WWL>Topics>>3-6-14 2:10pm Angela: on common core

3-6-14 2:10pm Angela: on common core

Mar 6, 2014|

Angela hosts a debate on the pros and cons of the common core curriculum in schools with Rayne Martin of Stand For Common Core Louisiana and Terri Timmcke of Stop Common Core in Louisiana.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Will students in the small eastern European country of Hungary. Do better in math and science than American students. There are many other examples of how we have fallen behind an education in this country. In an effort to raise our standards common core was created and accepted by 45 states including Louisiana. But somewhere between the state -- board's unanimous vote for years ago for common core. And today's efforts to implement. The program has become very controversial. Both for common course say it teaches students critical thinking and problem solving. Those against common core called the curriculum anti American and anti god. Today we're going to talk about common core -- me no screaming and shouting just a discussion on the program how it works and what the goal is. And the concerns. Joining us is -- Martin who is executive director of stand for children. And Terry -- coordinator of stop common core in Louisiana and I thank you both very much for being here. I'd like first of all askew you all agree. That something. Has to be done to help American students competes. On -- global level. Yes this is rain I actually do believe that we need something to allow the American students to compete at a global level. I don't know if he -- but about a year ago there was a movie they came out that talked about American education in comparison to. Other nations and one of the most interesting facts that stood out to me in that movie. Was that American students happened to have the most confidence. And terms of where they're gonna go. Beyond high school but happened to also have the most challenges in terms of getting jobs they get them are getting into college -- getting jobs with a good. In counts and I think it's fair to say we definitely need something. For student. It's just like to say this is Terry. That I think that. They hall. Premise of needing a total -- campaign our education system is a little bit overblown. That he's attesting which is what the international -- that compares to Hungary in states like that. Is -- not intended to set educational policy in fact if you go on their web site. On -- NASCAR which is the United Nations on group. You'll find that it says these are not to be. Used in in that respect. It's a very small snapshot they test only fifteen year -- They also use a questionnaire. Survey that figures into their results so we're really not comparing apples to apples and a lot of circumstances. When we do that and compare or similar economic groups. The United States actually does very well. And I have to say unmade. You know here in Louisiana. We hear that we ranked 48 their 49 and that's. What they're referring to is the NA testing which comes from the US Department of Education. And you have to be very careful about rankings you have to know. What your ranking and what the criteria are. Actually in that test on 500 point scale. The difference between the number one state and the number 48 or 49 which is where we usually art is about twenty points or 4%. So that doesn't necessarily. You know you can rank 58 students and the 481 as stoning students. You can ranked the fifty top athletes in the world on the 49 when it's not mr. athletes -- We have to look at what we're measuring and and -- on that. You know at. I would actually say one of the more compelling data points around this for me is really actually related specifically to the stance of Louisiana students. And that's -- resonates with me to stay at a point because I was one of that the kids in this 30% that right now all college freshmen who start. Each year 30% of them have to take remediation courses immediately in college and I think that's just an important point because it is specific to Louisiana and how kids are doing once again high school. It's also important because it shows that there's a lot of kids who actually want to move on to college and as soon as they get to college they have the big players that the struggles. Doesn't mean we think common course the only answer but it does that mean that we think that what kids are learning in school. Are not necessarily the things that they should be learning and need to learn to do well in college and to get good career it's OK let's start with. I'll start with you -- big issue or for common core how do you define it how do you see it sure so common core is a set of standards. That actually defines what kids should know. In kindergarten through high school. It was actually devised to originally came out of the group of governors who met over sixteen years ago. And decided with the business community actually. That students were graduating high school without from the skills that they need to -- reference in your introduction. That common core is meant to really be able to encourage more problem solving critical thinking in school and -- the standards really reinforce. That they allow for teachers to be able to teach different ways for students to be able to learn which were finding out from educators today appreciate because. They have a little bit more autonomy there's many times as we know different ways to get to the -- cancer and some students learn differently. -- the standards allow and encourage that. They are not a curriculum sometimes you hear people talk about. The -- course awaited mandate what should be taught in the classroom. On and that is couldn't be further from the truth actually Louisiana this year. Got rid of its Louisiana comprehensive curriculum the Louisiana used to actually have a curriculum that drove what should be taught which book should be taught. Which textbook should be used. Louisiana got rid of this year -- silly it is simply in because it was going to go with common -- On two reasons because they would need to change it for common core but also the best -- the state Department of Education decided that it actually was better. For teachers to be able -- And schools and districts. What specific materials that people should be able to use and cost. So again it's set standards it really is what kids should know by the time they finish each greet each okay not a curriculum but just a -- and Iraq. -- Common core is not just about standards it actually is an initiative. And the way that all of the states including Louisiana -- incidences. Through. Contracts actual signed contracts we have that the federal government -- stimulus funding -- to the top funding. And also the No Child Left Behind waivers. And in the -- agreed to it to three. Thinks one is common core standards that -- mentioned that are common. To all fifty states there copyrighted. They are unchanged at -- and their one size fits. There -- controlled by these two groups and CA and chief that council of chief state school officials which are really lobbying groups in Washington DC they have no government function this is the do you look. College professor in the college presidents now at this entity and CA or are the governors that came together but this isn't it's not a government organizations. And lobbying group that you know may be useful in some respects but truthfully we don't feel like. They should be determining. You know the education of our children here in Louisiana the chief state school officials are like superintendent. -- -- more right. From from various states and so that those are the two groups. So we signed on to these common standards we also has agreed to sign on to common testing. So that now rather then to sign in current assets in the -- tests that we've been taking for years in Louisiana. Where one of two national consortium. So in the whole country has signed going to be too. Tests that that the cancer and it takes so that's another issue of control where in the park testing PA RCC. Which interestingly enough started out with 24. States and it seven of already withdrawn because of issues about cost and control so. We have that the standards the testing and then they also signed on to the creation of a statewide student. Database. That will follow all of our kids. From pre K into the workforce. And record. Data on them. Now on the way we get into. That their curriculum issue is that once you have. The common course standards and then you happy content past everyone will be teaching to the same test. And then the all the text books and materials that they use are going to be very similar. And so it really an absence. PN national curriculum because every child is gonna be on the same page on the same day at the same time in every school in the country. In its -- seems very animator and. Oh real okay of the reason we're gonna take a quick -- have liked to pick it up right there please stay with this were talking common core financial under the W well. People we are talking on the subject of common core. With rain Martin who is for common core she represents stand for children. And Terry Tim Kate who is against common core and she works with stop common core. You pretty much laid out what it you your perceptions of what it is and we we kind of left on the national curriculum. Or even national testing. And I guess I'm curious about why there's a negative to that only say that because. We live in such a mobile world that you know you may graduate from high school here but you may move someplace else or mine. And isn't it a good thing. That you would feel confident leaving a Louisiana school and going to you know North Dakota and knowing that I can make it there. Yeah I would just first like to say that there is no national test in national correctly. On the fact is right now that. Every state test students. In terms of what their aptitude is when they graduate school. Really to give parents and students a sense of confidence that those children can get into college get a good job have a great life and the family. Wherever communities they want to the value in having a set of standards that are across states and be able to compare. The root testing how those students are doing. Is quite frankly not even so much so that kids in Louisiana can go to other states that right now we're struggling even with people to know the kids in Louisiana. Are able to get the Louisiana jobs that are available. And so we don't just support this for the purposes of kids being able to be compared across the nation which is important. But really again to make sure that our kids are ready when they get to college ready when they graduate high school -- great jobs that stay in Louisiana. -- guess maybe it's just a difference in philosophy. Tell us we regret we think that education. Should focus on the individuality. Of the child their own exceptionally -- them and what they wanted to do. And not to have the top down structured kind of schooling. That that puts everybody in in the same you know little. Round. Hank. We really think that. This is just going to stifle creativity. I mean this country. You know we -- there's way too much emphasis on test scores. This country is the most economically mobile you know for our people we have -- patents then almost all the other countries combined. We have more on -- Norris more inventions I mean we're very successful country and we feel that part of that. Is that you have to be unique and individual. And if you're going to be the same in every state and every school. What are we kind of list through that. But but the irony about that carries that most people don't understand is the standards themselves. By -- few where. Deeper. And encouraging problem solving and critical thinking is it actually does cater more to the individual student teacher. We've actually had a number of teachers and a lot of teachers support common core. On many more than -- have supported a lot of the other initiative that it happened in India education -- space. And one of the reasons is they actually do believe that he gives them more freedom. To pace students differently to spend time with more kids that may be further behind. In to encourage different ways to get at the same problem so. The interesting thing is when you actually look at the standards were finding that it does encouraging that individual. To touch it quite frankly right now. And in the past having won curriculum across all of Louisiana did you. Give me an example of what's gonna go on in the classroom. With common core. So one example again is really around to being able to encourage. Students to be able to read taxed more deeply. One of the best things that had happened in the past around reading is released. Sticking strictly to literary. Works right that is still allowable but there's also more of an emphasis on reading scientific tax. I'm reading abstracts. Being a little bit more prepared to read the sorts of things that one might need to be able to read on the job are one might be able to read in college. What's also different is that when students are asked to write essays. They're actually asked to use the tax to validate what it is they're writing about so instead of asking a question about how. A summer vacation might translate. To a certain literary taxed. That a student read it would say tell me something that happened in this story. And point to the proof. That in this tax that tells -- that it happened. -- still allows for a lot of innovation and creativity but really reinforces the importance of Reading and understanding. Concepts -- in your thoughts. Just last week and battery usually that's up Concord Coalition had a huge forum we had over 500 people there. And we had. Six of the most outspoken. Experts I think who are opposed to common core. One of them -- -- to James smell Graham who sat math professor at Stanford University who is actually on the committee that wrote the standards for. Common core he refused to sign a conference that. And you can read he has say white paper that he is written along with Sandra stats ski and -- mr. Simba. Where they show at that the math standards that we currently have now are really gonna dumb down our students. The high school curriculum now for math ends. With the vary week out to -- -- course there's no more going to be. -- economic treat or calculus in the high school. And we're all hearing about where we want them students to be stamped prepared that's the student technology. You know math kind of high tech shops. But this it's not gonna do it. The ministers him actually it -- says one of the writers of these that these. The college ready that they are talking about as a two year community cop which. And like I mean I could go on and on and on but you can I mean Google. -- doctor -- Grumman you can read on about that aunts and similarly. We had doctor Sanders Stansky who was on the validation -- for the English language arts. Portion which is their reading and writing and she says this material is the information out to -- rain was talking about. Is mostly taken -- area of contacts. Students don't get the whole picture and you know you can pick up something. And read one paragraph. And without reading the whole. Story can it can mean something very different and so this is what we're seeing in terms of maybe they're pulling out the United Nations. Bill of rights. And and not framing it in the proper contacts and so students are reading that going -- I guess is that this is well we need to file so. There -- there's just a lot of disagreement -- there and you know maybe some I'm not saying all of its bad but I think there are enough questions and it's very concerned that they really said. -- take a pattern look at -- list. Is it already in schools in Louisiana. It already is correct it's been in different stages of implementation for the last four years. And probably in the last two very happy stages. Such that even the state test that is being used for the last decade or so leap has been revised. To reflect the new common core. Correct -- standards that are being used in the cost. So if it's been around why are we hearing sort of the outrage now. It's that delayed implementation a little bit like Obama care you know nobody really knew what was CNN. And so they they have just been gradually rolling down a little bit at a time. And really what happened is superintendent John might spat -- -- implementation by year. So when we started this school year I think teachers and students were both on prepared. Because they didn't have that actually your preparation I thought they reckoning -- and so I think that was really. The explosion. And then you know when that sort of shock effect happen people really started looking into it and seen. Not only the implementation was a problem but a lot of the other aspects that. We're not to have it either. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue our discussion of common -- but now let's go into the newsroom and Dave -- -- change is coming to our. K through twelve education in the state and across the nation and it's called common core. There are those who want it and those who don't. And with us is rain Martin who has a proponent of common core and Terry ten key -- I'm sorry who is against it. We've been talking about what it is. An example in the classrooms. And both of you say that you have parents that are. For or against so let's kind of where -- coming from -- why do your parents like it terrible first of all let me just say that. We have yet to meet a parent who doesn't want the best for their kid and two is not concerned with making sure everything went their children agree to -- and so. That's number one number two. It we just had a parent in New Orleans who actually delivered a set at 5000 petition signatures almost offer parents in support of common core. And it's apparent who delivered a petition with say with one of the most articulate. Folks on this issue and I thought represented the other parents really well she's the parent of five children in New Orleans and she had gotten relocated during Katrina. Actually her kids and her had to go to Texas. And she said that she was stunned when she got to taxes and realize that her kids were at least degrade if not more behind the other kits. I'm in school that she sent them to you. And at that moment she down that she would do whatever she could to make sure that the kids we've seen guys that have been education as anywhere. We find that parents. Do wanna be gauged their kids' education but the truth is parents are. Really busy they're trying to make sure that they're keeping their their kids fed and clothed in engaged in activities and still having that family time and most parents are not going to school to direct schools or districts. On what their kids should be saying they want to note that when their kids go to school. They're learning things that are gonna prepare them. For college and again -- a job and to live in the community and people have a good good family so of those parents that you have mentor for this. Have their kids struggled with the changes you know it's apparent somehow -- and some have an 88 again the standards themselves. Allow for different type of learning so kids who maybe have done better in the past at doing things like memorizing or taking multiple choice test. We have found have a little bit -- struggled. For kids -- quite frankly do better act. Having a little bit more autonomy in the classroom learning different paces having different styles of learning and really again digging into that critical thinking problem solving. Are really doing extremely well. At a fairness we do expect that when the standards -- first I tested today at the test scores in Louisiana. Will suffer a little bit again we've been testing in Louisiana for ten years so that's not new. But we do think that it'll take a little bit of time and one of the good things in the parents are also excited about is the state Department of Education has instituted a new policy that allowed for fifteen years. A implementation -- really there's no consequences. To kids teachers or students and were happy Louisiana it's actually been on the forefront of that at Ball State tournament given a few years for the transition correct -- -- Terry you. Your parents are not happy with it. Generally not now. And that the big concerns I guess we have about the standards is that a they can't show us anywhere where these standards have ever been tried or tested this is something that's totally you know. Which we've putted out in all these states there's was no pilot program. In fact to new York and I believe that was Kentucky I'm not mistaken. Did some pilot testing. In. Common core last year New York which usually scores very well on their -- 70%. Of their students fail. Where you can say well -- not yet they're not used to the tasks or you know all kinds of excuses but for last night. Grating the students are not knowing where we are for several years is ridiculous. You know we this about a week and into Arnie Duncan who's our federal secretary of education and John -- of sad. It may be ten years before we know if this works. We've lost a generation of our children. If we do this for ten years without really evaluate. So what and other it really big issues that brought a lot of our parents -- in what the common core is this called data. Issue. And what we found is the deal with this statewide longitudinal databases as they very definitely are going to be setting up the structure. And yes they'll tell us or not collecting any information now of course not they haven't sent the structuring but does this is definitely coming. Information about each child each each individual -- child don't feel like an essay for children. We. It won't be we don't think just academic information on children it's most likely going to be. Their personal attitudes beliefs may be handling information and maps sort of thing. The US Department of Education actually completed a study. In January February 2013 called -- tenacity and perseverance about 300 pages long. Absolutely -- You know yes we want to make sure that our kids maybe have grit tenacity and perseverance but. I mean that goes so far as to say we could buy him magically monitor them a couple of wrist bands on. We can record through. Software programs every keystroke that they make to analyze how many. Mistakes that there are making. And it and the real issue here is that parents will have no control. Over what information is collected or share. And 2012. The federal Department of Education. Bypass congress once again and make regulatory changes to the first pop -- which is the financial education rights and privacy act. That used to require that this very personal information from our children. Could not be collected shared released without expressed parental consent. They wiped that out there is no longer require. The second thing that they do and what's to say. Before I would where data could go is very limited you know your class room there very close -- on things. Now if it can your children static can be shared with anyone in the world FA can say that what they're doing with that has do with education or research. So yeah I just have to address this particular point because. It's just absolutely false there's there is no additional collection of data. On students. On -- what has been done in the past it is true that academic data has been captured and there has been a longitudinal data system in Louisiana for a number of years. And the main reason for that is to be able to track how kids are doing and figure -- school. Our. Kids getting in college they graduating college mean one of the things we know right now it's it's only one in every. 55 year olds in the state -- Louisiana it will -- college at 20% of every five year old in the state graduate college. We know that because we have longitudinal that system tracks that. We also note for an unequivocal fact that there's no additional data collection as a result of this particular after. And we also know that even though that is the case there's a number built -- to calm before the legislature to further in shore. That there's nothing about common accord collapsed additional so it'll just be the academics it will not be their attitudes or at center center correct. There is no guarantee of that and we have in the world to the words of Bill Gates. Who has. Put millions and millions of dollars into creating this common core and getting that data system. He has said the purpose of common core -- to have common standards coming test and a common curriculum that will then open up a common market at data. And mrs. This is really going to be a big moneymaker for a lot of corporations and businesses I mean there essentially. What they wanna do is is this now. Probably products software. Even individualized plan for for our students which would be fine. But it's all without parental consent. You're not and I know what is in this in any shape performance and -- said yes there are several. Privacy bills. Coming up. But I really caution you to look. It's for example senator -- bill. Firmly puts the best seaboard and the Department of Education in control of our children's education -- not one mention of parental control. We're gonna have to take another break please stay with this financial want to VW. We're back talking about common core with rain -- and Terry Tim -- Sort of bond opposite sides of of the belief of what common core can attain. In our final segment here. Do you -- Think that we need change in education. Yes -- think we can always improve it but I think the better way to do that. Is to take what we know is working. And improve the part that's not what really concerns me and I think a lot of parents is this just kind of yanked everything we had out from under us. Restructured everything. Starting from you know kindergarten up through the twelfth grade it's a massive -- and we got students who were in fourth grade. Who never got the third grade math because their grades been moved to fourth grade I mean it's just at its alone an absurd so. One thing I I really wanna just to mention a little bit more about that that dad I just can't quickly because. Where were already having problems here in Louisiana. We've had a mom whose child. Was removed from the public school to go to -- school. And they received a phone call like a week or two later from a private vendor who had been given. Her child's private information. About his school's status his phone number his address his name and they were -- to sell her. You know. Textbooks -- you know -- for him to use at home. It very definitely did come from the Livingston parish school board and this is why I mean it's happening now so we. We really really do need some privacy protections. Coming out of this next legislative session and that and that kind of gone back to a talking to before it's one of the big concerns. Let me ask because I sense that you really have an issue with the lack of parent involvement in this if this had been created with. The that the college professors I'm not at the college presidents and the business people and parents. You would feel more comfortable with the absolute yes and here is CNN time in Washington case that you know our values and the same as the New York's -- this season. You know on lotteries acts I'm just reminded though of but let's say someone must take the law -- somebody wants to taking the medical exam those are national standards. Exams. And and it you know it to if you're lucky enough to go to great university wonderful or -- super student but sometimes. Not all schools are up to -- don't you want to bring them out. And on the question of on the question of change I would say absolutely yes to both your question of change into we wanna bring it up to par. I mean the fact is the cellphone in my purse. Is a cellphone that I don't they didn't even exist ten years ago. Things change. And a week away to our families and kids to make sure that the things their learning in the school are gonna allowed them to have the kind of life. That they wanna live which means being able to go to college if they want to or being able to get a great job. Have a family raise them in the community and want to and the truth is. With 30% of kids right now immediately going into remediation in college. And only one in 55 year -- actually being able to finish college in the state of Louisiana. We need to do something there's a lot of hard working teachers out there are a lot of hardworking parents so we it's not on them which means that. We do need to change something and we believe that the thing about -- its interest in it doesn't get talked about. Is it's really just racing expectation. And we all know as friends and parents and teachers that we you have high expectations for someone usually they reach -- On so we're excited about the fact that these offer something a little higher for people to be able to reached. There's no proof there higher that are rigorous none of that if you listen to doctor James no -- he says he used in these current math standards ever gonna happen in common core. There's say one in fifty chance of high school students ever graduated from a four year college. Of one in thirty chance of them actually getting into directly into a four year college. So to say that that this is gonna prepare kids. Without remediation is is just not -- you would never with just. Algebra -- you won't get into -- Stanford Harvard or any of those high level what this is gonna do is create an elitist. You know class of the people who can afford to go too expensive high class schools like Sidwell friends in Washington DC that will not use common core. And then the rest of the populace will have common core and go to their community colleges and it will be very -- -- com. For the for them to unify this is not you know they say that this is a floor I really believe that this this is -- ceiling. On her children and and -- it's because it's their realistically a compromise here. Is this seven stone. Well I thought I would. -- them -- uncle. You know it's in every one of standards. -- but I am concerned that that we really need to come back and taken I wanna think wearing Martin now one thing Terry ten -- you really. It's a tough subject and it's one I think we're going to be hearing a lot about. But I appreciate you very much spending time to explain it to us stay with us everyone I'm Angela hunt and do well. Thank you very much to bring -- and Terry -- keep appreciate your thoughts on common core will do it again. In the next dollar credit card usage and credit scores stay with its.