Tag Archives: Arne Duncan

Is the Common Core a Runaway Train? Is it Unstoppable? Let’s Ask Stephen Krashen

The Common Core train has left the station.  Is it a runaway train?  Is it unstoppable?  

Americans, get ready.  Common Core State Standards have already left the station, according to Stephen Krashen, who was featured in  NABE Weekly eNews, (2012), and the National Association for Bilingual Education,  see S. Krashen, “Poverty is the problem that must be solved: Our schools are not broken” NABE NEWS, 33 (4): 5-8. July/August 2011. 

But who is this Stephen Krashen?  Why should we ask him?  Why not ask Bill Gates?  Or Pearson?  Or David Coleman?

You can read about Krashen here on his website.  He’s an expert in education, unlike Gates, Pearson, or Coleman.  The problem is, Krashen isn’t driving the train.

Gates, Pearson, and Coleman are driving the train, and that’s like having no one at the wheel.  No one that knows what they are doing.  

Is the train unstoppable?  

Are schools really so broken across  America that 45 states have to adopt these untested standards?

What do we do when every American child is put on board a train without a driver?  Do we let that runaway train go until it crashes with all of them on board?  

These are serious questions that someone needs to answer.

Let’s  get a feel for what might be at risk, then pay attention closely as we ask Stephen Krashen, an education expert.

Krashen wrote:  

“It is not too late.  We are frequently told that “the train has already left the station.” It has not, however, arrived at its destination.”

He and NABE have given their permission to print Krashen’s work here.  My photos and comments are added.

Stephen Krashen:

Do Those Who Like the Common Core Know the Facts?   

Posted on NABE Weekly eNews  (National Association for Bilingual Education)

  “According to an Achieve poll, 68% of teachers and 74% of all voters approve of the common core state (sic) standards (either “very favorable” or “favorable”)

[http://www.achieve.org/GrowingAwarenessCCSS].  A poll of Education Next readers showed less enthusiasm, but 40% supported the common core at the time of this writing (either “completely” or “somewhat” supportive) [ http://educationnext.org/ednext-readers-poll-common-core/ ].” ~ Stephen Krashen, NABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

My update, as taken directly from Education Next Poll on Common Core below, includes  the week’s previous poll results, giving US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a strong  “F”  in job performance.  Here are the results for both polls from their site:   

“Last week we asked:

“What grade would you give Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s job performance?”

The results were as follows:

A – 3%
B – 3%
C – 6%
D – 16 %
F – 72%

This week we want to know your thoughts on the following question:

As you may know, all states are currently deciding whether or not to adopt the Common Core standards in reading and math.  If adopted, these standards would be used to hold the state’s schools accountable for their performance.  Do you support or oppose the adoption of the Common Core standards in your state?

Do you support or oppose the adoption of the Common Core standards in your state? (Poll Closed)

Completely support 17.29%  

Somewhat support 12.62%  

Neither support nor oppose 3.97%  

Somewhat oppose 12.38%  

Completely oppose 53.74%  ”  ~  Education Next Reader’s Poll: Common Core(2012)

Yes, you read that right!  53.74% completely oppose the Common Core State Standards!  Interesting, since implementation of Common Core State Standards is getting started already in 45 states across America!

Stephen Krashen took the time to comment on the Education Next poll.  He said:

 Stephen Krashen says:

07/08/2012 at 12:57 am

“I wonder how the poll results would turn out if all those taking the poll realized that the common core state (sic) standards entails a massive increase in testing (about 20 times NCLB levels) and will be very expensive, at a time when money is very tight. I wonder how the results would be if respondees realized that there is no justification for the common core in the first place: the problem is poverty.” ~ Stephen Krashen, commentsEducation Next Poll: Common Core (2012)

Yes, I wonder how America will feel about the BILLIONS being spent, according to the Pioneer Institute on implementation of the Common Core State Standards?   What if we invested those billions in wrap-around services to directly counter the impacts of poverty instead?

Krashen warns us of a MASSIVE increase in testing, 20 times the testing that NCLB requires as he continues in NABE Weekly eNews:

“I wonder how the poll results would turn out if those taking the poll realized that the common core state (sic) standards mean a massive increase in testing and will be very expensive, at a time when money is very tight. My estimate is that the common core will require about 20 times the amount of testing that NCLB requires, with more subjects and grade levels tested, interim tests, and maybe even pretests in the fall.”  ~ Stephen Krashen, NABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

Just what does all this testing do for children’s learning?  Remember, “testing is not teaching”.  How much time will teachers be spending on teaching with Common Core?  How much excessive testing time goes on before the implementation?  Sounds like a train wreck right around the corner to me.

Are we nuts?  Who is driving this train?   What could communities spend that $16 billion on instead of implementation and testing costs?

Are we assuming that by 20 x MORE testing, we are going to achieve better results?  Who says?  How do we know?

What else does Stephen say this evidence in NABE?  What does he say about the REASON we need Common Core.  Is there a justifiable reason?  What are the real factors devastating some student achievement?  What would  the people of America think if they knew the answers?

 

“I wonder how the results would be if those polled realized that there is no evidence that increased testing will boost achievement, and that there is no justification for the common core in the first place: There is strong evidence that the major reason for low school achievement is poverty.  According to UNICEF (Innocenti Report 10), the US child poverty rate is now 23%, the second highest among 35 “economically advanced” countries.  Poverty has a devastating impact on school performance.”  ~ Stephen KrashenNABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

Obama wants America to “race to the top”.  There’s a “Race to the Top” medal for America.  We have achieved, alright.  We’ve achieved the second highest poverty rating among 35 “economically advanced” countries.  

We get second place and after we spend these billions on implementing Common Core State Standards instead of dealing with the problem of poverty in the first place, maybe we’ll win next year!  First prize!   Maybe it is better for us to start becoming un-advanced economically?

I suppose we should trust Pearson, Gates, and David Coleman and just implement the Common Core without any field testing, huh?  Does America know these standards have not had any field testing?  Will 20 x the testing help children in poverty achieve?

Oh, wait.  There’s more from Krashen.  

 “I wonder how those polled would respond if they knew that the billions to be spent on unnecessary and excessive testing could be used to protect children against the effects of poverty.” ~ Stephen KrashenNABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

 But is it too late?  Is the train of Common Core unstoppable?

He wonders too, what the pollers would have said if they KNEW these billions were being spent on UNNECCESSARY excessive testing.  Is it unnecessary?    Do you know, American parents?  Start asking questions.  Stop the train.

Do these standards really make a difference when in the end, we all group up with different passions, talents, and interests that lead us to different vocations, professions, and lifestyles?  Why try to standardize everyone?  Does it make sense, really?  What if we embraced everyone’s diversity instead?

When was the last time you heard of ANYONE solving any of the world’s REAL problems by taking one of these bubble tests?  

  • Has anyone attributed these bubble tests to saving a life?  
  • Inventing something important for society?  
  • Adding to their success?  
  • Creating happiness?  
  • Establishing credibility in their future?  
  • What happened after you got your diploma?  
  • Did you EVER refer back to those bubble tests in your resume?

But more importantly:  What would happen if we spent these billions on stemming the bleeding on poverty instead?  What kinds of things might REALLY help?  

 

Krashen has more questions too, and points out — when it comes to Common Core, it may not be too late.  Could we stop the train?  Is it unstoppable? 

 “It is not too late.  We are frequently told that “the train has already left the station.” It has not, however, arrived at its destination.

 If the public knew the details about the Common Core, the astonishing amount of testing, the cost, and the lack of evidence that it will work, the train would stop immediately.”

Note: NABE passed a strong resolution opposing the common core standards and tests at the 2012 annual meeting.

For sources, see S. Krashen, “Poverty is the problem that must be solved: Our schools are not broken” NABE NEWS, 33 (4): 5-8. July/August 2011.

 

Krashen inspires us, encourages us, and directs us to stop this train.  

We don’t need Common Core Standards.  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need 20 x the high stakes testing.  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need Value Added Measures [VAM].  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need charter schools to make the rich guys richer.  

Our schools are not broken. 

It’s not too late.  

Stop Common Core.

Stop the poverty train. 

Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.

I agree with Stephen Krashen.  

Schools are not broken.  

Society is broken.  

Common Core State Standards won’t help poverty.   In fact, it’s $16 billion price tag will likely make it a whole lot worse.  

America, we need to put people like Stephen Krashen behind the wheel.  

Don’t be deceived by their propaganda:  Take the wheel away from the corporations.    Why would we trust them with anything?  $16 Billion?  Our children?  Our schools?  Our teachers?   Why?

Let’s stop this train — the poverty train — before it’s too late.  

Why?

Because these children —- these children in poverty —- these children in our public schools  — they’re real human beings —-  they aren’t numbers.

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Gates & The Land of Oz: OII, NCLB, & RTTT

Guardian of the Emerald City Gates


Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: “Who rang that bell?”
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman: [all four together] “We did!”
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: “Can’t you read?”
Scarecrow: “Read what?”
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: “The notice!”
Dorothy:  “What notice?”
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: “It’s on the door – as plain as the nose on my face! It… oh… ”

Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: [gasps] “The Wizard? But nobody can see the Great Oz! Nobody’s ever seen the Great Oz! Even I’ve never seen him!”  [All Oz quotes, as taken from IMB, Favorite Quotes of the Wizard of Oz]

Based on the No Confidence Vote by NEA for the past two years awarded to Arne Duncan, you would think he was the man behind the curtain in the Land of Oz. This surreal classic tale is rife with reality in the Department of Education, and the Neo-Corporatocracy hostage government. Today I am writing to expose the REAL man behind the curtain of NCLB and  RTTT in the Land of Oz.

Duncan as "Wicked Witch of the West" and Dorothy as "Public Schools"

Duncan’s role suddenly switches to become the Wicked Witch.

Wicked Witch of the West:  “Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of spears! Thought you were pretty foxy, didn’t you? Well! The last to go will see the first three go before her! And your mangy little dog, too!”

Public Ed Caught in Storm of Century Between Forces of NCLB and RTTT

Public education is caught F5 storm of century, 2 fronts which have been building pressure like a  freight train crashing down on children and teachers,  NCLB and RTTT.  Who is behind the scenes of this storm?

I’ve found the data, that 4 letter word teachers across the land have all begun to hate…  the data that exposes the man behind the curtain of NCLB & RTTT…

Wizard of Oz: “Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said come back tomorrow.”

The evidence that backs up my dogmatic thinking came yesterday from a site called AllGov- Everything Our Government Really Does.

What is lurking behind the curtain of the Department of Education, NCLB, and RTTT

The Office of Innovation and Improvement   [OII]

Overview: “Located within the Department of Education, The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) manages various grant programs, ranging from charter schools to dropout prevention, and coordinates the public school choice and supplemental education services that are provided under the No Child Left Behind Act. In managing these grant programs and implementing new educational reforms, OII attempts to improve student achievement, increase parental awareness, and prepare the educational system, both technologically and instructionally, for more advanced learning.

What it does: The Office of Innovation and Improvement was created in order to help manage the spending of money created by the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, the OII decides how to distribute the funds of its 28 grant programs (see below). When distributing these funds, their main goal is to improve student achievement, increase parental awareness, and keep the education system up to date. The OII is also responsible for administering earmarks, which are funds allocated by Congress to be spent on predetermined projects.

The Flying Monkeys of  Earmark Funds governed by OII:

  OII Grants and Initiatives

Who is lurking behind the curtain of OII, pulling the strings of  NCLB & RTTT?

“James H. Shelton III has served as assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement since April 2009, putting him in charge of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. In this position, he oversees the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund. President Barack Obama pledged to prohibit government employees from doing business with former employers.

However, Shelton was granted a waiver to deal with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for which he worked for more than five years prior to joining the Obama administration.” – [All-Gov, DOE, OII]

Clearly, James H. Shelton, III worked under the Bush Administration to govern the funding for Bush’s schtick, NCLB, and through the waiver was a hand-me-down to then govern the funding of Obama’s carrot RTTT.

But Shelton is just one of the many Flying Monkeys, leaving Duncan to act as the Wicked Witch.

Based on Shelton’s 5 years at the Gates Foundation, we know who the real man behind the curtain is now.

Bill Gates is Behind the Curtain in the Land of NCLB and RTTT

Wizard of Oz: [speaking in a booming voice into microphone]

“I am the great and powerful… ”
[then, realizing that it is useless to continue his masquerade, moves away from microphone, speaks in a normal voice]

Bill Gates  is exposed as the man behind the curtain who pulls all the strings for NCLB & RTTT.

Gates, Duncan, and the Flying Monkeys Hold Public Ed Hostage

The Great and Powerful Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Flying Monkeys are still alive, all of them covering the skies of every state in a Murder of Flying Monkeys, snatching up the PUBLIC, locking them up behind the Gates of the Emerald City,  forever to be kept  out of public education. Truth is stranger than fiction!

Gates, Duncan, and the Flying Monkeys Hold PUBLIC ED Hostage