Thursday, February 27, 2014

Haven't Had a Juicy KPG Post On Common Core Watch in a While

Me, in comments:
Reading standard 9 is your example of progression across grade levels?  It seems to me that the standards are quite close and all are equally applicable at each of the grade levels.  You could certainly talk with third graders about how the Brothers Grimm's Rapunzel is adapted in Tangled, or ask 10th graders to compare and contrast the themes of Henry IV part 2 and Henry V.  The sequence is essentially arbitrary.

If the standards want students to learn about Classical mythology, they should say so.  It doesn't make sense to stuff it into a vocabulary standard, and there are probably only about a dozen words for which this actually makes sense anyhow, where you're not plunging into some obscure myth to find the vocab word (e.g.,Hygieia, Panacea), or explaining back story for words which are fairly common anyhow (cereal, atlas, panic).  And many of them seem completely irrelevant to 4th grade literary reading, which this standard supposedly addresses (plutocracy, chronology).

The example "how-to" writing assignment is terrible.  I'm tempted to call it "developmentally inappropriate," but it is really much worse than that.  It is just bad technical writing advice.  You can't write good instructions by just reading some other instructions, without doing the task yourself, or at least observing other people doing the task and talking to them.  That suggestion only makes sense if the authors are trying to pre-emptively validate a lousy form of assessment (and writing).  Any competent English teacher would cut it at the first opportunity.

Finally, are we really supposed to believe that the "heart" of the Common Core or any other body of standards is not the standards themselves, but actually the introduction and appendix?  Give me a break.

Also, she makes the (rather obvious to me) quid pro quo between Common Core and Core Knowledge a little more clear than most have:

In short, the heart of the Common Core literacy standards—the elements that earned the support of education leaders like Hirsch—have been gutted from the latest Indiana draft.

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