since arriving here on October 8th (which happened to also be my big 4-0). I will post later about the task I am currently facing in that capacity, but for now I wanted to share with readers a recent – and utterly disturbing – post…

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About Kate

I am a mom, writer, advocate, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, in-law, outlaw, friend, neighbor, Michigander, Detroit sports fan, moviegoer, music lover, global thinker, and suburbanite of Detroit. I love my husband, children, family, friends, neighbors, dog, country, planet, and Italian-Irish heritage.
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One Response to The Most Disturbing Post Yet…

  1. richmondtina@comcast.net says:

    Kate,

    I wasn’t sure if this was for real or a parody. If it is true, it sounds like there are some adults out there without basic coping skills and their ineptness is traumatizing students needlessly. It also seems like the blogger already knows this by saying that a couple of teachers are so freaked out over having to learn something new that they need therapy. I’d be hard pressed to recommend field of work to such individuals as learning new things is pretty much required in all careers.

    Kids’ perception of the tests tied to the common core (to be rolled out in MI in 2015) will likely reflect what the teachers tell them. As kids have been taking similar tests for decades, in Michigan the MEAP and in Ann Arbor over the last three years, the NWEA, I doubt we have to worry about mass mental illness as a result. Annalise’s teachers have been consistent in telling her that the tests are just to see where they need help, to do their best, etc. and she has no anxiety over them. She does wonder, as I do, why she’s tested in reading on the MEAP, the NWEA, and then her teacher is taking 2 days out of class to assess all the kids, in…you guessed it, reading!

    Having helped out with math centers four times now this year, I’d be happy to assure the writer of the blog that you don’t have to wait until adult-hood to develop critical thinking skills. Our school is using a program called, “exemplars” to stretch third graders’ abilities math related critical thinking. I’m thrilled that Annalise’s class is going a step beyond rote memorization and drilling work.

    Lastly, while I agree there are many parents that have scheduled every minute of their kids’ lives, I don’t see what this has to do with setting educational standards and testing kids to see where they are at versus those standards. One is irresponsible and shows an inability to set priorities. The later shows the reverse.

    The one piece of this that does speak to me is the comment about a test making a child feel “stupid”. I seem to recall hearing in my professional life that the roll of a supervisor (or in this case a teacher), is to set the subordinate up for success. The professional example is to not put a task in front of an employee that they have no hope of achieving. It doesn’t mean you don’t do the task, just that it can be broken into pieces and the employee can be given instruction on the pieces they aren’t already capable of accomplishing. The same is true in preparing students for tests. All this being said, there will always be kids for many various reasons, who aren’t ready for the test the day its given. Some may take this hard. I have to imagine though, that it is worse for kids to graduate, be out on their own and then find out that they are a year (or three) behind where they need to be.

    It is frustrating that instead of focusing on the real challenges, like certain tasks making kids feel inadequate, unrelated drama takes center stage all too frequently.

    Tina

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