Fib-o-Meter Friday: Pro CCSS Teachers, a Corporation, and an Advocacy Group

It’s Friday and we’re in for a treat! Today we have a pro CCSS set of teachers, a corporation, and an advocacy group all telling us how GREAT CCSS is!! Bring on the “Meter”!!!

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

The video: 

Step One, preparing to view it:

If you’re like me, you’ll be ready to throw something by the time you are through watching this, so before you click the ‘play’ button, do yourselves a favor, plan ahead with these simple steps.

Make sure anyone within ear shot is not around, that way any less than encouraging words will not be witnessed by someone who waits until the most inopportune time to repeat what was shouted.

Then, make sure any beverage you are enjoying isn’t in your hands path. That way, whatever it is will not end up soaking your keyboard, your lap, or the pet in your lap. Remember to fully swallow that gulp, lest you spray it out and dirty your screen.

If you want to take notes, so you can double check any resources mentioned or simply take names, get your pen and paper.  Paper and pen are vital to today’s meter, you may feel the need to note levels of cheerfulness, width of smiles, bouncing curls, or any other body language. Studies show how we use body language is key to selling an idea.

Make sure to remove sharp objects from anywhere near the screen so you won’t hurt yourself in reaching for the screen as you feel urges to reach out and touch someone in a less than cheerful manner.

Step Two, the teachers: 

Watching the video:

When all of  “Step One” is done, hit ‘play when ready’.

Step Three:

Okay, so in Step 1 I had you do much preparing for a one minute video. However, that’s not the only resource, there’s more..but first let’s check

Your Meter’s score:

So, which teacher was the most believable? Which educator sold the points of “CCSS” the best? (that would be the body language information)

How many times did you hear the buzzwords or catch phrases? Did you keep a tally of them?

Which fallacy had you not heard before? One of mine was ‘babies are born critical thinkers’.

Step Four, another teacher:

Our next video to put through your Fib-o-Meter is from Scholastic, 2012. Features a “Teacher of the Year”.  I’m still assuming you’re fine and don’t need a break from the first video, so ‘let’s do this’:

Step Five:

Meter score, so far? How did you like the fallacy that fewer standards are better? How do you feel about the plea for more resources (aka money)? As far as textbooks, I’m not sure that statement will mean much considering how on-line school has become.

Step Six, a corporation:

Maybe you’ve not pitched a giant hissy fit yet, but hang on…this next one may do it. You’ll need to especially note the pasted on mile wide smile. Notice it appears that you’re watching the same video as above, that’s because the embed code gave me a set of 13, not each video I watched separately. SO, skip through the Teacher of the Year and for video #2.

Step Seven:

Did your meter rate those 3 shifts well?  First off did you hear what the 3 shifts are? It was hard to tell where the sales pitch ended and the ‘facts’ began. So, in case you didn’t hear it, the first shift, less fiction, more text.

Quality fiction is SO much more than the two mentioned almost at the beginning. What about Homer, Dickens, Shakespeare, Bronte, and so on?! But then, I’m biased (I’m putting my teacher’s hat on now). Classic books, to me, beat modern day fiction, hands down. Especially for context, grammar, abstract concepts, and reading for fun. (oops, let me take my teacher’s hat off) If you do go check out the Scholastic CCSS book list, you’ll see some changes. “Realistic fiction” has replaced what is otherwise known as “Historical Fiction” or  just plain “Fiction”. Notice how internationally based the story books are, especially in the younger grades.

Then, the 2nd shift, writing like an investigative reporter! Hey, I’ve heard that exact line before…now where was it?! Oh, I remember, one high school teacher from one of the high schools where I ‘contribute’ my tax money to, said that very line in her 3 minutes of testimony during our one and only NC citizen comment hearing, March 20, 2014. She was celebrating that all her 11th grade students could write investigative reports. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen an investigative report, that I recall, it’s not too impressive. Show me a research paper, a thesis, a group of essays instead!

Third shift, you are what you read?! Oh my stars. That’s it, that’s the one I’m ready to scream over!!! When we’re seeing students only read informational text after text, how is that building imagination? How is that creating daydreaming (which is truly a great thinking skill) moments? How is reading ‘smut’ shaping minds in a great way?

So, how’s the Fib factor going so far? Last up, the advocacy group:

Remember almost at the end of the first video, there were 3 website addresses? One was get2core.org. So I went there. What I found suspect was the statements you were to answer to advance from slide 1 to 8 of how well the Core would serve my child. I don’t go for things like that. If you can’t tell me up front and without my contact info, then I don’t trust you! I did see that “get2core” is a part of “Stand for the Children”. So, off I went.

From their 2013 Annual Report,

  • ‘We educated and engaged more than 66,000 parents and community members on Common Core, fighting misguided attacks against improved academic standards that will help more students succeed.
  • 1,470 parents graduated from Stand University for Parents (Stand UP), Stand for Children’s family engagement course focused on giving parents the tools to ensure their children are on the path to college.’

Here’s their video you’ll need to run through the “Fib-o-Meter”

Well, my friends, that’s it for today. I hope your computer is still in tact. I hope that you were able to make it through the gauntlet of fibs and fallacies. Tomorrow, we take action!

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