Bait and Switch

The standardized testing craze has reached a tipping point here  in the US.
Dont you find it ironic that most teenagers today can recite the full lyrics of over 100 songs across genres yet cant answer enough questions correctly on a standardized test to be considered “proficient”?
That is rather simplifying it, but it’s a rather curious phenomenon isnt it?
Oh the irony.
In the post below, The Art of Learning explains how we have fallen for the old “bait and switch”.

CREDIT: Post from The Art of Learning located at:

Charlie Brown
The Art of Learning

Rather ironic that we are witnessing an unprecedented and historic period of academic false advertising and “bait and switch” tactics when the education reform movement is bankrolled and supported by large multinational corporations including Walmart.

Reformers claim students will be expected to painstakingly deconstruct authentic text and passages that are “rich and worthy of close reading” when in fact students have encountered “nonsensical” passages on the Common Core tests that include distracting product placements along with embedded questions being field tested that may not even be “worthy” of future tests.

The Common Core emphasizes the importance of essential college and workplace reading comprehension skills that are required to understand an introductory level college textbook and an office memo or technical report, yet the Common Core assessments measure a students ability to discuss what the author is “up to” and if they “understand how an author builds and shapes meaning through their craft and structure” ( #9, pg.3 )

Reformers claim the Common Core assessments will accurately and reliably evaluate critical thinking skills yet they have purposely constructed multiple choice test items that include “plausible” distractors and not “fully-correct” choices that are just as likely to assess decision-making skills.

Even more ironic, the Common Core “demands” that students provide EVIDENCE from text and reliable sources to SUPPORT their claims and there is a preponderance of EVIDENCE that actually DISPROVES Common Core claims made by the ed reformers.

Reformers claim that the Math and ELA hard skills of the Common Core are most desired by employers while one after another news article reports that; “As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency…Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list.”

Ed reformers claim that the ability to independently master complex informational text is essential for success in college and careers when the personal and professional success of countless dyslexics proves otherwise. “…But what has become obvious—as evidenced by the sheer number of dyslexic World Economic Forum attendees in Davos and by plenty of research—is not only that dyslexics can be, and often are, brilliant, but that many develop far superior abilities in some areas than their so-called normal counterparts…”

Ed reformers claim test-taking skills are a critical component of college readiness and test scores are a significant criteria used by admission officerss to select applicants while more and more college leaders explain; “Last year, Ithaca joined the growing number of colleges that have incorporated an option to omit standardized test scores for some or all of their applicants last year…Our first realization was that test scores add relatively little to our ability to predict the success of our students.”

Ed reformers claim that standardized tests accurately measure student proficiency and teacher effectiveness while recent studies of VAM have concluded; “Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions…The majority of the variation in test scores is attributable to factors outside of the teacher’s control such as student and family background, poverty, curriculum, and unmeasured influences.”

Claiming the Common Core is about improving “career readiness” and yet there is no mention of internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships, work experience or any standards for trade and vocational skills.

Claiming the Common Core is about improving “college readiness” and there is little attention paid to the cultivation of essential non-academic skills such as emotional intelligence, soft skills. and fluid intelligence.

Claiming that multiple measures are essential to reliably and fairly evaluating teacher effectiveness while attaching a new teacher evaluation system to Common Core implementation where up to 50% of a teacher’s “grade” is determined by their students standardized test scores…and then wondering why so many teachers have resorted to test prep and teaching to the test.

Claiming the national government was not involved in promoting the Common Core and they were “voluntarily adopted” by states, while states that did not “voluntarily” adopt these standards were not eligible for Race to the Top federal funding.

Claiming the Common Core is a set standards and not a national curriculum, while encouraging state education departments and school districts across the country to collaborate in the development of Common Core curriculum materials that will prepare students for national Common Core assessments.

Claiming that text is the most powerful and effective medium for expressing information and introducing an idea when…

The Art of Learning


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