In June 2013, the governor of Nevada issued an executive order to establish a committee to facilitate the implementation of Common Core. In December this committee issued a report. The following is a point by point rebuttal of the report and the inevitable recommendations for further action. (Have you ever heard of any committee that would not recommend further action?)

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STATE OF NEVADA
Common Core State Standards
Steering Committee
Final Report to the Governor

Adopted
12/23/2013

Please see my comments in italics, embedded within the text. Thank you.

Pursuant to Executive Order #2013-06, the Common Core State Standards Steering Committee is required to submit a report no later than December 31, 2013.  This document represents the Steering Committee’s recommendations for continued implementation of the Nevada Academic Content Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, and other matters related thereto.

STATE OF NEVADA COMMON CORE STEERING COMMITTEE

December 24, 2013

The Honorable Brian Sandoval
Governor of Nevada
State Capitol
Carson City, Nevada  89701

Dear Governor Sandoval:

On behalf of the Common Core State Standards Steering Committee formed by Executive Order #2013-06, we are pleased to submit this report of the Committee’s activities.  We believe the report fulfills all tasks set for this Committee; the recommendations have each been assigned to a lead agency which will be able to carry out your future directives if you concur.

The EO itself is the subject of a petition, in which the erroneous assumptions upon which the EO is based are refuted and corrected point by point.

The Steering Committee met a total of four times, including the meeting to approve this report.  We received information from the Nevada Department of Education, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Regional Professional Development Programs, employee associations, and the Nevada Parent Teacher Association.  During the course of our meeting it quickly became apparent that the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, now adopted in our state as the Nevada Academic Content Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, has proceeded with reasonable success.  By the School Year 2014-15, these standards will be fully operational in all public schools and the aligned assessments that go hand-in-hand with the new standards will be in use throughout the state.

Where are the minutes of these meetings published? Where are the exhibits published?

Between now and that time, however, the Steering Committee firmly believes that full implementation will be aided by:

 Additional professional development activities for classroom teachers and building administrators;

How predictable… Spend more money, utterly UNNECESSARILY in this case because Common Core should NOT be implemented.

 Additional attention to technology, textbook selection, and instructional material development and/or selection;

More and more expenses, for which there is no money either at present or in the foreseeable future.

 Special attention to the transition of high school seniors as they move to college and careers; and

How is it that we oldsters managed to survive the academic track, get into college, get through college and get our degrees WITHOUT all these special programs either at the high school or the college level? How badly have we already dummied down secondary education that we need all this remedial stuff? And now with Common Core we are doubling down on more of same, except far worse…

 A comprehensive public communications plan, as called for in your Executive Order.

Oh yes, that is what all fascist do. When the facts are against you, what do you do? You resort to more and more PROPAGANDA. What a great use of money — money that has not yet been extorted from the taxpayers…

The Steering Committee’s examination of implementation progress touched on a number of other issues, some of which find their way into this report at Related Recommendations.  We also provide a series of Appendices that include budgets and factual information.

Factual information? That is a great stretch…

Finally, an ongoing partnership between the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is called for by our examination of the Standards implementation. NDE and NSHE share responsibility for everything from teacher preparation to high school senior transition to educator professional development.  For Nevada’s students in K-12 and higher education and Nevada’s business community, the increased rigor of the Nevada Academic Content Standards will have immeasurable benefits as we move into the future and work to expand and strengthen Nevada’s workforce. We pledge our continued support of your Administration’s efforts to fully, efficiently, and effectively implement the Nevada Academic Content Standards and to strive for the desired increases in student achievement which drove the adoption of such standards from the outset.

Where is there ANY proof that anybody in the NSHE has reviewed the CCSS in detail, evaluated to “compliant” teaching and teacher training materials, reviewed the experiences of other states, especially in the classrooms? Where is there ANY proof that the NSHE, contrary to reports from other states and colleges, actually thinks Common Core will help them do away with their existing expensive remedial courses? Where is there ANY proof that the NSHE actually approves of CCSS?

We look forward to hearing from your Office on how the recommendation of this Report can be implemented.  Thank you for this opportunity to spearhead this effort.

If I were Governor, I would be EXTREMELY unhappy with this report, I would disband the committee immediately, and order the state board of education to halt all further work on implementing the CCSS in this state.

The only thing this commission could bring itself to do is recommend MORE expenditures and a propaganda campaign? What a shocking surprise! I guess it is out of the purview of this committee’s mission to (1) examine if those additional expenses are worth it, (2) where the money will come from in a state that is in depression and the only way more money can be squeezed out of its taxpayers is by plunging it deeper into depression, and (3) if CCSS will even do half the job its supporters claim it is intended to do.

But we all know that the proponents have ulterior motives and CCSS is designed to reach something other than its stated goals, and the money spent on it will be a complete waste.

Respectfully yours,

Common Core Steering Committee Co-Chairs

DALE A.R. ERQUIAGA
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Nevada Department of Education

DANIEL J. KLAICH
Chancellor
Nevada System of Higher Education

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REPORT OF THE
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
STEERING COMMITTEE
Pursuant to Executive Order #2013-06
December 2013

Presented on the following pages are recommendations dealing with Professional Development, Instructional Materials and Technology, High School Transition, Communications, and Related Matters.  Additional material is contained in the Appendices.

Professional Development

Findings:  Training of classroom teachers and instructional coaches in the understanding and application of the Nevada Academic Content Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics (based on the Common Core) has been decentralized and without a central coordinating voice.  Training continues to be provided by local districts, employee associations, the Regional Professional Development Programs, the Nevada System of Higher Education, and individual vendors or private sources.  Although the Department of Education played an early role in coordinating these services, it has not taken full responsibility for explication and enforcement of the standards as adopted by the Council on Academic Standards and the State Board of Education.

This is the best news yet. It is a reflection of the fact that education has always been A LOCAL matter and that the education establishment still instinctively thinks of education as a LOCAL matter. We can only hope that the federal and state bureaucracies will continue to fail in their efforts to impose an unwelcome and inappropriate uniformity through top-town force-feeding, and that LOCAL school districts, teachers and parents will continue to have a say in the education of their OWN children.

The inability to shake the heritage of local control of education is still firmly ingrained in NRS Title 34. NOTHING therein requires that the state adopt the CCSS. The record clearly shows that the decision to adopt CCSS was made by the bureaucracy. NRS Sections 386.350 and 389.0187 explicitly specify that a local school district MAY use the curriculum offered by the state board of education as a GUIDE to write their own curriculums and lesson plans. Well, “may” and “guide” are not the same as “shall” and “is required to.” Therefore there is NO reason why ANY school district should heed any recommendations even in this very report.

Recommendation #1:  The Superintendent of Public Instruction should convene a meeting of professional development providers as soon as practical in January 2014.  As a result of this conversation, the Superintendent and the Statewide Council for the Coordination of Regional Training Programs should prepare a coordinated plan of action for all training related to the new Standards, including but not limited to a calendar, contact information, and web resources; specific assignments and a division of labor are desired outcomes.  In addition to focusing on teachers in the core subjects of English Language Arts and Mathematics, the plan should address training for administrators, as well as teachers responsible for literacy in social studies, science and technical subjects.  The plan should take into account the needs of English language learners and Special Education students.

The absolute worst you could do is to impose the “Common Core way” in the science and technical subjects. Those are LABORATORY courses and they have their own time-proven and time-honored HANDS-ON experience and traditions about how to teach most effectively. Matters of science and technology are NOT subject to popular opinion and consensus. A single, clear thinking individual can stand up to the delusional masses and be proven right — remember Galileo?

Common Core specifically IGNORES the very existence, let alone the NEEDS, of special-needs students. There simply is no room for accommodation.

Recommendation #2:  Following the January 2014 meeting referenced above, the Superintendent and Statewide Coordinating Council should ensure that training modules are created that reflect the instructional shifts in English Language Arts (ELA) and in Mathematical practices.  Modules should also be considered for the expected adoption of new Science Standards and in the area of Early Learning related to ELA, Math and Science.  A development budget of up to $200,000 is included in the Appendix of this Report.

Appendix A does not specify if this expense is per class, per school, per district or for the entire state, or if it is a one-time or a yearly expense. Either way, from other sources we already know that this is just the tip of the iceberg; for example, the Appendix does not show testing costs. And they all come on top of existing expenditures already in previous and current budgets. Where is the extra money going to come from? The suppliers of “common core compliant” teaching materials and teacher training materials are a MONOPOLY. They can and do charge whatever the hell they want. What school district has the budget for all this unnecessary extra material at inflated prices?

Recommendation #3:  The Nevada Department of Education website should be enhanced to include examples of what good instruction looks like within each standard, including examples of good material that can be used to implement the Nevada Academic Content Standards.

There are NO examples of “good” teaching techniques under Common Core. There is only ONE teaching technique permitted — the so-called “child-centric” method — which reduces a PROFESSIONAL teacher with her YEARS of expensive education and training in ALL sorts of teaching methods to the status of nothing more than a MODERATOR in a classroom debate among total IGNORAMUSES who don’t know and WON’t know anything because they WON’t have a knowledgeable teacher to guide and TEACH them so they’d LEARN something.
On the other hand, there are MANY examples to the contrary on the web, from actual homework and videos actually taken in classrooms, that show the utter waste of time and the ridiculous nonsense that the “common core way” forces on teachers and students alike.

Recommendation #4:  Regular (perhaps monthly) newsletters should be disseminated from the Nevada Department of Education, and a communication protocol developed that makes the information accessible to all stakeholders.

This is nothing but a recommendation for on-going propaganda. Surely the Committee does not pretend to imply that there is any RESEARCH going to be conducted in teaching methods after the CCSS have OUTLAWED all teaching methods except ONE?

Recommendation #5:  School districts should use at least one of the four professional development days specifically to address the Nevada Academic Content Standards and all staff must participate.  The Superintendent should issue non-regulatory guidance to each district encouraging such use, and may also wish to consider using his authority to require corrective action plans to enforce such training if districts are found not to be working in concert with their employee associations on this important issue.

This is nothing but a recommendation for the fascist enforcement of fascist rules, dressed up in satin and lace.

Recommendation #6:  The Superintendent, through the Department’s Office of Licensure, should prepare recommended regulations for consideration by the Commission on Professional Standards and/or changes to Department review policy to ensure that:
 New hires are able to demonstrate knowledge of standards within submitted transcripts; and
 License renewal includes one or two credits that directly relate to all the Nevada Academic Content Standards, as those standards relate to a licensee’s field of preparation.

And here it is… if they don’t bow voluntarily to Common Core, the fascists will go after their hard-earned professional LICENSES… What is this, the BORG? Resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated! What happened to respect for the PROFESSIONALISM of our sainted teachers? They will be driven out of their passionately chosen profession because they don’t submit? Don’t kid yourself; THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING.

Recommendation #7:  The Department of Education should re-assess the level of resources historically and currently committed to Standards and Curriculum in Nevada, with an eye toward either increased staffing or maximizing use of existing personnel in new ways that are more appropriate to the era of higher more rigorous standards and aligned assessments.

There are no resources “historically” having been committed to Common Core; we are just starting.

And WHO would NOT have guessed that the bottom line in ALL studies and recommendations by a bureaucracy is… wait for it… MORE SPENDING…!!!

Cut out that “rigorous” crap. Any number of experts who have participated in the writing and evaluation of the standards are SCREAMING that Common Core is a huge step DOWN.

Instructional Materials and Technology

Findings:  School districts and individual teachers have difficulty determining which of the many materials available through vendors and online are truly aligned to the Common Core and will improve instruction.  In addition, it is clear that the new Standards rely more on technology in the classroom than Nevadans are accustomed to, yet State resources for technology (and, for that matter, textbooks) have lagged during the Great Recession.

Look on the web… The ONLY “common core compliant” materials come from Pearson.

We have several hundred years of experience in teaching English and math. Likewise for the other subjects. Surely we are not so arrogant and stupid as to dismiss all that experience?

As to the use of technology, the kids have no problem using it to find whatever distractions they find enjoyable. The difficulty comes in convincing them that technology can be used for something as boring as classroom work (for those who see school as boring) and the inevitable fascist rules that are imposed to make sure that they use technology ONLY for school work.

The state has no obligation to provide computers to every child in school. Most kids have their own anyway. Those few who don’t, can go to the nearest library’s technology center. Given the speed with which hardware and software go obsolete, the only requirement on the school is to make sure that their software has a long lifetime.

Recommendation #1:  The Nevada Department of Education must take the lead in building a digital library of instructional support materials.  As districts resume purchasing textbooks or digital resources, the Department must ensure that materials are aligned to the Common Core in fact and not just in name.  The Superintendent should explore grant opportunities during the legislative interim to fund a team of contractors to build a digital library or collaborate with national organizations already developing such resources.  The next biennial budget should include funding for this type of expense at the Department level on an ongoing basis.

Again. All “common core compliant” resources are provide by a MONOPOLY, specifically Pearson. You simply have to BUY it, not build your own library. WHO will certify that whatever the state puts together is “common core compliant”?

Recommendation #2:  As the Department of Education examines “One to One” digital device initiatives over the coming year, special attention must be paid to budgetary impacts that can be brought to the Governor and Legislature.  In addition, a realistic overview of broadband capability, including a gap analysis, for online testing must be presented to stakeholders before the beginning of School Year 2014-15.

There they go again. More studies, more contracts, more expenses. NONE of which has ANY connection to effective INSTRUCTION in any subject.

Recommendation #3:  Relevancy of the Standards to classroom instruction can be reinforced and accelerated by the presence of business representatives.  School districts should make an effort to reinforce classroom instruction with business visits and information about “real world” applications of the Standards, literacy, and critical thinking skills.  Discussion of career readiness must take an equal footing with college preparation, especially in high school classrooms.  If districts lag in this engagement, a statewide effort for business advice on classroom relevance should be initiated by the Governor’s Office or an entity assigned this task, perhaps the P20W Advisory Council.

GOOD GRIEF!  In my 4 decades of experience with employees in all job functions at all levels in Silicon Valley, the ONLY thing BUSINESSES ever wanted were employees with effective COMMUNICATION skills — employees who can speak correct English and write a clear and concise paragraph. Secretaries who can edit for grammar; managers who can write a coherent report. The technical stuff they had learned in trade school or college, and ON THE JOB.

Recommendation #4:  The English Mastery Council and the Special Education Advisory Committee, both of which have relationships with the Department of Education, must examine the new Standards and related assessments and make clear, actionable recommendations about necessary accommodations before the beginning of the 2014-15 School Year.

WOW. This one is EASY. Tell the local schools to eliminate all traces of Common Core before it leads to further retardation of our children’s education and academic performance. Yes I know the CCSS are supposed to be “more vigorous,” more “demanding.” That is the propaganda from its supporters. The facts from other states that have already been using CCSS for 2-3 years proves otherwise.

High School Transition

Findings:  A working group surveyed the existing transition course options and partnerships between higher education and local school districts that focus on the senior year of high school.  Specifically, the purpose of the survey sent separately to NSHE institutions and local school districts was to gather information on current options, including but not limited to college and career ready curriculum and interventions in the senior year of high school designed to address student deficiencies in English language arts or mathematics that are identified through the 11th grade college and career readiness assessment.  The survey responses from NSHE institutions and most school districts identified not only these partnerships and course options, but also other existing efforts to provide high school students with academic support necessary to succeed on their path to college and career.  A copy of the higher education and school district survey responses are included as appendices to this report.

This silliness has its roots in the PSAT which is (used to be) given in the junior year to give the college-bound kids some warning of what lies ahead. But this was intended to give them a taste of the TEST and the testing environment, so the real thing (the SAT) won’t be such a shock.

The 11th grade is MUCH too late to be warned that you are at risk of NOT making it into college. If you have already done poorly in 9th, 10th and 11th grade, you DON’T have the time to take remedial action in the 12th. Take the courses you need in your local community college.

Back in the bad old days when American education was free from federal mandates and actually served the needs of our civilization, the “stakeholders” recognized that only about 10% of the high school students have a reasonable chance to get into college. They were put on the academic track. The rest were sorted out across a spectrum of programs designed to give them skills useful in the private economy immediately after graduation. These included auto, wood and metal shop, welding, commercial and business courses, home economics, as well as art and music.

Today we pretend, and we delude the students with the expectation, that EVERYBODY must and can go to college. This is true only because over the past 40 years all the practical courses were taken out of high schools and transfered to the community colleges — at additional expense to the students. And we worry about drop-out rates, especially among kids from the working class and cultures that see as the proper role for teens to be actual, not potential, members of the gainfully employed, not wasting more of their time on academics that they have no interest in and no aptitude for.

Recommendation #1:  Programs, courses and partnerships currently exist that may be used to address deficiencies in the senior year when students do not meet benchmarks under the 11th grade college and career readiness assessment.  Many of the programs provide a strong foundation from which these efforts can be modeled and expanded within and to other school districts to benefit students throughout the State.  However, these options do not exist in all districts or in sufficient quantity to provide such opportunities to all students when the 11th grade assessment is administered statewide in 2014-15, as required by A.B. 288.  Additional resources should be directed towards transition courses for students in the senior year, especially in the rural school districts.  If districts are unable to budget for this in the current biennium, categorical funding should be requested by the Department of Education in 2015.

This reads like a duplication of the previous recommendation. In this day and age there is no excuse for students in remote schools not being able to access courses via the internet.

Recommendation #2:  The Department should survey districts prior to administration of the (expected) Spring 2015 new college and career readiness assessment to determine plans and approaches. The college and career readiness assessments may be an area in which resources will need to be provided for the districts and students as the state moves into the new 11th grade testing regimen.

Apparently the Committee is also ingrained too deeply in our tradition of local control, because they too don’t understand that the CCSS is designed to ELIMINATE both local and state control of education. There is simply no room in CCSS for any local custom-tailoring and adjustment. One size fits all...?

Recommendation #3:  Further, in noting that additional resources should be directed to senior year transition courses, the Committee discussed the need to determine whether additional resources may also be needed by districts as they shift from the High School Proficiency Examination to end-of-course assessments, as required under A.B. 288.

It is significant that AB 288 does NOT require that the new assessments be “common core compliant.” Nothing in the NRS specifies that the new standard must be the CCSS. That decision was made by the education bureaucracy.

But again, of course the change in the required testing requires additional resources and additional expenditures — money we don’t have, money that would be much better spent in other ways, such as computers but only for kids who don’t have their own and live too far from a library they could use after school; hiring better teachers; changing union rules to allow merit raises to the truly exceptional teachers — without declaring that EVERY teacher is exceptional and therefore entitled to the merit raise.

Communications

Findings:  Nevada is not unlike the rest of the nation, which is revealed by numerous surveys to have limited understanding of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  The Committee heard some testimony that school district personnel may be reasonably aware of the new Standards, but not of the breadth of their implications, while parents and the business community are generally unaware of the effort to increase rigor.  An apparently small but very vocal group of Nevadans is significantly more organized in opposing the Common Core than the Department or any school district has been to date.

More good news, or the same good news? If local school district personnel are still unaware of the full impact of CCSS, that is because they are still instinctively adhering to (delusions of) local control of education. How could any reasonable person, with lifelong practice of the American way of education, possibly comprehend the monstrosity of eliminating all local and state control? Because of CCSS we are surrendering our schools and our children to the federal Department of Education and to the unaccountable private corporate interests who have already been getting public and private grants to impose CCSS, and stand to profit hugely from the additional expenditures being forced on the states and local districts.

But thank you for the tip of the hat! I am proud to be part of that “small’ and vocal group. Don’t delude yourself, we are just the tip of the iceberg, because the anecdotal evidence is that MOST parents and most TEACHERS are very angry at the abuse heaped upon or about to be heaped upon our children in the name of CCSS.

Recommendation #1:  The Superintendent and Chancellor should form a Communications Work Group to develop, coordinate, and direct an ongoing “brand” campaign about the benefit of the new Standards for college and career readiness.  This campaign should make use of an umbrella theme or tagline of “Nevada Ready!” to focus on the benefits of college and career readiness initiatives in Nevada public education.  An initial communications plan is included in the Appendices of this Report.

Nevada will be less and less ready under CCSS. We will pay dearly in additional taxes and get a less and less well educated student population. No silly “branding” will change that, but it will enrich useless PR firms.

Recommendation #2:  Any communication effort must begin with school district personnel, primarily classroom teachers, and work its way somewhat organically to other stakeholders.  Close coordination with the employee associations and their existing “cadre” approach to communications on the new Standards must begin in January 2014.

Oh, yes, that is just what we need, fascist propaganda thugs harassing our teachers and administrators. My my my, how the world has changed. Tell me again, WHO won World War Two?

Recommendation #3:  A professional communications firm should be retained, using funding raised from private and philanthropic sources, to leverage the communications efforts of the Nevada Department of Education and Nevada System of Higher Education.

And where the hell will the money come from to pay this PR firm? Who will be deluded, stupid and depraved enough to give money for a fascist propaganda campaign? Goebbles must be grinning ear to ear… (Who? Under CCSS, the kids will never know.)

Recommendation #4:  The Nevada Department of Education and Nevada System of Higher Education should conduct surveys of the best practices demonstrated by districts and schools in implementing the new standards; survey information should be used for a program to recognize excellence and leverage opportunities to enhance these practices throughout the field.

It is evident now that the Committee itself has NO idea what CSSS is. How many times must I say it. There is NO room under CCSS for any local variation in the program.

There is only one incentive — teach the kids the CCSS way, teach the CCSS curriculum, otherwise they will fail the SAT and the ACT because those tests are being changed to be “common core compliant.”

There is only one way to teach — the “student-centered” way, where the teacher does not teach, she only moderates the discussion as the kids fumble aimlessly trying to “discover” answers on their own. Yes, answerS, because according to CCSS there are no right or wrong answers, only a consensus of opinions.

There is only one kind of teacher — one who is willing to throw her years of professional education and experience out the window and lower herself to be nothing more than a study hall monitor.

There is only one way to transition to it and to administer it — retrain all teachers, and FIRE those who resist and those who can’t get their “common core compliant” license.

Recommendation #5:  The Governor’s Office, Superintendent, and Chancellor should cooperate to ensure the timely and broad dissemination of this report to the school districts, affiliated organizations, and stakeholder groups mentioned herein.

There is only only one place that this report and CCSS itself belongs — in the recycle bin. There is nothing in this report that is of any value even to the misguided few who’d WANT to implement CCSS in every schools throughout the state. If I were Governor, I’d be very angry that any committee would waste my time with a report such as this.

Related Recommendations

Findings:  In addition to Academic Content Standards, the Department of Education maintains a significant program in Career and Technical Education (CTE) that is also standards-based with aligned end-of-program assessments.  As part of the CTE program of study, teachers must follow the approved state technical standards for the program and the approved state employability standards, called the Employability Skills for Career Readiness.  The State Certificate of Skill Attainment is issued to students who:  (1) complete a course sequence with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher; (2) pass the end-of-program technical assessment; and (3) pass the employability skills assessment. As part of the new structure for CTE, school districts are working to organize coursework to promote higher program completion rates.  Over the past two years, the Office of Career and Technical Education has revised nearly all of its standards for course work required to complete a program as well as development of a series of end-of-program assessments. In revising the standards and creating the assessments, the Office of Career and Technical Education has worked hand in hand with business leaders statewide and nationally to ensure students are prepared for a career in their chosen field.

Also helping to ensure students are ready for the transition from high school to career is the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program, which was given additional funding in the last legislative session. Several districts are benefitting from this program. According to the national website, JAG is a “state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk.  In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.”

Just think; in the bad old days when high schools had academic, commercial, trade and other tracks, we managed to teach the kids without all these alphabet soup programs, and those kids grew up and went to the Moon, invented Tang and squeezable juice packs, built computers, invented the internet, wrote ever more inventive software, mapped our genes, developed ever better targeted medicines, built instruments to image the innermost details of our bodies, etc. etc. etc. — without all these alphabet soup programs.

Just think; in the bad old days all we needed to get into college was good grades and a stack of college catalogues to see for ourselves which college had the best programs to fit our aspirations. Today we don’t even need the catalogues because they are on-line.

But we are to believe that today’s students are so poorly prepared that they can’t find their way to a guidance counselor without a multitude of massive federal programs…

And today we are to believe that somehow the education establishment can direct one single specific student on a path to one single specific job or career path… as if ANYONE could possibly ever predict what jobs, and therefore what job skill, will be needed 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now. No one has ever been able to do that. I can count on one hand the number of people that I met throughout my four decades of working years who have known in high school what they want to be afterwards, actually majored in the subject they were thinking of in high school, and ended up with a career in the field that they studied for in college. Almost everyone I worked with had studied and had expected to work in another, if related field.

So how can the advocates of CCSS pretend they will prepare kids today for the jobs of tomorrow, and how can they expect us to be so gullible and stupid as to believe them?

The only way to guarantee that our high school students will be prepared for any job and career is to give them the best and broadest education possible, because we can’t possibly tell what jobs will be needed and available in the future. Could anyone in the 1920s predict the job market in the 1960s? Could anyone in the 1970s predict the job market in the 2010s? On what basis can we assert that we know what job skills will be needed in 2030? in 2050?

There has always been only one prediction that has always been true. Students need to be taught as much English, math, science, history, civics, etc., as they can possibly absorb. They have to learn how to think logically, how to communicate clearly and effectively, and most importantly they have to learn how to learn by and for themselves, when there is no teacher to help them.

Americans simply must learn to be self-starters, as past generations of Americans have been self-starters, not blindly obedient ignorant cogs and robots in a great big bureaucratic machine.

Recommendation #1:  The Department of Education should maximize the experience with CTE to fully message a College and Career Readiness focus for standards-based instruction and aligned assessments in Nevada.  This platform will help students and stakeholders understand and fully embrace the more rigorous, 21st Century approach.

For heaven’s sakes… MORE propaganda?

Recommendation #2:  The Department must provide data on the success of programs like JAG and CTE education in order to support any future requests for resources.  Targeted categorical requests like these offer an opportunity to increase education spending but require a “return on investment” mentality.

Education is an EXPENSE, not an “investment.” An investment is the spending on the development of a product and offering that product in the free market so a customer will find value in it and be freely willing to pay to get it. Nothing in education fits any of that. Children are required by LAW to attend school. There is nothing voluntary or freely willing about that. Schools do not generate a profit, there are no stockholders to share in that profit. Public schools are supported by taxes, not by tuition paid willingly by the parents. And there is absolutely no guarantee that any kind or amount of education will lead to a job, your desired job or any other job. The only return on investment that we can hope for is that our children may be able at least to preserve, if not advance, the civilization that they inherit from their parents. There is no way to calculate an ROI on anything like that.

And of course because education is only an expense, this report can only foresee more and more demand for additional funding… Oh how original; how banal, how boring.

The very least they could have recommended is to cut the administrative overhead and the armies of “experts” back down to the levels we’ve had before the 1960s, and apply the resulting huge savings to buying better textbooks and getting better teachers, and of course to reduce taxes so the economy has a chance to recover and people on fixed incomes, such as the retired elderly of whom I am one, would not be squeezed too hard.

Here is the downloadable PDF file: Critique of the CCSSSC Report2

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