Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rebecca Mead in New Yorker on Teachers Refusing to Give Test and on Louis C.K. Slam of Testing and Common Core

This week, teachers at International High School at Prospect Heights, which serves a population of recently arrived immigrants from non-English-speaking countries, announced that they would not administer an assessment required by the city. A pre-test in the fall “was a traumatic and demoralizing experience for students,” a statement issued by the teachers said. “Many students, after asking for help that teachers were not allowed to give, simply put their heads down for the duration. Some students even cried.” When a comedian points out the way in which the current priorities don’t add up, it earns even the attention of those who haven’t thought much about school since they graduated. But the brutal math of the New York City school system is no laughing matter.... Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker
Rebecca is an opt-out parent in Brooklyn and talks about our pals at the International School at Prospect Heights campus - see the video I made (Video and Press Release: NYC High School Teachers Refuse to Administer Test). 

The Louis C.K. story has been circulating for days, topped by his appearance on Letterman. I posted some of his tweets the other day - Even more Louis CK Tweets this time about CC and "Bill Hates"!!!

His kids go to public school in Manhattan. Here are some more links to stories.

Diane Ravitch:

An ed deform Newsweek writer, who claims to be a former teacher - attacked Louis and used the same old tired excuses, even resorting to pulling same race card used by Arne Duncan -- that it is white middle class people protesting because they have nothing to lose while ed deform will save the poor children on the plantation.
Louis C.K.         @louisck 
@alexnazaryan the things you say about me are shallow and mean but you posed in front of some books for your pic & thus sound smart.
Ravitch does touch on this issue in one of her responses to Nazaryan.

Actually, we at Change the Stakes are beginning to see a real uptick in parents of color joining the opt-out movement. CTS has been going into these neighborhoods to provide info for people.


"Their love of learning is dying. And the only way to fix it is to listen to them."
by Ben Collins

Gothamist--has embedded clip of Louis CK on Letterman. First two minutes of video

Boing Boing piece by Cory Doctorow:

Louis on ABC News. On Facebook: 1 minute video.


May 1, 2014

Louis C.K. Against the Common Core

On Thursday morning, thousands of children who attend public school in New York City will be sitting down for the second of three days of standardized math tests. Among them will be the offspring of Louis C.K., the comedian. Earlier this week, he took to social media to express his frustration at his daughter’s math homework, tweeting the questions she was required to solve to his more than three million followers. “My kids used to love math! Now it makes them cry,” he wrote.

Math looks different these days from when Louis C.K. and his contemporaries attended school, and many similarly aged parents have found themselves puzzled by the manner in which math concepts are being presented to this generation of learners as well as perplexed as to how to offer the most basic assistance when their children are struggling with homework. If you are over the age of twenty and not yourself a teacher, it is unlikely that you will have an intuitive facility with a “number line,” or know how to write a “number sentence,” or even understand what is meant by the omnipresent directive to “show your work.”
In several of his tweets, C.K. blasted the Common Core, the federally approved (but not nationally mandated) standards that most states, including New York, have adopted. Parental critiques of Common Core math problems have gone viral before. At the same time, defenders of the Common Core have argued that the standards themselves are not the problem so much as the poorly conceived or badly expressed curricula in which they are often embedded. This defense sounds reasonable enough, though parents whose children come home with worksheets presenting obscurely worded or illogically presented problems and bearing the words Common Core can hardly be blamed for conflating the two.


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