(image courtesy of thepessimist.com) Instead, a career in PR might be a wiser decision to explain why CCSS is the panacea for all children.

I’m wondering if there is any reason to go to college for an education degree.  As teachers are becoming “guides on the side” or facilitators, is there any real call for people to learn how to really teach?

Read this article from When computers can read emotions and do you get the feeling the profession of teaching is not a 21st century skill needed?  From Education Stormfront:

When I bring up the idea that in the future we will do a lot of our learning from computerized teachers, I tend to get a comment that computers can never be teachers because they can’t hug their students. Of course this is not meant literally, but it means that computers don’t understand emotional responses, therefore can’t be teachers. There is some truth to that. I agree that a computer has to have a two way communication with the student, including an emotional connection. Turns out, this might be closer than I thought.
There are a number of companies that have created services that can read a person’s emotions based on facial expressions. (H/T Singularityhub.com)
A handful of companies are developing algorithms that can read the human emotions behind nuanced and fleeting facial expressions to maximize advertising and market research campaigns. Major corporations including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Nokia and eBay have already used the services.
They’ve all developed the ability to identify emotions by taking massive data sets — videos of people reacting to content — and putting them through machine learning systems.
That’s pretty amazing but what are the applications to teachers? Well, most computers these days come with webcams so online learning could take advantage of this. Detecting emotional responses could help an adaptive learning system determine what kind of material is the most effective for each student. It could also determine when a student is tired or bored and suggest breaks.
You could also use this in the classroom because you can have a camera watching every student at once and do mass facial expression captures.
Moving beyond the classroom, there are devices now that capture various biometrics such as heart rate and such. If you couple this data with the emotional data, our various computer systems will know a lot about the user. The other place I think this will be useful is in smart toys that interact with children. It will be able to watch a child’s interactions and quickly learn what they like (of course then advertisers will be able to send messages to the parents about products their kid will like). I also wonder if this technology will make computerized psychiatrists possible (there’s an app for that?).
So no, a computer still can’t give a hug but it might be a more effective teacher soon. (MEW bolded)
It’s a brave new world.


It IS a brave new world. This computer tracking was originally created to track emotional reaction for autistic children.  It could be broadened to determine the outcome of educational programming for all children.  The corporatists will be delighted to supply computers to gather data on your child to determine if he/she is a good ROI. It will much cheaper than paying  human beings to teach children. All the computers need to do is gather student reaction to provide data to determine if the material used will train the human capital into the jobs the Chamber of Commerce thinks it needs.   It’s all about the reaction of the human to the product and if the product is delivering to the desired outcome.

When teachers have been reduced to facilitators to deliver prepackage CCSS curriculum and standards, computers should fill the need to gather data at a much cheaper rate.  Excerpts:

Personalized learning emphasizes a shift from a single teacher delivering knowledge to his classroom of students to teachers as facilitators of learning. (So forget that education degree.  All that is required is to know how to teach children to come to consensus and facilitate their knowledge).

These standards are meant to align instruction across the country and even internationally. They raise expectations for students, rely on strong content knowledge from teachers, and will require a shift in how and when some content is taught.  (Oops.  We were told CCSS would not tell teachers how to teach or what to teach.)

The new Common Core assessments  will mark a fundamental change from paper-and-pencil tests, while ushering in a wave of infrastructural, administration, and technology challenges. The new digital tests—designed to measure Common Core Standards—will also bring with them considerably different questions, required student responses, and overall heightened expectations. Here’s how to prepare for the future of standardized testing. (It’s the tests that are important, not so much what the student knows.  And what happens when the computer is determined to be a better measure to determine test effectiveness?  Goodbye teacher!)

Here’s an article from a Missouri teacher who supports the new standards and has a connection to Smarter Balanced.  She is locked into standards that cannot be changed and standards aligned curriculum that she must use for optimum results on student assessments.  She is using assessments not crafted by her, nor by her school, her district or even her state.  She writes:

I was invited to accompany nine other teacher and some state department leaders to the Teacher Voices Convening conference in Phoenix where representative from several states gathered to learn about issues surrounding the Common Core and the need for teacher advocacy on these issues. I was invited because I am currently working with Smarter Balance on the 11th grade writing assessment. There were also four Missouri teachers of the year from 2010-2012 and the current 2013 winner Jamie Manker, a social studies teacher from Rockwood.

I wonder if the Missouri teacher/state department leaders are actually writing standards for use for Missouri students or are they part of a review committee for the consortia.  As we learned from Dr. Stotsky, there is a huge difference between actually writing the standards vs reviewing the standards.  And here’s just a snippet of important information:  Teachers Convening is connected with The Bill Gates Foundation.

The teacher writes:

This post is a first step into cyber activism. Many teachers from other states, such as Indiana and Florida, are encountering legislative obstacles to implementation that take many forms. Here in Missouri we have SB514, which was filed while we attended the conference. There are many myths surrounding the creation and implementation of the Common Core (Missouri State Standards) and I will attempt to address those myths along with stories and issues related specifically to Missouri State Standards in the days to come.

For now, you can read the letter I wrote to my Representative in support of Common Core and against SB514 here.

Imagine that!  Common Core is getting legislative push back on standards and assessments that were not crafted according to the state constitution!  The teacher’s entry into the blogosphere to inform parents and legislators why Common Core (oops, they have been renamed to Missouri State Standards but they are still Common Core Standards) is really, really great (even though it has no research and facts and circumvented the state legislature) follows the same blueprint Teachers Convening has utilized in the past.  From 2011:

Here are the “do’s and don’t” for when you’ve finally graded those essays and are ready to take your first step into advocating for teachers and for students:

1.  Think about who you can sway.  It might not be the best idea to start knocking down the door of a hard-nosed conservative when you’re as liberal as they get.  Try going for the moderate.  When is comes to propositions at the district,  state and federal level, who can you really sway?

2. Do your research.  These folks are just as busy as us.  Don’t show up without tangible stuff.  Statistics and reports are vital. Policymakers want to know you’ve done your RESEARCH!    With that in hand, though, don’t forget to personalize stats. with anecdotes about your students, your fellow teachers, or you.  Lead with both your head and your heart.

3. Get to know your local press.  If you haven’t reached out to the local press about issues affecting your school, district, or state start your Google engines and and find out whose worth knowing and why.   Once you’ve got those connections, it makes it a whole lot easier to get your Op-ed piece published, or to get your local event covered.  Policy-makers are plenty more inclined to respond to you, too if they know their name could make it into the press.  Along that line, don’t forget to always ask yourself:  what’s REALLY in it for them?  This will require you to truly EMPATHIZE with these policymakers.

4.  Remember, we’re all human.  Forget about the titles, the expensive suits and the layers of administrative assistants you may need to cut through to reach the mayor.  When you get him face to face, don’t forget he’s human, too.  As humans, we all have positions on things. We all have opinions and reasons why we hold those opinions.   LISTEN to these reasons.  You’ve a better chance of getting your point across, if you apply attuned listening skills and empathy in your conversation.  Let INSERT POLICYMAKER HERE know that you understand her position.  Hey, you get where she’s coming from.  Then you proceed in explaining why your position may bolster,alter or sway hers.

I’m excited to try out these new tips and tricks in the very near future!  I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

It looks as if our tax dollars are being spent to send teachers and state officials to learn how to sell a product that had not been field tested, circumvented state legislatures, takes away school district/teacher autonomy and creates unfunded mandates to school districts.  I can’t WAIT to see teachers’ research and data on how the Common Core will create smarter students for those still unknown 21st century jobs.

If her classroom students perform poorly on this collective assessment package, what do you think will happen?  Will the assessments be changed because they are not validated assessments or will she be considered an ineffective teacher because her students did not perform well on what a private company has determined students should know?  She doesn’t have autonomy in her classroom to determine what a valid assessment would be for her own students, so is she just facilitating the assessment process based on Smarter Balanced collective wisdom?

Why would anyone would spend their college years obtaining a degree for a job in which they don’t really teach, they facilitate; they don’t craft their own assessments; they are advised what curriculum to use and how to use it; and computers may very well surpass them for effectiveness in data tracking children?  Take “teaching” out of that 21st Century Job Skill column and move it to the antiquated professions column.  Should “PR representative for the Gates Foundation and other education reform organizations”  be considered a 21st Century job?




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