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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When is less really more?





Sometimes in life, less is good.



 Sometimes less is just an empty box.



I don't buy into the less is more movement too much. I am currently reading up on the Common Core Standards and aside from more tests for our kids, everything else seems to create a ripple effect of less....less art, less music, less physical education, less recess, less foreign language, less creativity, less fiction, and most importantly, American kids liking learning less.

This cartoon is called, "Who Pays?"


Anyone remember Diane Ravich? Ravich  is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Previously, she was a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, under George H.W. Bush.

At one time, she supported No Child Left Behind....but hasn't in a long time.

From NPR:
Education historian Diane Ravitch served as Assistant Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush. She later advocated No Child Left Behind's strict testing standards and expansion of charter schools. But, Ravitch now says those initiatives have failed, and the real enemy of schools is poverty. Professor Ravitch talks to host Michel Martin. 

Listen to the 7 minute interview here:



Her blog is amazing. A recent posting about an article by a Fordham professor questions the extreme power Bill Gates has used against public education.  

Ravich highlights some key points from his article:

"The Common Core may raise standards in some school districts, but one ought to read the literature with a critical eye.The Common Core has not been field tested anywhere. The Common Core does not address many root causes of underperforming schools, such as hungry students or dangerous neighborhoods. And the Common Core has an opportunity cost, namely, that it forces thriving school districts to adopt programs that may be a worse fit for the student body."


"America needs many kinds of excellent programs and schools: International Baccalaureate programs, science and technology schools, Montessori schools, religious schools, vocational schools, bilingual schools, outdoor schools, and good public schools. Even within programs and schools, teachers should be encouraged to teach their passions and areas of expertise. Teachers inspire life-long learning by bringing a class to a nature center, replicating an experiment from Popular Science, taking a field trip to the state or national capital, or assigning a favorite novel. A human being is not a computer, and a good education is not formatted in a linear code."


Here is the link to the full article:


Sorry, in the midst of all of that critical thinking and questioning what is good for our kids, did I read the Common Core were not field tested anywhere before forty-five states, the District of Columbia & four territories adopted them? (States run by both Democrats & Republicans)




I live in a thriving school district and hear a lot people wondering if the common core is a good fit for us, though I question if it is a fit anywhere...

We have many Blue Ribbon Schools in our district.
From the US Department of Education website:
" A National Blue Ribbon Schools flag overhead has become a mark of excellence in education recognized by everyone from parents to policy-makers in thousands of communities."
 I wonder what changed that made a Blue Ribbon Award worth less...








2 comments:

  1. Love the blog! Also, I've been reading Diane Ravitch for years. I'm not usually on Twitter but it is well worth following her Twitter feed. Keep writing and posting and linking!

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  2. Thanks so much for commenting! Diane Ravitch keeps it interesting for sure!

    ReplyDelete