Ethan Young – TN Student Speaks Out About Common Core, Teacher Evaluations, And Educational Data
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[Ethan Young – TN Student Speaks Out About Common Core, Teacher Evaluations, And Educational Data]
[Ethan Young] Source: LYBIO.net
In a mere five minutes, I hope to provide insightful comments about a variety of educational topics. I sincerely hope you disprove the research I’ve compiled.
Here’s the history of Common Core.
In 2009, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers partnered with Achieve, Inc., a non-profit that received millions in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thus, the initiative seemed to spring from states, when in reality it was contrived by an insular group of educational testing executives with only two academic content specialists. Neither specialist approved the final standards, and the English consultant, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, publicly stated she felt the standards left students with an empty skill set, lacking literary knowledge. While educators and administrators were later included in the Validation Committee and Feedback Groups, they did not play a role in the actual drafting of standards. The product is a quote “rigorous preparation for college and career.” Yet, many educators agree that “rigorous” is a buzzword; these standards aren’t rigorous, just different – designed for an industrial model of school.
Nevertheless, Common Core emerged. Keep in mind the specific standards were never voted upon by Congress, the Department of Education, State, or local governments, yet, their implementation was approved by forty-nine states and territories.
The President essentially bribed states into implementation via Race to the Top, offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states; $500 million dollars of which went to Tennessee. And, much like No Child Left Behind, the program promises national testing and a one-size-fits-all education – because, hey, it worked really well the first time.
While I do admire some aspects of the Core, such as fewer standards and an emphasis on application and writing, it is hardly going to fix our academic deficit. If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest and they lack the research they allegedly received. Most importantly, the standards illustrate a mistrust of teachers, something I believe this county has already felt for a while.
[Ethan Young] Source: LYBIO.net
I have been fortunate to have incredible educators that opened my eyes to the joy of learning. I love them like my family and I respect them entirely, which is why it frustrates me to review the TEAM and APEX evaluation systems. These subjective anxiety producers do more to damage a teacher’s self-esteem than you realize.
Erroneous evaluation – erroneous evaluation coupled with strategic compensation presents a punitive model that, as a student, is like watching your teacher jump through flaming hoops to earn a score. Have you forgotten the nature of the classroom? A teacher cannot be evaluated without his students because, (excuse me) as a craft, teaching is an interaction. Thus, how can one expect to gauge a teacher’s success with no control for students’ participation or interest? I stand before you because I care about education, but also because I wanna support my teachers. Just as they fought for my academic advancement, so I want to fight for their ability to teach. This relationship is at the heart of instruction, yet there will never be a system by which it is accurately measured.
But I want to take a step back. We can argue the details ad infinitum, yet I observe a much broader issue with education today. Standards-based education is ruining the way we teach and learn. Yes, I’ve already been told by legislators and administrators, “Ethan, that’s just the way things work.” But why? I’ma gonna answer that question: bureaucratic convenience. It works with nuclear reactors, it works with business models, why can’t it work with students? I mean, how convenient, calculating exactly who knows what and who needs what. I mean, why don’t we just manufacture robots instead of students? They last longer and always do what they’re told.
But, education is unlike every other bureaucratic institute in our government. The task of teaching is never quantifiable. If everything I learn in high school is a measurable objective, I haven’t learned much of anything. I’d like to repeat that: If everything I learn in high school is a measurable objective, I have not learned much of anything.
Creativity, appreciation, inquisitiveness – these are all impossible to scale. Butt they are the purpose of education: why teachers teach, why I chose to learn.
Today, we find ourselves in a nation that produces workers. Everything is career and college preparation. Somewhere, our founding fathers are turning in their graves, pleading, screaming, and trying to say to us: we teach to free minds. We teach to inspire. We teach to equip. The careers will come naturally. I know we are just one city in a huge system that excitedly embraces numbers. But ask any of these teachers, ask any of my peers and ask yourselves – haven’t we gone too far with data?
I attended tonight’s meeting to share my critiques, but as Benjamin Franklin quipped, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.”
The problems I cite are very real, and I ask only that you hear them out, investigate them, and do not dismiss them as another fool’s criticisms.
I’ll close with a quote of Jane L. Stanford that Dr. McIntyre shared in a recent speech, “You have my entire confidence in your ability to do conscientious work to the very best advantage to the students, that they be considered paramount to all and everything else.” We are capable of fixing education, and I commit myself to that task. But you cannot ignore me, my teachers, or the truth. We need change, but not Common Core, high-stakes evaluations, or more robots. Thank you.
Ethan Young – TN Student Speaks Out About Common Core, Teacher Evaluations, And Educational Data. Have you forgotten the nature of the classroom? Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.