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    #175642 - 11/22/13 02:22 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: puffin]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    Can I ask a slightly off topic question. Pearson do some materials for the NZ curriculum (my kid's teachers don't use textbooks at this point (y2/g1) but I want to know what it is they are supposed to be learning. The etexts are a lot cheaper for just a look but I was wondering would they work on windows XP or on a windows phone? That is all I have right now.


    Only if you purchase access-- or if you work through a web-portal that is a subscriber.

    They are major data hogs, too-- so do be aware of that if you're working on a plan with a cap on your data. They're pretty clunky in terms of navigation, but sure-- for just a look-see, as long as you don't mind paying...

    They are so-so in terms of user friendliness, and also so-so in terms of writing and content. They certainly aren't better QUALITY than the standard print editions, and I suspect that they'll get worse with time, as textbook manufacturers (Pearson chief among them) figure out "why try harder" as they have so much market share and entrenchment into exclusive partnerships that quality is really not even a consideration.

    I give it five years before the EIC (educational-industrial complex) makes the MIC (military industrial complex) look like child's play for mind-boggling waste and incompetence. Unfortunately, CCSS isn't really to blame for this chain of events, but that certainly seems to be how it's playing out.

    As Val hinted, many school districts, feeling so cash-strapped that they simply COULD not (er-- or "would not" anyway) invest in CCSS until they became MANDATORY... were left with few alternatives but to turn to a high-cost, turnkey approach when the time eventually came, as all days of reckoning seem to...

    Enter Pearson (and a few other really big players) who were gambling on just that attribute (inertia) in the educational establishment.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #175649 - 11/22/13 03:53 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Thanks. I did think there might be a data issue. The one I want to look at is only about $7 NZ but I have a very tight data cap (tends to be tighter and more expensive here) and slow so maybe not. I might just buy the printed version.

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    #175653 - 11/22/13 05:35 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    The situations described by KADmom and the situation described by HowlerKarma look totally different to me, despite superficial similarities.

    HowlerKarma's case is analagous to McDonalds corporate headquarters dictating uniformity among its franchises.

    KADmom's case is analagous to a local city official decreeing that all local restaurants have to have identical menus, and cook their food exactly the same way, and everyone has to eat the same thing at the same time.

    I really don't believe that any "national trends" have anything much to do with KADmom's situation. It's very much a local situation, and I would bet that the extreme weirdness of the situation can be best understood by viewing the responsible individuals in the following terms:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy





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    #175655 - 11/22/13 06:34 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: puffin]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    LOL-- I'll go you one further and say that it is analogous to McDonald's running ordering through an automated phone system at corporate headquarters, and having no human counter staff-- just a sliding window that produces your fries in a uniform 90 seconds. grin



    Originally Posted By: puffin
    Thanks. I did think there might be a data issue. The one I want to look at is only about $7 NZ but I have a very tight data cap (tends to be tighter and more expensive here) and slow so maybe not. I might just buy the printed version.


    Continuing ot here, momentarily, could you use a wi-fi hotspot like a coffee shop instead of your data plan?

    I do that sometimes for streaming video or something. Just hit the wifi button and make sure I'm using that and not Verizon.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #175658 - 11/22/13 08:09 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Thanks. I could use the library (it has a free hotspot) but I think it would be too hard to read on my phone and the experimental browser on my kindle may not be up to it. Might be worth a try though. I would just like to know what a textbook for the NZ curriculum actually includes so i can work out how much of the next couple of year's work he knows. I think he is assessed a year or so ahead but he is not really being given work past what the other kids are getting - but i could be entirely wrong. Our national standard assessment of "above standard" only means 6 months ahead and i have only seen 3 very poor maths samples all year.

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    #175663 - 11/23/13 12:24 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: 22B]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    They want me to believe that understanding similar triangles is a prerequisite for understanding the slope of a line? I don't buy that. ... Let's consider a line with a slope of 0, or infinite slope. Where are their triangles now?


    In that case they'd be degenerate triangles. Aha! Proof that Common Core will undermine the moral fabric of this country!


    LOL!
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #175664 - 11/23/13 12:32 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    Common standards are good I feel. The problem is that when they are measured by testing and the results are reported etc kids get taught only what is in the test. That has obvious problems.

    Also the whole point of having teachers is they can adjust and re-explain in a way that works for each kid. This doesn't work with a script (i thought you had teachers'unions?) or if the teacher is rigid and unsympathetic.

    Like i said on another thread if you are going to give the teachers a script and not let them deviate from it you don't need trained teachers. It is hugely insulting to them to suggest they use such a script and i am not surprised if the ones that can afford it are leaving.




    No, you DON'T need trained teachers. Just people to sit as "monitors" and make sure that the students are safe while they are plugged into electronic "delivery systems" which are perfect at content delivery.

    This is the entire idea.

    It's literally the sole conclusion that I can come to regarding my attempts to get a look inside the "machine" at the Pearson division that we're within...

    Let those rabble-rousers leave. They cause trouble, and slow down production.

    sick

    No, I'm really-- REALLY-- not a conspiracy theorist, but I'm deeply disturbed by Pearson's move away from print textbooks. They are taking over instructional delivery-- period. That IS their long-range plan.


    I can corroborate that. Yesterday, I conducted a field interview with an afterschooling shop as market research, and the whole premise of the business model, modeled on Pearson, was to (in his words), "ensure that even the most mediocre teacher can deliver content". The organization had given up on paying for quality instructors because they hurt the bottom line. Eliminate the learned intermediary and districts are reliant on Pearson and other content providers to design whole curricula. Then, they'll devour whatever intellectual pablum the monopolistic content provider supplies.

    It's nefarious--and surprising that ministries of education aren't foreseeing the inevitable plan by Pearson to breed dependency then jack up prices. This isn't the cost-saving panacea some administrators believe it to be. E-delivery is the ARM of the education market.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #175672 - 11/23/13 08:06 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: aquinas]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4261
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    Common standards are good I feel.
    Agreed. Stating a common expectation or floor for academics is beneficial. However flexibility is needed.
    1) Those students who are not at the prescribed level, who have problems with learning and/or achievement at that level, are officially behind; Districts cannot easily create other criteria and then announce that when these students are meeting modified criteria they have met the standard. They have met modified criteria. Yet this may represent a huge success for these students.
    2) Parents on gifted forums have sometimes expressed disappointment with the model of mastery utilized by some afterschooling companies, when that model of mastery required the student to achieve 100% accuracy on a large body of work, with no errors. Mastery of common standards may easily take this form when success is measured by a standardized test result, facilitated by teaching to the test, and only a "floor" level standard or expectation is known.
    3) Some have said that having a Common Standard provides portability, for example the ability for military families who are frequently reassigned to know with confidence and certainty which grade level their child/ren will fit academically. Yet this is only true if all districts are teaching only at the level of the "floor" of the standard, and none are teaching higher. This is also only true if all pupils in military families are learning exactly at the yoked pace of the standard, none higher or lower.

    Originally Posted By: puffin
    ... The problem is that when they are measured by testing and the results are reported etc kids get taught only what is in the test. That has obvious problems.
    Agreed. Again there are two sides to the coin: To individuals who want to have free minds and learn in depth and breadth according to their own interests and abilities, teaching to the test may be limiting. However, to the opposition, those who would have all humans achieving the same educational outcomes at the same pace, stamping out interchangeable cookie-cutter humans with a one-size-fits-all education may be ideal. Parents may unite against this but source documents containing facts about standards assessments and student data collection have been difficult to find, have been copyrighted, and links have been broken/moved. Among several companies whose websites link to each other, as factual data disappears from the website of one inter-related company to appear in different format on a website of another, without benefit of re-directing link (readers experience a broken link)... the sense of a shell-game comes to mind. At best, the process lacks transparency.

    Unfortunately this does create a scenario for losing ground for gifted advocacy, and jeopardizes the academic freedoms of all pupils and life-long learners. This does not mean parents ought to give up, however parents may first need to address issues of transparency to provide groundwork for effective advocacy.

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    #175687 - 11/23/13 01:00 PM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: Val]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4261
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Fads like whole language reading, math with no right answers, and goofy tricks for solving problems are the norm. With so few subject experts teaching, there's a lot of susceptibility to these fads. The Common Core fixes a lot of that because the standards were developed by experts.
    It has been said that to the degree that Common Core is a set of standards, representing the floor or minimum of what students need to know in each grade level, it does not preclude the method by which a standard/outcome is taught/learned; To the degree which Common Core may dictate the method by which an outcome/standard is taught/learned, it may be considered a curriculum.

    Originally Posted By: Val
    ... the rollout has been imperfect. However, the schools are as much to blame for this problem as anyone. It's not like someone came along and gave them a month to get ready. The change was scheduled and announced THREE YEARS ago... They all had plenty of time to look at this stuff and get ready... how many parents have... approached their school boards in 2010 or 2011 to ask how their schools were getting ready for the CC rollout...
    It is my understanding that there may be an ongoing disconnect between those in positions to sign their States on to Common Core, and those responsible for implementing it. While those signing on may have found the possibility of Race To The Top funding and waiver from NCLB to be positive incentives, it is my understanding that for many districts the Race To The Top dollars did not materialize, districts found themselves with the expense of updating systems to track more data points, some found an analysis of their current standards was deemed more rigorous therefore no change to curriculum/textbooks was deemed necessary, and others decided it may be fiscally wise to see what form the new standardized tests may take before making changes as the student performance on the new standardized tests was to be the system by which students/teachers/schools/districts would be evaluated... possibly focusing more resources on the bottom performers than even NCLB did. Combined with union rules and the expense of hiring subs to free teachers to attend CCS meetings, some have expressed that this timeframe was inadequate/rushed. With CCS standardized assessments reportedly in play in NY in Spring 2013 mis-matched to curriculum, and these new assessments now being implemented in other States, the difference between the sales/marketing and the reality/implementation may be becoming more apparent.

    These possible discrepancies and lack of transparency have re-mobilized parents, teachers, and administrators to take a second look at what they are implementing and why.

    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    ... understanding similar triangles is a prerequisite for understanding the slope of a line? I don't buy that. I don't believe that everyone comes to an understanding of the slope of a line in the same way. A geometrically minded person might envision triangles. An arithmetically minded person may be happy to understand it as a ratio. Someone with cycling experience may imagine hills of different grades...

    One of the things my sister-in-law is dealing with is asking high school students who are currently learning English to explain all their math steps. It seems that CC is injecting more english into math class, and in doing so, they are inhibiting these students in the single area where they used to be uninhibited...

    ... I make use of mathematical properties daily that I can't recall the names of... I've commented before that I see mathematics as its own language, and offering a written explanation of a mathematical concept is asking for an unnecessary translation.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with students demonstrating mastery by solving numerous varied problems on a theme. What goes on in their heads is their own business, and their ability to relate that to others is an issue wholly distinct from mathematical mastery.
    Agreed! smile

    Originally Posted By: KADmom
    In our district, there seems to be a huge drive to make the numbers look better, and that is accomplished by teaching everyone the same way and assume everyone is on the same level. How will they accomplish this quickly and impressively? By keeping the ones who could soar, the AIG kids, down so the gap is essentially closed.
    I'm sorry this is happening, and it is becoming a common refrain. The softening of the national economy to a veritable game of musical chairs in employment in many career areas has possibly exacerbated the situation. As unpalatable as this may seem, the only known cure may be living debt-free and within one's means... from families to governments at every level, including school districts, States, and our Federal Government. Meanwhile, students may be well-served without additional cost if allowed to attend classes at their appropriate challenge level of readiness and ability in each subject, regardless of grade level or chronological age.

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