Common-Core Standards: Gates and Pearson team up to Develop Online Curricula…in a box!

This week The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Pearson Education Publishing Goliath announced they will partner up to develop a curriculum to be implemented along with the Common Core State Standards.  It makes me nervous for my teaching craft.

All but eight states (and four territories) in the U.S. have adopted Common Standards for English and Math.  The following is the mission statement from the CCS webpage:

“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

To say that anything is common or standard about the learning process doesn’t respect the kinds of creative thinking that the human brain can do, and certainly doesn’t respect the kinds of diverse experiences of my students.

The CCS assume that 1) there is a clear understanding of “what learning looks like” 2) global competition is the ultimate contribution to American society.

Whose assumptions are those?

Any teacher (or non-teacher) who has read James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me recognizes the kinds of hero-ification that (the few) Big Publishers (Pearson, Houghton-Mifflin/Harcourt, Heinemann, McGraw-Hill, etc.) produce for our society in a little over 300 pages.  Whose stores are told; values represented in these compendia?  More over, whose voice are excluded?

I am definitely curious to see what Gates and Pearson come up with for their Common Core Curriculum, but I not convinced it’ll be the cure for what ails curricula.

Thoughts?

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4 responses to “Common-Core Standards: Gates and Pearson team up to Develop Online Curricula…in a box!

  1. Adam,

    I look forward to reading and responding to your posts. I hope the worldwide community of educators do the same. We all need to be a part of these key discussions and the decision making processes of the larger community.

  2. Solid think. There are many facets tot the challenges facing education and educators. As a retired School board member, I can see the problems from the economic and administrative level. However, seeing the issues from the classroom level helps everyone focus on improvements that work! I lookk forward to your blog.

  3. Oppressed Teacher

    This is an area where the state can save some money. Why are we literally buying into a set of standards that nobody can even explain yet? Here’s some light reading about standards that are supposed to be fewer, more focused and higher achieving:

    http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

    It all seems relatively ridiculous and overly complicated, especially at the high school level. The one decent move the state made with the PSAE was basing it on the ACT, which is meaningful for students in that it is their college entrance exam. They should simply stop paying for the Work Keys portion and let us move forward selecting content structuring our own creative instruction around existing college readiness standards. This looks more like Gates et al are trying to steal funding away from the College Board and the American College Test. Have any universities endorsed these standards and publicly declared their acceptance of the corresponding new assessments? What a waste of energy.

  4. Pingback: Your Teacher Said WHAT? | Grumpy Opinions

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