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

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Common Core Inspires New Tests to Further Segregate Children Based on Class

In Tennessee, they call it "personalized learning time" made possible by a "skills-based universal screener" administered three times a year (on top of all the other testing).

In Dickson County, all the "screened" children are dumped into a Power Learning Block (PLB) once a day based on their scores screening results.  In Cell Power Block 1 we have the black birds, whose low scores mean 45 minutes of intervention each day with other black birds.  In Block 2 we have the Brown Birds, who get a half hour of remediation every day.  And in Block 3, we have the white red birds who get 15 minutes of enrichment each day, with cake and ice cream?.

The County says its new "study program" is aimed to avoid having children as young as kindergarten classified into Special Ed, but the result seem to bring about a variety of special ed treatment that was expelled decades ago, back when special needs children were screened, segregated, and sent to the dummy room for part of the day.  In the new version of the old version, everyone learns at an early age who the losers and winners are, and they can be treated accordingly. 

All of this demented ranking is rationalized by the desire to have children ready to the Core, and it is done without any teachers' thinking getting in the way of the "universal screener" that determines where children need to be in order to perpetuate the thought disorder that more segregation and parrot learning can finally bring an end to the effects of more segregation and parrot learning.

A reminder of the reality of "universal screeners":

The article from the Tennessean:
New student enrichment periods called "personalized learning time," but officially termed Response to Instruction and Intervention or RTI2, has been added to help students transition to the tougher Common Core Standards.

The program was created to identify weaknesses beginning as early as kindergarten. In Tennessee, 36 districts have adopted some form of it, including the Dickson County Schools District.

Traditionally, schools directed struggling students out of classrooms into special education, an unwanted outcome.

Dickson County began planning for RTI2 in 2010. The district's former literacy coordinator, Evonne Dunn, and Director of Elementary Education for Dickson County Schools, Ernestine Adams, added a daily intervention, Power Learning Block or PLB, into each of the school district's elementary schools.

During PLB, students are grouped by skill and provided intervention, remediation, or enrichment.

In the county's middle schools, the daily intervention period is called Focus Time. Creek Wood High School calls their time Power Lunch and Dickson County High School refers to their units as Cougar Paws Time.

Dr. Mary Collins, the school district's new RTI2 Coordinator, said during those times students will be screened and from there educators will develop a plan of action.

"We use a skills-based universal screener three times a year in order to determine which students are most in need of intervention," said Collins. "From the screening results, we target interventions and instruction in order to meet the specific students' needs."

Dickson County students who have mastered any given skill will be given added "enrichment". Tier II students who performing "below average" will receive 30 minutes of remediation and students performing "well below average" will get 45 minutes of intervention.

Aligning with Common Core standards, assessments of math, literacy and writing, will be measured three times throughout the year.

"We put some effective components in place last year and feel that we have seen dividends already in regard to closing achievement gaps with our subgroups," said Adams. "Over the course of the last four years, we have added instructional coaches to support instruction for all students, interventions to target specific skill deficits, and interventionists to work specifically with our most needy students."

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