LEE ANNE GRACE: Common Core from a veteran teacher’s perspective

LEE ANN GRACE

LEE ANN GRACE

This letter is not about an election. I am a give to Caesar what is Caesar’s type of person. I vote because it is my civic duty, and pray for forgiveness half the time I vote. I am not affiliated with either party. But it grieves me when I see a step in the right direction for the children of Mississippi getting caught up in political misinformation. I see education as mission field, and I am passionate about our children and our students. They are our future – all of them, not just the ones we gave birth to.

Common Core was not written by the government. It was written by teachers all across the United States and leading researchers after years of collaboration. They studied other nations as well to determine what our children would need to be competitive in a global society. Reference: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/frequently-asked-questions/.

All of those worksheets people see posted in social media about Common Core are not a problem with Common Core, they are a problem with the textbook publishers’ application of Common Core. Common Core is a list of skills that students should be working to master at every grade level. Common Core does call for more critical-thinking skills than before, which have been shown to be very important into today’s global society. Common Core does not specify math problems or assignments. Teachers and school districts are still given the freedom how to teach and apply the Common Core standards.

Recently the Louisiana governor said that his state was backing out of the Common Core standards, and Mississippi’s governor was quick to follow. Of course Louisiana and Mississippi voters are griping to leaders about Common Core. Why? Because we are the most behind! It’s going to be hard work to catch up! We’re tired of being last in the United States. Our students deserve better. Are we going to scream “government interference” and continue to sit in a cesspool of mediocrity, or worse? Do we know that some of the other states’ biggest concerns when designing Common Core were that their standards would have to be lowered to implement it?

I have taught in four different states in very diverse settings, from the Mississippi Delta to Colorado. Tupelo is a gem in our state for sure, but Mississippi needs the bar to be raised. I love Mississippi, it’s my home, but when it comes to education, as a state, we don’t have it. The reasons are multifaceted. It’s going to take a lot of work and time. I’m here to be part of the solution, not a mudslinger. Now, are we going to shoot ourselves in the foot and go backwards because of some silly political chest-thumping, and sacrifice the children of Mississippi as a result?

The key to effective implementation of Common Core standards, in my opinion, is thoughtful and purposeful teacher training of implementation, particularly in small, failing rural districts. They are severely underfunded, which I have witnessed first-hand, due to MAEP not being fully funded every year. Most teachers, by and large, that I know, teach because it is their calling. They will do whatever it takes. Give the tools, and we will teach. Teachers are severely underpaid, work long hours well beyond the school day, and dearly love students and jobs. Teachers become pawns every election season and are under-appreciated by lawmakers.

It is very sad to me that education is not a top priority in Mississippi the way it is in other states. Why would anyone not want to invest in our state’s best asset: children?

Children are Mississippi’s future. All were a child once. Think about that. Before bashing Common Core, do the homework and become educated as to why it was written, who wrote it, and why. It wasn’t “Big Government,” but concerned teachers.

Educators who have issues with Common Core should really read the standards and compare them with our own state standards and make a list of which specific levels of mastery are at issue.

Lee Anne Grace, a National Board Certified Teacher, has 20 years teaching experience. She has taught with the Tupelo Public Schools since 2002. Her daughters Abby, and Katie, are graduates of the Tupelo Public Schools. Abby is a junior at Georgetown University and Katie will be a freshman this fall at Emory University. Contact her at graceallegro@bellsouth.net.

  • Ells Worth

    Common core is a way for the federal government to control our school systems. If not , why is the federal government requiring states to adopt common core? Where does federal money go when sent to the states? Do the children get schools supplies? Will teachers get a pay raise? Why do most classroom teacher oppose common core? Usually federal dollars print more forms for teachers to complete. Mississippi is always behind other states because Mississippi has a greater percentage of people on welfare. Before you jump down my throat check the test scores for children with parents that work, then check those from welfare families.
    The federal government creates dependency, and never seems to reverse the trend,
    In the end it is local school administrators and local teachers that educate successful students.
    The way to have better results in education is to have good administrators, good teachers and parent that encourage their children and even volunteer to help.
    Perhaps folks that want common core should ask the workers feeding our children if the Obama mandates on school lunch nutrition is working out? Do more children eat the lunches? How much more are schools spending to feed less children because they will not eat carrots every day?

    • TWBDB

      Facts that Ellsworth got wrong:

      1. Common Core is not a Federal Program
      2. States are not required to adopt Common Core.
      3. Mississippi ranks 25th in the number of welfare recipients per capita: California is #1.

      MS does rank #1 in the poverty rate : and that fact has been used as an excuse for far too long. I mean look at what Ellsworth says, ” Before you jump down my throat check the test scores for children with parents that work, then check those from welfare families”. And Ellsworth, you have a point. Family income tends to statistically correlate with higher test scores. Trouble with this statistic is that it doesn’t stop with non-working vs working: it carries right into those $27,000 and below stats, and tends to correlate at each level above that. MS’s demographic overall is within those lower two levels. So it’s not just the poor kids in the Delta pulling down MS’s test scores, it’s across the board. Did you know that roughly 64% of students in MS qualify for school lunch assistance? Did you know that 53% of MS students are minority? Don’t you think it’s time to stop blaming underprivileged children, especially in light of the fact there are underprivileged children in each of our own families?

      • 1941641

        Ells is a typical anti-common core mouthpiece. More wrong than right in all his rants! Ignore the poor soul! His mind has been corrupted by right-wing anti-education activists. By the way, some of them are right here in our “All American City.”

      • Ells Worth

        I HAVE NOT blamed underprivileged children for low test scores, I said the government has created dependent families that do not encourage their children to succeed. Of course a few do succeed. Common care began as a project among some state planners and some states have adopted common core, there are some of the states already dropped common core because they found it was of no benefit.
        The government HAS taken the lead to implement it in all states. You might not call it a federal take over of schools, however those that do not adopt receive NO FEDERAL DOLLARS. Most supporters of common core are administrators that just like the sound of a cash register, while students and teachers never benefit. I want better schools for our children but look at the number of schools that the state has had to take over, not because of student, because of unqualified administrators, or those that spent funds with worthless projects. I would like to point out that when the original space lab was launched there was three radio and radar systems that required highly qualified micro electrical engineers. The only qualified person NASA Could find was educated in Mississippi school and MSU. He had to oversee all three systems.

        • Thile

          What part of “it’s up to the states to implement Common Core standards” do you not understand?

          • Ells Worth

            What part of English do you not understand? Can not read or attention span too short?

        • TWBDB

          Ellsworth, I agree children from underprivileged families have a more difficult time trying to achieve academic success and I agree government assistance helps to perpetuate a cycle of dependency in many cases. This issue is no different than many where those who lean Left and Right can find common ground. We come to an impasse when the Right blames government, blames the people most affected by inactivity, and stalemates any effort to at least try and make things better simply because Obama said he likes the idea.

        • leigh1027

          Most districts that are under state conservatorship is not due to unqualified administrators or funding of worthless projects, but primarily because there is a lack of economic prosperity in the area and there is nothing to draw teachers to the area. Places such as Holly Springs and Okolona have to rely on Teach for America to ensure that they are fully staffed.

          • Matt229

            I hope each & every one of you take time to go watch “We Will Not Conform” tomorrow night at the Cinemark 8 Theatre at the Mall at Barnes Crossing…it is a 2 hour live event on Common Core, and you can learn the actual truth about it’s intentions and origin.

          • eelo

            I dislike and distrust CC$$ because I believe it’s nothing more than a huge money-maker for Microsoft and Pearson, but I distrust Glenn Beck and his “We Will Not Conform: even more. ^O^

          • Matt229

            You’re exactly right….it is.

            GATES: Fortunately, the state-led Common Core State Standards Initiative is developing clear, rigorous common standards that match the best in the world. Last month, 46 Governors and Chief State School Officers made a public commitment to embrace these common standards.

            This is encouraging—but identifying common standards is not enough. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these standards.

            Secretary Arne Duncan recently announced that $350 million of the stimulus package will be used –

            “Think of that. $350 million from stimulus,” Pat said. “$200 million now from Gates. I don’t know how much from Yahoo [and Google]. But we’re easily close to 700 million right now. We might be close to a billion dollars.”

            “No, it is stunning,” Glenn said. “And, by the way, what Bill Gates is announcing – the White House has in past said ‘That’s not true. We’re not doing any of that stuff.’ I mean everything he’s talking about…

            “He spills it all here,” Pat interjected.

            GATES: — to create just these kinds of tests—next-generation assessments aligned to the common core. When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching.

            “Stop. Wait a minute. It will unleash a powerful market for people looking to learn how to teach the children,” Glenn asked. “And so what they’re saying here is Bill Gates is developing software that will be used in this. That’s why he’s investing all of this money because Microsoft will be able to own and sell all of the software for this particular system. So they’ve really invested in it. Let’s get this system through because look how much money – we have a ‘powerful’ new market.”

            “Now, can you imagine saying that about anything else,” Glenn continued. “Imagine if McDonald’s [or Coca-Cola or Pepsi] said, ‘If we can just get this through, our charitable arm of Coca‑Cola has put in all of this stuff in lunch rooms because it will be good for the kids and healthy, but it also will provide us a powerful new market.’ It’s amazing.”

            “This is an amazing moment of honesty from Gates because normally he would sell this, I would think, in that, ‘Umm, I really believe in this because our kids will grow up to be better employees and they will be able to work at Microsoft and we’ll have more skilled, trained employees in the future,’” Pat said. “That’s the way I’d be selling it if I were investing $200 million.”

            One of the aspects of Common Core that hasn’t been discussed at any great length is the idea of creating a new generation, a new work force that has been educated in a specific way.

            “Could we, could we just look at that, though, for a second because on the surface, that does sound good. That, oh, they’re going to train for a job. Okay. You’ve got a corporation training people not by choice,” Glenn said. “Let’s say the Glenn Beck School of Broadcast. If you want to come to the Glenn Beck School of Broadcast, you can come to the Glenn Beck School of Broadcast and I’ll teach your kids about history and everything else, all the way up because it will provide great new reporters for TheBlaze, great new filmmakers for TheBlaze. That’s great. That would be your choice.”

            “But if Glenn Beck was putting in all of this money and dumping it in because I say ‘I’m going to have all these new trained workers and I’m going to help design the curriculum and everything else,’ if I and a group of other industrialists were all getting together and saying, ‘Let’s do this because this is going to be good for us,’ that’s evil,” he continued.

            “That’s one of the aspects of this Common Core thing we haven’t really talked about much is that part of this plan is to pigeonhole the kids into a certain line of work. And they are going to decide, by the time they are in junior high or something, middle school. The plan is to know whether they are going to be a technician, a mechanic or a doctor. And then you funnel them through that system.”

            GATES: For the first time, there will be a large uniform base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better.

            “So let’s just translate. So this is great because it’s going to help kids learn. But, listen to me. There are going to be a long line of customers. Uniform customers,” Glenn said. “I just have to make one product because nobody’s going to get out of that product line… He starts in the beginning talking about how this is a state run, state run, state run. No, it’s not. Why is the U.N. involved in this? It’s state‑run. The governors have been convinced, ‘Oh, they came up with this. No, they didn’t. Don’t you see, you governors, you’ve been played. Now, an honest governor will come out in an honest moment and reflect and say, ‘Gosh, was I played? Wait a minute. What?’ These governors are all taking ownership of this and they didn’t have anything to do with it. And they want to believe that they are changing everything for the better, and they are not.”

            “We are dealing with evil. And if you want to look at it just from the standpoint of not manipulating our children with their data and everything else, just look at it. Leftists, just look at it as gigantic corporations going in and controlling your children’s future. Don’t you want your child to be able to say, ‘No, there’s more to me than an employee of Microsoft.’ ‘There’s more to me than an employee of GE or an employee of Google,’” Glenn continued. “Maybe my kid wants to put Google and Microsoft out of business. There’s more to me than just a worker for somebody else. I mean, it’s incredible how we are enslaving ourselves and doing it so clearly.”

          • ldub

            This is crazy. We use Apple products to conduct testing- totally phasing Microsoft out.

          • Matt229

            For many months after the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was launched in 2009, the identities of the people drafting the “college- and career-readiness standards” were unknown to the public. CCSSI eventually revealed the names of the 24 members of the “Standards Development Work Group” in response to complaints from professional organizations and parent groups about the lack of transparency.

            What did this Work Group look like? Focusing only on ELA, the make-up of the Work Group was quite astonishing: It included no English professors or high-school English teachers. How could legitimate ELA standards be created without the very two groups of educators who know the most about what students should be and could be learning in secondary English classes?

            CCSSI also released the names of individuals in a larger “Feedback Group,” but it was made clear that these people were advisory only – final decisions would be made by the English-teacher-bereft Work Group. Indeed, Feedback Group members’ suggestions were frequently ignored, without explanation. Because the Work Group labored in secret, without open meetings, sunshine-law minutes of meetings, or accessible public comment, its reasons for making the decisions it did are lost to history.

            The lead ELA writers were David Coleman and Susan Pimentel – neither of whom had experience teaching English in K-12 or college, and only one of whom (Pimentel) had ever helped draft ELA content standards before. But they had been chosen to transform ELA education in the US. Who recommended them and why, we still do not know.

            Theoretically, the Validation Committee (VC) should have been the failsafe mechanism for the standards. But the VC contained almost no experts on ELA standards; most were education professors and representatives of testing companies, here and abroad. It quickly became clear that the VC existed as window-dressing – it was there to rubber-stamp, not improve, the standards.

            So this was the “transparent, state-led” process that resulted in the Common Core standards. The standards were created by people who wanted a “Validation Committee” in name only. An invalid process, endorsed by an invalid Validation Committee, not surprisingly resulted in invalid standards. Now that the curtain is being pulled back on the real origins of Common Core, states would do well to reconsider their hasty decisions to adopt this pig in an academic poke.

          • ldub

            I’m glad that you did point out that this committee was writing the college and career ready standards, and not K-12 standards. Several points:
            -David Coleman, the man you didn’t know “who appointed” to write is currently president of the College Board. He was recently praised for his efforts dedicated to life long service in education by Florida governor Jeb Bush. Recently recognized as one of the most 100 most influential people in the world, he first developed a heart for the disparity of education when he began tutoring classmates when he attended school as a child in New York City at PS 141. He moved back to New York City fully intending to teach English once he graduated with an English and law degree, but thought he could do more by working from the policy end of improving education. He has made this his life’s mission.
            -Many other committee members were at one time teachers or professors, one being a retired professor, but have opted to make a change by working on policy.
            - If this was so “secret,” how did teachers know about this from the beginning?

            - The two teachers I know that were involved in the process took their role VERY seriously. Their role was not advisory, but very much involved, from start to finish. Where are you getting your information? Is it from people who were directly involved in the process? Why would someone want to disrespect underpaid teachers who worked on this, say they didn’t actually participate in developing the Common Core, or their writing was was only “advisory?”

          • FrereJocques

            They’re getting their information from people like Glen Beck! Who obviously has his own agenda that he’s pushing.

            Folks, we’re going to continue to hear the delusional paranoia from the TeePee crowd. Their agenda seems to be to fight anything and everything that either comes from or has the stamp of approval of the Federal Government. The only way we’ll quit hearing from them is to send them packing decisively. All things the Government does or wants to do is not bad. The way to fix things is to work together (bipartisanship), but that is anathema to the TeePee-ers.

          • 1941641

            It’s for sure and certain the TeePee crowd is against Common Core, but after all,who are the TeePeers but the Scourge Of America! If the TeePee Crowd all moved their Cult to Texas and departed from the remainder of the USA, what a wonderful country this would be, once again!

          • TWBDB

            Not one single word about how to improve our educational system: nothing but bitching and moaning about the efforts of others

          • FrereJocques

            Can you say, “Massive Paranoia”? I thought you could.

            Just because a prominent person is in favor of something doesn’t make it a bad thing. Can’t you give Bill Gates at least a LITTLE bit of a possibility that he is wanting to do what is good for the nation as a whole? He is in a position to partner with Big Business to educate our young people to be more prepared for the society and workplace that are even now encroaching upon us. Just because he might make some money for himself out of the deal doesn’t automatically make him a bad person.

            I quit listening to Glenn Beck years ago. He delved more and more into wacko conspiracy theories and predictions. And of course, whatever the current conspiracy theory, it’s always the fault of the Liberals and Progressives.

            Like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck has ZERO credibility with me.

          • TWBDB

            Yes, we are dealing with evil and its face is Glenn Beck.

          • TWBDB

            From Glenn Beck: are you kidding

          • Matt229

            No worries. It’s your choice not to be educated….he’s got people from every side of the education argument involved in this. There’s a reason teachers, administrators, union officials, and parents from the left & right are rising up against this. It’s something that everyone can agree on…

          • TWBDB

            I’ve already wasted far too many hours listening to Glenn Beck for one lifetime. The man is a self-serving political pundit who makes his money telling his audience exactly what they want to hear. But please don’t let me rain on your climax. If there’s anything you can depend on, Glenn Beck will deliver the goodies to his followers.

          • eelo

            If Holly Springs and Okolona had the ability to pay the relocation rxpenses for a teacher, and were able to provide a monthly stipend to cover any rent, I’m sure they’d be able to recruit and retain teachers. But since these small communities can’t do this, capitalist organizations like TFA swoop in and feed off the carrion.

            We’d do much better if we were able to subsidize the transfer and retention of legitimate, trained educators who plan to stay for at least ten years, than to dump a revolving door of temporary teachers onto our schools that need the most help. ^O^

      • calas500

        1. Common Core is not a Federal Program
        2. States are not required to adopt Common Core.

        Common Core is not a state initiative. Common Core is not a district initiative. Common Core IS a federal program, and while states were not required to adopt it, most did so during the very depths of the recession because the fed DOE was threatening to withhold federal funds from states that did not adopt. Some states adopted the CCSS sight unseen, and those whose state DOE’s did see the CCSS had a very small window in which to decide. Cash-strapped states had little choice but to adopt. That was the plan from the federal level all along in order to get “compliance”.

        • TWBDB

          The facts are that CCSS stands for Common Core States Standards. States have the option to participate in the initiative or not; this is completely voluntary. The federal government offers financial incentives to aid in the implementation of Common Core.

          So, States indeed have the choice: if you don’t want to adopt Common Core then don’t take the incentives offered by the federal government to help implement the program.

          Besides, I thought you conservative types didn’t want the federal government giving the States money. What’s up with your argument?

  • 1941641

    I await Ells’ detailed,numbered guidelines of how he would personally design our education system here in Mississippi to make it meet the proper standards. Maybe he would just end “welfare” to some students and bingo solve all the educational problems. He seems to be hung-up on welfare, poor kids and the like.

    I really think this guy is just another right-wing conservatism obsessed screwball!

  • Virginia

    Very well said, Ms. Grace!

  • ldub

    Did Ells take a survey of classroom teachers as to who does and does not support Common Core, or is he just relying on those few who complain the loudest?
    Jesus said, “I was hungry, and you fed me.” He didn’t say judge how long to feed people, or decide for ourselves who is and isn’t worthy of help- just feed and clothe. How judgmental for us to determine how long someone should or shouldn’t be dependent on government assistance! But for the grace of God I just may find myself there, too one day. It is for God to decide in the end who is worthy of help, not us. ……and just who ARE the Pharisees of today, hmmmmm?

    • Ells Worth

      Let God decide and keep the government out of our schools. I think your kind are always hollering separation of church and state until you want to intimidate.

  • Linda Smith

    The Common Core standards were NOT written by teachers!!!! They were written in secret by a committee made up of test publishing company representatives, college instructors, and employees of companies that stood to profit from selling textbooks and test preparation materials to schools. There were no active classroom teachers involved. The few “teachers” on this secret committee had left the classroom years before and were working administrative jobs at the state level. Not a single person had experience at the early childhood level. There were no committee members with expertise in child psychology or child learning. They were not field tested and are inappropriate at the early childhood level, where testing is being pushed down to the kindergarten and even preschool level. It would be a crime to subject our children to this corporate program, destroying their love of learning so that corporations can make profits.

    • leigh1027

      The idea of the CCSS actually came from the National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. PARCC and Smarter Balanced, agencies that designed the assessments (it is typical in curriculum practice to design assessments and curriculum at the same time), contain MS classroom teachers and state personnel. If you are and educator, you are experienced in “child learning” or the more correct term, pedagogy. CCSS and assessments were and still are being field tested (students in some Northeast MS schools took the assessments this past school year).

      • Linda Smith

        University professors may or may not have experience in child learning. Their pedagogical expertise is usually in adult learning, which is a very different animal. While the assessments “are” being field tested, the standards never were. The test results are being used in many states to determine whether teachers are retained or fired, whether to close schools that they label as “failures,” and even whether a student is allowed to graduate. there have been many reports of serious problems with the tests, including significant errors in grading, questions deemed age-inappropriate, etc.

        • leigh1027

          I was referring to the PARCC consortia in reference to the pedagogy statement. And if this was done in secret, how are you privy to the work group and why were the standards and PARCC assessment released for public comment?

          Also you being up the use of the tests, and I’m assuming you mean the tests that result from the Standards…the said can be said for both the MCT2 and SATP test in place in MS now. Standardized testing of all kinds dictate those type of reactions…

          • Linda Smith

            The work of the CCSS occurred in secret and the participants
            had to sign nondisclosure agreements—what was said and done remains secret. The
            names and affiliations came from a press release. I have grave concerns that
            something as momentous as national standards, and that is what they are despite
            Arne’s disavowal, were created without any input from parents or the teachers
            who work with the K-12 students who are subject to them. The university folks
            may know what entering freshmen need to know and be able to do, but they have
            zero expertise in knowing how to backward design the standards to younger
            students. Public comment meant absolutely nothing. Even the input from their
            own validation committee members was wholeheartedly rejected. The sole purpose
            of those validation committees was to rubber stamp the standards. ^o^

        • TWBDB

          Ms Smith: who would you have preferred to be on the curriculum planning and feedback committees?

        • leigh1027

          I’ll just say that curriculum is usually designed by scholars, as illustrated by presence of university personnel. If you trace the creation of state standards, university personnel had a hand. Dr. Tom Burnham was a respected faculty member of Ole Miss and was our State Superintendent of Education. Who better to gauge college readiness than university personnel? I don’t profess to be an expert of pedagogy or understand the intricacies of the Standards in the primary grades, but CCSS has given me the autonomy I desire in order to do what I think is scholastically appropriate for the students I teach. Curriculum and instruction are not mutually exclusive of each other, and I think the argument is glossing over the differences a committed teacher of quality can make. As far as a hidden agenda, I don’t know, but I do know that I have faith that everything has a purpose. If CCSS can help the students of our society, then I support it. I think national standards give all students access to an appropriate, forward-thinking education that will be beneficial in their future. If someone wants to find fault in that, let them. I just intend to continue to teach with my heart, promoting life-long learning.

    • ldub

      Ms. Smith- I beg to differ. We cannot post links here, but if you will go to NAEYC’s (National Association for Early and Young Children) home page they are very pro Common Core.-Type in Common Core once you get to their home page and you will pull up their stance. I also know for a fact that the standards were not formulated “in secret.” I personally know some classroom teachers in other states who helped with this process, as well as early childhood experts who worked on the process. I think a few people I know would be very offended that you have stated that they aren’t an expert in child learning, but you are just repeating what you read, right? There was an op ed in the Washington Post several months back that made its rounds that was anti Common Core from an early childhood perspective. It was based on one person’s opinion. Some of the things you are saying sound like they came from this article, and I personally know this op ed not to be factual. If educators were in on the process, how were they formulated “in secret?”
      The problem is more how Common Core is applied and taught.

      • Linda Smith

        Members of the English-language Arts
        Work Group were:

        Sara Clough,
        Director, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education
        Division, ACT, Inc.

        David Coleman,
        Founder, Student Achievement Partners

        Sally Hampton,
        Senior Fellow for Literacy, America’s Choice

        Joel Harris,
        Director, English Language Arts Curriculum and Standards, Research and
        Development, The College Board

        Beth Hart,
        Senior Assessment Specialist, Research and Development, The College Board

        John Kraman,
        Associate Director, Research, Achieve

        Laura McGiffert Slover, Vice President, Content and Policy Research, Achieve

        Nina Metzner,
        Senior Test Development Associate—Language Arts, Elementary and Secondary
        School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.

        Sherri Miller,
        Assistant Vice President, Educational Planning and Assessment System
        (EPAS) Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.

        Sandy Murphy,
        Professor Emeritus, University of California – Davis

        Jim Patterson,
        Senior Program Development Associate—Language Arts, Elementary and
        Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.

        Sue Pimentel,
        Co-Founder, StandardsWork; English Language Arts Consultant, Achieve

        Natasha Vasavada,
        Senior Director, Standards and Curriculum Alignment Services, Research and
        Development, The College Board

        Martha Vockley,
        Principal and Founder, VockleyLang, LLC

        The members of the mathematics Work
        Group were:

        Sara Clough,
        Director, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education
        Division, ACT, Inc.

        Phil Daro,
        Senior Fellow, America’s Choice

        Susan K. Eddins,
        Educational Consultant, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Retired)

        Kaye Forgione,
        Senior Associate and Team Leader for Mathematics, Achieve

        John Kraman,
        Associate Director, Research, Achieve

        Marci Ladd,
        Mathematics Consultant, The College Board & Senior Manager and
        Mathematics Content Lead, Academic Benchmarks

        William McCallum,
        University Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Mathematics,
        The University of Arizona &Mathematics Consultant, Achieve

        Sherri Miller,
        Assistant Vice President, Educational Planning and Assessment System
        (EPAS) Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.

        Ken Mullen,
        Senior Program Development Associate—Mathematics, Elementary and Secondary
        School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.

        Robin O’Callaghan,
        Senior Director, Mathematics, Research and Development, The College Board

        Andrew Schwartz,
        Assessment Manager, Research and Development, The College Board

        Laura McGiffert Slover, Vice President, Content and Policy Research, Achieve

        Douglas Sovde,
        Senior Associate, Mathematics, Achieve

        Natasha Vasavada,
        Senior Director, Standards and Curriculum Alignment Services, Research and
        Development, The College Board

        Jason Zimba,
        Faculty Member, Physics, Mathematics, and the Center for the Advancement
        of Public Action, Bennington College and Cofounder, Student Achievement
        Partners

        There were also “Feedback Groups”
        for each subject. The role of these Feedback Groups as to provide information
        backed by research to inform the standards development process by offering
        expert input on draft documents. Final decisions regarding the common core
        standards document were made by the Standards Development Work Group. “The
        Feedback Group will play an advisory role, not a decision-making role in the
        process.”

        Members of the English-language Arts
        Feedback Group were:

        Peter Afflerbach,
        University of Maryland, Professor

        Arthur Applebee,
        University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished
        Professor & Chair, Department of Educational Theory & Practice,
        School of Education

        Mark Bauerlein,
        Emory University, Professor of English

        Mary Bozik,
        University of Northern Iowa, Professor, Communication Studies

        Don Deshler,
        University of Kansas, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special
        Education & Director, Center for Research on Learning

        Chester Finn,
        Fordham Institute Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
        & President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

        Brian Gong,
        The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Executive
        Director

        Kenji Hakuta,
        Stanford University, Professor of Education

        Carol Jago,
        University of California – Los Angeles, National Council of Teachers of
        English (NCTE) President-elect, California Reading and Literature Project

        Jeanneine Jones,
        University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Professor

        Michael Kamil,
        Stanford University, Professor, School of Education

        Suzanne Lane,
        University of Pittsburgh, Professor in the Research Methodology Program,
        School of Education

        Carol Lee,
        Northwestern University, Professor of Education and Social Policy

        Robert Linn,
        University of Colorado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Co-Director
        of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student
        Testing (CRESST)

        Dolores Perin,
        Columbia University, Associate Professor of Psychology and Education

        Tim Shanahan,
        University of Illinois at Chicago, Professor, Urban Education

        Catherine Snow,
        Harvard Graduate School of Education, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor

        Doranna Tindle,
        Friendship Public Charter Schools, Instructional Performance Coach

        Members of the mathematics Feedback
        Group were:

        George Andrews,
        The Pennsylvania State University, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics

        Hyman Bass,
        University of Michigan, Samuel Eilenberg Distinguished University
        Professor of Mathematics & Mathematics Education

        David Bressoud,
        Macalester College, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics & President,
        Mathematical Association of America

        John Dossey,
        Illinois State University, Distinguished University Professor of
        Mathematics Emeritus

        Scott Eddins,
        Tennessee Department of Education, Mathematics Coordinator &
        President, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM)

        Brian Gong,
        The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment,
        Executive Director

        Kenji Hakuta,
        Stanford University, Professor of Education

        Roger Howe,
        Yale University, Professor of Mathematics

        Henry S. Kepner, Jr.,
        University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Professor, Curriculum & Instruction
        and Mathematical Sciences

        Suzanne Lane,
        University of Pittsburgh, Professor in the Research Methodology Program,
        School of Education

        Robert Linn,
        University of Colorado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Co-Director
        of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student
        Testing (CRESST)

        Jim Milgram,
        Stanford University, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Department of
        Mathematics

        Fabio Milner,
        School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University,
        Director, Mathematics for Science, Technology, Engineering, and
        Mathematics (STEM) Education

        Roxy Peck,
        California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Associate Dean,
        College of Science and Mathematics and Professor of Statistics

        Nora Ramirez,
        TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, President

        William Schmidt,
        Michigan State University, College of Education, University Distinguished
        Professor

        Uri Treisman,
        University of Texas, Professor of Mathematics and Public Affairs &
        Executive Director, Charles A. Dana Center

        Vern Williams,
        Mathematics Teacher, HW Longfellow Middle School, Fairfax County, Virginia
        Public Schools

        W. Stephen Wilson,
        Johns Hopkins University, Professor of Mathematics

        The “validation committee” contained
        only two teachers, Dr. Sandra Stotsky (English/Language Arts) and Dr. James
        Milgrim (Math). Neither of them would
        sign off on the final product. It was
        discovered that their notes and suggestions were never even considered or
        included in the final reports.

        • ldub

          Here’s a few more teachers that helped develop Common Core standards. Please note that one of them is an early childhood specialist:

          Matthew Ting
          Mathematics Instructional Coach Los Angeles Unified School District

          Sandra Jenoure
          Early Childhood Math Instructional Specialist
          Department of Science, Technology,
          Engineering and Mathematics
          Office of Curriculum, Standards and Academic
          Engagement
          New York City Department of Education

          Ricardo Rincón
          Sunrise Elementary Teacher
          University of Phoenix Faculty Mentor National ELL Training Cadre

        • calas500

          Achieve = Bill Gates, who has an agenda (and it’s not pure philanthropy!). Most of the people on this list are so far removed from classroom teaching, if indeed they ever did teach at all, as to not represent real teachers who have taught within the past 10 to 15 years.
          The CCSS are particularly poor for the primary grades, as they are deemed by large numbers of teachers, teaching professionals, developmentally inappropriate. I’m surprised a NBCT is supporting the Common Core.

          • TWBDB

            So, if CCSS standards are below what you’re teaching in the primary grades already, there shouldn’t be an issue – you’ve already exceeded the standards. Perhaps those standards need to be raised higher. This would be a great result of the initiative.

        • ldub

          Ms. Smith’s list of who served on the work groups is selectively
          edited. The people she listed were on the committees, but roughly
          another 75-100 people were omitted from her list. The people on her
          list did have a role with validation, but they did not do the writing.
          It was already done by that point. Here is a list of just a few of the
          many people from across the nation who worked several years on Common
          Core. The process was very transparent- not “in secret.”

          COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS INITIATIVE
          K-12 STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT TEAMS

          Matthew Ting
          Mathematics Instructional Coach
          Los Angeles Unified School District

          Patricia D’Alfonso
          English/Language Arts Specialist/Coach
          West Warwick Public Schools
          West Warwick, RI

          Sandra Jenoure
          Early Childhood Math Instructional Specialist
          Department of Science, Technology,
          Engineering and Mathematics
          Office of Curriculum, Standards and Academic
          Engagement

          Miriam Soto-Pressley
          Elementary Teacher
          American Federation of Teachers
          ELL Cadre Committee
          Hammond, Indiana

          LCharon Tierney
          Language Arts Specialist
          Minnesota Department of Education
          Vince Verges
          Executive Director
          Test Development Center
          Florida Department of Education

          Susan Wheltle
          Director, Office for Humanities, History and
          Social Science
          Center for Curriculum and Instruction
          Massachusetts Department of Elementary and
          Secondary Education

          Erika Cassel
          National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)
          Humanities Teacher
          Central Kitsap Junior High

          Juley Harper
          ELA Education Associate, Curriculum and
          Instruction
          Delaware Department of Education

          Deborah D. Perry
          Director of K-12 ELA
          Arlington, Massachusetts
          Public Schools

          Doranna Tindle
          Instructional Performance Coach
          Friendship Public Charter School
          Clinton, MD

          • Linda Smith

            My list was NOT selectively edited–I copied and pasted it from the Common Core’s own press release. Go to the National Governors Association web site and check their 1 July 2009 press release.

          • ldub

            Ms. Smith- I did check the press release. We were talking about 2 totally different Common Core writing groups. That was the College and Career Ready Common Core Writing Group that you posted the membership of not the K-12 group, which a few members also served on the K-12 writing group. If you will scroll up in the press releases on the governor’s page you will find the list of teachers that DID write K-12 Common Core. Please know that the group you posted did not write K-12 at all, teachers did. I posted a little bit of the press release you referenced below to clarify any misunderstanding:

            The National Governors Association Center for Best
            Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers
            (CCSSO) today announced the names of the experts serving on the Common
            Core State Standards Development Work Group and Feedback Group and provided more detailed information on the
            college and career ready standards development process. The college and
            career ready standards are expected to be ready for comment July 2009.
            The K-12 standards work is expected to be completed in December 2009.

          • TWBDB

            Reading comprehension : a part of Common Core. May I just say, there are certainly plenty of people who could benefit from these core standards.

            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1
            Read
            closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical
            inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or
            speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2
            Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3
            Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

  • ldub

    Ms. Smith’s list of who served on the work groups is selectively edited. The people she listed were on the committees, but roughly another 75-100 people were omitted from her list. The people on her list did have a role with validation, but they did not do the writing. It was already done by that point. Here is a list of just a few of the many people from across the nation who worked several years on Common Core. The process was very transparent- not “in secret.”

    COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS INITIATIVE
    K-12 STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT TEAMS

    Matthew Ting
    Mathematics Instructional Coach
    Los Angeles Unified School District

    Patricia D’Alfonso
    English/Language Arts Specialist/Coach
    West Warwick Public Schools
    West Warwick, RI

    Sandra Jenoure
    Early Childhood Math Instructional Specialist
    Department of Science, Technology,
    Engineering and Mathematics
    Office of Curriculum, Standards and Academic
    Engagement

    Miriam Soto-Pressley
    Elementary Teacher
    American Federation of Teachers
    ELL Cadre Committee
    Hammond, Indiana

    LCharon Tierney
    Language Arts Specialist
    Minnesota Department of Education
    Vince Verges
    Executive Director
    Test Development Center
    Florida Department of Education

    Susan Wheltle
    Director, Office for Humanities, History and
    Social Science
    Center for Curriculum and Instruction
    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and
    Secondary Education

    Erika Cassel
    National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)
    Humanities Teacher
    Central Kitsap Junior High

    Juley Harper
    ELA Education Associate, Curriculum and
    Instruction
    Delaware Department of Education

    Deborah D. Perry
    Director of K-12 ELA
    Arlington, Massachusetts
    Public Schools

    Doranna Tindle
    Instructional Performance Coach
    Friendship Public Charter School
    Clinton, MD

  • Ells Worth

    Forget about left or right, when I read the list of “scholars” working on common core, looks like millions were spent so they had to produce something to get their next government grant. It does not take a national board certified teacher to teach reading, riting and rithmitic. In fact since the dept. Of ed. Was created students are receiving less quality education than when teachers were allowed to teach after two years of college. Even the real history is no longer taught because instead of educating, everything has to be run through a politically correct filter. Children learn from reality, not fantasy. They need dedicated teachers and parents, not some certificate. Now, I am not against teachers working on their skills to become better teachers, if it does indead help teach the basics and stop changing history.

    • TWBDB

      Mr Ellsworth, it’s true, our world continues to become increasingly complex. Assuming everything is run through a politically correct filter, we have to be able to comprehend the context, the intent, and separate interpretation, hypothesis, theory, from fact. This isn’t just in the classroom but extends well into the realm of the everyday in every business and development sector. You often present excellent points for discussion – such as the idea ‘real history is no longer taught’ and, I’ll paraphrase, ‘the quality of education has diminished after the creation of the Dept of Ed. Sometimes these points, perhaps not these two specifically, are true in part. To debate with you takes thought and reason, which are beyond the basics of ‘reading, riting, and rithmitic’ as you put it.

  • wakeup

    WOW…you could cut the ignorance with a knife. Very well written Ms. Grace. Unfortunately, some people just think that Obama is trying to brainwash their children somehow…even though he has absolutely nothing to do with common core. BTW, you still get federal funding if you don’t implement cc. However, you don’t get the funding that helps you implement cc (and why would you if you aren’t doing it?). Seriously people, pull your heads out of your a$$e$. Everything is not a conspiracy against you, or your children, or your religion, etc. Some people just bltch about anything. Education is a joke in MS. WAKE UP MISSISSIPPI! The world is passing us by!

  • 1941641

    Basically, I would say that “Glen Beck” is the current leader, loud mouther and propagandizer of the anti-common core cult in America. That, in itself, should make some of these commentees ashamed to call themselves Americans! These posts are saturated with Beckism. Pitiful!!!