More Common Core Facts

Monday, October 28, 2013

Last week, the clips included the two fact checks on anti-Common Core claims being made during Florida's Common Core hearings in the state. This edition includes two more often repeated criticisms. Yet again, the critics do not have the facts correct and their claims were shown to be false with a little research.  Thanks to Politifact Florida, the public can separate the truths from the misinformation with the use of their Truth-o-Meter.  

Common Core expects English teachers to spend at least half of their reading instructional time at every grade level on informational texts


By Politifact Florida, the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald
 October 15, 2013
  

"Education Commissioner Pam Stewart listened during the first hearing on Oct. 15 in Tampa as dozens of people spoke. The first speaker was Sandra Stotsky, an education professor at the University of Arkansas and staunch critic of the Common Core.  

"One of Stotsky's complaints was that literature and fiction would be replaced with nonfiction informational texts.  

And,  

"Stotsky stated that the Common Core expects English teachers to spend at least half of their reading instructional time at every grade level on informational texts. The Common Core does emphasize informational texts. But it specifically counts reading informational texts in science, math or history classes, and it says that English classes must focus on literature as well as literary nonfiction. Most of the decision-making about what students read in English classes is left to the local and state levels. We find this statement False."  

Teachers were not involved in developing the Common Core State Standards, say Common Core opponents

By Politifact Florida, the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald
 October 15, 2013


"Karen Effrem, co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, pointed to an article from the libertarian Heartland Institute that detailed how the Common Core writers were not classroom teachers. The initial work groups did not include many K-12 educators, either, according to lists provided.  

"'Although teachers were allowed to submit comments as the standards were developed, there is no indication that these comments were actually reviewed and incorporated into the final product because only a summary was released to the public,' Effrem's group stated in its Common Core analysis.  

And,  

"Becky Pittard, a Volusia County elementary math teacher, served on the K-5 math work team of the standards development group. She said she was puzzled by any suggestion that teachers had no voice in the process.  

"'If they say we were not involved, that is not telling the truth,' said Pittard, a 22-year veteran educator who has taken a leave from her classroom to help train Florida teachers for the transition to the new standards.  

"Pittard related how she and other teachers worked closely with the primary writers, corresponding via email and working online to improve and correct the draft proposals.  

""I can tell you the equal sign standard is there because I insisted,' she said, referring to a first-grade guideline on understanding the meaning of the symbol. 'That was my 'you have to have that' standard. There was impact.'  

And,  

"Common Core opponents claimed at a public hearing that teachers were not involved in the creation and development of the standards, or that their comments and feedback weren't used. Participants in the effort, as well as documents detailing the process, reveal this not to be the case. We find this statement False."
  


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Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core. 
 If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at ccolby@achieve.org.   

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