In recent years the Opt-Out movement has gained popularity in some circles. Here is a short article from Education Week (2015) giving some perspective.
I found this article in the Daily Mail. I don’t post much in the way of newspaper articles. They tend to go the way of junk science, but this article made a good argument. As few as three absences from school can have a significant impact on student achievement on standardized tests. This same correlation might be extended to classroom assessments and academic progress.
A note to consider: correlation does not necessarily mean causation. There are multiple complexities in the lives of the students at the center of this study. Still, the point is a good one. The academic calendar is a deliberate mechanism designed to build understanding. Interruptions to plans, sequence and content delivery can and will result in diminished student achievement.
Enjoy the story.
Dr. James Milgram leads an attack on another front in support of low standards.
A cursory study of Dr. Milgram et al points to a common thread. Both Milgram and Stotsky point to the fear that students rising up through the system will be ill-served by requiring new, stronger standards, particularly in the middle grades as Stotsky (2013) argues.
World War I was a conflict in which technology and practice found themselves at odds. New military technology was out-pacing the tactics of the day. Thousands of brave men dutifully marched into machine gun nests expecting to break the grip that the new technology had on the battlefield. In the end, the technological advantage was overcome by the application of a new technological tool. April 1917 brought the tank into the conflict. Conflicts are often determined by the side which adapts to the changes first. For Educators, the challenge today is straight forward. We need to develop programs which reflect current reality. So often schools rely upon a paradigm that has been made obsolete by technology. Our planning is based on frameworks we would have been happy to apply to the days when we were in school — and likely were.
Larry Johnson reminds us, that in education, “Our Strategic Planning is based on a world which no longer exists.”
We need to be flexible. We need to look at the challenges that we face and make sober assessments about what we need to change in order to develop the programs of the future…and the Present.
In the past, state educational standards have ensured we have fifty floating standards of educational success. This has created a system in which seniors frequently read at a third grade level. It is a recipe for failure. Fortunately, governors and education leaders in the states have had the foresight to work toward balancing the system to help all American students compete against their international competitors at higher levels.
Key to the success of Common Core is the understanding that “Standards do not equal learning.” Even the best standards rely upon competent, well-trained teachers to direct the class in the course of instruction.
Inasmuch as they point toward transfer goals from mathematics,reading and language arts these standards must be extended to apply to other areas as well.
The following video from dcpublicschools is a concise explanation of Common Core State Standards.
Opinions are not new in education. Everyone has one, and like any other area of life, when we develop ours we will defend it to the end.
The whole Special Education vs General Education fight for resources has some very well-entrenched support. Here is a recent article from the Sun Sentinel regarding the latest head-butting match.
What the article fails to adequately address are the issues this new law will create in the realm of federal funding for Special Education programs in Florida. It seems that Mr. Gardner et al may have been snookered by some that didn’t like the first or second pass of IDEA.
Either way, it would seem that this has all been argued and settled at the federal level.