Bill Gates Is Still Dabbling in Common Core

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

Billionaire Bill Gates doesn’t use the term “common core” much anymore, but he still dabbles.

In 2008, he agreed to bankroll the effort. Over the next several years, in his effort to “release powerful market forces” because “scale is good for free market competition,” Gates spent roughly $200M to cement Common Core as a fixture in American K12 education.

Gates is no longer dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on Common Core. Still, it seems that he feels some obligation or interest or fancy in investigating Common Core “adoption behaviors.” So, in May 2019, Gates paid $250K to the Innosight Institute “to study the adoption behaviors of districts who are now using high quality common core curriculum and better understand their ‘switching behaviors'”:

Innosight Institute Inc


Date:  May 2019

Purpose:  to study the adoption behaviors of districts who are now using high quality common core curriculum and better understand…

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DeVos to State Ed Chiefs: Don’t Even Think About Testing Waivers This Year.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

I have many issues with contemporary American education’s dependence upon standardized testing.

Testing students in order to grade teachers and schools is a misuse of student-completed standardized tests, and the high-stakes nature of this testing makes it a system begging to be gamed.

High-stakes testing narrows the broader curriculum because it wrongly bestows disproportionate value upon “tested subjects.”

Testing– and test prep– and test remediation– and retesting– costs states millions of dollars each year.

Standardized test results are of limited use in understanding student educational needs and pale in comparison to in-the-moment, informal teacher assessment based upon student behavior and performance on class assignments– conducted in classrooms across the nation every day– day to day– in order to understand where students are with mastering particular content and skills and in determining next steps to move those students forward in their learning.

However, in trying to teach during the COVID-19 pandemic…

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Underground Parent features a presentation I made

traditional math

The blog “Underground Parent” has featured a video presentation I made for the virtual researchED US conference that was held a few weeks ago. The presentation is called “Misunderstandings about Understanding”. It focuses on what understanding in math is, and isn’t. It also looks at how misunderstandings about understanding affect students.

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A “must read” by a former math teacher

traditional math

Ted Nutting wrote this piece, which is worth reading, remembering, and passing around the internet:

In the one year that I taught a course for which there was a state end-of-coursetest (Algebra 1 in the 2011-2012 school year), my students scored better than those from any other teacher in the district. I have the data to prove all this. Why did this happen? I broke the rules and taught real math. In calculus, I used a textbook more aligned with real teaching than the book I was supposed to be using. In algebra, not having an alternative textbook, I made up my own worksheets to accompany the lessons I gave. I actually taught. I presented the material, asking questions frequently to keep students’ attention, and I gave difficult quizzes and tests. I demanded good performance — and the results were excellent.

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Generic Skills: A Dangerous Myth

This blog was originally posted in Dutch on Didactiefonline by Fred Janssen Translated by Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner Almost every curriculum document emphasises that learners must learn to solve problems, do research, reflect, self-regulate, acquire information, think creatively, and think critically. Often, it’s incorrectly assumed that we’re dealing with broad, generic skills here, […]

[GUEST BLOG] Generic Skills: A Dangerous Myth — 3-Star learning experiences

Terrified of Testing? Tackle It Through Testing!

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen Testing terrifies many students. We call this test anxiety. How can we best deal with this? MORE TESTING. You might think we’re crazy as it sounds contradictory… Fighting fear for tests by facing those fears through more testing?! Yet, it works. Retrieval practice (using ‘no-stakes’ practice tests) is the […]

Terrified of Testing? Tackle It Through Testing! — 3-Star learning experiences

Wellbeing Checks or Privacy Intrusions?

Is our education system exhibiting signs of serious mission creep? At what point has the mission shifted from providing a knowledge-based academic education to conducting wellbeing checks and collecting a wide range of data? The Tennessee Department of Education appears to have made that shift and recently released a Wellbeing Check Toolkit. The backlash to […]

Wellbeing Checks or Privacy Intrusions? — The Underground Parent

CZI as a Philanthropic Purveyor of a Culture of Exclusion

Presidência do México / CC BYAugust 18, 2020; Washington Post When Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan became philanthropists, they did it in their own big way, pledging to use 99 percent of the Facebook shares they owned, currently worth an estimated $80 billion or more, to fuel their new calling. In forming…

CZI as a Philanthropic Purveyor of a Culture of Exclusion — Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly

Schools consider appeals against GCSE grades that are too high

Exams fiasco continues as heads fear results raised by algorithm set pupils up to failHeadteachers are considering challenging unusually high GCSE results, accusing the algorithm of injecting grade inflation as pupils round the country celebrate and the government’s exams fiasco continues to snowball.Heads in England reported bizarre anomalies as record results were published, with pupils…

Schools consider appeals against GCSE grades that are too high — Education | The Guardian