“Watoto Wazima”? How Are the Children Doing? 2017 Version
Closing out 2017, let’s revisiting the question from 2014: “How Are the Children Doing?” shows some troubling data.
Common Core hasn’t made students college and career ready, a goal touted since the roll out in 2010, as test scores have not skyrocketed to academic improvement:
- The PISA test scores did not bring great news about the American education system, as the United States continues to hover around the international mean for reading and science literacy. On the mathematics literacy section, the U.S. even notched its lowest score to date at 470; this represents a decline from the previous two tests, but it is not statistically significantly different from its first-ever score in 2003. Overall, American PISA scores on all sections have been relatively flat over the test’s history, with no statistically significant change between the score on each section’s first year and the 2015 scores. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2017/04/07/what-international-test-scores-reveal-about-american-education
- “…the Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government. Moreover, there are organizations that have reasons to work for lower and less-demanding standards, specifically teachers unions and professional teacher organizations. While they may not admit it, they have a vested interest in lowering the accountability bar for their members. With Common Core, they have a single target to aim for, rather than 50 distributed ones. So give it some time and, as sunset follows sunrise, we will see even those mediocre standards being made less demanding. This will be done in the name of “critical thinking” and “21st-century” skills, and in faraway Washington D.C., well beyond the reach of parents and most states and employers.” http://educationnext.org/the-common-core-math-standards/
- It’s still a bit early to make solid conclusions about Common Core’s effects on recent high school graduates, since it was not fully implemented in most American schools until 2014, but the early results of its curricular missteps are worrisome. Wurman notes that overall ACT scores have slightly declined since 2009, and SAT scores dropped in 2015 after showing no changes since 2007. https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/03/common-core-damages-students-college-readiness/
Set aside the Common Core failure as measured by test scores. “Watoto Wazima” 2017: How are the children doing emotionally? How are the Social Emotional Learning Standards preparing children?
Not very well. What’s your best guess on what’s happening to our children? Is this happening in your school?
When Sarah Sims’ daughter complained she was being bullied in elementary school, the Virginia mother grew concerned. Sims reached out to administrators at Ocean View Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia, where her daughter is in fourth grade, but she said she got no response. In September, Sims decided to investigate on her own. She sent her daughter to school with a digital audio recorder in her backpack, hoping to capture audio from the classroom. School officials found out and confiscated the device, which had been in her daughter’s desk recording the school day. Now, Sims, who is herself a student at Virginia’s Norfolk State University, is in trouble with law. http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/us/virginia-mother-bullying-arrest/index.html
- Heartbroken family members remembering a local teen who complained of being bullied before taking his own life. “He had such a big heart. He was always joking and laughing … We are heartbroken,” said Katrina Guzman, 14-year-old German Aramburo-Guzman’s aunt. Guzman says German attended 9th grade at a downtown charter school – King Chavez Community High School – and told his family about being bullied soon after school started in August.Guzman says a counselor told his mother he’d be paired with a counselor. “At the time she left with no answer on how they were going to address the bullying,” said Guzman. A week later, Guzman says a counselor contacted his mother after school to have a meeting the next day about an incident but gave few details. Hours later, German would take his life. Guzman says her family has since learned German tried to harm himself at school. She says the family should have been told about the details. She also believes the school should have been more aggressive tackling the bullying complaint. http://www.10news.com/news/questions-emerge-after-suicide-of-bullied-teen
- A video of a bullying incident at Ardmore High School, has Dana Dunn outraged that nothing was done to help her daughter. http://whnt.com/2017/11/28/video-of-student-being-bullied-draws-outrage-from-parent/
- “Surprisingly, bullying prevention had a negative effect on peer victimization. Contrary to our hypothesis, students attending schools with bullying prevention programs were more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention programs. It is possible that bullies have learned a variety of antibullying techniques but chose not to practice what they have learned from the program.” http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/study-schools-bullying-prevention-programs-have-more-bullying
What is happening to our children? How are the adults failing them? How are the schools failing them? Where do parents go when their children face bullying and the schools ignore their concerns? How are those Common Core aligned Social Emotional Learning standards playing out in real life?
The children aren’t performing well academically or emotionally. If the health of a community is measured by the health of the children, we are in huge trouble. Send us any stories you have on how children in your community are faring today.
Do Bill Gates and other philanthropists have any more bright ideas they want implemented in the public schools? Here’s an answer they apparently can’t comprehend in the quest of utilizing human capital for the good of the State. From The Only Important Common Core Accountability Measurement: “Watoto Wazima?” (How Are the Children Doing?):