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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Education Summit this Thursday

Since Speaker Harwell appointed me to represent the House at the Governor's Education Summit this Thursday I have received several emails from people containing information on Common Core - much has merit while others are poorly researched.

This one surprised me very much because it was published in National Review: The Ten Dumbest Common Core Problems.  

I try to research matters about which I care deeply and to think on them critically - education is one of those things.

At first sight the documents contained in the article are very disturbing.  However, I researched the documents using the very limited crediting information that is visible upon them.  These materials were not created by Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (www.corestandards.org) and are not affiliated with corestandards.org

Documents 1 & 10 - Read NYS Common Core Mathematics Curriculum at the top of the page. 

This curriculum was created by a non-profit organization called Common Core Inc. (www.commoncore.org) for the state of New York. 

Common Core Inc. is a non-profit but it is not affiliated with the Common Core State Standards in any way.  Common Core Inc. was founded a few years before the Common Core State Standards were ever written.  By coincidence their mission is to create instructional materials for schools  (http://commoncore.org/mission). You can find much of it free on line posted at www.commonsensemedia.org

Documents 2, 6, 8 & 9 - The words Common Core are visible and so is the word Engage
This document was also created by Common Core Inc. (that is their logo and copy right at the bottom).  It is part of curriculum that Common Core Inc. created for the state of NY called Engage NY.
Document 3 - Was also created by Common Core Inc. so it is the same as above.

Document 4 & 5 - These worksheets were created by Pearson Education Inc.  The document does not claim to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards but even if they are this is Pearson's method of teaching - notice the typos.

Document 7 - Cheat Sheets.  Common Core Inc. creates parent "Cheat Sheets" to help parents teach their children their math techniques. 

I called the people at Common Core Inc. It is only by coincidence that they and the state standards have similar names.  Common Core Inc. was founded before the Common Core State Standards came to be, and they are not in anyway affiliated with the CCSS, nor did they help to draft the CCSS.

Common Core Inc. realizes that they have a PR issue but they state that they have not decided if it is a good or a bad thing.  They also state that they are responsible for the content of their worksheets and that they developed them independently of outside influences.  However, since many states have adopted CCSS they do endeavor to align their materials to the state standards.

In my research I have learned that corestandards.org, the creator of the Common Core State Standards, does not create curriculum.  However, many companies that create educational materials try to include metrics contained in the Common Core Standards so that they can claim to teach the standards and sell their curriculum.  However, obviously the way curriculum and worksheets are written and the examples the companies use when they craft their materials are most important. 

The article was initially published March 20, 2014 - I am not sure of what Common Core Inc. or Pearson thinks about it.

That I can tell, none of these materials are used in Tennessee.

More on the Summit -

The summit will bring together education figures and organizations from all over the state in order to have a conversation about the future of K-12 education in Tennessee.  We will examine how we got where we are today and why, and explore what we are doing as a state and how we are doing. This examination will help us chart a course for future progress of education in our Tennessee schools.

The summit will be held at the Sheraton across from the legislature at 8:30 am. Be sure to get there early if you would like to attend.  The summit can also be seen live on streaming video and will be recorded for future viewing.

For streaming or digital access please go to www.state.tn.us or to www.capitol.tn.gov.  The start time is 8:30 am.

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