Another Astrofurf Stab at Stopping Continuing Freefall of Common Core Support. Premise: You’re Misinformed.
Here’s another marketing attempt to save a failed public/private partnership that directs/develops public education with no voter/legislative accountability. From the Hechinger Report and Think you know a lot about Common Core? A new poll finds you’re probably wrong:
The poll – a survey of 2,411 registered California voters by PACE, a research center that analyzes California education policy, and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California – found that the 10 percent of voters who say they know “a lot” about the Common Core were the most likely to get true or false questions about the standards wrong.
This poll adds to the body of research that suggests that years after the standards started taking root in public school classrooms around the country, the public remains confused about the Common Core. With the standards on the defensive in many states, this poll raises questions about the influence of misinformation in the debate.
The article is typical of the spin you hear from your local school boards, state school boards and state educational agencies. Bureaucrats parsing words/phrases in an attempt to sway public perception based on half truths has been elevated to a high art form:
Savvy and knowledgeable readers who know the history of the CCSS Initiative can take apart this false narrative put forth by Hechinger quite easily. The first question was updated by Hechinger for clarification purposes:
*Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect the Common Core English language arts standards address what kinds of writing and readings students should be assigned in history, social studies and science and technical subjects.
So…while there are no standards written for history, social studies and science and technical subjects….the Common Core English language arts standards address what kinds of writing and readings students should be assigned in history, social studies and science and technical subjects. The answer, then, should be checked as ‘true’. If the standards direct what kinds of writing and readings students should be assigned in history, social studies and science and technical subjects, they absolutely apply to those subjects.
A reader explains why the third statement is true. ‘Require’ is not set in law; rather, it is set in the coercion and threat of loss of funding/accreditation if school districts do not comply with state agency directives and USDOEd mandates. If you utilize the ‘close reading’ mandated in CCSS, you would agree with Hechinger, but those who do not buy into the PR schtick and understand the history of USDOEd coercion know that the third statement is true:
The last question asks if the respondent believes if states are ‘allowed’ to add content to the standards. A better question might be: Is ‘allowing’ states to add to the standards constitutional? States are indeed ‘allowed’ to add content to the Common Core according to private NGO directives and while that may be technically true, what has actually occurred is that states aren’t adding much of anything. What is tested is taught and since a large part of a teacher’s evaluation is now based on assessment scores, what is not ‘required’ (or coerced) will probably not be taught. What isn’t mentioned in this article is that what schools are ‘allowed’ to teach is an extra 15% of what is mandated. How magnanimous of the NGOs and the slight nod toward ‘allowing’ states to direct/develop their educational direction/development.
As to the second question regarding increased testing, the article gives no research/data to show that testing has actually decreased in California so this ‘false’ declaration seems to be an opinion.
Who are the supporters of Hechinger? Is this more of a public relations piece vs true educational reporting? Many, if not all, of these organizations either support Common Core or make money from its implementation/services:
These results show the need for more outreach around the controversial standards says Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education.
“There’s a lot ignorance out there around many major political issues and the Common Core isn’t an outlier,” said Polikoff. “There has also been, primarily through social media, but also with news stories from different partisan outlets, a lot of purposeful misinformation.”
“To my knowledge there has been no organized effort to combat all of the misinformation,” said Polikoff. “I do think the advocates could argue that lots of kids are arriving to college unprepared, or that math is math and your zip code shouldn’t drive how you learn math. There are many arguments that can be made to the public that I’m just not hearing.”
While Polikoff doesn’t think there’s an existential threat to the Common Core, he does think the misinformation casts a negative light on the standards and that the Common Core’s proponents are not doing enough to explain its benefits.
Mr Polikoff is misinformed or is deliberately misleading in his comment that there has been no organized effort to combat all of the misinformation. He is uninformed or ignoring the massive amount of money Gates and others have spent to combat the increasing dissatisfaction of CCSSI. The ‘misinformed’ are not misinformed in the least. They understand what CCSS entails and they aren’t buying the half-truths from organizations who insist on telling them they are wrong.
The opposition encompasses issues with the standards themselves and includes other initiative mandates such as teacher evaluations/data retrieval and the circumvention of state legislatures/taxpayers to implement a public/private partnership with no accountability to the people who are compelled to pay for this ed reform vision. From Citizens Are Winning the Common Core War:
From Matt Gandal’s (former Race to the Top guru who left the USDOEd for a job in the private sector: Education Strategy Group) power point presentation (pdf) to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities December 2013 about the Common Core Communications Collaborative:
Many of the same supporters for Hechinger are listed as supporting The Common Core Communications Collaborative. Here are other players who have been trying to craft a pro-CCSS to the masses since 2013. Mr. Polikoff’s contention that to his knowledge there has been no organized effort to combat all of the misinformation might be true, but in reality, there have been several organized efforts to combat the ‘misinformation’. If the marketing to eradicate the ‘misinformation’ isn’t working for your product, maybe, just maybe, it’s not that you don’t have enough money or infrastructure to ‘inform’ the ‘misinformed’. It’s that you have a product/message that is faulty, that no one wants to use or believes in, and it’s time for you to leave the building.
(The Breitbart article quoting former RTTT director Joanne Weiss may be found here)