Friday, July 29, 2016

Nine Times Diane Ravitch Was Wrong About Common Core

Following up on my last email, in which I included Diane Ravitch's op ed in the NYT critiquing the Common Core, below is an excellent response. Here's the summary:

It was no surprise when, this weekend, education historian and vehement Common Core-opponent Diane Ravitch railed against the standards and assessments – again – this time in a New York Times op-ed. While she admits to numerous times she's been completely wrong in the past, we'd like to take this opportunity to point out nine additional times that she's completely wrong in this single piece:

1. and 2. Ravitch repeatedly refers to Common Core State Standards as national standards, and as a curriculum.

3. She claims the standards are "another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation."

4. She claims "the people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven't come true."

5. Ravitch claims the Common Core State Standards ignore "children with disabilities, English-language learners and those in the early grades."

6. She concludes Common Core isn't working.

7. Ravitch claims computer glitches while administering tests is a big problem.

8. Ravitch laments that the "Common Core tests" are harder and that "predictably depresses test scores, creating a sense of failure and hopelessness among young children."

9. She claims that "if we really cared about improving the education of all students, we would give teachers the autonomy to tailor instruction to meet the needs of the children."

Here are some additional comments about Ravitch's op ed by Alexander Kugushev, who is completing a book on education: "We are 34th in Education! It's the culture":


Common Core's purpose is not to establish social justice. That is not an educational goal. Common Core's purpose, no matter what the rationalizations, is to raise our educational standards – to show Americans what is necessary in a modern society that favors the educated over the uneducated, unjust as that may seem to some. How does Diane Ravitch perceive the objective of democracy: to debase everyone to the lowest common denominator in a quest for "equity", or to allow everyone to rise as high as effort and ambition will allow?  


Do we want, in a quest for "equity", an educational system where prevail low expectations, easy grades, no homework, fear of blows to students' self-esteem, fun as learning motivator, moving kids along to graduation even with mediocre grades in easy courses? Or one in which education aims for understanding the meaning of ideas and applying them to concrete real-world problems, capacity to transfer knowledge and skills to new situations, ability to communicate and collaborate in problem solving across disciplines? How can one succeed in an automated, robotized 21st century short of such capacities? Progressive society's purpose should be to raise all by showing what can be achieved.


Nine Times Diane Ravitch Was Wrong About Common Core in the New York Times

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