Archive for the ‘Common Core’ Category

Shocker: Johnny can’t sign checks or legal documents…

January 10, 2019

Many schools just don’t teach cursive handwriting any more.


Yesterday, we posted about how Johnny can’t write.  That was in a macro sense: he can’t construct a compelling, logical argument since that skill is decreasingly taught and practiced in schools these days.

Today, let’s dive down to the literal level.


I was taken aback when a friend casually mentioned to me that his grandson – a freshman in college – “couldn’t even sign his name”.

I initially thought that the kid might have a learning disability, a physical handicap or was – for some weird reason – banned from signing legal documents.

Nope, the reason was more straightforward and pervasive than that…


A bad week for standardized testing … and bad results from standardized tests.

October 30, 2015

This week, for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

The results weren’t pretty: “Results from national math and reading tests show slipping or stagnant scores for the nation’s schoolkids.”



And, it’s even worse than it sounds.

Let’s cut to the chase …


OECD : Over-use of computers is detrimental to education.

September 23, 2015

The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) recently issued a report on the impact of technology – think, of computers in the classroom -– on fundamental learning.



The bottom line:

“Students who use computers very frequently at school do much worse [in reading, science and math], even after accounting for social background and student demographics.”

More specifically …


Literacy, learning and Common Core standards …

September 17, 2015

I’m really conflicted in the debate re: the Common Core and its higher standards of learning.

As I argued in a prior post, I’m all for giving students a more rigorous education, but wonder if the emphasis on standards is just a diversion from fixing fundamental problems.

See Common Core: Is the problem really standards?

Said differently, it’s really easy to print & mail higher standards, but … what good are they if students aren’t achieving lower standards because of their capabilities, their environment or the educational delivery system. 

Case in point: U.S. literacy rates.

My hunch: all states have standards that say, at a minimum, “students should be able to read”.

Still, Google “U.S. Literacy Rates” and you get linked to articles with titles like:

The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn’t Changed In 10 Years

Broad-scale studies indicate that less than 15% of the U.S. population reads proficiently.




Think about those findings for a moment …


Eureka: Common Core’s new math … take the minute quiz.

September 15, 2015

Heard a story recently about a 3rd grader who was failing math.

Her state had signed up to the Common Core Standards (and testing) … and her school district had embraced the the Common Core curriculum.

Her math grades in 1st and 2nd grade were just fine.

When the Fs started coming home, her father – a college-educated engineer – jumped into the fray to tutor her.

The Fs kept coming.

The Fs kept coming  even though her answers were right … her process of arriving at the right answer was wrong.

Before you say, “well, certainly she needs to do the problem the right way”, take this simple test.

Question: Little Joey has a jar with 35 jelly beans.  He gives away 17 of the jelly beans to his friends. How many jelly beans does Joey have left in the jar.  Show each step of your calculation and label all numbers.

Do it !  Should only take a few seconds ….


Homework is discriminatory … say, what?

September 10, 2015

A recent study, published in The American Journal of Family Therapy concludes:

“Students in the early elementary school years are getting nearly three times as much homework than is recommended by education leaders”

According to CNN, parents reported first-graders were spending 28 minutes on homework each night versus the recommended 10 minutes.

Student doing homewrok


What are the potential consequences of this gross overload? 


Common Core: Is the problem really standards?

August 11, 2015

When questioned in the debate re: his support for Common Core, Jeb Bush gave a mushy (and self-contradictory) answer .

When he was done, I wasn’t sure if he was for it or against it.

For his punch line, he reverted to the universal “we need to set higher standards” argument.

A couple of other candidates jumped in to praise higher standards.

Sounds like motherhood, right?



I’m not so sure ….


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