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Archive for November 12th, 2014

Last week, I asked a public elementary teacher what she thought of Common Core standards.

“Common Core testing is developmentally inappropriate for the ages of which the tests have been designed,” the third grade teacher said.

Several teachers sitting near us agreed with her.

When I asked what she meant, the teacher said the standards for third graders were developmentally more appropriate for fifth or sixth grade students.

“Do your third grade students need to retake the tests if they fail?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “Over and over again until they pass. All I do anymore is teach to the test at the expense of all other learning.”

“That’s precisely why they’ve been created,” I said. “Each test is more profit for the testing industry. The more students fail, the higher the profits for the industry giants.”

“Like Pearson Limited,” she said.

“And McGraw-Hill,” I said. “And their shareholders and CEOs. And it also means the tests are intended to maximize public educational failure because that maximizes corporate profits.”

“I agree,” the teacher said. “Educational reform is all about using education as a conduit to maximize publishing industry profits, even if it means destroying public education.”

I couldn’t disagree with the teacher, not at all. If you want more students to fail to maximize profits, there’s also another way to push the nation’s public school districts in that direction; expand classroom sizes. That gives every teacher less time to spend with each student, especially those that need individualized help to pass the tests that have been developed to ensure they fail, just to maximize profits at taxpayer expense.

Let’s face reality. Public schools are funded by local and state tax dollars. Common Core Standards ensure that income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via taxpayer dollars.

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