Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NY Times Shills For Common Core

At the end of a Motoko Rich NY Times piece on how states are manipulating Common Core test scores comes this bit of shillery:

Despite the pushback, teachers here continue to infuse their lessons with Common Core principles.
In a seventh-grade English class at Berwick recently, Rashaun James had posted this thought, paraphrased from the Common Core: “Gather relevant information from multiple sources and draw conclusions.”

Her teaching methods were more creative than the dry standard suggested. Cordoning off a large space in the middle of the classroom with yellow caution tape, she had faked a crime scene, strewing dirt and gravel from the school garden across a large piece of butcher paper on which she had drawn outlines of two bodies and stamped footprints of shoes dipped in red paint.

Ms. James urged the students to analyze the clues and come up with possible victims, suspects and motives for an ultimate assignment of writing a narrative about the crime.

She was not too concerned how the assignment would affect test performance. In 10 years of teaching, she said, tests changed and policies came and went. The Common Core could “go away tomorrow,” she said.

“But does it make a difference in terms of whether I have a crime scene in my classroom?” she added. “There will always be a crime scene in my classroom.”

How is this lesson "infused" with Common Core principles?

Students were never asked to analyze clues before the advent of Common Core?

Students were never asked to "gather relevant evidence from multiple sources and draw conclusions" before the advent of Common Core?

Also would note, what is "Common Core" about asking students to "write a narrative"?

Students were never asked to write narratives before the Common Core Era?

Actually, given how much emphasis is put on argumentative writing these days, having students write a narrative seems like a pre-Common Core lesson to me.

I've tried to get out of the educator reporter-bashing business the past few years, having realized it's mostly counterproductive, but I have to say that the NY Times education coverage is awful.

Rich pieces in particular tend toward offering conventional education reform wisdom framed as reporting.


  1. I read that this morning and had very similar thoughts. One other was when I watch college football games (particularly the ACC and SEC) and then they interview some of the players, I ask myself how the hell those kids could EVER pass the Algebra or Algebra CC regents exam if they were in NY?

    1. Speaking of Algebra I test results, is NYSED hiding the statewide/district pass/fail rate for a reason?????

  2. .......reformers win again. Its the NYTIMES. The reformers are winning the narrative war.

    Whose right means less than who has the louder, simpler, more compelling narrative.

  3. If Donald Trump gets in as President say goodbye to common core shit once and for all. Trump will be great for our profession and he will bury the fake people like eva moskowitch, bloomberg klein and alll the other hobos