Please Comment on Arizona's Common Core English/Language Arts and Math Standards
The Arizona Department of Education has provided a link for the public to comment on Arizona's K-12 Mathematics Standards and the Arizona K-12 English Language Arts and Literacy Standards. (These are also known as the Common Core Standards.)
Public comments from parents, grand-parents, teachers, and Arizona residents are crucial to ensure that we do not have a "Rebrand of Common Core." Rather, the public comments received will provide direction on the improvements that can be made so Arizona’s academic standards are age-appropriate, simply and clearly stated, and of the highest quality.
This process to "Review and Replace Common Core" was started back on March 23, 2015 through the Governor's directive to the Arizona State Board of Education. Gov. Ducey to Arizona Citizens: "Please Get Involved in the Process to Remove and Replace Common Core"
Click HERE for the link to the public comment portal.
A Sampling of Comments from Americans Across the Nation:
Two original members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign off on them. Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram.
Dr. Stotsky is the premier ELA standards authority in the United States. She criticized the Common Core English standards as “empty skill sets . . . [that] weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.”
Dr. Stotsky oversaw the development of the Massachusetts standards and accountability system. After implementation, Massachusetts students scored first or tied for first place on all four National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. After Massachusetts adopted Common Core, the rankings plummeted.
Dr. Stotsky has offered, for free to any school or district, a set of English/Language Arts Standards for K-12.
Dr. James Milgram, math professor emeritus at Stanford University, is a mathematician so highly regarded that he's on the NASA advisory council, and the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee. He has stated that students “educated” under Common Core math will be at least two years behind their peers from high-performing countries. See James Milgram Testimony to the Indiana Senate Education Committee , A Discussion of the Issues with Common Core Math Standards, and Dr. Jim Milgram Warns Common Core will Destroy America's Standing in Technology.
Common Core Standards fail to give careful consideration for what is “developmentally appropriate.” This results in negative consequences to children. The lack of input by child development experts on the CCS writing team is obvious in the approach the writers chose to determine the standards. Instead of considering what is “developmentally appropriate” for each grade, Common Core backtracks the end goals of college and career readiness down to the Kindergarten level. The set of skills and expectations that define a “college and career ready” high school graduate, such as critical thinking, begin in Kindergarten.
For example, you will see these directives in every math level beginning in Kindergarten, through Grade 8. Do these have any meaning? "Mathematical Practices 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. 4. Model with mathematics. 5. Use appropriate tools strategically. 6. Attend to precision. 7. Look for and make use of structure. 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning."
In speeches at Notre Dame and before the Ohio House Education Committee, child clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Koschnick explained that standards that young children are expected to meet, e.g., to “collaborate” “engage in multiple discussions” “express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly” etc., might be appropriate for training a “global workforce,” but they are not appropriate learning standards for young children. Dr. Koschnick warned that forcing children to meet standards beyond their capacity results in anxiety, frustration, and negative feelings about school, and they eventually “disengage.” Such reactions are often misinterpreted as behavioral problems, and many such children are misevaluated as in need of remediation.
Clinical Social Worker, Mary Calamia, testified to the New York State Assembly Education Forum, "We cannot regulate biology. Young children are simply not wired to engage in the type of critical thinking that the Common Core calls for. That would require a fully developed prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is not fully functional until early adulthood. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for critical thinking, rational decision-making, and abstract thinking—all things the Common Core demands prematurely."
CCS fails to honor the widely held understanding of childhood development and require children who are in the middle of the concrete operation period to explain, justify, and apply principles that are abstract in nature. For example, the below standard for first grade requires students to use algebraic concepts, which are abstract, to solve simple addition problems:
1.OA.B.3 Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract. Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)
Ironically, one stated purpose of the RTTT competition was to prepare more students for STEM study and careers and to address the needs of underrepresented groups in these fields. To attain this goal, it is indisputable that a full Algebra I course must be placed in the eighth grade – as agreed by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel leaders of selective technology-focused universities and even the Benchmarking for Success report that NGA and CCSSO used to justify Common Core in the first place. If children are prepared to take Algebra I by the start of the eighth grade, then they can progress comfortably to calculus in the twelfth grade. The experience of states that have placed Algebra I in eighth grade – for example, Massachusetts and California – bears out the wisdom of this move. But despite this evidence, and unlike high-performing countries such as Singapore and South Korea, Common Core delays Algebra I until ninth grade.