I got a very nice email from Christopher Tienken letting me know the link I used in a previous post was not working. He kindly supplied me with the right one.
Here’s a link to his site.
Control of the schools should be brought back to a local level, with parents and educators leading the way, for the best educational outcomes, said Christopher Tienken, an assistant professor of education administration in New Jersey.
During a Journal Editorial Board session on Thursday, Tienken discussed why his extensive research on the Common Core standards has led him to believe that they’re unnecessary.
Some of Tienken’s beliefs: One-size-fits-all learning doesn’t work; national standards take control away from the parents and there’s no research to back up their effectiveness; and the country was not in the precarious educational state that people are led to believe it was in.
To get federal funding from the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, states adopted Common Core standards and agreed to create data dashboards, among other things.
“Many states adopted the standards before they were even final,” Tienken said.
Tienken is unsure of why there’s a “politicizing” of educational reform since “Democrats and Republicans have supported this issue of the national standards and testing since Ronald Reagan’s time,” including the efforts of former President George W. Bush with No Child Left Behind, Tienken said.
Race to the Top is President Barack Obama’s initiative.
The state Education Department has said students need new, stricter standards to prepare for college and careers in a global economy.
“The NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores for (New York) released just last week reveal that too many of our students are not where we need them to be and illustrate once again the urgent need for improvement,” Education Department spokesman Tom Dunn said via email. “We are fortunate to have Race to the Top funds to support that work.”
Tienken, who believes in national guidelines but not standards, said international tests do not show that America is in educational trouble.
“My view is based on evidence,” Tienken said. “Can one rank on an international test even predict economic competitiveness? Can the results explain anything about a country’s educational quality?”
America’s testing pool is also “very representative” and includes more types of students compared with other countries, he said.
Tienken, the keynote speaker at the local counties’ Joint Board-Superintendent Dinner Program, was set to give a speech called “Questioning the Core; Show Me the Data!” on Thursday night.
Some Dutchess County school districts are rejecting the aid, citing privacy concerns regarding student data collection and other issues.
Tim Farley used to be a Hyde Park school district teacher. Now he is principal of Ichabod Crane Middle School in Valatie, Columbia County.
“Behind closed doors, they’re totally against Common Core,” Farley said of teachers he knows. “It’s drill and kill. They’re petrified. I have teachers in tears.”
“If (Common Core, high-stakes testing) and data sharing are still here by next year, we will be home schooling,” Farley said. “My wife and I have been planning the transition.”