Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Marc Tucker, fraud of Standards Based Disaster Is Baaack


Why Innovation Can't Fix America's Classrooms

By Marc Tucker Dec 6 2011, 9:30 AM ET193

Forget charter schools and grade-by-grade testing. It's time to look at the best-performing countries and pragmatically adapt their solutions.

They develop world-class academic standards for their students, a curriculum to match the standards, and high-quality exams and instructional materials based on that curriculum. In the U.S., most states have recently adopted Common Core State Standards in English and math, which is a good start. But we still have a long way to go to build a coherent, powerful instructional system that all teachers can use throughout the whole curriculum.
The top-performing nations boost the quality of their teaching forces by greatly raising entry standards for teacher education programs. They insist that all teachers have in-depth knowledge of the subjects they will teach, apprenticing new teachers to master teachers and raising teacher pay to that of other high-status professions. They then encourage these highly trained teachers to take the lead in improving classroom practices.
The result is a virtuous cycle: teaching ranks as one of the most attractive professions, which means no teacher shortages and no need to waive high licensing standards

This is total garbage. There is no nation on the planet that produces all "best" students. In the 80s and 90s his NCEE promoted the "standards" movement that brought us awful state tests and standards like the WASL that have all been tossed in trash because the standards were crap and the tests were crap, and they're still giving tests to 10th graders that would flunk most parents or even school board members with masters degrees.

His proposal to Hillary Clinton (who chose instead to go with health insurance reform instead of ed reform) was to model after Germany to have "one high standard for all" when in FACT, in Germany only a small minority was allowed to go to 4 year colleges with one high test score, most others would go into vocational trades with another test score, and the rest would go into menial unskilled jobs like janitor, ditto for Japan and China. The ONLY nation that makes all students go to the same high school for 4 years regardless of ability or track is the US comprehensive high school system.

All this talk about promotion based on ability based on achievement, not seat time is crap when the very definition of "grade" is based on age, NOT any standardized measure of ability set up by some idiotic standards committee of people who don't know what the heck they are doing.  The same sort of thinking went into the Washington Classroom Based Assessments which expected 5th graders to compose and sing sheet music BY SIGHT, a feat that most music majors have trouble with, and to produce a portrait of a friend in impressionist, abstract, or surrealist style.

Tucker's "new standards" project had as 4th grade project building a 3-view of a bike trailer with a parts list down to cotter pins. A fourth grader can't even make a decent pinewood derby racer much less a bike trailer with a steel frame without parents help.

His high school diploma project was building and designing an electric car "with the help from his teacher for welding the chassis frame" and an electric motor and batteries donated by "local electrical utility". It takes Toyota a team of 200 people and a budget of 20 million dollars to engineer and prototype a new electric car. That is insanity.

I would pass a law that would make it ILLEGAL TO

A) Require 100% of all students to meet ANY test of competence for what is an age-based compulsory education system
B) Promise 100% of students WILL meet any test of competence.

Student achievement will always be on a curve. Performance on any activity, whether it be math, reading, violin or football or running will be on a curve.

Tucker is a FRAUD.

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