Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s Deep

Get your scuba gear on, we are going for a deep dive with the Common Core and assessments to occur with 45 million students this year.  See the graphic at http://visual.ly/what-everyone-needs-know-about-common-core-state-standards.

There are two companies that did a public opinion survey.  Tarrance Group and David Binder Research. If you look at DBR, the clients and current work are only in California for Education work: Association of California School Administrators

California Faculty Association
California Federation of Teachers
California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
California School Employees Association
California State University
California Teachers Association (CTA)
Northern Arizona Alumni Association
San Francisco City College
University of California
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)

Their website claims: “We serve diverse clients throughout North America including political campaigns and ballot measures, corporations, sports and entertainment businesses, ad agencies, public interest groups, and labor organizations.”How can they promote public opinion, when the sample is not randomized nor cross-state?  These are just preliminary thoughts.  The  Tarrance Group is described as “one of the most widely respected and successful Republican strategic research and polling firms in the nation”.  The Collaborative for Student Success, a pro-Common Core group, will issue results this afternoon from a public opinion survey on the standards. A sneak peek: 60 percent of respondents nationally said they would be “more likely” to support a candidate for public office that supports using the Common Core. And a majority of voters in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan said the same. The survey was conducted last month by the Tarrance Group and David Binder Research. Read the findings here later this afternoon: http://bit.ly/1m3czV1.  If you click on the link now, you get an error.  We will check it out this afternoon.  The Collaborative for Student Success by the way is part of the charter school movement The New Venture Fund 2014.  Gates gave them: at least 22 million in 2011, 12 million in 2012, about 10 million in 2013 and about 1,200,000 in 2014. These figures estimate grants given to the New Venture Fund and the New Venture Schools Fund and New Schools fund dba New Schools Venture Fund.

Marketing

So it’s either a marketing faux pas or propaganda.  Check out the main page for Friendship Schools in DC  http://www.friendshipschools.org/.  You have to wait until the scrolling marquis gets through several staged photos of the students.  You will see a young child reading a book.  The photographer is behind her, and she is reading Early Childhood Philosophy.  She looks like she is about 8.  I wonder what the Lexile score is on that TEXT is. ?! And why are we calling everything texts?  What ever happened to stories for 5 year olds and literature?

My life changed

My life changed course twice this year. The first time was when I decided to go back to school…to get a doctorate and fight for all the things that have bothered me since I became a public school school psychologist. It’s not about the letters behind my name. I just want to know more. I need to know. Especially if I am going to be the voice for those that are too tired, too young, or too hurt to speak out.

The second instance was when I sat on waiver committees for high school students. When you look into the eyes of a student who has worked hard all semester, maintained a 95% average! participated in discussion and turned all his work in, then you will know the heartache of sitting on the other side of the table. I was a committee of 4 and he and his dad had waited for 3 hours. It took us 5 minutes. He had spent the weekend worrying about flunking an exam and feeling crushed and worried that he couldn’t pass. A good kid held hostage to the gloom of failure. I could sense it. And that is not only my training, but my nature. I love all kids. I work with all kids. I see the twitch and fumble as they try to read passages that are too hard. I see them face failure every day; craving success. And I see some rise beyond the shadow and others who fall beneath it. I fight for them all. I am not blaming teachers or educators. I blame the CCSS rollout and incessant test prep high stakes rigor mentality. Some times we should be able to stop, teach, learn and love.