27 November 2013
Viva La Revolution
General Purpose: to persuade our audience that common core is a viable solution to our currently flawed education system.
A. Attention getter: This is Toni, your average American college student. Growing up in Southern California, her public education was significantly below par. As a fourth grader, she made the trek with her family to Minnesota. This move promised many things, and a proper education was amongst them. In the beginning, the move created an enormous amount of anxiety for her once she realized the large discrepancies amongst the state’s education systems, but over time, the growing pains subsided and Toni found herself on the right track. Since she’s standing before you, one could assume that she eventually moved back to her home state. Back in California, Toni once again found herself at odds with her education and the gaps that it had accumulated. Her story is not uncommon; students across the nation continue to have issues with gaps in their educations due to moving from one state with a certain set of general education standards, to another . Whether it be moving from one state to the next, or college preparedness as a whole, American students have never received the proper attention when it comes to their public education
B. Tie to audience: This has been a huge issue for our generation, and will remain an issue for generations to come, unless we radically rethink the American classroom.
C. Thesis: (probably state at the end?) There is obviously a huge issue within our current education system, but those willing to complain are those who quickly strike down possible solutions, while refusing to come up with any of their own. Both sides present strong arguments, but clearly lack the evidence necessary for credibility, therefore making it hard to obtain a clear position. But the fact of the matter is: change is not something that comes quickly or easily, but it could potentially be obtained by implementing common core across the nation.
Main Point 1: Problem(s)
A.Moving from one state to the next
1. Moving from one state to another can cause gaps within the student’s educational career. a. Reiterate Toni’s story
b. Andrew Brennen had lived in five states before he could drive, making him an expert in everything that's wrong with American schooling. "In Georgia, I was definitely among the top students in my grade," he says. Then he moved to Maryland, and everything changed. "The level of content was definitely harder. I did not do very well." - The New Smart by Amanda Ripley
2. Every year, hundreds of students struggle to play catch up, just like Andrew and Toni. a. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 13 percent of children under 18 move each year, and the numbers are much higher for low-income, military and immigrant families. 3. Many of them lose their place in the educational order and never recover. B. No Child Left Behind Act
1. Signed into law by George W. Bush on Jan. 8, 2002
a. The No Child Left Behind Act was supposed to improve education across the U.S. b. It made states test students in reading and math in the third through eighth grades and release the results. c. With the data gathered through testing, it exposed a vast achievement gap within American schools. 2. Created a culture of teaching to the test, narrowed curriculums and put a lot of pressure on students and teachers, with little payoff. a. Since 2002 the federal No Child Left Behind Act has raised the bar each year for how many of a school's students must pass statewide math and reading tests b. If a school fails repeatedly to make "adequate yearly progress," teachers and administrators could lose their jobs or, in the worst-case scenario, the whole place could be shut down. s - Kayla Webley (Why It’s Time To Replace No Child Left Behind) 3. The law turned schools into test factories
a. Forcing teachers to teach to the tests ,and creating a race to the bottom as states dumb down their standards to ensure that more of their schools meet NCLB's rigid benchmark b. If students fail the state reading or math test, the school might not let them play in the band, but they won't be held back a year or forced to attend summer school. c. This ultimately is leading to the the lack of career and college readiness
C. Remediation required of high school graduate
1. Remediation amongst high school graduates/incoming college freshman is a huge issue a. Assessment tests in colleges are there to assess your general knowledge for GE placement b. Many students assess lower than originally planned, therefore resulting in them taking and paying for classes that don't count that way they can work their way up to one that does; for example, math 108 and 124 at Butte are non transferable but you have to take them in order to get to math 18 which is transferable and a part of the IGETC. c. “But officials say leaving the old standards intact would be worse, forcing thousands of students into costly remediation programs in college.” - Hernandez & Baker (A Tough New Test Spurs Protest and Tears)
Transition: The cause of these problems ultimately boil down to one thing-local academic standards.
Main Point 2: Cause
A. For decades, the United States maintained various academic quality standards among states, resulting in wide disparities in student proficiency.
1. Moving from one state to another.
a. Cause: ”American education has always been run at the state and local level”- Amanda Ripley (The New Smart Set) 2. No Child Left Behind Act
a. Cause: educational legislation, which was designed to improve education in the U.S. by minimizing achievement gaps across U.S. schools. b. NCLB has publicized gaps but not fixed them; teachers and students often have to put aside other interests to take on required subjects or remedial work .(Webley) c. For decades, the United States maintained various academic quality standards among states, resulting in wide disparities in student proficiency as measured under the No Child Left Behind Act 3. Remediation required of high school graduates
a. Cause: local academic standards, and NCLB
b. “But officials say leaving the old standards intact would be worse, forcing thousands of students into costly remediation programs in college.” - Hernandez & Baker (A Tough New Test Spurs Protest and Tears) 4. “Even as Washington has pushed states to try out this or that policy in exchange for federal funding, states have always chosen their own tests and learning goals. Historically this has meant that most states and districts have set the bar lower than colleges and many workplaces would like--or buried their teachers in so many competing demands that they are left to pick and choose what to teach in isolation.” - Amanda Ripley ( The New Smart Set) a. This quote is important because it fully ties the idea of local academic standards as the main fault for the problems previously stated.
Transition: What can we do to fix this?
Main Point 3: Solution
The Plan: Common Core
1. Essentially common core has built off of the strengths and lessons of current state standards as well as aligned with top-performing countries and college/workforce expectations to create a grade-by-grade outline of what children should know in order to succeed in college and in a career .The standards, describe a reasonable progression of learning from grade to grade, but leave it to state and local school officials to get there. The Common Core is not an attempt to deposit information or recreate, as Freire would say, the banking method. No, it is to ensure that they are able to read a complicated text and understand it, to recognize a problem and know how to solve it. “Teachers, parents and community leaders have all weighed in to help create the Common Core State Standards. The standards clearly communicate what is expected of students at each grade level. This will allow our teachers to be better equipped to know exactly what they need to help students learn and establish individualized benchmarks for them. The Common Core State Standards focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, thus enabling teachers to take the time needed to teach core concepts and procedures well—and to give students the opportunity to master them.With students, parents and teachers all on the same page and working together for shared goals, we can ensure that students make progress each year and graduate from school prepared succeed in college and in a modern workforce.”-Common Core State Standards Initiative
1. How the plan solves Harm 1: moving
a. It will be rocky at first,and the change won't be super noticeable, but over time, if implemented correctly, one could infer that by moving from one state to the next, the student wouldn't miss near as much as they would have prior to common core. 2. How the plan solves Harm 2: NCLB
a. NCLB in its current form, a law everyone knows isn't working, has lingered on the books, neglected, where it is expected to stay at least until after this year's elections. "It's an incredible reflection on our dysfunctionality," says Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who spent nearly four years grappling with NCLB as superintendent of the Denver school system before he went to Washington. "Our inaction is a choice to keep it the same." -Kayla Webley b. In the meantime, Education Secretary Duncan is offering waivers to states that promise to adopt common standards in exchange for relief from NCLB's rigid targets
3. How the plan solves Harm 3: remediation
a. Once again, no hard evidence, but that’s only due to the fact that the system is relatively new to America. As I previously stated, New York officials as well as many others, believe that by leaving the old standards intact, we could potentially force thousands of students into costly remediation programs in college.
1. Argument against: The federal government’s involvement in educational affairs is unconstitutional. Obama should be ashamed of himself. a. President Obama has used Race to the Top money. b. “ObamaCore”
2. Counter-Argument: True, but not quite all there. President Obama was elected AFTER the CCSS project kicked off. Common Core was written under the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, beginning in 2007. However, President Obama has used Race to the Top money, but it was used to encourage states to embrace higher standards for their children, nothing more. a. Core Standards website, common core- fact and fiction video 3. Argument against: it was just implemented in 2010, we don’t know if it will work or not since it’s so new. Not enough evidence.
4. Counter-Argument: Though it is true that it was officially debuted in 2010, we still have enough evidence to support it’s growth. Let me elaborate, in 2010 Kentucky schools tried out the Common Core standards for math and english. At first it was a nightmare. The math levels were completely switched around, and the students didn’t know if they were coming or going. They quickly realized the issue, and sat down and worked everything out, that way everyone was on the same page”. Kentucky's education commissioner, Terry Holliday, enlisted teachers to help at every step in the process, explaining the new standards to parents and designing test questions--a model he advises other state chiefs to follow. “ Ripley. This school year, their third with the new targets. Some Kentucky teachers seem to be thriving with the infusion of clarity, focus and autonomy they attribute to the Common Core standards. We must realize that patience is necessary for revolutionary change.
5. Argument against: This is just another way for the federal government to get their hands on our children via educational and personal tracking. Before you know it they’ll have cameras installed in the classroom and in our kids.
a . “The defense of Common Core doesn’t even mention all of the data mining that will take place from Microsoft, the biowristbands they want to use on our kids, the FCAT scans that are in the Department of Education’s own paperwork. The rest of the 1984 tight monitoring systems, all of it, all of it of course is simply going to be done to help your children. It will help educators help your kids. It will make them safer, smarter, more secure. This is the progressive movement coming in for the kill. And believe me, if we don’t stop it, this will be the kill. But we can’t and we won’t allow it.” - Glenn Beck, The Whole Story On Common Core 6. Counter-Argument: Yes, the Department of Education did release a report on 21st century skills and they look at how successful students became successful. In the report they talk about data mining old records and comparing them to see the difference in “perseverance” and “grit”, qualities they have deemed necessary for success in the 21st century. But to say that biowristbands and scans are going to take place without permission, and to assume that this “will be the kill” is purely based off of an emotional response with little evidence. This also has VERY little to do with Common Core. Throughout the entire 126 pages, common core is brought up twice, and both times it regards perseverance as being the key to conceptual learning in mathematics. In retrospect, emotional arguments with little to no evidence compose the majority of the opposition.True, common core is a new system so the research and evidence is just as thin as the opposition’s , but what they fail to recognize is that it is for the future. They have given no solutions, but willingly strike down common core for fundamentally selfish reasons. The system we have right now doesn’t work; the cons vastly outweigh the pros. Though common core may not have been around for very long, it is already proving effective in states like Kentucky. If we take a step back from all the emotions , political influence, and egocentrics , and think about what the future generations will need, we can see that they’ll need a system like common core that will provide them with the necessary tools to rationalize and think critically in order for them to become truly successful.
So, in conclusion
D. Tie Back to the Audience
There is obviously a huge issue within our current education system, but those willing to complain are those who quickly strike down possible solutions, while refusing to come up with any of their own. Both sides present strong arguments, but clearly lack the evidence necessary for credibility, therefore making it hard to obtain a clear position. But the fact of the matter is: change is not something that comes quickly or easily, but it could potentially be obtained by implementing common core across the nation.