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Common Core State [sic] Standards


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    PARCC Claims to Measure Skills Needed for 'Life Beyond High School'
    You can't make this up.

    by Susan Ohanian

    This comes from a PARCC press release, March 5, 2013, dateline Washington DC:

    Computer delivery of PARCC will allow the test items to both measure those skills needed for life beyond high school and be interactive and engaging.

    In the release, PARCC offers a hot link to this item as a "good example" (their words, not mine) for "interactive and engaging" measurement of 10th graders' "skills needed for life beyond high school":

    Part A
    Which of the following sentences best states an important theme about human behavior as described in Ovid's "Daedalus and Icarus"?

    a. Striving to achieve one’s dreams is a worthwhile endeavor.

    b. The thoughtlessness of youth can have tragic results.

    c. Imagination and creativity bring their own rewards

    d. Everyone should learn from his or her mistakes.

    Part B
    Select three pieces of evidence from Ovid's "Daedalus and Icarus" that support the answer to Part A.

    a. "and by his playfulness retard the work/his anxious father planned" (lines 310-311)

    b. "But when at last/the father finished it, he poised himself" (lines 312-313).

    c. "he fitted on his son the plumed wings/ with trembling hands, while down his withered cheeks/the tears were falling" (lines 327-329).

    d. "Proud of his success/the foolish Icarus forsook his guide” (lines 348-349)."

    e. "and, bold in vanity, began to soar/rising upon his wings to touch the skies"

    f. "and as the years went by the gifted youth/began to rival his instructor's art "

    g. "Wherefore Daedalus/enraged and envious, sought to slay the youth "

    h. "The Partridge hides/in shaded places by the leafy treesâ€Â¦for it is mindful of its former fall "

    Call Out

  • PARCC Leadership Team

  • PARCC Technical Advisory Committee

  • See the full passage below. Please consider what it would mean to students to prepare for such an item. They need to start early. Now we know why New York State Department of Education's Engage New York includes this in the Common Core curriculum for second graders . . . getting them ready for life after high school (New York is a PARCC state):

    6. Greek Myths

    Introduction to Greek Myths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv
    Lesson 1 The Twelve Gods of Mount Olympus . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
    Lesson 2 Prometheus and Pandora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
    Lesson 3 Demeter and Persephone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
    Lesson 4 Arachne the Weaver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
    Lesson 5 Theseus and the Minotaur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
    Lesson 6 Daedalus and Icarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
    Pausing Point 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
    Lesson 7 Hercules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
    Lesson 8 Hercules and the Nemean Lion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
    Lesson 9 Hercules and Atlas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
    Lesson 10 Oedipus and the Riddle of the Sphinx. . . . . . . . . . . . .114
    Lesson 11 Atalanta and the Golden Apples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
    Pausing Point 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
    Domain Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142

    Instructional Objectives for Greek Myths
    The following chart contains all of the Core Content Objectives and Language Arts Objectives for this domain, broken down by lesson. [emphasis added]

    Understand that the ancient Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses

    Understand that the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece were believed to be immortal and to have supernatural powers unlike humans

    Identify the twelve main gods and goddesses in Greek mythology

    Identify Mount Olympus as the place believed by the ancient Greeks to be the home of the gods

    Demonstrate familiarity with particular Greek myths

    Identify the elements of characters, plot, and supernatural beings and events in particular Greek myths

    Express outrage to:

    1) your governor
    2) state representatives
    3) members of House and Senate education committees (who seem to be in a coma)
    4) your local newspaper
    5) local school board
    6) PTA

    Ask all of the above to read "Daedalus and Icarus," take the sample Common Core test items, and to give them to teenagers they know--and then send you a justification for all this. The Common Core exists so corporate-politicos could have the national test they've yearned for decades. We taxpayers did fund PARCC.. Our (sic) U. S. Department of Ed shelled out nearly $200 million of our tax dollars to PARCC to come up with this sort of (expletive deleted).

    And remember: Education entrepreneur and Common Core architect David Coleman's advice to students who may have difficulty with complex text: "You’re going to practice it again and again and again and again. . . so there's a chance you can finally do that level of work."

    Like start 'em practicing in pre-school.

    Also know that Achieve is the Project Management Partner for the PARCC consortium "to facilitate the activities of the Partnership and help ensure the PARCC vision is fully realized." Achieve has been in on this since IBM chief Lou Gerstner held hands with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to deliver the Business Roundtable education reform plan, aka America 2000, for President George Bush the elder. This has morphed into Goals 2000, NCLB, RTTT, and the Common Core. It gets uglier with each iteration.

    VOMIT ALERT: The time needed for PARCC administration ranges from 8 hours for grade 3 to 9 hours 55 minutes for Grade 11.

    Protect your children. Join United Opt Out today.

    Ovid's Metamorphoses: Daedalus and Icarus

    Translated by Brookes More, public domain

    But Daedalus abhorred the Isle of Crete--
    290 and his long exile on that sea-girt shore,
    increased the love of his own native place.
    "Though Minos blocks escape by sea and land."
    He said, "The unconfined skies remain
    though Minos may be lord of all the world
    295 his sceptre is not regnant of the air,
    and by that untried way is our escape."
    This said, he turned his mind to arts unknown
    and nature unrevealed. He fashioned quills
    and feathers in due order -- deftly formed
    300 from small to large, as any rustic pipe
    prom straws unequal slants. He bound with thread
    the middle feathers, and the lower fixed
    with pliant wax; till so, in gentle curves
    arranged, he bent them to the shape of birds.
    305 While he was working, his son Icarus,
    with smiling countenance and unaware
    of danger to himself, perchance would chase
    the feathers, ruffled by the shifting breeze,
    or soften with his thumb the yellow wax,
    310 and by his playfulness retard the work
    his anxious father planned.
    But when at last
    the father finished it, he poised himself,
    and lightly floating in the winnowed air
    315 waved his great feathered wings with bird-like ease.
    And, likewise he had fashioned for his son
    such wings; before they ventured in the air
    he said, "My son, I caution you to keep
    the middle way, for if your pinions dip
    320 too low the waters may impede your flight;
    and if they soar too high the sun may scorch them.
    Fly midway. Gaze not at the boundless sky,
    far Ursa Major and Bootes next.
    Nor on Orion with his flashing brand,
    325 but follow my safe guidance."
    As he spoke
    he fitted on his son the plumed wings
    with trembling hands, while down his withered cheeks
    the tears were falling. Then he gave his son
    330 a last kiss, and upon his gliding wings
    assumed a careful lead solicitous.
    As when the bird leads forth her tender young,
    from high-swung nest to try the yielding air;
    so he prevailed on willing Icarus;
    335 encouraged and instructed him in a]l
    the fatal art; and as he waved his wings
    looked backward on his son.
    Beneath their flight,
    the fisherman while casting his long rod,
    340 or the tired shepherd leaning on his crook,
    or the rough plowman as he raised his eyes,
    astonished might observe them on the wing,
    and worship them as Gods.
    Upon the left
    345 they passed by Samos, Juno's sacred isle;
    Delos and Paros too, were left behind;
    and on the right Lebinthus and Calymne,
    fruitful in honey. Proud of his success,
    the foolish Icarus forsook his guide,
    350 and, bold in vanity, began to soar,
    rising upon his wings to touch the skies;
    but as he neared the scorching sun, its heat
    softened the fragrant wax that held his plumes;
    and heat increasing melted the soft wax--
    355 he waved his naked arms instead of wings,
    with no more feathers to sustain his flight.
    And as he called upon his father's name
    his voice was smothered in the dark blue sea,
    now called Icarian from the dead boy's name.
    360 The unlucky father, not a father, called,
    "Where are you, Icarus?" and "Where are you?
    In what place shall I seek you, Icarus?"
    He called again; and then he saw the wings
    of his dear Icarus, floating on the waves;
    365 and he began to rail and curse his art.
    He found the body on an island shore,
    now called Icaria, and at once prepared
    to bury the unfortunate remains;
    but while he labored a pert partridge near,
    370 observed him from the covert of an oak,
    and whistled his unnatural delight.
    Know you the cause? 'Twas then a single bird,
    the first one of its kind. 'Twas never seen
    before the sister of Daedalus had brought
    375 him Perdix, her dear son, to be his pupil.
    And as the years went by the gifted youth
    began to rival his instructor's art.
    He took the jagged backbone of a fish,
    and with it as a model made a saw,
    380 with sharp teeth fashioned from a strip of iron.
    And he was first to make two arms of iron,
    smooth hinged upon the center, so that one
    would make a pivot while the other, turned,
    described a circle. Wherefore Daedalus
    385 enraged and envious, sought to slay the youth
    and cast him headlong from Minerva's fane,--
    then spread the rumor of an accident.
    But Pallas, goddess of ingenious men,
    saving the pupil changed him to a bird,
    390 and in the middle of the air he flew
    on feathered wings; and so his active mind--
    and vigor of his genius were absorbed
    into his wings and feet; although the name
    of Perdix was retained.
    395 The Partridge hides
    in shaded places by the leafy trees
    its nested eggs among the bush's twigs;
    nor does it seek to rise in lofty flight,
    for it is mindful of its former fall.

    Modest Proposal: Perhaps if teachers share this Titian painting inspired by Ovid one of two things will result:

    1) it will inspire student reading.

    2) it will provoke irate parents to get the work banned.

    Question: How does PARCC get away with this? Is ANYBODY watching?

    Note: This is not to be construed that Smarter Balanced is doing any better. They look like same old/same old.

    — Susan Ohanian
    March 06, 2013

    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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