October 29, 2013

David Coleman: Architect of the Common Core and, soon, the SAT

As I've mentioned before, relative to the usual quality of educational standards writing, the new Common Core standards reflect a fine masculine intelligence. The author clearly understands how a highly intelligent person -- say, a McKinsey consultant who also has refined taste in the humanities -- thinks, and has methodically laid out what future McKinsey consultants should learn during their K-12 years.

Not surprisingly, the Common Core's architect David Coleman (Stuyvesant, Yale, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and Cambridge) is a former McKinsey consultant.

Of course, nobody involved with the Common Core appears to have thought much about students who are not going to be McKinsey consultants. What happens when they fall behind the rigorous pace Coleman has decreed?

But, are there such mythical beasts as average students, much less below-average students? If they exist, Coleman didn't grow up hanging around with many. When he was at Yale, he did some tutoring of underprivileged New Haven kids (where he had the life-altering revelation that none of them were ready for Yale). This extra-curricular activity helped get him his Rhodes Schlarship.

Since the American educational establishment is putting most of its eggs in the David Coleman Basket, let's learn more about him from the Jewish Daily Forward:
David Coleman, the Most Influential Education Figure You've Never Heard Of 
Common Core Author Is Redesigning the SATs and AP Program 
By Joy Resmovits 
Published August 25, 2013
As a boy growing up in downtown Manhattan with a college president for a mother and psychiatrist for a father, David Coleman often had lively and lacerating dinner table conversations. 
“My parents, while both working, were home every night at dinner,” said Coleman, now 43. The family wasn’t satisfied with easy repartee. If Coleman went to a movie or read a book, his parents wanted to know what he learned from the experience. Coleman often found himself arguing a point before he took the first bite, an eagerness that both charmed and aggravated his parents. 
“They cared more about the quality of what I did and the engagement with ideas than they did about other measures of success,” he said, speaking in his brightly-lit Columbus Circle office, where a black-and-white Martin Luther King Jr. photograph hangs on the wall.... 
As president of the College Board, a national education company, he is redesigning the SAT, the standardized test which high school seniors take for college admission, and he is expanding the Advanced Placement program, which offers college-level classes and tests for high school students. 
He is perhaps best known as the architect of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, meant to bring divergent state learning goals into alignment. Public schools in 47 states will begin teaching the Core in English Language Arts this fall. ...
How did Coleman wind up in the middle of the 21st century’s curriculum wars? His path started at his parents’ dinner table, and wended its way through selective New York public school Stuyvesant High, making an important pit stop at his bar mitzvah. 
Coleman gleaned many lessons from his bar mitzvah, said Jason Zimba, a Common Core co-writer and lifelong friend who taught mathematics at Bennington College, where Coleman’s mother Elizabeth served as president. 
“The idea that the child’s serious attention to this venerated, beautiful text is valued by the adults and even the rabbi is to David a beautiful thing,” Zimba said. “I’ve listened to him talk about that.” ...
The experience of conducting a deep exegesis at age 13 framed Coleman’s thinking about education. “The idea that kids can do more than we think they can is one of Judaism’s most beautiful contributions,” he said. Asking 13-year-olds to give a prepared speech in front of people they love is a bold charge, not unlike encouraging disadvantaged kids who don’t see themselves as academically minded to take AP courses. “I wish kids could encounter more stretched opportunities like that in school — all kids,” he said. 
After graduating from Stuyvesant, Coleman attended Yale, where he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford. There, he studied English literature. ... 
Upon returning to New York, he applied to a high school teaching job and was turned down. Instead, he worked for consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised public schools and became a fixture at New York City Department of Education meetings. ... 
When Zimba and Coleman developed their education startup, the Grow Network, which sought to make the new testing data from No Child Left Behind useful to teachers ...
While working on the Grow Network, Coleman tried to “fill the promise that assessment results could actually improve kids’ lives,” he said. But he found that educational problems run deeper: The standards the tests were trying to measure “were so vast and vague, it’s hard to make high-quality assessments.” Coleman sold the Grow Network to McGraw-Hill, and formed Student Achievement Partners, a not-for-profit that now helps states implement the Common Core standards. In 2008, he and Zimba co-wrote a seminal paper calling for “math and science standards that are fewer, clearer, higher.” 
These ideas, Sherman speculated, stem from Coleman’s religious background. “He grew up in a family that extremely prioritized the value and importance of a deep, broad education,” Sherman said. “Those Jewish values toward education have a lot to do with his belief system: Every child should be a smart thinker, a deep thinker, someone who’s analytical and probing.” Coleman also believes that religious texts have a place in the public school curriculum. 
Before Coleman and Zimba published their paper, in 2008, the National Governors Association convened a group of governors who wanted to create a set of unified educational standards nationwide. Because states write their own standards and exams, students who move across state lines might find themselves passing math in one state and failing it in another. The governors sought to address this problem by creating common standards. Attracted to Coleman’s idea of “fewer, clearer, higher,” they tapped Student Achievement Partners to write them. 
“While sometimes I’ve been called an architect of their standards, I think their true architecture is evidence,” Coleman said. “That’s the binding secret of the standards.” Coleman, Zimba and Sue Pimentel, an education consultant, made sure the standards reflect the skills students need to succeed after high school. 
While the standards were developed by representatives of the states, with help from the Gates Foundation, they received a new, powerful — but, in retrospect, potentially detrimental — boost in 2009. That year, the Obama administration incentivized higher learning standards with billions of dollars in its Race to the Top competition, and recession-stunned states signed on to the Core. ...
As the fight over the Core plays out in the states, Coleman now has a broader view on education. Last summer, the College Board announced they would hire Coleman to lead the organization. Since then, he has engaged the organization’s members in creating a redesigned SAT, which will be unveiled in 2015. 
He’s heard from members of the College Board that they want the SAT to test things that are relevant to college success. They’ve told him that students should be able to read and write clearly, and also master a core set of mathematical concepts. “The core aspiration is to build an exam that much more clearly focuses on the skills that matter most,” he said. Instead of obscure vocabulary words, students would be expected to show deep understanding of academic terms such as “synthesis” and “transform.”

Uh oh ...

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

They already got rid of the analogies section, which correlated highest with IQ.

Less emphasis on tough vocabulary will make the test even worse.

Hacienda said...

The taste for tyranny is deep in us.

Anonymous said...

Is it prudent to have one man have this much influence over a national curriculum and test that affects millions of people over a continent sized country? Why not let states and localities have more control? That way we can see what works and what doesn't, what effects they have, etc.

panjoomby said...

i wonder what he thinks of when he looks at his MLK picture - deep thoughts?

David said...

A one-size-fits-all model of education never works, and guys like Coleman - the man who evidently never met a person with an IQ below 120 - are comic illustrations of why. The person who designs the "one size" is almost always an outlier. Often a dummy, occasionally someone too smart for his own good (Coleman), sometimes someone with a bizarre ideology, or someone with a bizarre vested interest (we need efficient farmers!), or someone with too much concrete experience (e.g., a physicist trying to "reach" grade school kids with Feynman diagrams), or else someone with no experience at all. Even the best-intentioned centralized-education-designer isn't going to be described by many people as being a bloke (or gal) of normal mental interests or powers. So you have the spectacle of a conspicuously un-average person framing up a structure meant for people rather alien to him - average people, the generality.

I see no solution except homeschooling and local standards that are quite loose. This unsystem has a pretty good track record. Much of the best parts of Western civ were built under it.

Winston Smith said...

"i wonder what he thinks of when he looks at his MLK picture - deep thoughts?"

Nothing, the picture is there for others - so they might know his righteousness

Gilbert Ratchet said...

Slightly off topic

Anonymous said...

"Nothing, the [MLK] picture is there for others - so they might know his righteousness "

Yep. Getting a reporter to notice it--and mention it in print!-- is exactly what he wanted out of it.

Anonymous said...

I want to know how he got turned down for a teaching job before starting at McKinsey.

Luke Lea said...

Speaking of McKinsey consultants, this one estimates there is something like $25 trillion hidden away on offshore tax havens, a third of it from people in poor countries.

Luke Lea said...

Speaking of McKinsey consultants, this one estimates there is something like $35 trillion stashed in secret bank and brokerage accounts around the world, about a third of it from the third world.

hardly said...

vocab testing is bizarre and needs to be kicked out of standardized tests. it is too vulnerable to cramming. I got an 800 on the math GRE with 2 days of prep and a 780 on the english with 2 weeks of word list cramming. vocabulary size may correlate with IQ but these tests are more memory tests than anything. I have forgotten most of the new words i learnt for the GRE 2 years ago.

James Walker said...

"As a boy growing up in downtown Manhattan with a college president for a mother and psychiatrist for a father.."

That is the point where you know all this is going and the point where I said "uh oh."

It is only a matter of time before he becomes David Brooks's new mancrush after Brooks tires of O. It may already have happened.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Coleman was a gentile name.

Anonymous said...

Norm Coleman, former Governor and Senator from Minnesota is also a Jew. Probably was Kohlman or Kohlmann or some such back in the old country.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Coleman was a gentile name.

It is, but quite a few Jews have that name as well. Sort of like Miller, Brooks, etc.

Auntie Analogue said...


Common Core! Common. Common? Whatever happened to the idol called Diversity?!

NCiSteve Fan said...

I have a related idea.
Instead of the usual high school graduation requirements based on completing specific courses, why not have a graduation exam. If you pass, even at age 13, you graduate.
Up to the end of what would have been your high school senior year, the state will pay your tuition and fees at any state university, community college or trade school.
I think this will lead to higher graduation rates.
Many bright kids will graduate early (say 16), avoid high school AP classes, take real college courses, and enjoy the benefits of living at home.
Anyone - Feedback?

fondatori said...

"Of course, nobody involved with the Common Core appears to have thought much about students who are not going to be McKinsey consultants."

This is completely correct. My daughter is in the first grade and using Common Core textbooks. Kids that age are just learning to add and subtract small numbers and many have difficulty doing so without using their fingers.

The Common Core materials I have seen do appear to cover basic addition and subtraction problems but also includes some other materials which I don't think are helpful. For example very basic algebraic ideas are taught: the fact that 7 + 8 = 8 + 7 for example. What use is this to a kid who can not reliably add those numbers on sight yet? Also they include some 'problem solving tips', such as the idea that 4 + 3 = 3 + 3 + 1.

The material I've seen so far isn't bad per se; it is wildly optimistic about the capabilities of children to handle it at a young age. What it means in practice is that kids have to learn other things in the math class than math - they have to learn all these techniques as well. They should have had someone that hated going to school on whatever panel came up with this stuff to give them some perspective.

notsaying said...

If our species had been dominated by the "Coleman-style" person, we never would have survived past our earliest days.

I am a person with a lot of ideals. I like much of what he says, actually. For example, I also believe in giving all our students exposure to the great texts and the great thoughts. I feel we never can tell who will pick up the ball and run with it and I'd like all our kids to have a chance to be all they can be, so to speak.

But the world is full of all kinds of people and his focus is on just one "type." There is simply nothing he can do to make all kids be like him.

Just imagine the torture of being an "average" kid in the Coleman family.

There are so many wonderful people who would be counted as dismal failures, according to his worldview.

He is a liberator and an oppressor combined.

I would anticipate great failure in his endeavor to make everyone be the same kind of person.



Dave Pinsen said...

If memory serves, the mayor of Chicago expressed a more realistic view of the potential of public students in his city. Perhaps Rahm understands nature versus nurture better than Coleman because Rahm grew up with a troubled adoptive sister.

Anonymous said...

My Dad forced me to memorize the multiplication table the weekend before I started 1st grade. IIRC, it took about 4 hours of blood, sweat, and tears. Afterwards, he took me to watch Star Wars. I didn't absorb the movie at all. PTSD. We're Korean.

Anonymous said...

The Common Core curriculum has been picked up by at least 100 Catholic dioceses for use in their Catholic schools. I'm sure that bodes well for American Catholicism in light of what's revealed in this excerpt from that article: "These ideas, Sherman speculated, stem from Coleman’s religious background. “He grew up in a family that extremely prioritized the value and importance of a deep, broad education,” Sherman said. “Those Jewish values toward education have a lot to do with his belief system: Every child should be a smart thinker, a deep thinker, someone who’s analytical and probing.” Coleman also believes that religious texts have a place in the public school curriculum."

For more about Jewish-Catholic relations, see this page.

(And as an aside to any traditional Catholics out there, check out the FishEaters website. It has a discussion forum associated with it, too, but please read the rules before registering and posting, and please note its purpose, which might make some of the sorts of conversations that take place at this great blog "off-topic"! Invite your trad Catholic friends; the place needs a "shot in the arm" from intelligent posters of the type who get attracted to iSteve!).

stari_momak said...

One wonders, have any of these people had to call a plumber for an emergency repair, or an HVAC guy for a remodel. I suspect they haven't--because they work through general contractors. But if they had, they'd realize that a moderately intelligent guy (in a 'book learning' sense) who was halfway decent with his hands can earn a pretty good living - and, btw, add to the standard of living of all the fund managers and traders of Wall Street.

Cail Corishev said...

"They should have had someone that hated going to school on whatever panel came up with this stuff to give them some perspective."

They don't know anyone like that.

Anonymous said...

In a related story, Lebron James has been appointed to a commission that will set minimum physical education standards for high school sophomores nationwide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPQJS_a85gg



Anonymous said...

A tip-of-the-cap to Anonymous at 5:54 PM, Dave at 6:23 PM, Winston Smith at 6:27 PM, and notsaying at 10:45 PM.

Anonymous said...

"I want to know how he got turned down for a teaching job before starting at McKinsey."

My totally uninformed guess is that "a teaching job" was some prestige program like Teach For America.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Thank you for the post. I am the anonymous who, I think, started the discussion on Common Core and David Coleman. I originally read the article you quote at length and it gives a very clear but, in my opinion, forbidding profile of Coleman. I had the same thought as James Walker about his having parents that were a psychiatrist and a college president.

To fondatori, wait until second grade. My son is being taught to recognize the number seventy (70) as "seven tens". It's as if they are trying to get him to think like a computer already. What kids that age need is arithmetic problems, over and over again.

To anonymous at 1:23 AM, my son is at a Catholic school partly because I believed he would avoid being subjected to CC and other types of fads.

Thanks, again, Steve.



Big Bill said...

Shades of Marie Antoinette. Instead of telling the peasants goyim to eat cake he tells the peasant goyim to read Shakespeare and Plato. He is completely out of touch with us. The man has never soiled his hands with dirt.

His worship of scholarship and ideas is a primary Jewish cultural value, a proud and honored tradition of the Jewish Nation (as the article kvells).

Regrettably, the American Nation has different cultural traditions, values and strengths that have enabled us to survive and prosper in America.

Sadly, Coleman sees the solution to the education problem as turning all Americans into bar mitzvah boys. I see the solution as making the bar mitzvah boys spend their summers working with their hands, farrowing pigs and cultivating the soil on a farm in Maine, Like Professor Ames of Harvard Law School.

The Germans who settled Wisconsin saw the university's job as being of service to the people of the state, by learning and teaching botany, horticulture, dairy, soil science, mining, entomology. They sent out professors and instructors all across the state to contribute to their people.

But one would expect that, since THEIR people WERE the citizens of the state, those who struggled in the wilderness, hewed trees, cultivated the soil, and built businesses making useful things.

Their focus was on their people, their towns, their cities, their businesses, and (more generally) their culture and their traditions.

Without input from the American Nation, this is going to end badly.

I cannot blame Coleman, however.

Like Marie Antoinette, when you are, from birth, completely out of touch with the people you rule, you truly cannot be blamed.

DPG said...

"Upon returning to New York, he applied to a high school teaching job and was turned down. Instead, he worked for consulting firm McKinsey & Company..."

So he wasn't qualified to teach a few dozen teenagers, but he was qualified to advise some of the smartest people in the country on education policy?

Reminds me of the backstory of one of my college professors. This guy had an enviable resume: undergrad at an Ivy, 4 years military service, MBA from an Ivy, 25 years at Goldman Sachs. He retired and decided he wanted to teach civics and history at a local high school. The high school looked at his CV and said, "Great! We'd love to hire you! Now you just need to get 16 more credits in Education to comply with state laws." So this multi-millionaire in his fifties, rather than spend a year going back to school, decided to teach finance at a university instead.

panjoomby said...

@NCiSteve Fan:
excellent idea! far too logical, helpful & such a good use of the money the powers-that-be (PTB) will never go for it! it would save money in the long run. BUT, the PTB prefer to "hold kids back" (at least till sept. 23rd of each year) so the state gets funding from the feds for butts in the seats that day...

Anonymous said...

Common core makes all stupid panic since they could not hide behind low standard any more.


"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."

Warren Buffett quote.

Look at who is panicking

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Gilbert Ratchet.

Dawkins' question on why so many jewish Nobel winners was thoroughly solved by John Forbes Nash, a man with a phenomenal grasp of interplay dynamics, when he did most accuratelly perceive that he would be denied a Fields Medal.

slumber_j said...

I knew David Coleman about 20 years ago when he was at Oxford. I used to hang out with a bunch of drunken, decidedly non-Rhodesy philosophers, and David would often be with us too, doing considerably less drinking.

He was the classic Rhodes Scholarly type: smart, very personable, not especially witty and obviously on the make, albeit in a strangely inoffensive way. His whole personality was right down the middle of the fairway, pretty much, so his subsequent trajectory comes as no surprise to me.

I'm sure David's earnestly conscientious commitment to fixing stuff is coming in handy at the College Board. Up to a point, anyway: there's always the Law of Unintended Consequences, after all, and it seems to apply extra-powerfully in the fields in which he's chosen to meddle.

Anonymous said...

"Common Core! Common. Common? Whatever happened to the idol called Diversity?!"

Diverse people all of one mind.

Got it?

No matter what color you are or where you come from you must love, trust and obey the tribal leaders.

Fernandinande said...

Every child should be a smart thinker, a deep thinker, someone who’s analytical and probing.

Every child should also be able to fly.

anon said...

There is a war against memorization (including "obscure" vocabulary) in education. It's increasingly seen as irrelevant and not indicative of a high IQ. Supposedly kids are now going to jump right into being "problem solvers".....

Where educational policy experts go wrong is in assuming that normal people are capable of problem solving or conceptual reasoning without a broad base of concrete knowledge to draw from. I'm so sick of hearing about the importance of "21st century skills," it's unreal.

Memory is obviously not all there is to intelligence, but it's pretty fundamental nonetheless. No doubt people with better long-term memories have an easier time navigating the social, professional and academic worlds.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh. He is not good enough to teach, but good enough to advise teachers. What can he possibly tell them that would have any value?

Anonymous said...

Would you have preferred that the Core Curriculum to have been written by an ignorant yahoo?

Obviously not everyone is as smart as Coleman (but some are and they deserve to be educated too) but everyone deserves to be exposed to the classic basics of a Western education at their own level. For some it will stick and they will derive lifelong benefit, for others at least a little will rub off and it won't hurt them. Really, what is the alternative - teach everyone rap lyrics and new math?

Anonymous said...

A child’s mind will grasp what it can when it can - a brain has to physically developed. A key element of this development process is mental stimulation.

The main takeaway from this article is the intense intellectual environment and stimulation provided by the parents.

The liberal education system is pushing parents out of the loop of their children’s intellectual lives. Washington DC and the state capitals are doing a exceedingly poor job of educating our children - no honest person can deny this.

Good education starts in the home - it is time to return educational responsibility back to the people who care most about children - their parents and local school boards. They used to get the job done - America used to have a very good school system - it can happen again.

Anonymous said...

Instead of obscure vocabulary words, students would be expected to show deep understanding of academic terms such as “synthesis” and “transform.”


Well, that should just about close The Gap.

el supremo said...

Off topic but interesting to iSteve-o-sphere: 25% of Chinese Ivy League students drop out, and 44% of Koreans drop out (compared to 5% of other students)

http://shanghaiist.com/2013/10/30/25_of_chinese_students_in_ivy_leagu.php

Anonymous said...

Every child should also be able to fly.

LOL'ed.

Okay, that one's on the short list for "Komment of the Year" [KOTY].

Gene Berman said...

Anonymous who said:

"Every child should be able to fly."

Mighty clever! But, hadn't you noticed...they CAN fly, though they need a ticket and, sometimes, a parent with them.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure David's earnestly conscientious commitment to fixing stuff is coming in handy at the College Board. Up to a point, anyway: there's always the Law of Unintended Consequences, after all, and it seems to apply extra-powerfully in the fields in which he's chosen to meddle."

Trying to run the world as if there are no racial differences in intelligence has generated all kinds of unintended consequences. Get ready for the "Why isn't Common Core Helping Close The Gap?" and "SAT Still Racist" stories in 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

Off topic but interesting to iSteve-o-sphere: 25% of Chinese Ivy League students drop out, and 44% of Koreans drop out (compared to 5% of other students)

The research involving Korean students cited in the other article is full of errors. The study counted Korean males who took a leave of absence to perform mandatory military service as dropouts.

Gene Berman said...

Several of the commentors here seem not to realize that, to be turned down for a job, absent other information, does not carry with it the default explanation "unqualified."

Scheissherr said...

"The Germans who settled Wisconsin saw the university's job as being of service to the people of the state, by learning and teaching botany, horticulture, dairy, soil science, mining, entomology. They sent out professors and instructors all across the state to contribute to their people.

But one would expect that, since THEIR people WERE the citizens of the state, those who struggled in the wilderness, hewed trees, cultivated the soil, and built businesses making useful things."

You do know a lot of those Germans were liberals who had to leave Germany because of that, right?

Somehow I doubt your anti-intellectualism would have sat well with them, even if they wouldn't have trusted Coleman, either.

What's really funny is that you're all piling on Coleman because of his ancestry. If he were a WASP or a German, you'd all be hailing him for trying to shore up standards.

Gene Berman said...

Big Bill:

Methinks you sell the "peasant goyim" a bit short. Shakespeare wrote plenty that can be understood
(and even appreciated) by most anyone who can read. And,--wasn't it Plato that remarked that the fault with democracy was that the folks could just vote themselves money from the treasury? (Seems like something useful to know, no matter the ethnic or socioeconomic background.) At least he's not trying to get them reading Spinoza or Maimonides--you gotta give him points there.

I had a cousin who taught school in NYC (more than 40 years ago).
His specialty was teaching various vocational arts and "shop" courses to college prep students and, turnabout being fair play, an academic-level course in English (and American) Literature to the vocationasl arts pupils. He claimed to be the highest-paid teacher in the NYC school system.

One more thing (and directed to the many others who made ignorant comments about this guy's lack of knowledge of the attitudes and idiosyncracies of the various groups for whom he would be specifying curricula): if the guy is a competent executive, he'll have subordinate advisors to "fill him in" on such matters (and any others about which he has no specific expertise). That's what executives (guys who are "head" of something) do.

Mr. Anon said...

“The family wasn’t satisfied with easy repartee. If Coleman went to a movie or read a book, his parents wanted to know what he learned from the experience. Coleman often found himself arguing a point before he took the first bite, an eagerness that both charmed and aggravated his parents."

Is it not possible that such an upbringing, common to people of his milieu (so I am led to believe), makes for really unpleasant personalities? Not everyone wants to argue thier whole damned lives.

A lot of this fetish for precocious learning is just nonsense. Of what value is an exegesis on the Torah made by a 13 year old? Nothing, probably - even one made by a bright kid.

Coleman sounds like most of the people who deem it thier life's work to tell other people how thier lives ought to be run: full of ideas, empty of experience.

Mr. Anon said...

“........he said, speaking in his brightly-lit Columbus Circle office, where a black-and-white Martin Luther King Jr. photograph hangs on the wall...."

But of course.

Mr. Anon said...

"In 2008, he and Zimba co-wrote a seminal paper calling for “math and science standards that are fewer, clearer, higher.”"

How about: every pupil shall publish a first-author paper in Physical Review Letters. That meets all three criteria.

Mr. Anon said...

"Scheissherr said...

What's really funny is that you're all piling on Coleman because of his ancestry. If he were a WASP or a German, you'd all be hailing him for trying to shore up standards."

No, Mr. Sh*t, I would not be hailing him, even if he were a WASP, for imposing unrealistic and ridiculous standards for education. I would not be hailing him for imposing centralized, uniform standards on what should be a local matter - education.

I do not welcome foolish busy-bodies who are WASPs. And, yes, I am given cause to wonder why so many such foolish busy-bodies are not WASPs, but rather members of some other particular group.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7:18 AM, the teachers aren't trying to teach your second grader to think like a computer (i.e. use binary arithmetic). What they're doing is making math more verbal. The "wrong type of white people" excel at symbolic math but struggle with verbalized math. It's just another way for the "good type of white people" to suppress their greatest foe.

Big Bill said...

"What's really funny is that you're all piling on Coleman because of his ancestry. If he were a WASP or a German, you'd all be hailing him for trying to shore up standards."

Whose standards? Mexican standards? English standards? Jewish standards? And (if Jewish) which Jews? The Ashkenazi elite? The religious Zionists? The Haredim?

Coleman is a classic luftmensch, a type that was rejected by Zionists a hundred years ago when they recognized the desperate need for Jews who got their hands dirty and needed a healthy connection to the land and the people around them in order to create a normal human culture--hence the moshav and kibbutz movements (now largely and sadly abandoned in Israel).

Herzl taught that Jews should either assimilate or leave (the latter was his fervent desire) , but that they shouldn't meddle in other nation's cultures.

And now we have a Coleman, at the diametrically opposed pole: not only don't leave the other nation and make a new life and culture on your own land, but try to engineer an entire alien nation's curriculum and educational educational system AND follow that up by engineering the standards of admission (SAT) to all their higher educational institutions.

Have they forgotten all the lessons of Herzl, Ruppin and the other Zionists?

If he absolutely must be a Jew, give me Eric Hoffer. Give me the commenter's cousin who taught shop AND English. Give me Arthur Ruppin.

Heck, I'll even take Rahm Emanuel. At least he lived in Israel with normal working class Jews and worked as a grunt in the Jewish Army wrenching trucks in the motor pool.

But an Upper East Sider, McKinsey Consultant, Rhodes Scholar, Oxbridge dude, College Prez- and Shrink-spawn (!) like Coleman as Architect of Education and Testing Standards for All Americans?

Its going to take a few decades to recover from this, if ever.

Anonymous said...

Steve: Of course, nobody involved with the Common Core appears to have thought much about students who are not going to be McKinsey consultants. What happens when they fall behind the rigorous pace Coleman has decreed?

I have a different take: my worry about the Common Core State Standards is precisely that they do too little for high-aptitude kids.

Both the guys who wrote the standards AND experts in gifted education agree that the CCSS do not directly address the special needs of high-aptitude kids (or low-aptitude kids, either) and cannot serve gifted kids without further input from schools and teachers... Teachers who just seem bewildered and fearful, and hope that they'll receive some guidance, any guidance.

My conclusion: CCSS is a curriculum written by the +3SD but aimed mostly at the needs of the +/-1SD. The 32% of kids who fall outside, not so much.

Education Realist said...

El Supremo--as it happens, that's the project I've been working on for much of October. Hadn't seen that link yet--thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's geniuses like this that give us programs like Boston's METCO, which sends poor minority kids to the 'burbs to be taught by Nice White Ladies.

According to METCO's own study, their students measurable underperform compared to the state average on standardized tests, while graduating at a rate considerably higher than the state average.

Anon 1:23, baloney like Common Core is why about half the Catholic schools in and around Boston, including my old high school, have severed ties with the Archdiocese and continue to thrive as private entities.

chubbyChorizo said...

I also learned this sort of stuff in second grade public school in the mid eighties. I was in the average class. It's part of learning to multiply. Multiplication is a type of addition. Does anyone recall " compucat"?

Sean said...

Re Coleman of Minnesota.

“I don’t think Minnesota is ready for a gentile in this seat,” Franken told reporters while campaigning against Coleman, who is also Jewish.