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Steve Ransom

Subject Matters: Why students fall behind on history - CNN.com - 22 views

  • "I think they learn information by itself, in isolation," Frazer said of his students. "But putting the big picture together is not happening."
  • History is not an area that requires testing under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, so it often gets shortchanged
  • "The only issue that I have with what I teach is, I wish I had time to go deeper,"
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • "You have to take away time from the bigger topics in order to make sure you cover small details, just because they could appear on the state exam,"
  • constantly weighing how much "trivia"
  • Because some of that material was covered as long ago as eighth grade, Frazer must take time to review so his students can pass the high school test.
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    Great article that paints our current educational direction toward trivia vs. deep understanding
Steve Ransom

Is Khan Academy a real 'education solution'? - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 55 views

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    Great conclusions here!!
Steve Ransom

Principal: 'I was naïve about Common Core' - 32 views

  • The promise of the Common Core is dying and teaching and learning are being distorted.  The well that should sustain the Core has been poisoned.
  • Whether or not learning the word ‘commission’ is appropriate for second graders could be debated—I personally think it is a bit over the top.  What is of deeper concern, however, is that during a time when 7 year olds should be listening to and making music, they are instead taking a vocabulary quiz.
  • The Common Core places an extraordinary emphasis on vocabulary development
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • Teachers are engaged in practices like these because they are pressured and afraid, not because they think the assessments are educationally sound. Their principals are pressured and nervous about their own scores and the school’s scores. Guaranteed, every child in the class feels that pressure and trepidation as well.
  • I am troubled that a company that has a multi-million dollar contract to create tests for the state should also be able to profit from producing test prep materials. I am even more deeply troubled that this wonderful little girl, whom I have known since she was born, is being subject to this distortion of what her primary education should be.
  • Parents can expect that the other three will be neglected as teachers frantically try to prepare students for the difficult and high-stakes tests.
  • Real learning occurs in the mind of the learner when she makes connections with prior learning, makes meaning, and retains that knowledge in order to create additional meaning from new information.  In short, with tests we see traces of learning, not learning itself.
  • They see data, not children. 
  • Data should be used as a strategy for improvement, not for accountability
  • A fool with a tool is still a fool.  A fool with a powerful tool is a dangerous fool.
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