Monthly Archives: April 2014

Study Finds Poetry Slighted in Common Core English Standards

Contact Jamie Gass at 617-723-2277 ext. 210, or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org

Significant overall reduction in time spent on classic literary texts will make it difficult to give poetry the prominence it deserves

BOSTON – April is National Poetry Month, but poetry is not well addressed in Common Core’s English language arts standards.  It’s unclear whether the genre will survive a Common Core-based English classroom given the dramatic reduction in time spent on literary texts implicitly mandated by these national standards, and the ambivalence, if not hostility, of the standards writers towards literature, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

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YOU are needed to express your concerns about Common Core!

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
URGENT ACTION ALERT!!!
Three State Representatives have been working hard to help put our state on the road to stopping COMMON CORE in it tracks! Rep. Keiko Orrall has filed 4 amendments regarding this issue, and Reps. Jim Lyons and Shawn Dooley have filed 1 each, but THEY NEED YOUR HELP in convincing the legislature how important it is to pass them!
I’ve received word from Rep. Keiko Orrall that very few people have taken the time to call/e-mail/write their legislators about the dangers of Common Core.  Therefore, there’s no reason for legislators to think there’s opposition to it, and the amendments will probably die when they are debated with the budget this week.
This would be a HUGE opportunity MISSED! We must save our children from this educational debacle which will significantly lower the best-in-the-country educational standards in Massachusetts and prevent our students from being STEM-ready for competitive colleges.  We must raise our voices to stop the PARCC testing integral to Common Core and data-gathering & storage of private, personal information on our children that are integral to this program.
Rep. Orrall met recently with State Education Commissioner Chester as well as with the MTA (Mass Teachers Assoc.).  She is pressing for a response to her amendments, but needs YOURhelp!  Every concerned parent, grandparent, teacher, and resident who wants Common Core (including the PARCC testing integral to it) stopped in Massachusetts, needs to call/e-mail Rep. Orrall, the legislator in his/her district, the MA Board of Elementary & Secondary Education, and the MTA as indicated below about this issue!
 
Here are the names & numbers of people to call:
1.      Please contact Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding your concerns with PARCC testing.
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA
Phone: 781-338-3102
The Board members can also be contacted individually and the contact info is found on the DOE website. Additionally, you can sign up for the DOE commissioner updates to be aware of future opportunities for discussion.   http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/edboard.html
2.       Please contact the MTA to support the amendments Rep. Keiko Orrall has asked them to consider.
 
#16 Cost-Benefit Analysis for PARCC
#36 Limiting Scope of Curriculum Control
#52 Pause PARCC
#61 Reimbursement for PARCC IT Upgrades
#1076 Independent Common Core Review
Sean King, Government Relations Specialist
20 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA  02108
Phone: 617.878.8292
Joanne Blum, Director
Government Relations
Boston Office
20 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617.878.8317
      3.    Please contact your Representative to briefly and respectfully share your concerns regarding Common Core and PARCC testing, and ask for support of the following amendments. PLEASE ALSO E-MAIL A COPY OF YOUR CORRESPONDENCE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO REP. ORRALL AT: keiko.orrall@mahouse.gov
#16 Rep Orrall-  Cost-Benefit Analysis for PARCC
#36  Rep Orrall- Limiting Scope of Curriculum Control
#52 Rep Orrall- Pause PARCC
#61 Rep Orrall- Reimbursement for PARCC IT Upgrades
#67 Rep Lyons – An Amendment in Defense of Local Education
#468  Rep Dooley – Strike PARCC Funding
#1076  Rep Orrall Independent Common Core Review
If you have any questions, please contact Representative Orrall – 12th Bristol District:  Serving Lakeville, Middleborough, Berkley, and Taunton State House, Room 540 Boston, MA  02133
THANK YOU!
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Why aren’t teachers allowed to speak?

At a recent HWRSD school committee meeting, I was sitting in the audience, listening to the school committee members and the superintendent speak, and present a (rather flimsy) chart, attempting to justify the addition of new evaluation staff.

As they spoke, I looked around, and saw that several teachers were shaking their heads, as if to say, “no, what they’re saying up there is not true”.  I had spoken in person with several teachers at both schools, and it was clear that they did not want to go on record for fear of reprisal from the administration, who was not listening to either their concerns or their suggestions for improvement.

Apparently, this is situation is not isolated to our school district.  If you’re curious about why this, is read this article, entitled:

The Deafening Silence of Teachers

Mandatory iPad Leasing program (aka “1:1 Learning”)

With very little notice to parents and little to no input by teachers, the school system announced it is pushing through a program requiring every family with a student in the 9th or 10th grade to lease an iPad through the school.

The program is basically a mandatory iPad leasing program through the school.  It adds $75,000 in expense to the school system.  The lease for the iPad will cost $318 per child per year paid directly by the family.  At the end of the lease, the iPad returns to the school. 

The adminstration presented NO educational justification for the program, and there are many reasons why this universal “one size fits all” program may in fact be a detriment to the educational process in the school.  Teachers were NOT involoved in developing the program, and many feel dragged along by the administration in their effort to push the program through without answering questions or giving time for discussion of the merits.

There is strong evidence this program is driven primarly by profit motive of technology firms supplying the devices, software, Common Core/PARCC evaluations and texts that come pre-installed as part of the program.