New York City Shouldn’t Get Excited About Its Test Scores

Photo credit: Ephemeral New York

Photo credit: Ephemeral New York

New York City students showed improvement on this year’s Common Core assessment. Susan Edleman with The New York Post said… don’t get too excited.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña bragged about an increase in the number of city kids passing the state Common Core tests — but that success may have more to do with the exams being made easier than with any real improvements in learning.

For the third consecutive year, the state has slashed the number of points required to be found “proficient” on the important exams, The Post has learned.

The tests also had fewer questions and the students were given unlimited time to finish — further raising doubts that this year’s rise in passing grades reflects progress.

So don’t let Common Core advocates point to New York City as a sign of progress that Common Core is accomplishing what they promised. There is no evidence that is the case.

Standards Stressing Kindergarteners Out

27.1n014Parents here is what the Common Core is doing to your children.

From the New York Post:

Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.

“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”

In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.

When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.”

“This is causing a lot of anxiety,” the teacher said. “Kindergarten should be happy and playful. It should be art and dancing and singing and learning how to take turns. Instead, it’s frustrating and disheartening.”

The city has adopted national standards called the Common Core, which dramatically raise the bar on what kids in grades K through 12 should know.

The jargon is new, too. Teachers rate each student’s performance as “novice,” “apprentice,” “practitioner” or “expert.”

Kindergartners are introduced to “informational texts” read aloud, such as “Garden Helpers,” a National Geographic tale about useful pests.

After three weeks, kids have to “write a book about what they’ve learned,” with a drawing and sentences explaining the topic.

In math, kids tackle concepts like “tally chart,” “combination,” and “commutative property,” DOE records show.

Read the rest.

Folks this isn’t rigorous.  This is INSANE and shows that the Common Core ELA and Math Standards were written by those who don’t have an iota of a clue about basic child development.  Have they read Erik Erickson’s stages of social-emotional development and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development?

Then there’s language development.  Here are some benchmarks for a typical five year-old.

  • Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
  • Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
  • Has number concepts of 4 or more
  • Can count to ten
  • Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
  • Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
  • Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
  • Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
  • Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
  • Should know his age
  • Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
  • Tomorrow, yesterday, today
  • Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
  • Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

And for a six year-old:

  • In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th,1
  • He should have concepts of 7
  • Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
  • Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships
  • Between objects and happenings

At seven years-of-age:

  • Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
  • Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc
  • Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc
  • Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
  • Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

I hope this angers you.  It does me.

BORING

If you think the frustration will stop in Kindergarten, think again.  Perhaps this is a case of unintended consequences.  More than likely it’ll be the basis for a push for earlier and earlier government intervention into early childhood.

Big Brother Is Watching Your Kids

Emmett McGroarty, the executive director of the Preserve Innocence Initiative of American Principles Project was on Fox News talking about a recent New York Post article he wrote with Jane Robbins.  In the article they outline regulatory changes made by the Department of Education that undermine student and family privacy.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=1353082628001&w=466&h=263Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

This is an egrigeious violation of privacy that needs to be called out.

Originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts