Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jeb Bush Channels David Coleman In A Defense Of The Common Core

College Board President David Coleman, one of the architects of the Common Core State Standards, famously told an audience in New York State that one of the things you learn in life when you get older is that nobody gives a shit what you think or feel about stuff.

Jeb Bush channeled that Coleman sentiment in a recent defense of Common Core:

Bush has repeatedly explained the standards, implemented and controlled by the states, are designed to make the United States more competitive with the rest of the world. He said those who oppose the standards support the “status quo,” oppose testing and are worried too much about children’s self-esteem.

“Let me tell you something. In Asia today, they don’t care about children’s self esteem. They care about math, whether they can read – in English – whether they understand why science is important, whether they have the grit and determination to be successful,” Bush said.

“You tell me which society is going to be the winner in this 21st Century: The one that worries about how they feel, or the one that worries about making sure the next generation has the capacity to eat everybody’s lunch?”

We've covered how the education system is in China just a bit here at Perdido Street School blog, but I'm going to revisit two recent posts as a rebuttal to Jeb Bush's jive:

Tell Me Again Why The U.S. Should Mimic The Chinese Education System?

A lot of these suicide stories are coming from South Korea, another country with a high stakes education system that leads to an awful lot of stress and pressure on children and teens, but this one's from China:

Surveillance cameras have caught the shocking moment an under-pressure Chinese student jumped to his death during class.

Heart-stopping footage claims to show the at first motionless boy suddenly leaving his desk, running over to a ledge and leaping out.

His actual jump occurs out of shot, and was not filmed due to the camera's angle.

But the devastated reaction of his fellow classmates, who sprint over to see what's happened before pacing up and down with their heads in their hands, appears to suggest he had tried to commit suicide.

A commenter at the Daily News writes:

How much longer are we going to pretend that children are something to ignore, mistreat, and mis-educate..... This child was coerced into believing this test was so important that combined with the rest of the stress he was feeling he ended his life. Here in the US the children are equally mistreated but they are ignored and mistreated along with being misled.

The older you get the more you realize it's not that big of a deal, and that you should be focusing on aspects of education that actually aren't in the curriculum. This common core crap and the overstressing of test results are completely destroying our children's futures.

And that's absolutely what the plutocrats in power want.
And this one:

Many In China Hate The Chinese Education System - Even If Arne And Barack Love It!

From The Guardian:

The streets surrounding Shijia primary school in Beijing were mobbed by a crowd of parents so dense that cars were obliged to beat a retreat.

At 3.45pm on Friday, 11-year-old Zou Tingting, five minutes late, bounded through the school's west gate and into her waiting mother's arms. Tingting's classes were over, but her day was just beginning – she had an hour of homework, plus lessons in ping pong, swimming, art, calligraphy and piano.
Tingting's mother, Huang Chunhua, said that, like many Chinese mothers, she once considered Tingting's academic performance her top priority; now she realises the importance of a well-rounded education. "I've seen British curricular materials, and I'm actually kind of jealous," she said. "British teachers guide students to discover things on their own – they don't just feed them the answers, like in China."

In recent weeks British parents and educators have been in a panic about the discrepancy between the Chinese education system and the UK's. In December the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the 2012 results for its triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) test – a reading, maths and science examination administered to half a million 15-year-olds in 65 countries. Shanghai students topped the rankings; the UK ranked 26th.
Next week education minister Elizabeth Truss will lead a "fact-finding mission" to Shanghai to learn the secrets of China's success. She plans to adjust the UK's education policy accordingly.

Yet Chinese parents and educators see their own system as corrupt, dehumanising, pressurised and unfair. In fact, many are looking to the west for answers. Huang said that some parents bribe Shijia primary school to admit their children (though she declined to say whether she had done so herself).
Tingting attends an expensive cramming school at weekends, leaving her tired. She will probably have to abandon extracurricular activities in high school to devote more time to the college admission exam, called the gaokao. Many parents consider the gruelling nine-hour test a sorting mechanism that will determine the trajectory of their children's lives.

Chinese experts are also less impressed than Truss by the Pisa scores. "Even though Shanghai students scored well on the test, this doesn't mean that Shanghai's education system doesn't have any problems," said Lao Kaisheng, a professor in the education department of Beijing Normal University. "In fact, it's the opposite."

As long as China's education system remains vast but resource-constrained, Lao added, its schools will default to testing as a reliable indicator of competence. "The education system here puts a heavy emphasis on rote memorisation, which is great for students' test-taking ability but not for their problem-solving and leadership abilities or their interpersonal skills," he said. "Chinese schools just ignore these things."

Read the whole article - this is an important piece of journalism that gets at the lie that Asian education systems like the one's in China or South Korea, are vastly outperforming public schools in the United States or Britain.

We keep hearing from Duncan, Obama, et al. that the Chinese or the South Koreans are vastly outperforming us.

We hear the same from Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein et al.

But the truth is much more complex than the test scores these deformers hawk.

Later we'll take a look at the epidemic of suicides in South Korea and the misery many children in the South Korean education system feel over their circumstances.

I've asked this before, I'll as it again - is this the kind of education system we want to mimic here in the United States?

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