The Riddle today: Can CCSS really carry a tune?
We all know the claims about those CC Standards being so much better than all the previous ones. We’ve heard the hot air surrounding how MUCH more ‘broad minded’ we’ll all become because we’ve been ‘given’ better education opportunities. But, have we, REALLY? Somehow, if you’re like me, you just have to keep reading, eventhough you know the answer.
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has created a new program that combines music AND Common Core. What a sour note! NAfME’s name for this new idea? “Broader Minded”. Here’s an excerpt from the press release, “Broader MindedTM cites benefits such as skills and personal attributes like self-discipline, reflective learning, and emotional awareness—skills that allow individuals to maximize both their personal success and their contributions to the 21st century workforce.” If you’ve not heard of “Broader Minded”, the release is about 1 year old. See the entire press release: http://www.nafme.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/press-release-nafme-intro-broader-mind.pdf Website address: BROADERMINDED.COM
The CCSS Perky Sales Job:
Look at the Broader Minded brochure and you’ll lots of CCSS educratic doublespeak. We’ve already seen above the ’21st century workforce’ plug from the Press Release. So, what does the colorful brochure say? (*Note: if you missed my first article about doublespeak in CCSS, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/educrat/ ) Let’s see:
1) “Educating the whole child” in CCSS language, but what about in non CCSS speak? “Teach the whole child”, according to a wonderful website I found explaining the education doublespeak says this, “The third of the original three child-centered phrases of progressivism: ‘child-centered schooling,’ ‘teach the child, not the subject,’ and ‘teach the whole child.’ All three phrases enjoin the schools to take a more humane, less subject-matter-oriented position toward schooling.”
2) “Gauging Student Progress”, heard by a CCSS supporter this usually means assessments or measurable data that can be used to reward or punish entire schools. However, in real language? This phrase can be a tricky one when heard by an anti CCSS warrior. There are all kinds of ways to check a student’s progress. We know from facts and research that the types of main stream gauging usually are the most harmful. So, when considering this phrase, look into HOW the progress is to be measured.
3) “Grit”, the brochure’s use of this is, “In a high-level performance environment, hard work and dedicated practice predict success far more than innate ability. Music performance offers opportunities to fail. Students learn the value of persistence, and of working hard for an uncertain outcome.” If you’ve ever taken piano, been in chorus, marched in the band, or otherwise engaged in music in the classroom, you know ‘grit’ isn’t the aspiration you reach for.
4) “21st Century Skills” aka ‘The 4 Cs’ (Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication). Now, we know in reality, that critical thinking must involve facts. However, CCSS is limiting the type of facts our students get. As far as the ‘collaboration’, we’ve all heard the group grades students get they don’t deserve. I can share with you that some college professors are finding students who are SO used to collaboration, they can accomplish almost nothing on their own.
To access that really fun education buzzword website: http://www.illinoisloop.org/buzzwords.html
Those Damnable Standards:
Yes, we knew we’ve arrive here, didn’t we? Be sure to enlarge the screen shot below. Visit the National Endowment for the Arts page about the CCSS Aligned Standards.
How can you trace the CCSS to the National Endowment? If you access the NE’s website, look in the middle of the page. Look for the words, “Final Public View…” at the end of the short paragraph is a website link. Click there. Once there, look down the left hand menu. See the “College Board’s” section? Great. Do you see the 21st Century Skills Gap? Do you see the Arts and CC?. You’ll want the pdf College Board has made available, NCCAS P21 Report (it links the Arts, the National Endowment, College Board, and P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Skills) to Common Core. The next pdf you’ll need is the “Phase II” of the College Board’s research. At the end of this one, you get a chart showing where the CCSS and the Arts Standards are now co-joined. See: Common Core phase 2 final report 7 25 14
In case you didn’t know it, the National Endowment for the Arts is a federal government agency. It receives its money from the U.S. Congress. According to their 2013 Annual Report, here’s what they did with the money, “The NEA’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget was $138,383,218. The NEA awarded 2,152 grants in nearly 16,000 communities in every Congressional district in the country. More than 38 million Americans, including seven million children and youth, attended a live arts event supported by the NEA. These events included approximately 70,000 concerts, readings, and performances and 1,600 exhibitions. Internationally, 74 U.S. professional arts organizations and more than 1,200 artists provided performances, exhibits, and other arts activities in 55 countries.”
Think about it this way, that’s a lot of money to spread Common Core in the guise of a song, a dance, a picture. What a tragedy for us all.