Friday, March 13, 2015

Education commissioner: Our new Common Core tests are wonderful

You won't hear the words Common Core mentioned anywhere in the accompanying video. I am guessing that a memo must have gone out months ago to Missouri superintendents, including C. J. Huff in Joplin, that everyone must refer to these as Missouri Learning Standards.

But make no mistake about it. It is Common Core and by selecting Margie Vandeven as commissioner of education, our state Board of Education has told us that no matter what the state legislature does, we are doubling down on Common Core.

Missouri will shift from the MAP tests it has used for the past couple of decades to the new tests, which are praised by Vandeven in the video.

"These tests are asking more of the kids," she said, and she also notes that for the first time all statewide standardized tests are being done on computer, which she then illustrates by showing video interviews of children who just love taking tests on computers.

What she does not say is that this decision to put all tests on computers has placed an enormous burden on Missouri taxpayers. Many schools have had to spend tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to add computers, most of which would probably not be needed otherwise.

Sadly, this media manipulation, which I have written about extensively when it comes to the Joplin R-8 School District, is also alive and well at the statewide level.

Vandeven also warns us, in a genial tone, that scores will go down because they are asking more of the students.


Anonymous said...

Yeah they love the new test on the computers. Here a click, there a click, everywhere a click click! You had better put one teacher to every 3 kids testing or they will click their way right through that test.

Anonymous said...

Look...for centuries, our children have been successful and competitive with the rest of the world. Our kids don't need to be pushed to the point that they hate school. Finland has one of the best education systems in the world and they don't feel the need to stress their teachers and students out.

Anonymous said...

Scores will go down because the kids don't care, there is little discipline, and with all the school activities it's hard to teach anything. You can't expect more out of kids when they can't even become proficient with MAP test and EOC test. If kids can't score well on current testing, they will definitely fail on any common core type testing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she should consider the words of this woman and watch her impassioned speech about her own experience growing up in Communist China:

Lily Tang Williams, a mother of three, testified before the Colorado State Board of Education that Common Core was similar to the education she received growing up in Mao’s Communist China.

“Common Core, in my eyes, is the same as the Communist core I once saw in China,” Williams said. “I grew up under Mao’s regime and we had the Communist-dominated education — nationalized testing, nationalized curriculum, and nationalized indoctrination.”

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Vandeven warns us to expect test scores to drop because the tests are more challenging? Say what? Sounds like she's covering her derriere for supporting Common Core and, at the same time, she's also setting a low standard for achievement. This woman is definitely paving her way for a higher political position somewhere else. She's got the spin down.

Anonymous said...

Every parent needs to tell the school that their children will not take those tests. If they are forced to, then every student should just click the first choice. This is insane.

Anonymous said...


Putting your child in the position you suggest is questionable parenting, in my opinion. I would rather my own child do his/her best to demonstrate his/her ability. Intentionally "flunking" the test shows poor character. If our children do poorly on the tests, the schools and teachers are punished. The students have zero consequences. What lesson does that teach your child? If you don't agree with something you should sabotage another person who may not agree with it but has to administer it because there is a federal law stating annual assessment is required? I understand that you are displeased with CCSS, but to put your child in the position of intentionally making the teacher appear as though he/she covered zero standards is unsettling. Use your passion in a productive way and teach your children to demonstrate some integrity.

Anonymous said...

You're right. I've taught my children not to lie and that would definitely be lying. They should not have to take a test that does not show what they actually know. That insanity is on top of basing teacher performance/evaluation on these tests. Teachers do not teach curriculum any more. They aren't allowed. They spend all their time teaching how to take these tests and other tests that are supposed to predict for administrators how they will score on the tests.
Now, how about the administrators showing some integrity? Many of them know this testing is not right and yet they continue to push "the test." There is something VERY wrong with making kindergarten children practice nonsensical things so they will be ready for a test they will take in middle school--IF it's the same test!
And may I add that no one knows what that test will entail or how it will look. This is such a mess. Do you want to take bets on whether or not they actually have a test?
I not only want my children to have integrity, I also want them to stand up for what is right. Sometimes, a protest doesn't look very nice.