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Original post made
on Dec 10, 2013
If the public at large only knew the mess the school district is in! I wish a local news agency would do a little digging and report back to the public. Big salaries, big jobs created in district office, not enough substitutes so teachers are using their prep time to cover classes, and everyone in the trenches overworked. Someone needs to blow their cover!
I have a friend who works in the district office. She reports that every time a district administrator leaves (and there have been quite a few) they "reorganize" and add even more positions. The board has heard the concerns but nothing changes.
People....it is time to raise hell (or at least a lot of questions) about core curriculum BEFORE our students suffer the consequences of this latest brainchild!
Oh, no! If we allow our children to be taught how to think and explore topics in depth (rather than memorizing thousands of unconnected facts) and how to work cooperatively on projects with others..........then what?!!!!!!! The heavens will fall?????
Oooooooooohhhh! Why can't things just always stay the same??? Change is so scary!!!
Many years ago the district mandated all employees working in classrooms be trained in a program called language!. This required two full days of training per employee, thousands of instructional manuals, thousands of student workbooks, hundreds of sets of language! based reading books. At the time it was said to be mandatory that it be used in all elementary classrooms. The truth is it didn't last a year. Teachers refused to use it. What a joke! I would love to know the total cost for this program. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?
Dave...you are living in a dream world. It will certainly be yet another failed experiment....and who will it affect? Our children!
But Dave, if our children learn to think critically, where will the Town Square get its crazies, hmm? Have you even thought about that, Mr. Change-is-Good?
Just where we get them now, I suppose: out of the dark, musty corners of garages that have an old TV perpetually tuned to Faux News.
If your children are taking AP classes, common core-style standards are already embedded. Critical thinking will replace regurgitation.
I am guessing that the proponents of Common Core (uh, yeah, 'critical thinking' types) + the $ Millions wasted in Administration costs are the same folks who scream about "NOT ENOUGH FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS". These are probably the same folks who wants our kids to learn endlessly about Native Americans to amend for our sins of the past, Islam as Peaceful, and sacred multiculturalism, and maybe later, time allowing, spend a few minutes on the Founding Fathers - remember those evil white guys! Don't worry brilliant reformists - educated Indians (from the country)and Chinese will continue to get millions of US Engineering + Computer Science JOBS b/c they truly study math + science, while our offspring can be like, Social Workers + Community Activists! ;>
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Thanks for listening.
Julia Pardini from Alamo
The "Julia-Bot" has apparently malfunctioned.
This comment is in response to Dave's comments about Language. The program was Whole Language Instruction and it was intended to replace the phonics method of reading. This was in the late 1980's (at least in the school district where I was an administrator). It was a poorly thought out program and was a disaster nationally wherever it was tried. I was a senior administrator in a district in Southern California and voiced my objections to Whole Language. However, the Superintendent wanted to do it.
I was not here in the Valley at the time, but it sounds like San Ramon Valley Unified also tried Whole Language. Whole Language was not a state standard that school districts were required to follow. It was optional.
That is not the case with Common Core. The state has adopted the Common Core standards. The state has not adopted curriculum, that is a local school district right. The state mandates tests that will be based on its adopted Common Core standards. The SRVUSD is free to set higher standards than the state, so long as the minimum standard is met. SRVUSD is already planning to expand the math standard allowing 8th graders to take Algebra 1 when the state says that should happen in 9th grade.
Common Core is not a radical idea. It is intended to prepare out students for college and work. Nationally, K-12 education has heard for years from universities that their freshman are not prepared for college level work. We instituted many aspects of Common Core years ago (long before Common Core was even conceived) and had high standards for our students. The concept of critical thinking, enhanced writing skills, beefed up reading standards, and a deeper understanding of higher level mathematics have been part of SRVUSD's educational program for years. That is why we have some of the highest test scores in California, high graduation rates, and almost 97% of our graduates go on to post-secondary education. One of our middle schools is the highest rated in California, and our high schools are also highly ranked, with one high school ranked in the top ten in California by a rating firm.
So, I share your concern about new programs. Fades rarely last. Whole Language was a fade that hurt students. However, Whole Language was a technique not a standard. Common Core standards adopted by California are just that, standards that tell school districts what level of knowledge a student should have at each grade level. Setting standards that better prepare students for college and work in today's economy are never bad. What parents and taxpayers need to do is stay vigilant to make sure their local school districts properly implement the Common Core standards. Properly implemented, students will be better prepared for post high school education (whether college or trade schools) and the higher skills required by today's employers.
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