professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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All the news that's fit to invent

I love the New York Times Book Reviews. I enjoy reading reviews by writers who are more focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the text than on how snarky or hip they can sound (something I used to see a great deal of on blogs and Goodreads and Amazon). So I am completely baffled about why their editorial board (no ONE author is identified) has been sounding as though the payola has been passed under the proverbial table when it comes to CCSS and NCTQ. Here is one example: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/opinion/sunday/the-trouble-with-testing-mania.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0. And the salient quote: "This country, by contrast, has an abysmal system of teacher preparation. That point was underscored recently in a harrowing report on teacher education programs from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and advocacy group. The report found that very few programs meet even basic quality standards: new students are often poorly prepared, and what the schools teach them “often has little relevance to what they need to succeed in the classroom.” Some problems could be partly solved by the Common Core learning standards, an ambitious set of goals for what students should learn. The Common Core, adopted by all but a handful of states, could move the nation away from rote memorization — and those cheap, color-in-the-bubble tests — and toward a writing-intensive system that gives students the reasoning skills they need in the new economy."


Has every member of the "editorial board" been drinking from the same poisoned Kool-Aid trough? There have been numerous articles and posts that have demonstrated that the NCTQ report is junk science at best, outright lies at the base. Here is the times citing it as a research group (well, give them credit since they also called them an advocacy group). To pile on, though, the NYT suggests we can fix the problem of poor teacher preparation (which has not been demonstrated by research beyond the flawed methodologies of NCTQ with a biased agenda underpinning it all) through CCSS. Never mind the critical pieces that have been written about how the standards were written, how they are being "rolled out" (makes it sound like pie crust, doesn't it? or cookie dough, probably a more apt metaphor), and how they are being touted as ground-breaking, never before seen, whizbang, gollygeewhiz, new stuff.

I think we need to stand up here and challenge the NYT and other papers, blogs, etc. that are spinning out the propaganda. Maybe we can make this a CCSS lesson? Here are the 10 anchor standards. Give students a handful of articles and op-ed pieces being sure to include blogs and other online or digital media, perhaps some interviews with the key players (might need to edit some as Coleman has used some expletives when talking about things that are not nonfiction or career-directed). I know I can construct a framework that would cover all 10. I win! Give me the gold star (and the extra pay for being an EXCELLENT teacher?)!

Key Ideas and details

1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Craft and Structure

4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.*

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of reading and Level of text Complexity

10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Tags: ccss, nctq, nyt, propaganda
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