"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, August 03, 2012

Why e-learning industry is enthusiastic about the standards. & other comments

Standards lead to more creativity? Standards are popular with educators? Why e-learning industry is enthusiastic about the standards.

Comments on a NY Times article: Common Core Standards Boon to E-Learning Industry, by Hiten Samtani. Published in the NY Times, available at http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/08/03/common-core-standards-boon-to-e-learning-industry/
Here are my comments, which I attempted to post on the NY Times Schoolbook Website. Not sure they made it on to the website.

1. CONTRADICTION: more uniform educational standards will lead to more creativity.

2. “The standards are popular with educators and education officials.” They are only popular with those who (1) know very little about them; (2) have not spent much time in actual classrooms; (3) will make a lot of money from them. Some people fall into all three categories. The standards are NOT popular with real live teachers. Ask Diane Ravitch, who has spoken to thousands of teachers.
Nancy Flanagan describes the reactions of teachers as follows: “a maelstrom of pent-up resentment over being forced to do what's wrong for kids, and being afraid of losing gainful employment by speaking out. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teacher_in_a_strange_land/2012/08/sleeping_with_the_enemy.html

3. Leonie Halmson, quoted in the article, is right, in my opinion: “They’re literally salivating at the prospect of enhanced profit potential.”
THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT: According to NextUp Research, the research arm of Global Silicon Valley Corp., the e-learning market in the United States is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2015, up from $2.9 billion in 2010.
There is zero evidence that any of this will help. Why is there no plan to test these new approaches before imposing them on nearly every child in the US?
My interpretation: Take from the needy, give to the greedy.

4.“But under Common Core, students in grades 3 through 11 could face math and English language arts assessments up to nine times a year.”
PROBABY even more: Please see How Much Testing.
Posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/25/stephen-­‐ krashen-­‐how-­‐much-­‐testing/
AND Posted on The Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss’ Washington Post blog: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/

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