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What in the world was the state thinking?
(Page 2 of 5)
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Howard Schwach

After reading the page-long article, which talked about the development of aspirin and why the new drug could be important, students had to answer a series of questions.

The first question asked students to find two words used by the author that showed he thought that the new drug would have a positive impact and then defend their answer in writing. Since the two words that I found to fit the answer were archaic and no longer used, I found it hard to believe that 11-year-olds would know enough about the meaning of those words to answer the question.

There was another question in the sequence that clearly had two right answers and it was a crapshoot as to which one the state would mark as correct.

I knew then, and do did the teacher, that the test would dissolve those kids who care into tears and lead teachers to pull their hair out.

The state’s ed department and Board of Regents, of course, do not care about that. They needed to force the test on the kids in order to qualify for money under the draconian Race to the Top program that is nothing more than a bribe to get states to do the bidding of President Barack Obama and his acolyte, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, an old New York hand whose ideas were discredited when he worked for the city but who then became a genius when he was promoted to national status.

Educators do his bidding not because he is right, but because he has all the chips in the game.

I have nothing against standards. I have nothing against the Core Curriculum, although I would like to see it field-tested somewhere prior to the state’s being forced to adopt it whole hog. The fact that it has never shown to be successful in helping kids reach either college of career goals is sort of left in the wind. I would like to ensure that it works before we all dive in.

Under Race to the Top, that is impossible. Every state has to just accept on faith that Duncan and his minions know what they are doing. That’s a laugh.

Both the state and the federal bureaucracies are made up of Phd’s from Penn State and Ohio State, Yale and Harvard. They are chosen directly after getting their degrees and have little or no classroom experience.


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This is a good piece but it needs fact checking.

1 – Arne Duncan is NOT “an old New York hand” but came out of Chicago and

2- Carol Burris is not a NYC teacher, but a LI principal who was named principal of the year.

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