Monday, April 27, 2015

Atlantic Author Pushes Common Core for Artistic Expression and Hopes that It Might Actually Succeed at Some Point.

According to Sara Neufeld:

  • Advocates for arts education are hopeful that the Common Core education standards adopted by more than 40 states will soon change that, as the standards and new exams that go with them emphasize critical thinking and analytical skills, which they say go hand in hand with artistic expression.
  • The arts most often get short shrift in high-poverty schools under intense pressure to boost academic performance. But the Common Core standards mention the arts frequently: approximately 75 times, according to Sandra Ruppert, who directs the nonprofit Arts Education Partnership. Students are expected to analyze paintings, music, and theater and create their own works of art. “The pendulum might be swinging to the idea that maybe kids actually do need a well-balanced education,” Ruppert said.

 An example of a successful school the author puts up as an example is Ascend Learning, a network of seven charter schools in Brooklyn, as an example of success and says that last year Ascend schools outperformed other public schools in their neighborhoods and, in some grades and subjects, beat city averages.

  •  Yet, on average, only a quarter to a third of students at Ascend's schools met the tough new Common Core proficiency standards. 

It would appear, then, that the Ascend Learning success was in spite of the failure of Common Core. Although in their mind it's not Common Core that failed, it was the students. And you may have heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Common Core devotees likely try and ignore that adage:

  • Administrators believe their new curriculum will yield better results this year but say they're committed to giving it time to show impact, regardless of the outcome.