Kira Willis Fires Off At Erick Erickson

Kira Willis, candidate for State School Superintendent, has fired off the following press release in response to Erick Erickson’s attack on her and her support for Common Core yesterday.  I’ll add that because of his condescending approach to the entire topic and Willis, I’ve decided to go ahead and commit to voting for her.  It’s sad that Erick has decided to join those who would spread fear while attacking all who support Common Core as “being paid to do so”.  That’s not helpful to the debate, and more importantly, not even close to the truth.

Willis’ release is as follows:

Roswell, Georgia  – Kira Willis, a veteran educator with 18 years of direct classroom experience, condemned Erick Erickson’s thoughtless denunciation of Common Core standards as the sole reason for endorsing a candidate in the School Superintendent’s race.

“Erick Erickson is supposed to be a leading conservative voice,” said Willis, “but yesterday that voice sold out to fear-mongering paranoia and failed the students and teachers of Georgia. That’s not conservativism.”

Erickson, a host on WSB radio and Editor-in-chief of endorsed a former member of the DeKalb County School Board who was removed from office by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013 for State School Superintendent. On air, Erickson cited her opposition to Common Core as the sole reason for his choice. Willis described Erickson’s reasoning as an insult to Georgia teachers.

“Common Core State Standards were developed in Georgia, first by Republican State School Superintendent Kathy Cox, then by Republican Governor Sonny Perdue, as a means of making sure that measuring student progress would be consistent across states,” said Willis. “States joining together –voluntarily- as protection against intrusion and overreach by the federal government is the very essence of federalism,” she added.

“The SAT, the ACT, the ITBS, and the International Baccalaureate curriculum are all aligned to the Common Core Standards, and I and other teachers in Georgia have been working very hard to implement them for the benefit of Georgia students,” said Willis. “Chanting ‘Stop Common Core’ is a slap in the face to Georgia teachers that would condemn Georgia students to another decade in the academic ratings basement. That may make good radio ratings, but it’s not what real conservatives do.”

Willis taught at Woodland Middle School, Centennial High School and Roswell High School over 18 years and has worked as a Graduation Coach and Response to Intervention (RTI) Coordinator at North Springs Charter High School in Fulton County for the last three years. She is certified as an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction and holds a Masters in Education Leadership from Kennesaw State University.

“Mr. Erickson is free to endorse whomever he wants, for whatever reason he wants,” Willis said “And while I am of course disappointed in his choice for State School Superintendent, I am dismayed that he calls his reasoning conservative.”

More information is available at


  1. George Dickel says:

    “It’s sad that Erick has decided to join those who would spread fear…”

    Dude decided to do that a long time ago.

  2. Three Jack says:

    Definitely not in defense of Erick, but I caught a portion of the show yesterday as commercials played on 105.7. Erick did everything he could to try and separate himself from those who irrationally oppose CC by explaining his opposition is based on firsthand experience with his kids. He lamented not being able to assist with the homework of his 2nd grader because it is so ‘convoluted’. I didn’t listen long enough to hear him not endorse Willis.

    In general, talk radio has become nothing more than a meat market for wackjobs determined to oppose everything. Erick has done his part to become one of those fueling the anti-everything crowd so it is difficult to stay with him for longer than a commercial break on another more appealing station. It is really a shame that the format which can be educational has devolved to this level.

          • Harry says:

            Maybe somebody will stop the silly “fear” comments and begin to realize there really is serious opposition to Common Core from parents, teachers, and the informed public at large. Address the issues.

            • Ellynn says:

              So tell us what the serious opposition is? Not the “ObamaCore” or the federal government is taking over fluff stuf. What is the REAL problem, as you see it, in your own words?

                • Ellynn says:

                  Jackster comments appear to be observation, my questions. Can you please be more specific on what you want addressed.

                • Jackster says:

                  My concerns have nothing to do with common core – that’s my point – that people’s outrage with the education system have more to do with how local districts are run, how resources are allocated, and the like.

                  Common core is turning into an election year diversionary tactic, instead of having candidates focus on how they would empower the teachers and admins of local schools and charters, not so much the upper echelons of their management structures.

                  Also, Ellynn, that was after talking with 20 teachers and admins in 7 different school systems in georgia. (Just basically FB Conversations)

                  • Ellynn says:

                    This was what I was thinking you ment, which was why Harry’s comments were confussing… Thank you for the clarity.

                • Will Durant says:

                  “Look Harry. Look!
                  See, see the list,” said Jane.
                  “Dick has the list.”
                  “I have no list,” said Dick.
                  “There is no list.”
                  “I do not see Dick,” said Harry.

                • Eric The Younger says:

                  I’ll bite.

                  No it isn’t in Appendix B of the ELA standards. That being said, Appendix B is simply a list of suggestions and not anything binding. Kind of like all of Common Core. A completely voluntary set of standards that states are free to adopt and change as they feel the need. As for the materials that are actually used in the classroom, those are chosen by the district. So blaming Common Core for the book is a red herring.

                  • Jackster says:

                    …chosen by the district. So, how can we be against common core, but for school choice, when your choice in schools still has to cover the basics?

                  • Will Durant says:

                    Which has already been pointed out to Harry with his links that only bring up additional accusations of non-existent Common Core requirements especially with the non-existent reading list. The latest of which prior to this is possibly this one:

                    Which is why I went for sarcasm this time. Quoting the documentation directly does no good. Black and white facts do no good. In politics when the facts are against you lie, repetitively and vehemently, it gets tiresome.

                    • Harry says:

                      I’ve never said I oppose Common Core, so don’t put that on me, but you supporters have done a poor job of explaining and addressing the concerns. The result is that a large part of the public doesn’t understand the concept and is thus not convinced of the necessity.

                    • Will Durant says:

                      I’m not going to even bother searching for any direct statement from you in opposition to Common Core. Your tactics are quite obvious. You constantly hide behind asinine, false, rumoring, innuendo, or fear mongering links on almost a daily basis on this subject. Or you just quote them or some righty talk show host’s talking points. I started out months ago asking you and others on here what your fears were because I had no real opinion and with no school age children, frankly other matters are much more important to me. A few regulars have stated their concerns lucidly and in their own words and I appreciate that. A lot of thought has went into Mr. Konop’s posts and I share some of his concerns. The fear-mongering personal attack posts we had from the Florida Ph.D. (D.D.?) along with the blatant propaganda you have posted have been sufficient to convince me that I certainly don’t want to be on that side. What is not appreciated are non-answers to direct questions as Ellynn posted above, “What is the REAL problem, as you see it, in your own words?

                    • Harry says:

                      There are valid concerns of many folks, whether you choose to acknowledge those concerns or not.

                    • Will Durant says:

                      I can be dense at times. I can’t believe it has taken this long to figure out that you are a ChatBot. Well played guys.

                  • NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

                    What most people miss is the significance of the list, and no one wants to talk about how it plays out in the real world. Talk to anyone in education testing, and they will tell you how it really works.

                    Bureaucrats come up with standards and prepare lists like the exemplars in Appendix B. Testing companies (mainly Pearson, and a dwindling handful of other companies) assume the list associated with the standards is a good place to draw information to place on the tests. Pearson and the other testing companies are also the same ones writing the text books every system uses. Let’s be honest, most everyone buys from the same people. With the ratings systems grading every teacher and system that are in place (first AYP, now CCRPI), administrators and teachers are afraid of bad marks, so they look at the “suggestions” and assume (probably correctly) that this is the material that will be on the high stakes test. No matter how many times the bureaucrat that wrote the standards tells you it is “a floor and not a ceiling” and that they can choose other materials, the reality is that once the bureaucrats publish the list, that is all schools are going to be comfortable using. As far as the book that man was arrested for, you are right that it wasn’t on the list, but there are a few other very objectionable stories in the high school exemplars.

                    We could really solve this whole problem very quickly. Go to straight vouchers and let every parent vote with their dollars. That’s how private schools work. As long as the people paying the bills are happy and feel like their children are learning, teachers get to stay. I know someone who worked at a private school with that philosophy. Children learned a lot, and they didn’t even have a set of standards that they operated from. It was just good old common sense and teachers that understood how children learned.

  3. DrGonzo says:

    Sure, except most of the visible (as in high-profile) people that do support Common Core ARE paid to support it…

    Also, at this point if it is something the US Chamber of Commerce is in favor of, then it’s probably logically correct to oppose it. CofC does NOT have your or my (or our kids’) best interests in mind. Ever.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I guess this might matter if Kira Willis were competitive, but to be quite honest this is the first time I’ve heard her name in connection to the Superintendent’s race. Whereas I’ve known Nancy Jester was in the race since last summer, due to her highly coordinated campaign.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    The only real solution to education is choice, Common Core being one of those choices, but by no means the only one. For anything related to man, there is no single best solution. Not everyone is cut out for college, has the aptitude for math or has much of an interest in literature. Each person is uniquely talented in some things and lacking in talent in others.

    An effective education system would consider these differences and tailor the curriculum to encourage the child to enjoy learning enough to continue the process through their lifetime.

    Rigid standards that force each child into a mold and force them to adapt is not teaching, it is training. Certainly, children need structure and standards that outline the general skills that are critical, important, recommended or optional, help ensure that the curricula is on course, but a prescriptive series of steps that train students to be academic clones of each other is a serious mistake.

    As someone who was at the top of the class all through my public education career I would have wilted under the monotony of a one-sized fits all curriculum designed for the average college bound student. Currently my son is experiencing that very same torture having to repeat lessons that are months behind his mastery of the skill.

    Similarly, those who do not take academics seriously would like wilt under the rigor of the same program. Give us something that can address all of these types of students, not one that converts all of them to something in the middle.

    What does Common Core do? I have no idea because one group acts like it is a conspiracy to mind control children and posts such absurd objections that I cannot take them seriously and the other side spreads the fear of falling behind the Chinese unless we adopt this program full scale without question.

    There is also the suggestion that every child needs to be ready for college, which is not only a bad idea, it makes it more difficult and expensive for those that would actually benefit from attending college. It also takes funding away from trades and other skills that our nation sorely lacks. The latter side comes down to a lot of the same arrogance that Senate Candidate David Perdue betrayed when he made light of someone running for governor without a college degree.

    If you want to help our children, give them more options and treat them as individuals.

    • John Konop says:

      I agree with you…..the root of the problem many times are parents…..students have different aptitudes or otherwise we would all have the same IQ…..Mix in issues like ADD, dyslexia, language … have a pie with many flavor and sizes….with good and bad issues….

      Parents many time do not want to accept that their kid should do vo-tech over Harvard….And you have Kathy Cox Type administrative leaders and or lobbyist for cash, that sell the new idea of the day…ie math it will somehow change your IQ….

      Meanwhile the solution is simple….ability group and create optional tracks based on aptitude….Instead of spending billions of extra dollars on the new end year test and new way of teaching math…..why not use certificate or class credit test we have today starting when students starts AP, joint enroll and or vo-tech? Would that not be the best measurement, cost less and create more class time? If a student gets a high enough SAT, passes end of year AP, joint enrolment class, certification test for plumbing, cutting hair, giving shots….what else do we really need to know?

      • Doug Deal says:

        And even if they fail to meet standards on knowledge, it is not the end of the world, as long as we have not made learning so unpleasant that they do not want any part of it later. Sometimes the missing ingredient for education is maturity and sometimes it is necessity. I have have seen many people who have failed out of high school turn things around as an adult.

  5. ricstewart says:

    Speaking of Common Core fearmongering, I just received a mailer from Kingston’s campaign with the following headline:
    Obama + Perdue = Nationalized Public Schools. David Perdue and Obama Support The Big Government Mandate “Common Core” [note the unnecessary quotation marks.]
    On the other side, it reads: Obama & Perdue: They’re Planning to Nationalize Public Schools.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      It’s idiocy you’d expect from a guy that’s too stupid to know that it’s financially foolish to drive 5 miles at $0.30 / mile to save $0.02 / gallon ($0.50), without even including the value of time, not to mention the stupidity of doing so on an empty tank.

      The guy’s story was that one would run to his right when he entered the race, and he’s sticking to it.

  6. BuddyFreeze says:

    The truth is, there is zero evidence of any direct involvement that Gov. Perdue had or did not have in the creation of the standards. Achieve, Inc. through their American Diploma Network had been advancing the idea of nationalized standards since 2003 (and the idea has been around longer than that). The Common Core State Standards Initiative was an initiative of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc.

    The thing to remember is that NGA and CCSSO are trade organizations, not governmental entities. Achieve, Inc is a Washington, DC based contractor. NGA & CCSSO have received millions of dollars from the Feds, as well as, from the Gates Foundation. So if there is any praise coming from these organizations aimed at Governor Purdue it’s completely based on cronyism.

    The argument that Common Core advocates put forward that these are “state led standards” is completely bogus. These are special interest led.

    There’s no empirical evidence that suggests centralizing education around a set of common standards will raise student achievement. So the Common Core as a reform is data-less and barking up the wrong tree.

    Georgia actually had better standards prior to the Common Core. Governor Purdue has only made things worse not better. Georgia took a step backwards.

    So regardless of the origins of these standards there is problems with the content. Advocates claim that the standards are international benchmarked, but they ignore what leading countries of math are doing.

    For instance the Common Core doesn’t introduce Algebra I until 9th grade when leading nations introduce it in 8th.

    James Milgram, professor emeritus of mathematics from Stanford University, served on the Common Core validation committee. He stated that American students under Common Core will be one year behind their international peers by the time they reach 5th grade and two years behind by the time they hit 7th grade. Jason Zimba, who was the lead writer of the Common Core Math Standards, confessed that students seeking STEM fields will not be prepared.

    • John Konop says:

      ………Georgia actually had better standards prior to the Common Core. Governor Purdue has only made things worse not better. Georgia took a step backwards…..

      1) It is not about better or worse which is why both sides are lost in spewing BS….The real issue is does the standard match the aptitude of the students. The standard should be based on what track they are on….like the best countries in the world do it in education….A vo-tech students, Math/Science, Arts, Special Needs…..all have different aptitudes and abilities…Both sides are selling a size fit all approach that will not work…I will give credit to Governor Deal and John Barge SS both have been working on flexibility to get us out of the one size fit all approach…Tricia Pridemore did an excellent job as well promoting this while working for governor…Facts do matter…

      ……….For instance the Common Core doesn’t introduce Algebra I until 9th grade when leading nations introduce it in 8th……..

      2) It depends on the district….Some start algebra 1 as early as 7th grade. The students can get high school credit for it……

      The math issue is more about integrated math ie math 123 verse the traditional system ….many districts are opting out of math 123…via what John Barge did….. that makes it easier for students to start algebra 1 before high school….Facts do matter…..

    • Lea Thrace says:

      Does that zero evidence include Gov. Perdue stating that what his involvement was? Or are you just choosing to ignore that because it does not fit your narrative?

      • BuddyFreeze says:

        What part of my first paragraph regarding cronyism and special interests did you not understand?

        • Ellynn says:

          Well… since it not YOUR first paragraph – unless your ‘willstauff’ and this is you paraphasing your 3/17/2014 article “Running Interference for Common Core in Georgia” for, – I can see why this might be a bit confussing seeing how it was paragraph 4 of that article.

          I must say though, you have courge (and not the good kind) to plargerize from on this site…

            • Ellynn says:

              Harry, I very seldom agree or even like what you post and it bugs me that it’s in link form with cryptic subtexts, but I’ll take you and the redfear-athon wedsites over a badly changed cut and paste job someone is passing off as his own thoughts to make himself sound smarter then he most likely is…

              Yes that has a compliment, back handed as it is…

              • Harry says:

                Thanks, and you as well have attributes worthy of compliment but your spelling is not one of them.

          • BuddyFreeze says:

            yeah that article can also be found on ConservativeReport.Org by WillStauff a DJ in Southeast Georgia married with a 5 year old imagine that?

  7. BuddyFreeze says:

    An introduction to Algebra is not the same thing as the course being offered. If a school offers it in 8th grade or lower it is in spite of, not because of the Common Core. Some algebraic principles that are taught before 9th grade, but the course is not. I’d question whether an “Introduction to Algebra” is appropriate in 6th grade or 7th when, in the standards, they’ve delayed algorithms that would help students understand Algebra anyway. A big part of the problem with the standards is the way they are organized by grade.

    • John Konop says:

      The concept of starting students before 8th grade in high level math, science, language has been in our district for a long time….What I have proposed is if a student is on a track( AP, Joint enrollment, vo tech) use the end of year certification test verse a CRCT, CC…..

      If you take college classes via joint enrollment you already have a final and a SAT why do we need end of year test unrelated? If you take AP classes to get credit you must take and end of year test, why anther unrelated end of year test? If you are in Vo-tech class they certify your knowledge so you get a license why another unrelated end of year test? No one in the world does it this way….Why are testing cost is so high….

  8. BuddyFreeze says:

    The opening sentence of the “High School, Algebra” section of Progressions for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, released in draft, July 2, 2013, is: “Two Grades 6–8 domains are important in preparing students for Algebra in high school.”

    (The awkward language, “Two Grades 6-8 domains,” refers to two subject “domains” within the standards for grades 6, 7, and 8. “Domains” in Common Corespeak are “large groups of related standards,” that have their own code numbers. The language of the Common Core often shakes one’s confidence in the ability of these folks to assume authority over English language instruction.)

    When people say, “there is not a single reference to the question of whether Algebra should be taught in 8th or 9th grade,” they are referring to the Common Core original skeletal statement of the Standards. Look a little more closely into the Common Core’s supporting material, and the language is explicit. But even without the explicit statements, the original skeleton lacks the ribs and the backbone for eighth grade algebra.

    We can go a little deeper. The Progressions document makes clear that the architects of the Mathematics Standards see algebra as a subject for ninth graders, with a little bit of conceptual preparation in earlier grades. But in addition to this, the architects themselves have spoken on the record about how they see algebra in the context of the Common Core and how they see the whole Common Core Mathematics Standards as preparing students for college.

    The leaders of the team that wrote the Common Core Math Standards are Mr. Phil Daro, Dr. William McCallum, and Dr. Jason Zimba. McCallum and Zimba are mathematics professors; Daro is a mathematics educator who works for the San Francisco Unified School District. In its first drafts, the Common Core defined “college readiness” as merely passing Algebra I.

    But McCallum, in a presentation at the national meeting of the joint national mathematics societies in January 2010, criticized that standard as too low.

    Daro, however, had long advocated Algebra I as all that is needed for “college readiness.” He chaired a committee on mathematics instruction for the National Center on Education and the Economy that supported Algebra I as sufficient for getting students into college. The committee was convened in 2009 and issued its report in May 2013, after the Common Core Mathematics Standards were issued in final form.

    McCallum followed up his public disagreement with Daro by supporting a March 2010 draft of the Mathematics Standards that included a natural path to calculus, but this draft quickly vanished. The final document, issued three months later, eliminated almost all of the more demanding content. The only additions were in Geometry and Algebra II, and were not nearly enough for students interested in technical areas or STEM majors.

    The third member of the Common Core Mathematics leadership team, Jason Zimba, testified before the Massachusetts. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in March of 2010. He explained that, when it comes to math, the Common Core college-readiness standard is “Not only not for STEM, it’s also not for selective colleges.”

    All three of the main authors of these Mathematics Standards admit that the Common Core (the actual, final version) aims pretty low. By Zimba’s 2010 account (he has since backtracked), the goal was only to prepare students for community college and definitely not to prepare students who aim for college-level study of science, technology, engineering, and math. I think we should take Daro, McCallum, and Zimba’s 2009 and 2010 views seriously.

    Why should this matter? For a certain audience, it doesn’t matter at all. Students who can’t or won’t learn algebra in eighth grade can’t or won’t learn it in ninth grade either. The Common Core won’t get them there with an additional year of tiny steps for baby feet. What is alarming about this is that deferring algebra to 9th grade squeezes the time left to take the more capable students further in their mathematical development. The clearest way to put this is that high schools will be hard put to make room for pre-calculus or beyond.

    I freely admit that some schools will shoehorn it in, and some students will find other ways to learn pre-calculus and calculus too, by taking prep school courses or MOOCs. But the ability of Americans to invent work-arounds for the academic deficiency of their schools is not an excuse for deliberately designing a program that prevents students from advancing at a pace that is time-proven as appropriate and needed for college. The Common Core represents a step backwards in this regard. Pre-Common Core, two-thirds of students in California took Algebra I in the eighth grade, and since 1995, nationwide there has been a 50 percent increase in eighth grade Algebra I. Common Core defenders who “frequently excuse” the Common Core’s deferment of algebra by saying the Common Core “expects students to perform ‘algebraic tasks’ and engage in ‘algebraic thinking’ in grades seven and eight,” but this is “specious.” Why is that?

    “Algebraic thinking” isn’t algebra but just a loose manner of talking about the wide range of mathematical concepts that students learn on the way to algebra. They then criticize the content of the Common Core’s actual Algebra I course, which they call “functional algebra,” to distinguish it from the traditional approach:

    Traditionally, the first algebra class develops fluency with handling basic equations. First, students master solving linear equation, inequalities, and systems of linear equation. Then they are introduced to quadratic equations and inequalities, and finally to polynomials and rational expressions. These skills serve them well both as stepping stones to quantitative sciences such as chemistry or physics, as well as to more advanced mathematics. In contrast, in Common Core the first algebra class’s focus is on students’ understanding of “functional relationships,” largely in the form of graphing functions and discussing their behavior, rather than developing the ability to quantitatively and analytically manipulate them. This is particularly true since many of the functions suggested by Common Core, such as tables, exponential functions, step and piecewise-linear functions, are not yet amenable to analytical and quantitative handling by students at that level. Consequently, much of what will happen in such classrooms will be “talking the talk” rather than “walking the walk” since such classes do not develop students’ crucial technical skills to handle those functions.

    The Common Core really does water down mathematics instruction. It does so, in that startlingly contemporary way of announcing that it is doing the opposite. The Common Core says it is making students mathematically “college ready.” It is the pedagogical equivalent of one of those deft fellows who says, “I am not stealing your watch” as he slips it off your hand and into his pocket.

    • John Konop says:

      I am guessing you do not have kids in the system now…We have some issues…in all due respect you do not understand how the system works…

    • Ellynn says:

      You know, your ideas might carry more weight if your words are your own thoughts…

      please reference reply to Items no 4, Paragraph 4, Sentence 4…

      Unless your Dr. Peter Wood, current President of theNational Association of Scholars, then by all means contiue with the cut and paste…

      (Yes, some of us read, remember what we read, and have Google skills too…)

      • BuddyFreeze says:

        Dr. Peter Wood another one of those conspiracy theorists who believe Sharia Law is behind Common Core right?

        • BuddyFreeze says:

          I think Peggy Noonan and George Will are also conspiracy nuts when it comes to Common Core. Bunch of right wing fanatical freaks.

        • John Konop says:

          You think the debate about CC has to do with Sharia Law being behind it? Instead of just acknowledging that you have no idea how the Georgia school system actually works day to day when called out….You switch to the next crazy baseless acusation of the day?

          I have publically pointed some issues with CC….It does need some mechanical help as I posted numerous times…..When you guys go tin foil hat… is not constructive….instead of focusing on real life solutions….we are debating non sense….

          • Will Durant says:

            He is being sarcastic because he has found a person of eminence on the internet to plagiarize.

  9. BuddyFreeze says:

    And how do you come to that conclusion that I don’t know how the system works? Am I being sent to the little kid’s table?

      • BuddyFreeze says:

        Translation: Unless your not participating in snark-fest and trashing anyone that opposes Common Core your not allowed to the Big Person’s table. Got it.

        • Will Durant says:

          No, but generally adults who cut and paste the work of others without attribution do not then brag about it after being found out and expect to be treated like one.

        • Ellynn says:

          I have no issue with people who oppose commen core for the merrits of what it can and can not do. I myself have issues with parts of it. You want to oppose, go ahead – AS LONG AS IT YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, not the copy written work of others. It you wish to use them as quotes or as an exapmple, I suggest citing your source.

          As to snarky, I was raised in Wisconsin – sarcism there is the equal to polite sweetness in the south (bless your heart…).

    • Jackster says:

      Buddy, since you have an insight into how the system works, would you mind telling me how flexibility would be accomplished when a child is either ahead or behind the curve, with respect to instruction (curriculum), resources (budget and policy), and assessment (accountability of outcomes and student progress) ?

      • Ellynn says:

        It’s going to be awhile, he is going to need to find an article to steel from to reply…

        • Harry says:

          Our esteemed Vice President Biden can attest that steely courage is needed to steal from a source, especially if the original source is some extreme right wing blog…if indeed that’s the source.

      • BuddyFreeze says:

        Yes let’s talk about how the system should work, let’s try to start algebra in the 4th grade when they have absolutely no scaffolding for it. Then we can have the kids set up equations they have no ability to solve.


        They need to solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.”

        • Harry says:

          Even my reptile brain can’t comprehend such a convoluted problem solving methodology, but the Common Core people must have an agenda with forcing impossible techniques on kids. Maybe one of you supporters trying to convince everyone else of Common Core can provide clarification. Don’t tell me such is needed to close an achievement gap?

          • Will Durant says:

            Perhaps if we eschew the obfuscation intended by the plagiarizer by setting aside the requirements put to the educators and view a 4th grade problem demonstrating this expectation from a sample test from New York:

            Candy wants to buy herself a new bicycle that costs $240.
            Candy has already saved $32, but she needs to make a plan so she can save the rest of the money she needs. She decides to save the same amount of money, x dollars, each month for the next four months.

            Part A:
            Write an equation that helps
            Candy determine the amount of money
            she must save each month.


            Part B:
            Solve the equation to find the amount of money she must save each month to meet her goal of buying a bicycle.
            Show your work.

            Answer $__________________________________

            Wow, that wasn’t so hard now was it?

            • Harry says:

              For a typical 4th grader yes it would be a somewhat challenging problem, although perhaps effective in differentiating individual abilities. Question is, how does the educational hierarchy constructively deal with such intellectual differences in kids under the Common Core doctrine? There may be some moral hazards and some unintended consequences.

              • Will Durant says:

                How do they deal with intellectual differences today? We are talking about standard levels of expectation per grade so that my daughter and son-in-law’s kids can expect an equivalent level of instruction when the military moves them from Savannah to Kansas later this year. How the local school boards handle achievement or lack thereof in individuals is still their own decision. The “moral hazards” that you perceive are mostly coming from those who want their “doctrine” added to the menu from what I have seen. The Common Core Standards themselves are not a “doctrine” and I reject that label you are trying to throw on them. You are edging over into that Sharia crap again.

                John Konop and others have pointed out the issue of what happens to underachievers and I don’t have an answer for that, but again, I did not come into this with an ax to grind. I am just a guy seeing groups demonizing something that appears to be reasonable expectations so that we are not graduating (dys?)functional illiterates. Who actually gets promoted is still left up to the states and their districts. When I was in school we had three tiers of classes within each grade after elementary school; over-achievers, average, below-average. By High School the top tier got the best teachers, the middle got middling ones, and the below-average ones got the football coaches. I think we had different levels of diplomas as well but it has been too long. I know my kids did. I don’t have the wisdom to figure out how you divvy the kids up but I couldn’t be an educator in the first place, as Clint says a man has to know his limitations. I think the standards should be applied so that if you receive a diploma meeting them or if you are transferring around while meeting them it means something to employers, colleges, and other states. Each state will have to decide for themselves on those not meeting the standards. I would go back to 2-3 tiered diplomas but it isn’t up to me.

                I have two very good friends who were life-long educators married to the same and now are retired and through them I’ve met Brooks Coleman a couple of times. These guys all cared about their kids and it has been obvious since they retired that their kids cared about them, all have no issues with these standards. That is good enough for me.

                • John Konop says:

                  ……….John Konop and others have pointed out the issue of what happens to underachievers …….

                  In all due respect I would not call them “underachievers”, it is more about aptitude. We need car mechanics, truck drivers, welders……in fact we have a national shortage….But do you really care if they know Shakespeare? That is a core issue….

          • Anyone But Chip says:

            Wait a minute. So is Common Core the dumbing down of our children into the zombies that I see posted all over the internet or is it so crazy complex that we are expecting a 4th grader to perform algebraic equations and use “impossible techniques” that stretch their precious little minds to the point of explosion?

            I happen to have a 4th grader and she is doing this type of work with zero issue. I just want to know whether I should be outraged that we made her achieve a significant mental hurdle at too young of an age or should I be outraged that she should be doing binomial equations because she’s been limited by the lowest common denominator in the CCSS.

            • Mensa Dropout says:

              THAT is the problem: Some say it’s too easy; some say it’s too difficult. Some say that asking a child to do a math problem six ways of sunday is unfair. Some say it’s not asking enough.
              I say that the issue is this: Obama said, “Sure, that’s cool! I like it,” and every far right republican had a hissy fit and decided it was a communist/facist/muslim/anarchist/satanic/mind numbing/dumbing down/unfair advantage/pedagogically inappropriate/rob your children/rape your daughters/kill your sons CURRICULUM that they felt morally obligated to obliterate.
              We all gonna boycott Five Guys because our POTUS likes their onion rings?

              • Anyone But Chip says:

                +1…Say good buy to the Varsity. At least we know that Chic-fil-a will still be allowed.

        • Ellynn says:

          Basic word problems in third grade. I had them ,you had. We all had them. We didn’t see them as using a letter or equation. The problems talked about apples or base balls. My mother used M & M candies.

          There are 26 M & M’s in a bag (she would pour out the little bag), 3 are red, 7 are light brown, 5 are dark brown, 6 are yellow. How many are green? (this was before they added blue )

          3 + 7+ 5 + 6 + green =26.

          26 – 3 – 7 – 5 – 6 = the green M & M’s.

          The green being the letter…

          This math stuff is so HARD!!!

        • Jackster says:

          Instead of setting up a straw man argument, could you stick to the serious concern I have? Because whether or not you have common core, governance and span of control is still an issue if you want accountability.

  10. kira willis says:

    Jackster, I understand your concerns, as they are concerns for most teachers and parents in Georgia.
    I went back and reread your posts, and I think I got all of them:
    1. Ensuring that funding goes to the most important part of education, our children.
    2. Empowering teachers and not empowering the upper management folks.
    3. Affording flexibility to reach students who are either below or above the mark regarding the standards.
    4. Assessing students appropriately based on their level of education and ability.
    I will be happy to talk with you more specifically if you want to email me via my website, but here is a Reader’s Digest version of addressing your concerns.
    1. Assign students per pupil funding, and afford the students the ability to “walk with their feet”. This means inter county and intra county school choice (see website). Because different students require different levels of funding, if we simply assign a number to each, that gives the local schools flexibility to hire staff and resources according to the needs of the schools. The county where I work has moved to more local flexibility because we have a hugely divers population, and each school should be able to address the students’ needs without having a strict prescription of how money is spent.
    2. I believe that the standards Georgia has voluntarily adopted via the State Board of Education is a good first step in empowering teachers. The standards are there. Let the teachers, the ones who are the educational professionals, figure out how to best teach them. Now, I will tell you that some counties have unwisely adopted specific curricula and forced it to the schools and the classrooms. That does not give anyone the ability to be flexible, and it certainly doesn’t allow for remediation or enrichment.
    3. You will hear me say “raise the bottom and push the top” a lot. What I mean by that is every child is different, and we need to figure out how to be flexible in our teaching to address students who are quick to pick up a standard and to address those who may take longer. It’s much easier to do this in elementary and middle school through some “quick and dirty” formative assessments, and then group the children accordingly by changing teachers and student groups in a fluid manner. It’s trickier in high school, but it still can be done by having common class times for the major core classes or a remediation/enrichment study period embedded in the day.
    4. We are moving more toward needs based assessments in the schools. The state is also looking at student growth based on very specific demographics so that we can truly see a child’s learning. Again, the growth model is intricate, so I invite you to email me.

    • John Konop says:

      We could save a lot of money on end of year unneeded end of year testing starting as early as junior high…..It hurts students by taking them out do class for a test unrelated to what they are learning….If student is on AP track, joint enrollment, vo- tech program why do they need to take unrelated end of year test? Since it is unrelated it is useless data….

      • Harry says:

        Absolutely a good point. Each track needs to be occasionally tested per standard benchmark, but not the same benchmark for all tracks. It serves no purpose.

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