Sunday, October 7, 2012

Expecting the same from every student

Start a New Post Please:

Pittsburgh Mirrors LA Unified's Themes: "We're going to expect the same out of every student"

Jaime Aquino mentioned in Mary Morrison's article was hired by PPS a few year's back as part of the failed ALA reform efforts. 

Quote from the article: "The LAUSD has tapped its new, $250,000-a-year deputy superintendent Jaime Aquino—from the Dominican Republic, no less—to engineer and implement the Common Core State Standards Plan. As he explains: “We’re going to expect the same out of every student,” meaning that all students—including those in Special Ed classes—are supposed to perform at the same level."

Read Entire Article @


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see where this is going, why it was posted and who will respond!

One suggestion: Before we go down this road, please, please, check "primary sources" on CCSS. The site is open. Then, cite a skill from those standards that you would not want teachers to teach and students to learn.

And, yes, Jaime Acquino was a leader for the now defunct America's Choice ALA’s which did not produce results here precisely because it did not address the skills now embedded in the PSSA or CCSS.

And, certainly, “one-size-fits-all” will NEVER work for all students; BUT, adaptations of the content used to deliver the skills of PSSA and the more complex CCSS can and must be tailored to the students. Good teachers know how to do that! And do it very well! However, they cannot do it with a scripted curricula and without the necessary autonomy to tailor the "standards" to their own student populations!

Let's deal with “fact vs opinion” since it is one of the PSSA and CCSS skills. Go to the "primary source" before going off on "opinion" rants. (Examples of opinion rants are rampant in the http cited above.)

Anonymous said...

For those of us who are done or almost done walking the path of education for our kids what we wonder now is when it all became so horrid. I used to worry about trickle down stress affecting my kid when changes and edicts came down, now it is almost like trickle down punishment when goals aren't met. I did read the entire article and the comments (some of which were not helpful) and now I will spend a few minutes feeling sorry for people I know just starting out with kids in early elementary grades.

Anonymous said...

When it becomes "horrid" for teachers, it does effect students.

Trickle down punishment is a good word for what is happening in schools; but not at central office where the accountability should rest.

Good teachers, when given the goals, will make it happen for their students in creative, relevant and productive ways.

That's what good teachers do! And always have!

Corporate entities and foundations have taken control and its the money that matters, not education.

Provide the standards to teachers and get out of the way. The good teachers will guide the way and the others will find other work.

Anonymous said...

Here's an example for you!

Knowledge of Language- 4th grade CCSS

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3c Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).

I'm one of those poor parents at the beginning of this journey. I beg those on the way out to continue to support us, parents and teachers.

Farouk Williamson said...

I agree with 10:43 - CCSS are a step in the right direction to ensure attempts at leveling the playing field between all students in suburban, urban, and rural schools. Just as commented - hopefully teachers in PPS are granted the latitude to make instructional decisions which help the students work toward meeting the standards as this has not been the trend over this past regime. Unfortunately, I believe it may not go down that way here in Pittsburgh and we will see central administration continue to push teachers to "make every child the same" through judging the bottom line test scores. As much as I want ALL children to be successful and learn everything - we do have to realize that children learn at different paces and levels, even adults in society have limitations (special ed, mental health, depression, etc). While I understand the underlying belief in wanting all children to be successful, I do not believe we can expect the same from every student. One PSSA test, given at one point in time doesn't measure student success. There are children that can be highly successful in the vocational technical fields, yet PPS has reduced those options from the moment Mark Roosevelt arrived. What has Dr. Lane done to build upon these untapped abilities in many of our students? Has she expanded the vo-tech offerings? I suspect not as we parents have witnessed the closing of programs, shuffling and reshuffling of some of the districts most neediest students. The mouths of those who make these decisions speak one thing (they believe in equity for all) yet the actions speak volumes about their true beliefs. The pressures to perform on the standardized assessments, that inevitably will be demanded by Dr. Lane and her central office team to get all children at the same academic level regardless of special education needs, race, socioeconomic status, etc. may actually be detrimental to true student academic, social and emotional growth. This doesn't discount that teachers must always make their best attempts everyday to help all children grow but the teachers are not the ones that have taken many vital options away from the students. Does this era of growing standardized testing, a constant sense of urgency, measuring students only by their math and reading scores, and blaming the teachers for every difference in student performance help teachers nurture the PPS children in reaching their fullest potential? My fear is that it may actually be having the opposite effect, stressing the teachers out as they are blamed for scores not rising fast enough, and unfortunately then the pressure and stress is transferred to the student as they take test after test to monitor that they are making "adequate yearly progress" on one inaccurate measure of their "ability". In my humble opinion, children should be challenged at all times but in a way that inspires them to learn and push their thinking and skills further to meet their fullest potential. They should be given the opportunity to discover what they are "good" at and the teachers should be inspired to nurture them in to productive citizens. As 10:43 stated the CCSS standards are a great goal and guideline for teachers to know where to take their students. However, I would caution against how LA unified and PPS ultimately will "pervert" the true intentions of these standards. The pressure to perform on one test will trickle down and may become detrimental to actual student growth. When will Dr. Lane and her team's actions begin to show they really care about children and not just test scores? A good start would be if we saw more options created for career and technical education, I believe we are losing a whole group of student's untapped talents to this "scripted curriculum" and its limited measures of student "effectiveness".

Anonymous said...

That is an easy one, don't you think.

Could be the difference between someone presenting a "how to" to the class or on the playground; however, the task is always given on the assessment and the student just has to see the difference.

Most of these merely require the student to "differentiate" between choices given. The student doesn't write an essay.

Let's not make it more difficult than it is. We all know the difference between formal and informal speaking! Surely that is not beyond a 4th grader!

The "skill" is being aware of the "difference"!

Anonymous said...

Good work 9:20! You went to the source! Just remember the language used there is "formal" and for the teacher. The teacher would most likely break it down into "informal" language so that is more accessible for the 4th grade students.

He/she would give an example of both formal and informal language in a variety of situations or texts at the 4th grade level.

And VOILA, the kids would get it!

Parents might do the same with their children!

A "script" would definitely be counterproductive. Its about "teaching moments" and they happen continuously at any given moment in time. You just need to know how to take advantage of the moment to teach or reinforce the "skill".

(But, first you need to know the "skill" and you DID THAT by going to the source. BRAVO!)

Anonymous said...

A quote related to this is traveling around facebook.
Expecting chilren to know the same thing at the same age is like expecting children of the same age to wear the same size!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the teachers will not be permitted to do much more than follow the script. The push for all this testing is something we all need to fight against, it is ruining the eduction system for the children. The common core standards may not be a bad thing, but will be turned into something that the district will use as teaching to the test again, but they won't say that. Look up Parents Across America to find more information about how parents are getting together to fight the big business who is behind much of this movement.

Children are individual and should not all be the same, that type of thinking is odd. All of us know that kids are different and develop in different ways. We can't force them to love math and reading, they can have adequate skills in those subjects, but do they all have to go to a college??