Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Common Core Standards: I Remain Agnostic « Diane Ravitch's blog

The Common Core Standards: I Remain Agnostic « Diane Ravitch's blog:

How to Create Throwaway Teachers

A teacher writes in response to the Match guide for teaching:
As a teacher of 23 years, I find this is absolutely an appalling disregard for the professionalism of the profession of education.  It is also a very scary notion for teacher preparation.  These authoritative, autocratic beliefs are not what makes for good teaching and classroom management.  Teaching in the manner described above will elicit fear in students, not learning.  When individuals (including kids) experience fear, the “flight or fight” mechanisms kick in.  With either case (flight or flight), the students have shut down and motivation is nowhere to be found.
Subscribing to the beliefs described above seems to be creating something that maybe the politicians are 

The Common Core Standards: I Remain Agnostic

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute –a conservative think tank in D.C. where I was a trustee for many years–is a staunch defender of the Common Core State Standards. It has received a lot of money from the Gates Foundation to evaluate the standards. I know my former colleagues, and I know they would not be swayed by money to change their views. Nonetheless, having evaluated them, the Institute now loudly defends them against all critics.
Today, a writer for the Institute criticized me because I said I was withholding judgment on the Common Core Standards until I see how they work in practice. I said two years ago that they should be field-tested before national adoption. The critique says I am wrong, that the standards needed no field-testing, and that they should be adopted as is without delay. We know enough already.
I don’t agree.
I wrote the other day that I was neither for them nor against them because they have never been given any field

I Know the Answer to This Question

A reader writes, in response to a post this morning about what constitutes good teaching:
Diane, the relationships we build with students make all the difference in student learning. Understanding student needs, interests, and abilities gives us the keys for learning with each individual student. I believe we always treat students with respect and understanding. Each student is unique and has limitless possibilities. Positive, encouraging pedagogy is essential. The outstanding teachers I know all possess this ability to teach, encourage, and inspire. What kind of teacher do you want your children and grandchildren to have?

Without Content Mastery, The Teacher is a Goner

After reading about the Match “graduate school of education,” this reader shares the wisdom born of experience:
As a high school classroom teacher with over fifteen years experience, this type of graduate preparation is ludicrous!  There is nothing more important, especially in the HS classroom, than a teacher who is an expert in his/her respective field. The “tricks of the trade” are second nature for those truly called to this noble profession. A teacher needs passion and patience, but more than anything else she needs to know what she’s talking about. That is what gives the teacher authority. Students can smell fear and detect a teacher without content