professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Do your homework

I had plans to write about something different today, but since I was working from home in my jammies this morning, I caught Chuck Todd from MSNBC "covering" a story on CCSS. Now, I should have known better. I know the bias I have already seen on MSNBC (Chris Hayes' "interview" of Diane Ravitch half of which was dedicated to a clip of Michelle Rhee), so I should have turned on a Frasier rerun. But, no. I watched the story about the National Opt-Out Day. One might think that Todd would have interviewed students, teachers, and or parents. Nope, a politician was the focus, a state senator who is opposed to CCSS and is leading a challenge in his state. Okay, deep breath, maybe this will be okay. But, no. After insisting that the states put CCSS together on their own and that it was NOT a federal program in the least, Todd asked a question that is worthy of the lowest type of yellow journalism. Basically, he asked if a state decided to remove any math requirement from the state's curriculum, should we all stand by and allow that to happen. Really? Has this happened anywhere Is it even likely? Todd went on to describe CCSS as the "floor" of standards, the basics below which we should not sink or else (you could see this coming) we would not be globally competitive.

I am sick to death of the failure on the part of most journalists to do their homework. Their talking points seem to come from the Arne Duncan Playbook. Damn the critics; play the global competition card; decry the sorry state of education (and, correct me here, did these journalists not go through American school systems?). The only good interview I have seen of late came from Jon Stewart's DAILY SHOW interview of Diane Ravitch. Is it not beyond belief that the most reliable "news" seems to come from Comedy Central?

So, let me put forth some talking points so that reporters and journalists and hosts of news shows can simply crib from me. Pose these queries of proponents of CCSS, please.

1. Describe exactly how the states wrote the standards.
2. Explain how this is NOT a federal program when RttT is tied to adoption of CCSS.
3. How were experts (teachers) involved in this process?
4. What of the charges that there are some standards that are not developmentally appropriate?
5. Talk about the fact that test scores will plummet and how that will affect kids.
6. What about the role of poverty? How do we address that?
7. When we control for poverty, the differences in the global comparisons seem to almost vanish. So, should we not address poverty first and foremost?
8. What is the research underpinning the CCSS standards? Is this good pedagogy?
9. How will adding more tests improve education?
10.Talk about why education needs reform. Really.

You're welcome.
Tags: bias, ccss, journalism, reporting
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