Monday Musings: “Rigor Walk”

Marzano strikes again!
Marzano strikes again!

Anti CC Warriors, have you heard of Dr. Marzano before? If you’ve been fighting Common Core long, his name, his institute should be very familiar. If not, here’s the link to my 3 previously published articles exposing his toxic grasp on education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=marzano

Walking with Rigor:

As we’ve learned in the War Against the Core, we’ve come to know the CCSS Machine loves the word ‘rigor’. We’ve seen the anti CC Warriors, who’ve pointed out the true definition of the word ‘rigor’. Rigor denotes death, a stiffness that will not be broken. Nowhere in education should we see this kind of attitude with our students OR teachers.
Yet, time and time again, institutes like the one Marzano is in charge of, do just that..dream up and create MORE rigor for our education system! (The name of the institute is “Learning Sciences International”)

According to Marzano’s new “RigorWalk” system, taken directly from their website page, here are the ‘pillars of rigor’:

  • “School climate and culture
  • School leadership practices
  • Cultivation of a growth mindset
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Rigorous, standards-based instruction
  • Formative assessment implementation”

How does Marzano carry this out in a practical way? On-site interviews; walking the halls of your schools, and data collection! To access the website page, http://www.learningsciences.com/solutions/rigorwalk/

Developers who are credited with creating this system? Dr. Betsy Carter and Dr. Jennifer Reeves (also of the Learning Sciences Institute) To see their biographies featured from a past Marzano Education Conference, http://www.cvent.com/events/building-expertise-2015/speakers-3c184adf9bfd44ca928c4089d245e0b9.aspx (*Note: Dr. Carter’s prior educational system involvement was in Ohio; Dr. Reeves’ was in Florida)

LSI has even provided a YouTube video about “RigorWalk”. It’s almost 1 hour.

Here are the biggest points we, as anti CCSS Warriors need to know:
a) The webinar had a very large audience (which means lots of interest, areas for application of what was covered)
b) About 2 minutes into the webinar, you’ll hear the speakers (Drs. Carter/Reeves) give their educational backgrounds (both state that they’d like schools to be better)
c) In their words, “RigorWalk” is a diagnostic tool which measures the amount of ‘rigor health’ your school has (or doesn’t have, but needs). Once a baseline ‘rigor health’ number is established, it’ll be easier to check the progression to the ideal amount of ‘rigor health’ is met.
d) Near the 3:45 minute mark, listen for their answer to the question of “Why rigor?” (Hint: jobs not yet created)
e) Not long after the question is “d” is asked you’ll hear  that rigor means ‘not specific content’, but ‘how to think’.
f) From the 4:50 minute mark to the 5:42 minute mark listen for the Learning Sciences International approach to creating MORE ‘rigor’ in your schools is. Disguised and ‘sold’ as student autonomy and cognitive complexity. The end goal? “Ready for the work world.”
g) From the 6:49 minute mark until the 7:49 minute mark, the topic of ‘why creating more rigor in schools is so needed NOW.
h) The 7:18 minute mark will reveal what Standards LSI is using, “College and Career Ready Standards” Why, ‘because everyone needs to improve in our schools’. You’ll need to refer to the below screen shot.
resourceyouneedi) The white paper referenced in the picture above: Sustaining-TLCs-20140829

Closing:

There’s much more ‘rigor’ in the rest of the presentation, but I want you to experience the You Tube video for yourselves. The bottom line is quite simply this (and the most important action point for us, the anti CCSS Warrior, to take away from all this:

LSI, “RigorWalk”, and all that’s associated with it, will target school leaders FIRST, then the students. School superintendents, district leaders, principals, and teachers.

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