Superintendent Diane Douglas may have conned members of the state legislature, who have far more on their plate than to question her “repeal and replace” Common Core shell game. She may also have successfully deceived the low information voters.
But, no matter how much she rants, raves, and bullies, she didn’t succeed with the Mommy Lobby, members of the Arizona Standards Development Committee, Arizonans Against Common Core, Breitbart, Itasca Small writing for the Arizona Daily Independent, Seeing Red Arizona, or various Stop Common Core facebook groups: Click HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
One of the mothers with the Mommy Lobby volunteered her time to do a 73-page comparison of the old Common Core K-12 Math Standards against Arizona’s Final “repealed and replaced” Draft.
Judge for yourself. You don’t need a college degree to figure it out. Unless your definition of "repeal and replace" is "tweak," anyone who actually looks at the old versus the “new,” can see with their own eyes that the newest version is the same old, despised, age-inappropriate Common Core.
Diane Douglas, in so many words, is telling everyone: "Who are you gonna believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes"?
The losers in this sad reality are Arizona’s children. There isn’t any science behind Common Core. It was written by a small number of people who treat children like widgets, arbitrarily setting cognitive demands beyond the reach of most of them, especially the youngest and most vulnerable. The first years of schooling present a once in a lifetime opportunity to lay down the foundation. Children absorb information like sponges. They love memorization, repetition, learning the facts of mathematics. As stated in The Well Trained Mind, "They don’t do mathematical operations in their heads; if you ask a first grader to add 3 and 2, she’ll look around for spoons, fingers, apples, or pennies to count so she can answer." Using concrete items is using "manipulatives." "Once the concrete level is mastered, the child can practice mental arithmetic. Practice, practice, practice. True abstract thinking–the ability to use the symbols 5 + 7 or 27 x 2 without using or picturing concrete objects–is the third stage of mental development. Abstract thinking begins around age nine or ten, which coincides with the beginning of the logic stage. The logic stage is the time to teach higher-order critical thinking skills. You cannot force a child to develop high-level abstract or algebraic thinking until she has a firm grasp of basic mathematics. You must lay the foundation for it with practice."
What Standards are Better?
Are you interested in reviewing some excellent K-12 standards that already exist? See Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve: A Model
Two addenda could be added to the California standards referenced above that elaborate on the standards themselves and deal with pedagogical and organizational issues: 1) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2000 Revised Edition; and 2) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2006 Edition."