Monday, April 21, 2014

Death and Adultery; More Common Core Homework

Honestly, these things come across my radar on a near-daily basis as schools and districts go the Common Core way.  This from Breitbart(emphasis mine):

Breitbart Texas also covered this type of assignment in the article Orwellian Newspeak Coming to Common Core Classrooms Everywhere. It's a reading and response writing genre popping up in classrooms labeled contemporary realistic fiction.  It is a Common Core style of reading and writing prompt. In Common Core circles it is also known as life problems fiction.

This identical, inappropriate assignment made the rounds many months ago on Stop Common Core affiliated websites and Facebook pages.  It should raise eyebrows that a Common Core assignment that may not be at all aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS) content standards was used in a Texas classroom.

And I note that a story from NY from the AP about parents upset over brand names - Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer, Nike and Life Savers - showing up in tests for students grades 3-8.   A very well-known brand consulting firm - Landor Associates - says that "brands are a part of our lives.  To say they don't belong in academia is unrealistic."  Seriously?

So what was this assignment that was passed out to 4th graders in El Paso, Texas?   Because I'm all for realism but this is a bit much. 


- Ruby, a wife, finding a hairclip in her bed that was not hers and had strands of hair not her own.
The students were supposed to explain why Ruby might be upset.

- Valerie, a military mom, who gets a sad letter from the "military department.."  The students are supposed to figure out he's a soldier who just died.  

With the rush to Common Core standards, it will not be easy for teachers or schools to create their own curriculum and may use other work created for CC.

This has been called "an isolated case."

Not if it keeps happening.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It should be made clear that CCSS are just that, standards. They are not the curriculum. Districts, schools, and teachers decide on the curriculum. Example after example of outright bad assignments should to be attributed to poor curriculum choices, not CCSS.

The Pearson link has a copyright of 2005 - before CCSS - and the assignment is geared toward teachers and parents, not the student.

CCSS neutral

Melissa Westbrook said...

Why would this be geared to parents? I don't get that at all.

Again, as I said, busy teachers and schools may not have the time to develop curriculum and may turn to larger producers of curriculum. If this is what is out there, good luck.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the issue with Common Core is that the ELA standards are written in such a general way that teachers and schools can use them to justify just about any curriculum choice, good or bad. Parent complaints will be met with: "It's Common Core aligned."

-weighing in