Education Policy and Politics

That seems pretty petty.
Alternative (extreme) is Koch.

You should start that other thread. It seems like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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I think? Jasper is a teacher? So probably he has some direct issues with it.

I did not know before that it was very much driven by Gates, which is interesting.

I’m a teacher too, maybe our experience has been different, but that is more function of how the common core standards are applied. It takes really good teachers to implement, but the standards are really solid. Huge step forward for many school districts imo.


When I was in the US I heard a lot of complaining about common core from a few teachers.

This was a while ago (2008/9) so don’t know what the situation is like now.

Right now the bigger hot button issue is the extent to which parents should/shouldn’t have a say in the education process, including curriculum decisions.

They tried that in the UK. They failed miserably.

Boils down to religious dogma and extremism, which then correlates to political extremism.

The US still has clusters of this all over the red states. The UK is much more secular now, so people don’t put up with it.

Given that your education in the US tends to be localised, I don’t see how to fix things personally.

Hey mods: Can you spin off a few of these recent education related posts into a separate thread called Education Politics or Education Policy or something like that? That way we don’t keep hijacking the Global Warming thread.

Mainly for the way he did and still does keep trying to weasel Common Core nonsense into every aspect of education at every level. (Well, technically he mainly funds the people who are actually doing it day to day. But I’m sure he thought up some of it.)

But that’s a different conversation.

I figured mass tree graves were nonsense on their face, but the lack of credible sources sealed it for me.

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Per request, I moved some posts from Global Warming. I got one out of order though.

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Um, don’t science classes have a lab or something these days? Instead of doing the whole politics thing about what should and shouldn’t be included in textbooks, why don’t we just have kids spend a week testing the heat absorption capabilities of different gaseous mixtures and then they can just find out the answer right then and there.


It does sound unlikely we could agree to a common standard in a country that is extremely divided.

I’m not up on Common Core.

The name suggests a list of things that every kid should learn, the common core of knowledge in the US. For example, a short list of things that every 5th grader should learn in US History, with the understanding that different schools and teachers would add things that they feel are appropriate.

That can’t be right from your comment.

That’s OK.
wiki is your friend:

Just going to repeat my earlier post from the DeSantis thread as it seems relevant here:

“I prefer to leave educational policy primarily in the hands of education professionals rather than with parents or politicians. I know some will disagree with me on that premise but small vocal groups of parents making decisions on education that affect everyone is a dangerous situation. And politicians catering to small vocal groups of parents exacerbates the situation.”


You pretty much got it. It should be uncontroversial, but the tea party folks made it into a political thing and now it’s just part of the vernacular. Same thing they did with ‘CRT’ and ‘woke’ etc.

The only legit criticism I’ve heard from actual teachers has to do with implementing the standards. That’s a valid discussion, and I think school districts should get all the support they need.

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That’s pretty much my impression of the intent.

Jasper seemed to have a negative experience. I’m wondering what teachers see.

There are classroom experiments like this, but they tend to play fast and loose with other properties, like convection.

Maybe just teach kids how to look at a graph and then show them a graph.

Between “Common Core” and “Teachers” are “Administrators.” Some admins suck at their jobs.
Some think that “common core” means that all students must learn the exact same stuff at the exact same time, which, if true, would bother parents of kids that are either woefully behind or giftedly ahead. I can see that.
I’d rather “Common Core” stick to, “Know this by the end of Xth Grade; schools and teachers, you figure out how to do it for your kids.”

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The problem with the Common Core math standards is that there is too much abstraction in the early grades and not enough of it in high school. There seems to be an obsession among its proponents, especially in the math education research literature, with putting concepts first and de-emphasizing what they demonize as “drill and kill.” I even had a professor who characterized it in one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard about anything: “Basic skills take care of themselves.” (Literally those words. Uttered by a professor. Of math teaching methods.)

No. No they don’t.

Yes, students have to think about what they’re doing at a conceptual level so that they can build an intuitive sense of what they’re doing, so that e.g. they know if what a calculator gives them is reasonable in context. But if they don’t have a store of basic building blocks to draw on for this thinking, what do you expect them to think about? You don’t build a house starting with the roof. It makes no sense to demonize “the one old way of teaching math all the time” if you’re just gonna replace it with a different one way of doing math all the time. Any one method will get stale quickly if that’s all you use.

That’s why I’m happy to see that there’s a math version of Science of Reading – called Science of Math – that is trying to take root, trying to take the best aspects of all approaches and not just prescribing or demonizing any one method.

It’s possible that I’m conflating standards with curriculum, although because the teacher school classmates and others I’ve argued with in the past have done it too, it isn’t fair to single me out for doing that. Although the way that evil companies like Pearson have lined their pockets to the moon and back multiple times over pushing curriculum and test prep and remediation products in the name of standards, perhaps you’ll pardon me for being cynical that the “minimum list of things young people should know by 12th grade” thing is what was intended. (I honestly think that companies or policymakers don’t** really care either, as long as the gravy train keeps flowing from our broken system.)

Sorry if my thoughts are scattered. I haven’t had much chance to have normal teacher conversation with adults over the years. My brick and mortar days were mainly spent defending against attacks from examples of the aforementioned shitty administrators so I never got to have normal conversations, and at my current school I’m respected and trusted so I never needed to.

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