All sets of standards have a few good ones in them and I love how supporters of Common Core or, whatever we are going to call the new standards, always point to a few of them and pretend the whole document is just like that. I’m going to post few that I found in the new draft that I feel need highlighted. They are directly from Common Core, however bad standards are bad standards regardless of their origin.
The following standards are from the Speaking and Listening standards section:
[11th and 12th grade] 11-12.SL.2.4: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. [emphasis mine]
No longer will students just have to politely tolerate opposing views, they will have to “promote” them. What if a student disagrees philosophically based on their religion or culture? Will they be taught how to dismiss their own views instilled by their families in favor of the “group consensus?” This standard would be OK if it just said: Students will debate issues and topics, using research as evidence for their position.
[7th grade] 7.SL.2.4: Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
This seems more like the directions for the teacher, not a 12 year old student. I’m also wondering about how a student and their teacher would graded on an assessment for this standard…..no subjectivity there. It should read: Ask and respond to questions related to the topic being discussed. It really doesn’t have to be so complicated.
[9th and 10th grade] 9-10.SL.2.4: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. [emphasis mine]
This is basically the same standard as above, just enhanced for the higher grades. I’m imagining a teacher trying to get a bunch of freshmen to “actively incorporate others into the discussion.” There are teachers that can’t get students to engage in classroom discussions, now the students are responsible for this? I’m also curious as to what examples the standards writers would provide for broader themes and larger ideas.
More to come……………..