Saturday, February 12, 2011

Common Core Standards:
an early entry into expensive chaos
should be avoided

About the Common Core State Standards Initiative:
CCSSI is More of the Same: Spending Goes Up and Results will be Mediocre at Best.

Despite claims of data driven decision-making, there has been very little of such decision-making. To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data. Effective and efficient system improvement is drastically needed but is nowhere in sight. Three sources of information of vital importance are continually neglected in WA State and most of the our nation.

#1. Project Follow Through results, which show exactly which of 9 methods of instruction is the most effective in meeting the needs of educationally disadvantaged learners in grades k-3. PFT was the largest most exhaustive educational research project in history. PFT began in 1967 as part of the efforts of LBJ's administration to serve disadvantaged learners. (Civil Rights Act passed in 1964) Most educational decision-makers have no idea of either the magnitude of this project or its results.
PFT info: here 1, : here 2, : here 3.

#2. Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement by John Hattie (December 2008). Dr. Hattie examines a large number of educational practices and not only described them but calculates effect size for each based on results from millions of students world-wide. Hattie’s table of effect sizes is extremely easy to use. Hattie’s analyses confirm that educational decision-making is not based on the intelligent application of relevant data.

#3. Foundations for Success, the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s final report (2008). Specifically states that (page xxiii, paragraph 27) struggling students need increased explicit instruction.

OSPI, the Seattle School Board, and many other educational decision makers have missed all of the above. Additionally these decision-makers have also missed the preamble to article IX of the state constitution and additionally the Seattle Schools have ignored a variety of state laws.

Washington State’s involvement and spending of $183 million to join the Common Core State Standards Initiative will be more of the same. At a time when known proven educational practices and instructional materials need to be used, Race to the Top encourages disruptive innovation. CCSSI will likely do the same.

In the last hundred years, medicine made enormous strides by making decisions based on evidence. Education remains in turmoil and evidence based decision-making has yet to occur.

One only needs to look at:

A. the four RttT “Turn Around Models” together with results from

B. the last decade plus at OSPI,

C. 20 years of Math advice from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics leadership,

D. NSF funded development of math instructional materials (= approx. $100 million),

E. NSF spending to try to make those materials actually work ( > $100 million) and

F. the results of NSF funded UW math programs for Southeast Seattle schools.

to see a continuation of further expensive chaos with no accountability for past and continuing poor decision-making.

Why should the parents in 37th district, represented by Reps. Santos and Pettigrew, be asked to wait even longer for something positive and significant to actually happen?

See video clip of Yolanda Gill Masundire, speaking at Town Hall meeting =>(here) and data from Schools in the 37th District (here) as well as Seattle Community College remediation percentages (here 1) (here 2) for recent high school graduates.

Dr. Joseph Willhoft, the man primarily responsible for the incredibly expensive and ineffective WASL testing, will be heading the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to construct Common Core assessments. First one is due in Spring 2015.

The State Board of Education’s Math Advisory Panel composed of volunteers no longer meets because of lack of available funds. $208 million Federal dollars headed to assist local school districts was taken via a one-day special session on December 11, 2010 and placed in the General Fund. Yet $183 million may be spent on an early entry into chaos instead of waiting and improving WA schools now, through data based decision-making for the first time.

HB 1891 needs to get out of Committee and have a hearing so that Washington’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative can be delayed or perhaps eventually cancelled. Currently representative Santos, who has among the worst performing schools in the state in her district, heads the committee that is failing to grant a hearing on HB 1891.

$183,000,000 for an early entry into more chaos. Administrators are always in favor of more spending on administration.
Note: Feb 4, 2010 The State was found in violation of the Constitution for failing to adequately fund education of students, which is the Paramount Duty of the State. The state appealed this decision. It seems that now the state legislators, Governor, and leaders of OSPI, SBE, PTSA, WEA, League of Education Voters are all in favor of more spending on administrative chaos at the expense of Washington's k-12 students.

Please see Democracy Denied (so far) HERE
for what you can do about this deplorable situation.

See "Where's the Money" at The Underground Parent.

Link to Myth Busters Letter Exposing 11 Education Myths as complete nonsense.

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