Students Being Penalized Because of Anti Common Core Activists

May 22, 2014 10:43 am

by Eric The Younger · 29 comments

As many of you know, I am both personally and professionally (PolicyBEST) in favor of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. I’ve written about it here on Peach Pundit on many occasions. Sometimes with some less than cordial folks in the comment section.

The next twist in the saga to not ruin 10 years of Republican Education reform in Georgia, brings us to Cobb County. In the Marietta Daily Journal there is an op ed piece by the former Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services, Stanley Wrinkle. 

Mr. Wrinkle chronicles the recent failure to acquire new textbooks because some anti Common Core activists showed up at the School Board meeting and decided that it was in the best interest of all of Cobb County’s students to not get new math text books. In Mr. Wrinkle’s words:

The board has a district rule which clearly explains how texts and instructional materials are to be adopted by the board. Last year, teachers and central staff followed this procedure to the letter, enabling the superintendent to present the recommended mathematics adoption to the board. However, a relatively small group of citizens appeared at the meeting demanding the board refuse to adopt the teacher recommended texts and materials because the group was opposed to the state’s association with the Common Core curriculum standards. The board accepted and agreed to the demands of the group and refused the teachers’ recommendations.

The logic was that the legislature was going to remove Georgia from the CCSS during the 2014 session. The decision was to hold off and see what happened. Thankfully, there was no bill to pull Georgia out of Common Core. There was one masquerading as such, but SB 167 was only going to keep science from being taught in Georgia schools, remove the ability to have online schools or distance learning in Georgia, oh and to keep the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ASVAB, and AP tests from being administered in Georgia. You know, no big deal.

Session has been over for a couple months, yet there has been no appearance of  Superintendent Hinojosa before the Board to revisit the subject of text books and teaching materials. Hinojosa, you may recall, has already announced his retirement and return to Texas.

The failure to adopt new math materials will penalize our students the next school year when they take their end of course exams.  By delaying this further, there will not be enough time to train teachers on the new math materials, and our students will suffer for that. Teacher’s have dealt with enough over the last few years, can we start treating them like the professionals they are?

Teachers already put up with a lot that they shouldn’t have to. We don’t need to take out their knees and punish our children because of a small number of very loud individuals that like conspiracy theories. Let the teachers and kids have a math book. This isn’t social studies or history. Y=mx+b does not need to be political.

I share with Mr. Wrinkle’s appeal, and I don’t think I could say it better.

My appeal to the Cobb Board of Education is to call a special meeting as soon as reasonably possible for the single purpose of approving the already one year-delayed adoption of mathematics text and instructional materials.

The last point is this: Some have said again there may not be four board member votes for the adoption. This could not be true and, as stated previously, is an insult to the board. How could anyone justify delaying getting badly needed instructional materials to our teachers and students?

Surely there is not one board member who would hold an objection to Common Core and take it out on our teachers and students through delaying this adoption again just to make a political point.

If this is true, the Cobb School district is in deep trouble.

 

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Monica Henson May 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

You can’t fix stupid. And, apparently, you cannot cure crazy.

Harry May 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Is it possible that math books don’t need to be made obsolete every couple of years for any reason, thus saving taxpayers substantial money?

Ellynn May 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm

There at least 4 major methodologies of teaching math. When a system keeps changing the curculumn on how to teach math, you need to change the text book to match the methodology.

Harry May 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Que bono?

Ellynn May 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Cui prodest.

Ellynn May 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm

FYI ‘Que’ is the bastardized usage of the Latin “Cui”, so technically you either mispelled your Latin or you used the Spanish conjunction “that Bono” – which if that was the intent – your love of U2 gives me a whole new prespective on the ‘Dao of Harry’…

Harry May 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

It’s the most prevalent and readily-understood spelling of the phrase although incorrect according rules of a dead language. However, thank you – cui prodest (who benefits) (кому выгодно) is the preferable expression to state my point.

Ellynn May 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Latin is the offical lanquage of the country Vatican City. It’s not dead yet. Outdated: yes. Dead: no.

Charlie May 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm

If only there was a common standard for this so that those of you that learned it in different schools could speak the same language…

joe May 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

When I took 4 years of HS Latin on the 60′s, I was taught that it was a dead language, and pronunciation was at best “iffy”. Apparently, it has been resurrected.

Charlie May 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm

I’m just waiting for the internet meme’s showing “Old Latin” vs “New Latin” and pleading with us to return to the Old Latin because it was done vertically instead of horizontally, the way God intended…

joe May 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I would have thought that a descendant of Daedalus would be more concerned with “old Greek” vs “new Greek”, but this thread is heading toward the ‘thread of dreams’ since it is all about the children, and what they speak.

Ellynn May 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm
Nathan May 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

“Latin is the offical lanquage of the country Vatican City. It’s not dead yet. Outdated: yes. Dead: no.”

They say the same thing about COBOL and FORTRAN.

Eric The Younger May 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Those are never really dead.

John Vestal May 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Don’t be dissin’ on FORTRAN. Punched a buncha’ stacks of cards with that $#!&! :>)

Will Durant May 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Even in your attempt at deflection you make a valid point Harry. School books have been updated as long as there have been schools and likely many have been changed for the sake of churning for the manufacturers. Wouldn’t the establishment of standards that can also change but only after agreement among a broader coalition help mitigate those changes down to only those that are necessary? It might even be conceivable that in the future we have to replace some because they are just worn out.

FranInAtlanta May 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Whatever the SAT and ACT test, we need to be in line with them. Not doing that cheats our students.

Eric The Younger May 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm
Mensa Dropout May 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

Books are obsolete!
Give the kids an Ipad or the equivallent, and set them loost.
Put restrictions on it as needed.
Allow the books to be updated for Social Studies, Science, Literature, and for word problems in math.
Let them have access to different articles, helpful hints, lessons that align with the curriculum and the standard.
Seriously, who read their books in high school any way? How many professors went from the beginning to the end, using every page, every review, every everything?
I hated having to use a book as a teacher; there were so many more worthy pieces to align with the standards than the crappy book I got.
Problem solved!
Money Saved!

John Vestal May 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Couldn’t they have just voted to put a sticker in the book saying Common Core Math is just a theory?

griftdrift May 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Eric The Younger May 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I had one of those evolution stickers in my physics book senior year. Then during my freshman year in college in English 101, that news story came up in our assigned reading. Let me tell you how fun that day in class was.

Engineer May 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Honestly, I was all for the common core, until I witnessed Common Core Math. The whole idea of turning a simple division problem into a page full of circles and dashes or lines and slashes (don’t even get me started on fractions) is awful for anybody unfamiliar with it. Honestly, what is so wrong with having kids memorizing basic multiplication & division tables? I can’t count the many times I’ve had to use them in every day life to do simple mental math. :(

In short, I feel the math portion needs second look.

Anyone But Chip May 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Can you point me to “Common Core Math”? I’d like to see where it is that Math has to be taught in the form you describe?

When you stop trying to push that rock up the mountain and take a breath you might come to realize that Common Core are standards. Standards say what a child should know at a certain point in their education.

If you have seen “Common Core Math” you have been hoodwinked into believing that there is a specific curriculum and teaching method related to these standards. There are not. Instead, what you are actually seeing is alternative approaches to teaching complex mathematical principles.

The same people that whine on endlessly about “one size fits all” are using alternative approaches for teaching that have been around for over 40 years as an argument _against_ common core!. That approach may work for 1 kid out of 1000, and if they are using it they’ve already tried memorization! But guess what…it’s available for a teacher to use and if the kid can’t learn division and multiplication with that method they will try another. So much for “one size fits all”.

Engineer May 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I think you are getting me wrong on this, I’m not saying I’m completely against it, I’m just against a few parts of it (note I never said I was completely against it). That is why I said it needs a second look.

The main issues I have with this is first that they are teaching a kid that they need to use a whole sheet of paper in order to solve a simple math problem and then there is the lack of emphasis on early teaching the memorization of multiplication and division tables and instead to rely on visual aids and drawn tables. I dunno, it seems a bit backwards. Personally, I feel that traditional ideas should be used and alternative ideas should be used for students in need of the extra assistance.

Another issue I worry about is how the biggest help of students outside of school, parents, will handle this, especially when their child comes to them for help on a question that not even the parent understands the new system.

Charlie May 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

While ABC has somewhat of a point, you still raise a valid question that there is an answer to and it’s not short. I’m also trying to get a few items out the door so I can also move on to “Friday”.

I will try to circle back at some point over the weekend or very early week and address the root of the question you impose, because it is a critical basis for the math that is being taught (which is a curriculum issue, not a standards issue. But still…)

BuddyFreeze May 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

Excellent Documentary on Common Core that also addresses Common Core Math

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxBClx01jc

Harry May 24, 2014 at 3:54 am

Teacher admits he helped write Common Core to end “white privilege”?
http://conservativevideos.com/2014/05/teacher-admits-helped-write-common-core-end-white-privilege/