Saturday, June 8, 2013

Funny Common Core Video Raises Serious Questions

I found this video extremely funny. The author/editor of the video, R.N. Gutierrez, titled this:
Why We Need Common Core--I Choose "C."

In the comments, Gutierrez writes:

People have asked me why I "make fun" of Think-Pair-Share. I actually like and use TPS. My purpose for including it was not to poke fun of the strategy but to point out that many students have difficulty when it comes to critical thinking or thinking independently. I feel that because many schools must teach to the state test, especially low performing schools, we “feed” our students information (and perhaps maybe scaffold too much), and they aren't given a chance to truly analyze and apply it.

[Note: A Think-Pair-Share activity has a student think on his/her own, then pair up with someone, discuss/share, and settle on an answer--which is then sometimes shared with the rest of the class.]

I thought this video was very funny because it pokes fun at our overtesting mania and teaching to the test. 
Where R.N. Gutierrez and I disagree is that he or she thinks that the Common Core will solve this problem, and I think that the Common Core will exacerbate this problem. 

[Note: At its simplest level, Common Core is a "core curriculum" that is aligned nationally. And of course, proving that one is aligning to the Common Core requires new and different tests.]

Anyway, it's food for thought. 


  1. Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for posting this video - funny indeed.

    As an ELA teacher, the Common Core is a HUGE improvement to the current Michigan standards. They are much more in line with the IB standards which require thinking and written as well as oral explanation of ideas. The state (still!) has yet to reveal how they plan on assessing the Common Core. This, I think, is a problem. While the CCSS themselves for English are wonderful and skill-based, I am concerned as to how the state will evaluate them.

    Ideally, I would like to see all writing/oral based assessment (like the IB English assessments). Unfortunately, this costs money; my fear is instead the state will try to take the cheapest route possible. I'm not sure how they're going to do it.

    In addition, there is considerable backlash from right-wing Republicans against the CCSS (it's not based in logic, but moreso in the idea that it's The Obama Administration trying to dictate school curriculum - where were these same people during NCLB?). Even somewhat informed Republicans (like Eileen Weiser and Rick Snyder) support the CCSS as an improvement.

  2. That is hilarious. I have a great idea.... MORE high-stakes standardized tests! That will no doubt solve all the problems.