Thursday, July 01, 2010

Yadda Yadda Alignment

The Sacramento County Office of Education finds that this California standard (for grade 9-10):

2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.

is aligned with these standards from the Common Core:

  • 9. Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.
  • 10. By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • 1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
  • 9. Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

What's the verb in the California standard? Extend. The Common Core standards take great pains to keep all tasks tightly constrained to the texts for easy scoring. They are specifically constructed to not require the student to "extend ideas," unlike the standards of other high performing countries. How do you train a bunch of temps or program a computer to score "idea extension?" If you can't you'd better come up with a simpler standard. That's the way the Common Core is designed, at least.

Of the four CC standards cited, they really only need the first one. The last three are off topic and seem included simply to obfuscate the issue.

This comes up on page 6 of a 67 page document. I'm not going to slog through the rest.

What is the point of doing an alignment of standards if you don't seem very concerned with the precise details of what the standards say. Why bother? Why bother changing if the details aren't important?


Leroy's Mom said...

Hey, the "Golden" state will be reviewing our standards and looking to see if they should be replaced with Common Core instead. This could be an interesting part of the discussion, mind if I share?

I think the current state standards are way too numerous to allow for any depth of knowledge, but I'm pretty sure that Common Core will get the nod, because of my state's desperate longing to improve their chances on RttT.

Tom Hoffman said...

Too numerous in math or English?

Leroy's Mom said...

Language Arts and Mathematics, but more so in Math. This is mostly a complaint at the Elementary level. But then folks in H.S. complain the kids don't know WTF they're doing.

I will say that even if the current standards need adjustment, it doesn't mean that Common Core is the answer to that problem, no?