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Common Core State [sic] Standards


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    In Pearson We Trust. . . .
    Ohanian Comment: Mike Klonsky offers this exchange between Chicago Science/Math Teacher Oscar Newman and Pearson, with this comment: With lives, careers and the very existence of schools hanging in the balance, we have become totally reliant on Pearson and the testing companies to measure and arbitrate truth and correctness. Even more so, with the era of the Common Core curriculum at hand. But what happens when Pearson is wrong -- either in the content of their texts or in the proscribed answers on their tests?

    NOTE: Take a look at the Scope and Sequence for Interactive Science, 6-8. The Materials List is also interesting. And don't miss the text.

    Note that the text itself quizzes the student on every page:

    Sequence: Fill in the circle next to the name of the person who was the first to see living cells through a microscope:

    *Matthias Schleiden
    *Robert Hooke
    *Anton van Leeuwenhoek
    *Rudolph Verchow
    *Theodore Schwann

    Assess Your Understanding:

    1a. Relate Cause and Effect

    Why would Hooke's discovery have been impossible without a microscope?

    b. Apply Concepts.

    Use Virchow's ideas to explain why plastic plants and stuffed animals are not alive.

    Yes, this is interactive; students are supposed to answer Standardisto questions in the text.

    Above is only part of the busily intrusive,carefully controlled, brutally boring text. I urge you to look at the double page spread and see for yourself what passes for reading science in our brave new world of the Common Core. Click on Thumbnails and you get more of an overview.

    Here is a list of the authors. Note that Grant Wiggins is in on this. Here's Pearson's sell: Grant Wiggins, creator of Understanding by Design® framework, is one of the main program authors. . .UNDERSTANDING BY DESIGN® and UbD⢠are trademarks of ASCD, and are used under license.

    Pearson introduces the authors thusly: The Interactive Science author team is comprised of some of the nation's most influential educators and scientists. [emphasis added] With expertise spanning from life, earth, and physical science topics to curriculum design, technology, and differentiated instruction, the Interactive Science author team represented all views in modern day science teaching.

    Price: The write-in student edition is $75, with all subsequent replacement free through the life of the adoption. This looks to me like the 21st Century, Global Economy version of a Teacher-Proof text. Embed every learning theory currently in vogue right in the text--so any fool can deliver it.

    All the school needs are Enforcers to keep the kids obedient--and to make them fill in the answers.

    Letter from a Chicago Teacher

    November 17, 2012

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My school recently purchased Pearson's Interactive Science for our middle school students (6-8 Grades). While preparing for a lesson, I happened upon the following quote, from the Interactive Physical Science book 1 TE, p.119 Under "Science and Society":
    "The influx of oxygen changes bloodâs color from blue to red...Have students examine their arms to see if they have any blue veins. Explain that the blood in those veins is headed back to the heart and lung to receive more oxygen."

    Really? I am appalled at the poor scientific review that this book apparently underwent. Even cursory editing would have prevented this error. Human blood is never blue. Hemoglobin turns bright red when oxygenated. Deoxygenated (vertebrate) blood is dark red. Mollusks and some arthropods use hemocyanin, which turns blue when oxygenated due to the copper it contains, but our blood is never blue. Pigments in skin cause veins to appear blue. Those who have donated blood are well aware of this, in fact, I show my students a photo of me donating blood to dissuade them of this misconception.

    I was on the team that decided to purchase this series for my school, and I am saddened that I did not catch this in time or have a chance to question the representative who sold this product. I will now thoroughly check these science texts to make sure that I do not have to waste valuable instructional time addressing this and other foolishness.

    Please address this problem in future versions.
    Yours in outrage,
    Oscar Newman
    NBCT (EA Science 2002, 2011) 7-8 Grade Science
    and Math Teacher
    Chicago Academy Elementary School
    3400 N. Austin Ave. Chicago, IL 60634

    Pearson responds to Oscar Newman

    Question Reference #121117-000138
    Thank you for contacting our Curriculum K12
    Customer Service Dept. Our customer service team
    will research your request and respond as quickly as possible.

    Our regular office hours are 8:00AM to 6:00PM
    Eastern standard time, Monday through Friday. If you received this message outside our normal operating hours, please expect our team to begin researching your inquiry the next business day. We appreciate your business.

    Learn about our Virtual Learning Achievement
    Guarantee. Click here for details.

    Klonsky comments: So far, Oscar tells me he has received no call-back from Pearson. So for millions of American public school students and their teachers, human blood remains blue -- at least for the purpose of getting the answer right on the test.

    — Oscar Newman with Ohanian comment
    The Save Our Schools (SOS) News
    December 05, 2012

    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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