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Common Core State [sic] Standards


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    Middle Schoolers in a Common Core World
    Ohanian Comment: I subscribe to the FWD.Pearson.com daily because we need to know what they are doing. But often what they're doing needs a bit of deconstructing. So here goes.

    Mike Evans is Pearson's senior vice president for mathematics. In past roles at Pearson, Mike was responsible for Pearson Digital Learning's Product Management and Publishing organizations. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer for Bigchalk, a K-12 library database provider. Before his edtech career, he held various senior management positions in both broadcast and cable television, including his role as Assistant General Manager of the Food Network cable television channel.

    Data and Technology is a blog group hosted by Pearson.

    Although Next Generation Learning has the same name as the Gates Foundation operation, it looks like this one is also a blog group hosted by Pearson.

    The whole thing is a Pearson sell but I put the most blatant part in bold. Admittedly, the author did not provide a hot link to the program, which Pearson is selling. Here it is. And here are the authors.

    The beauty of this program (for the publisher) is that the school has to purchase the $699.97 teacher component and then each student component ($41.47)--every year. Not like books that last a few years.

    this is better for the bottom line than those consumable workbooks.

    Curiosity: When you go to the product sample page, you get this warning: Pearson does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information or content contained on this Site. Person wishing to see a product sample must agree to bear all risks associated with, the use of any content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such content.

    Wouldn't you think Pearson could guarantee the accuracy and completeness of their own product?

    And when you go through the ratio example you'll see that the Pearson computer whizbang wonder--supplanting old-fashioned textbooks for those who feel the Lorelei call of the global marketplace--produces fish jiggling in seaweed. (I think students will sit there wondering why the fish aren't even swimming.)

    Maybe one day math experts will team up with technology wizards.

    It hasn't happened yet. No wonder Pearson is issuing a liability statement.

    Remember that old New Yorker cartoon with the E. B. White caption: I say it's spinach, and I say to hell with it?

    Here's to the Pearson version of the digitalized Common Core world: I say it's seaweed, and I say to hell with it.

    by Mike Evans

    November 19, 2012 in Data and Technology, Next Generation Learning

    School districts across the country are facing unprecedented challenges. As states move toward implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), they find themselves presented with increasing academic demands, while their available resources are constant, at best, and in many cases are diminishing. The assessments being created to determine student attainment of these standards rely heavily upon technology for administration of the tests, so schools find themselves being asked to prepare students for more rigorous academic standards at the same time they need to prepare to them to thrive in an increasingly digital environment. The stakes become even higher for those districts which are composed of student populations that lack technical assets in the home. For these students, schools may be the only place where they have access to these tools.

    While these challenges cut across the school curriculum, mathematics adds an additional layer of complexity; nowhere in the school curriculum is the proficiency gap as high as in this subject. Nationally, sixty-one percent of eighth graders are not proficient in math, and with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards this number is expected to rise. Middle school teachers will find themselves under increasing pressure to cover Common Core content, even if the majority of students in their classrooms have significant gaps in foundational skills.

    The need to deliver grade-level content that aligns with the CCSS, monitor student progress, and deliver individual assistance or enrichment activities where needed while also preparing students for a digital world, will have many school districts across the nation searching for creative ways to deliver on the promise of effectively teaching the nation̢۪s students.

    School districts will need CCSS-aligned curriculum that can assist teachers in providing the necessary learning to their students. Any curriculum that would also increase the amount of class time spent on teaching will deliver better results by simply making it possible for teachers to do what they do best.

    To help meet these challenges, and ease the many transitions educators and students face, Pearson is partnering with districts to deliver digital math curriculum that provides flexibility, reach, and personalization capabilities. One such middle grades program, digits, was written to adhere to the Common Core State Standards, and built to incorporate the tools educators need for day-to-day success.

    For example, teachers often spend a lot of time searching through print materials to find level-appropriate responses. digits eliminates that process, instead automatically grading homework, providing reports to monitor progress, and analyzing data so teachers have more time to do what they do bestâ€Â¦teach.

    As classrooms, and the world, become progressively more digital, students need to master the 21st century skills that will help them thrive in technology-rich environments. Programs like digits, and others that are completely digitally-driven, deliver the tools educators need to provide instruction, remediate/enrich those who need it, and prepare students for success in the classroom and in life.

    — Mike Evans
    Pearson Always Learning
    November 19, 2012

    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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