[Numeracy 323] Re: Controversial News Articles

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Susan Jones SUJones at parkland.edu
Fri Apr 23 15:05:55 EDT 2010

Indeed. In one of my teaching positions we were told that the reason we
had special education was that it was required by law. Any suggestions
for improvement were met with the question "Is it a legal requirement?"
(We had "classes" of 9 students where two were registered for History, 3
for Math, one for Science and three for Resource -- but because the
student teacher ratio was within the legal limits the idea of changing
this was met with incredulity.)

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL 61821
sujones at parkland.edu

>>> Christine Miller <cmiller53 at student.gsu.edu> 4/23/2010 11:32 AM


I don't think that having national standards leads to a pot of money.
The federal government legally compels equality in education for all --
not just minorities but special needs as well. Many states seem to try
and get away with doing the least amount possible. Setting standards is
not supposed to be just an exercise in multiplication. They should be
the result of thoughtful discussions with the understanding that
standards change as society changes. To say that you have a college
track high school diploma should mean that you are ready for college
algebra (or better) and that you are literate.
From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] on behalf
of shirley burns [threedog at cyberport.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:52 PM
To: 'The Math and Numeracy Discussion List'
Subject: [Numeracy 318] Re: Controversial News Articles

I’m just getting in this, but are you sure it is the standards that
make the education. It doesn’t sound to me like the problem in the
south is standards. I can’t believe that we can honestly believe
that the FED government would do a better job of the states in setting
standards. Most standards are copies from one another. It sound like
you don’t have as much faith in national standards as you think that
having them will give some pot of money from the Federal gov’t. There
is no pot of money. It comes with a high price tag.

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Christine Miller
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 2:33 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 316] Re: Controversial News Articles

Should't we at least consider having a national discussion about what
knowledge we value? Coming from the South and knowing about the history
of public education in the South in comparison to say, the Mid-Atlantic
states, I am cynical about depending on state politicians to improve
and/or maintain education. Georgia arm wrestles every year with
Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina for the bottom four ranking
order. I believe that a lot of our struggles originate from our shared
history. Southern states were the last to offer public education and we
have a checkered past when it comes to inclusion and realistic funding.
The federal government interventions have sometimes offered the only
relief from injustice. Hopefully, talk about national standards will
include a broader discussion of how the outdated way we pay for
education, i.e. through property taxes, means that those who need the
most will always get the least.

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] on behalf
of Michael Gyori [tesolmichael at yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:37 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 314] Re: Controversial News Articles
The problem with national standards is that they become the primary
means of evaluating performance by means of multiple-choice assessments.
Linda herself is one of the leading opponents of such assessments, as
evidenced by her espousal of assessment practices elsewhere that shed
light on the re
asoning processes our students undergo. They take a lot
more time to "score" and don't lend themselves to digitalized scoring.

The federal government already has too huge of an impact on what and
how teachers should teach. The backlash to that impact is itself, IMO,
a major cause of educational failures.


Michael A. Gyori

Maui International Language School


From: Christine Miller <cmiller53 at student.gsu.edu>
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
Sent: Tue, April 20, 2010 4:37:36 AM
Subject: [Numeracy 312] Re: Controversial News Articles

In reading the article about the closing of the charter school that
Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond ran, it seems like a good
illustration of the challenges facing educators everywhere -- systemic
poverty, diversity, limited resources, english language learning,
assessments. The fact that Linda Darling-Hammond has the President's ear
and hopefully Secretary Duncan's as well could be a really positive
thing. The article said that the schools had shown improvments, just not
the dramatic leaps which observers demand. Maybe this is a valuable
"teachable" moment demonstrating that education is a lengthy process of
many steps.

I am trying to understand why the idea of national standards or a
curriculum is objectionable. I am from Georgia and I see how bogged down
our state and local governments get in the politics of curricula. We
also linger towards the bottom in national tests like the SAT. What
would be so bad about having a set standard of math objectives for each
grade so that to say you graduated from a U.S. high school means that
your math education included whatever is in the national definition?
Another bonus would be that if students have to move during their k12
career, they are ready for their new school.

Christine Miller

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov<mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov>
[numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov<mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov>] on
behalf of tsticht at znet.com<mailto:tsticht at znet.com>
[tsticht at znet.com<mailto:tsticht at znet.com>]
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2010 3:58 PM
To: numeracy at nifl.gov<mailto:numeracy at nifl.gov>
Subject: [Numeracy 311] Controversial News Articles

Colleagues: Here are extracts from two news stories that may be of
They seem to challenge some of the more innovative actions (e.g.,
assessments; professional development in math) that many educational
researchers recommend to improve the nation's K-12 educational system.
doubt these reports will be considered quite controversial! You can
full stores on www.educationnews.org<http://www.educationnews.org/>
Tom Sticht

Posted on 4/17/2010 at www.educationnews.org

#1 Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study:
After the First Year of Implementation

Results after one year of providing teachers math professional
(PD) indicate no improvement on their students' math achievement when
compared to teachers who did not receive the study-provided PD.

#2 Obama’s Linda Darling-Hammond and Her Failed School”

by Donna Garner

Early in Obama’s presidency, it looked as if he was going to appoint
Darling-Hammond as his Secretary of Education. Instead, Obama decided
empower Darling-Hammond to complete the federal takeover of the public
schools by authorizing her to help develop the national tests (i.e.,
assessments). These assessments are the centerpiece in Obama’s plan
to put
the federal government in charge of what gets taught each day to
school students.

By having national standards, national curriculum, national
assessments, and
a national database tying students’ scores directly to teachers’
pay and
longevity, teachers will be forced to teach their students whatever is
the national standards and on the national assessments.

oday we see that Linda Darling-Hammond’s approach to education has
The school she founded in California is to be closed because of low
scores and lack of significant improvement.

A similar charter school (Aspire) in the same district focused on
Darling-Hammond’s school focused on project-based learning,
assessments, portfolios, and “students’ emotional and social

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