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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core? 113

Posted by timothy
from the think-I-prefer-google-to-the-nea dept.
theodp (442580) writes In an interview with The Washington Post's Lyndsey Layton that accompanied her report on How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Swift Common Core Revolution (the Gates Foundation doled out $233 million in grants to git-r-done), Gates denied that he has too much influence in K-12 education. Despite Gates' best efforts, however, there's been more and more pushback recently from both teachers and politicians on the standards, GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports, including a protest Friday by the Badass Teacher Association, who say Gates is ruining education. "We want to get corporations out of teaching," explained one protester. If that's the case, the "Badasses" probably won't be too pleased to see how the K-12 CS education revolution is shaping up, fueled by a deep-pocketed alliance of Gates, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others. Google alone has already committed $90 million to influence CS education. And well-connected Code.org, which has struck partnerships with school districts reaching over 2M U.S. students and is advising NSF-funded research related to the nation's CS 10K Project, will be conducting required professional development sessions for K-12 CS teachers out of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offices this summer in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Seattle. So, could K-12 CS Education ("Common Code"?) become the next Common Core?
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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't teach about the American Civil War, it devotes 36 pages to Islam but doesn't mention Christianity, etc. This is a takeover of the minds of the next generation of Americans.

    http://patriotupdate.com/articles/common-core-blotting-civil-war/
    http://genfringe.com/2013/07/high-school-text-book-literally-re-writes-history/

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @12:08PM (#47340819) Homepage Journal

      This is what's known as "BS".

      That's what Common Core should be first and foremost. Teaching people who think Common Core history books don't mention the Civil War to be able to discern truth from the bullshit that they would read on right wing nut job websites or left wing nut job websites. Or conspiracy websites. Or anywhere, Slashdot included. But of course, if you try to teach critical thinking, it sends the right wing nut jobs into a tizzy, because they want to use the Bible as a science text.

      The first article, on the "patriot update" site, claims that Common Core stops teachers from teaching the civil war, because there are instructions to teachers when teaching the Gettysburg Address to not give any specific historical background. What they fail to mention is that the textbook and materials involved are not from a history class, but from an English unit on rhetoric and speech. They're trying to get the students to focus entirely on the text itself without relying on historical reference. It also leaves out that it's an English textbook for juniors and seniors. If you check the history textbooks that Common Core uses from the same company. You will find that they make an extensive study of the Civil War in both freshman and sophomore level texts. Forcing students to analyze texts in this way is a common tool for promoting critical understanding of language. Should those students make it to college, they will find this skill immensely valuable.

      Oh, and the "genfringe" article, on the website geared toward "conservative millennials" is made up out of whole cloth. Follow the links to see for yourself.

      There is a lot to not like about the Common Core curriculum that was implemented during the Bush Administration as part of No Child Left Behind and how it continues to be used today. But not because of any perceived anti-American or anti-Christian bias.

      • by efitton (144228)
        Actually Common Core was an initiative started by States, not the Federal Government. http://www.usnews.com/news/spe... [usnews.com].

        But absolutely agree with the rest of your post.
        • Actually Common Core was an initiative started by States, not the Federal Government. http://www.usnews.com/news/spe [usnews.com]....

          But absolutely agree with the rest of your post.

          Actually, the Federal Government has been a lot more involved with Common Core than you think.

          Among other things, people in the administration who were pushing Obama's "Race to the Top" initiative pressured States to adopt it and threatened loss of funding if they didn't.

          There is also funding from DoE [washingtonpost.com] and other support from the Obama administration. Republicans tried to pinch it off, so far without much success.

          There is propaganda on both sides, but here are some facts: Common Core was centrally pl

          • I did not mean to imply that it was "invented by" the Obama administration. Gates has been pushing for something like this since the Bush days or even before. And as GP mentioned, "No Child Left Behind" had something to do with it too.

            But Common Core as we know it now has been strongly supported and promoted from the beginning by the Obama Administration. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been paying attention.
    • by Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @01:40PM (#47341211)

      Wow. You are an idiot getting information from other idiots. There's a reason the Common Core standards don't mention Christianity or the Civil War. Common Core is a set of English/Language Arts and mathematics standards. They AREN'T history standards. They don't address history because they aren't history standards!

      The second link is about a history textbook. It's not a common-core aligned history textbook because there are no history standards.

      The closest they come is talking about what reading and literacy skills kids should have in the context of reading historical works, for example, they say students should "Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10)."

      Do yourself a favor and actually go read the standards instead of reading right-wing hit pieces that have to lie because they don't have any legitimate arguments.

      • by kwbauer (1677400)

        If only more people would point this out. Also mention that the CommonCore Standards are openly published at corestandards.org. Personally, I think about half the idiots posting crap about them are liberals trying to make conservatives look like idiots.

        • I think about half the idiots posting crap about them are liberals trying to make conservatives look like idiots.

          No need, they will do it themselves.
          But this crap doesn't come from "conservatives" in the Eisenhower/McCain sense, but from loony-right TeaBaggers like Ted Cruz.

      • by mariox19 (632969)

        You do know that the Common Core has only begun with English and math standards, and that social studies and science standards are next, right?

        • How is that relevant? It's not there now, so arguments that Common Core is bad because of their social studies content are incoherent at best and likely dishonest.

          If you want to take issue with Common Core social studies, then you have to take issue with that.

          I don't know much about Common Core or US education, so I don't know whether Common Core is good or bad, nor whether it is better or worse or a little of both compared to what already exists. But I know that you can't conclude that the US Civil War i

    • by kwbauer (1677400)

      Which ComonCore standards are you reading. There is nothing at corestandards.org about History or Social Studies, etc. Only Math and Reading.

      You do realize that the Common Core State Standards is basically a group formed and funded by the National Governors Association and does not print a single textbook, right?

      Any textbooks are the sole responsibility of the publisher of said textbook.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        One of the problems with common core is that it is not just the so called core. When states adopt it, they also adopt new history and other standards in the process to. So arguing that it is not in the core when it is in what a state may be pushing under the concept of the core is a lot misleading. But on the same note, sneaking outside agendas into something that should be straight forward like common core is misleading also.

        So the problem is that things are not as they seem which means things cannot be as

        • by kwbauer (1677400)

          Well, if a state adds to it, then it is not the fault of the CCSS now is it? And sneaking outside agendas in under the guise of something else would also not be the fault of the CCSS.

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            You are correct, it wouldn't be the fault of CCSS. But what do you suggest everyone rail about when it is being presented to them as common core and if unchallenged will be what common core is in their states. I mean railing about potatoes or dogs or salad doesn't seem to address the issues with what is presented to them as common core.

  • The way of Nokia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2014 @09:55AM (#47340201)

    Nokia had ridicilously large impact on the Finnish universities during the 90s and the early 2000. They stated their needs and the politicians and the heads of the universities complied.

    Now the Finnish society is struggling with a huge amount of unemployed computer scientist, engineers and signal processing folk. Not to mention the thousand of women who were tricked into studying HR and such just to get a high salary position at Nokia. The Finns almost ruined everything for the sake of one company. Beware!

    • Re:The way of Nokia (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jythie (914043) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:02AM (#47340231)
      You see the same basic problem at american universities today, the big tech companies have pushed them to act more like trade schools then universities. Luckily america is large and diverse enough that the impact is pretty muted, though I do think it is producing less well rounded CS graduates.

      However for K-12 it makes a bit more sense, depending on what exactly they teach. K-12 is supposed to give students a well rounded "bit of everything", and CS should probably be in there. The big thing I worry about is the cost, how much of the standards depend on specific hardware and software? Though I guess for really poor schools they can always do CS by hand. Hrm, actually, that might not be a bad thing. Computational Theory classes at least can generally be done with pencil and paper, as can linear algebra, digital circuits, etc.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @09:56AM (#47340209) Journal
    Badass teacher association sounds really cool......like a bunch of teachers who (like Jaime Escalante) get their kids excited about learning and teach them well.

    It doesn't seem like it though [badassteacher.org]. As far as I can tell, they exist to try to shift the blame to someone else. Nothing badass about shifting blame.

    (Here is what they said, so you can read it and develop your own interpretation of their goal, that's how I understand it):

    "This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning"

  • I hope not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by funwithBSD (245349) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:06AM (#47340241)

    I have a soon to be 6th grader.

    Common core is a disaster. The homework is riddled with errors (found 3 on one page) and the instruction methodology is terrible.

    Case in point: My son brought home an assignment where he was graded poorly, and one of the short answers was marked wrong. I know the material they were reading, the book Wrinkle in Time.

    When I asked the teacher about it, this is what I was told:
    His "team" (they are in 6 kid groups) decided the antagonists name "IT" should be pronounced "I.T.".

    Under common core standards, the group can decide what the "right" answer is, as an interpretation of the fact, not the fact itself.
    I can give a little under a "tomato" vrs "tah-mato", but...

    I asked her if the group decided "IT" was a giant mouse instead of a giant brain, would that make the person saying it was a giant brain wrong.

    She replied under the grading rules, it would.

    Fuck me dead, we are raising an army of Project Managers!

    No wonder public support for Common Core is about 35%

    • Re:I hope not. (Score:5, Informative)

      by MiKM (752717) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:20AM (#47340307)

      Common Core isn't a curriculum, it's a set of standards. It does not have anything to do with homework, instruction methodology, grading rules, or anything like that. See for yourself. [corestandards.org] If your district is using shoddy curriculum like Engage NY, that is their fault.

      I'm not saying that the CCSS are beyond criticism, but the criticism should be accurate.

      • Re: I hope not. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2014 @11:22AM (#47340583)

        That's what they'd have you believe, but in actual practice, it is a whole-hog takeover (my wife is a teacher, we are both appalled at the never ending 'reforms', too numerous to list. There's plenty on the web to search for), it absolutely involves methodology and pedagogy. Bill Gates, nor any corporate entity, have any business (pun intended) sticking their fingers into education, and not every child wants or needs to be a coder. Technology will only become more invisible as time goes by, we all know this; it is tantamount to saying every child needs to be adept at auto mechanics. A useful skill in some contexts, perhaps, but hardly critical to everyone, that's just plain silly. The day we kick the corporations out of our government is the day America will have a chance again. And bear in mind that the kids are the ones paying the price with wasted time they can't get back while these buffoons stumble all over themselves.

        • by efitton (144228)
          Teacher here and as a high school math teacher it has had very little impact on me or my students. The standards are almost the same as the previous State of Michigan standards and are close the NCTM standards. I'm using a book published in 1992. Lets not confuse the standards with crappy worksheets (because that is new) or with other different initiatives (and meddlers).

          I'll absolutely agree that too many people have their fingers in the pie and that not only is not everyone going to be a coder, but the
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Just as well add politicians with corporations. Corporations will fund classes to help find them workers and not worry about other needed skills. Politicians have proved they should stay out of education. Need to start closing public schools and start building more charter schools and keep politics out. (I.e. No climate change classes, union classes, whatever gender classes are called) and keep to teaching stuff that will actually help in life.

          • Re: I hope not. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by funwithBSD (245349) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @02:07PM (#47341329)

            When you come down to it, if you constantly teaching and demonstrating your values to your kids at home, the school has little influence.

            Another case in point:
            My son understands that I say yes as much as possible, or let him make his own decisions, but no means no. (mom is a little easier to negotiate with)

            When asked a question on a test (also marked wrong) what he would do if his dad said no like the one in the story, his response was "Nothing. I would do something else"

            Asked the teacher why this was marked wrong, and she said that he was expected to come up with a way to convince him.
            When I explained my policy, she admitted she never considered that I only said no when I really really meant "no".

        • by kwbauer (1677400)

          MiKM posted the truth. It looks like you and your wife work for a very lousy district if they are forcing you to use such crappy texts and methods. I feel sorry the kids coming out of the system you are a part of. Maybe your union could start fighting for better curriculum instead of more time off.

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            So the problem isn't common core but the lack of unified high quality education across the state. The solution is pretty obvious take funding and management of public education away from local government and place it in state government hands. Straight away a massive saving in administrative costs, with one public education management body for each state rather than hundreds of them one for each local government body. There will also be huge federal government funding savings as they only need to control a

        • by pnutjam (523990)
          I'll just leave this here;
          https://movetoamend.org/ [movetoamend.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It does, because teachers are expected to utilize methods that support common core, and they are punished if they deviate from that. It strongly influences everything as a result. While the common core standards don't emphasize this, administrators do and they are the final word on how the classroom and teachers are permitted to operate.

        Source: Both parents are high school teachers with 60 years of combined experience.

        • Re:I hope not. (Score:4, Informative)

          by MiKM (752717) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @12:42PM (#47340983)

          It does, because teachers are expected to utilize methods that support common core

          Could you please provide an example? I teach high school math and I have not felt pressured by the Common Core to use certain methods, so I'm genuinely curious. To me, it sounds like the real problem is with lousy administrators micromanaging teachers, not with the standards themselves.

          • by pnutjam (523990)
            It's interesting that all the, "I'm a teacher and CC is ruining things..." are AC, while the real accounts that claim to be teachers are ambivalent or like CC.

            Thanks for educating our future generations.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Technically common core is not a curriculum but in practicality it is. McGraw Hill, Pearson and others all develop curriculum to support "common core" and that's what the districts adopt to support the standard. So you can argue Common Core is not a curriculum the reality is that the standard forces a curriculum change and that change is not good. I'm not opposed to having a common core standard per se, but execution so far and the direction they are going with it is absolutely awful.

      • If you are an IT professional, you know that bad standards brings in bad results.

        No different here, the standards are vague and very subjective. The resulting curriculum based on vague and subjective standards are thus vague and subjective.

        • by pnutjam (523990)
          Do some research on how school textbooks get chosen. The whole system is garbage, CC is an attempt to do something about it.
          • CC is not going to change how schools pick books, just some of the criteria.

            The process will still be garbage.

    • by efitton (144228)
      A book, a worksheet, etc. are not common core. Common core is a set of standards. Things like: "being able to solve a two step equation." Your school bought a crap book. This happened before common core and will happen after common core. And there is no way that is a common core rubric (I have yet to see a common core rubric), that's your teacher.
      • Here let me show you how this works:

        Look at the standards below. If you don't "Build on others' ideas" (Standard 1) or " draw
        conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions." or"Engage eff
        ectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-
        led) with diverse partners"
        You are not right, even if your conclusion is supported by the text, and theirs are not.
        And the teacher is the sole arbitrator if the standards are met or not, because the standards

  • ... seeing as science is requires in public K-12 education. It does importantly incorporate technology and math into science standards, and CS will be strengthened by that. So CS won't be "next" standards set but there's the potential for mandating it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... is to make everything included in the basics, so you can get workers for next to nothing. This is why corporations are involved in 'education'.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:18AM (#47340295)

    First we dumb down the curriculum with "no idiot left behind" to ensure that even the dumbest dud can get a degree, then we add stuff to it which requires not only to dumb down what's inside already but probably reduce "CS" to "copy the code from page 18 and get it to compile (the latter of course meaning that you should make sure you don't have any typos, the code of course doesn't contain errors, no thinking required)".

    Yeah, that's what the US needs. More people with more useless degrees that pretty much amounts to "He managed to come around often enough (or at least not get caught during truancy) and keep the chair from flying away".

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:23AM (#47340319) Homepage

    "Badasses" probably won't be too pleased to see how the K-12 CS education revolution is shaping up, fueled by a deep-pocketed alliance of Gates, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others"

    So a group of rich nerds who freely admit their companies consist almost solely of overworked white males with no life and have absolutely no background in education are going to pay their way to changing the education system they don't understand?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    If they did this to congress we'd call it special interest group lobbying, or bribery, and would be printing stories about how money buys everything and how bad that is.

    But when it comes to education, we happily accept this bribery because we all have an astonishingly low opinion of the school system, which, it should be obvious, created the country that made these people rich in the first place.

    • So a group of rich nerds who freely admit their companies consist almost solely of overworked white males with no life and have absolutely no background in education are going to pay their way to changing the education system they don't understand?

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Lots of things. But it's important to note that this is basically an American tradition by this point.

      Lots of education reform was recommended in the late 19th and early 20th century by big heads of corporations at the time (remember, those guys like Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.?). The general goal of education they wanted at the time was to promote obedient workers -- hence educational reforms like short class "periods" with bells to force everyone to get up and move from task to task, just as they'd be

      • by k6mfw (1182893)

        Once again, we still live with that legacy today. Arguably, one might say it even has led to the modern crisis of credit, inability of people to understand loans and mortgages, etc., because those practical math elements were expunged or downplayed in the new curriculum.

        Now we have a new generation of corporate foundations seeking to interfere with education and put their mark on it. I'm sure they'll do a few good things, as all the previous reforms did, but they'll also have some disastrous long-term consequences, as the previous reforms continue to have....

        This should be Post of the Month. All this push for math and yet nothing is taught on relevant business math to all except a few that major in the subject.

  • K-12 CS is wreckless and ignorant. a 12 atom potassium bonded to a single Cesium? what are you doing? I mean sure you'll often find Cesium in reactor cores but I have no clue what you hope to achieve with the potassium. You're certainly right about the education part because im fairly certain most nuclear chemists have no clue what K12CS would hope to do in the real world, let alone the average college student.

    • K-12 CS is wreckless and ignorant. a 12 atom potassium bonded to a single Cesium? what are you doing?

      Doing bad chemistry clearly. That would K-12 Cs. K-12 CS is some organosulper.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they should try to meet the Reading Writing Arithmetic goals first before pushing a bunch of functional illiterates into CS...

  • Exposure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:47AM (#47340411)
    I think that there should be more exposure to CS, CE, EE, CE, ME, etc. But not full on long term courses for any but a few faithful. It takes a certain mindset to enjoy computers and engineering; many people don't have this mindset so foisting it upon them is probably bad news. But for those who like it they like it a lot. I would have loved way more time in the computer lab during my youth.

    What I would have much preferred instead of a rigorous course that actually might have put me off CS; especially if taught by a bad teacher or two; Would have been a computer club/technology lab where we would be given the tools and tutorials to better understand what we liked and could do.

    Then when kids go to university and are learning fairly abstract concepts they would be able to regularly have "ah ha" moments where they could realize that this abstract knowledge could have solved problems they had back in the lab.

    Now I would like to see a bit more tech ed as (hard to understand for slashdotters) but there is a huge percentage of the population that simply has no idea what happens to make a light switch turn the lights on and off; let alone how the hell a 3 way light switch works.

    For instance in my children's schools they have chemistry labs that look like they were awesome 30 years ago. But now they are art rooms because of the great sinks and the fume hood is good for stinky art. So again nothing outside of a textbook(other than me) has ever shown my daughters how soap works.

    So before schools should make some foolish large attempt to impose their interpretation of CS they should look at the entire sci-tech teaching issue.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      i agree completely

      how about we just go back to teaching math properly

      there, that wasn't so hard

  • by DaveyJJ (1198633) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @11:10AM (#47340525) Homepage

    Since Common Core relies on a narrow conception of the purpose of K-12 education; that is, "career and college readiness", then a CC CS curriculum will certainly fulfill the Gates-ian ideal of producing an army of unquestioning and near-Aspberger-like programming drones. If you read the official rationale for the Common Core there is little question about a blind, utilitarian philosophy at work. US kids must be prepared to "compete in the global economy." Yet, anyone with a knowledge of the history of education knows that this runs against the grain of the fundamental purpose of public education—to prepare citizens for democracy, with the knowledge and skills to live fruitful lives and improve US society. The CC standards are a farce.

    The process by which the Common Core standards were developed and adopted was undemocratic. Of the 27 people who designed them, there was only one classroom teacher involved—and they were on the committee to simply review the math standards. The Common Core State Standards are the complete opposite about what we know about how children intellectually and emotionally develop and grow. The Common Core is inspired by a vision of market-driven innovation enabled by standardization of curriculum, tests, and ultimately, the children themselves. That's utter BS ... this idea that innovation and creative change in education will only come from entrepreneurs selling technologically based "learning systems." In the real world, the most inspiring and effective innovations were generated by teachers collaborating with one another, motivated not by the desire to get wealthy, but by their dedication to their students. What else?

    The Common Core creates a rigid set of performance expectations for every grade level, and results in tightly controlled instructional timelines and curriculum. Every student, without exception, is expected to reach the same benchmarks at every grade level. Too bad that children develop at different rates, and we do far more harm than good when we begin labeling them "behind" at an early age. CC emphasizes measurement of every aspect of learning, leading to absurdities such as the ranking of the "complexity" of novels according to an arcane index called the Lexile score. This number is derived from an algorithm that looks at sentence length and vocabulary. Publishers submit works of literature to be scored, and we discover that Mr. Popper's Penguins is more "rigorous" than Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Uh huh.

    And here's a question for NY State five year olds ... Which is a related subtraction sentence? Math standards for grade one kids were simply "back mapped" from grade 12 curriculum ... no early childhood math experts were consulted to ensure that the standards were appropriate for young learners. Great idea. The Common Core was designed to be implemented through an expanding regime of high-stakes tests, which will consume an unhealthy amount of time and money. $16,000,000,000 annually in fact. Proficiency rates on the new Common Core tests have been dramatically lower—by design. 30% of English students now fail the standardized tests and can not get a high school diploma.

    And what is this for again? The Common Core is associated with an attempt to collect more student and teacher data than ever before. Gates' inBloom system will collect and data mine every student score in the US. Fortunately, states are withdrawing from this one at a rapid rate under siege from privacy lawsuits.

    But perhaps worse of all ... The Common Core is not based on any external evidence, has no research to support it, has never been tested, and has no mechanism for correction. There is no process available to revise the standards. They must be adopted as written. As William Mathis (2012) points out, "As the absence or presence of rigorous or national standards says nothing about equity, educational quality, or the provision of adequate educ

    • by plopez (54068)

      I wish I had read this before posting. I think my post http://news.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] meshes well with your statement. If we want a working educational system that helps the American Economy a strictly "utilitarian" educational system is not the way to do it.

    • None of this would be necessary if parents were empowered with vouchers to send their children to the accredited schools of their choice, whether public or private. Vouchers work but like common core there are powerful interests aligned against them. The irony is that the children who would benefit relatively the most from vouchers, poor minority children from inner cities, are the ones least likely to receive them. Meanwhile, the wealthier white families who live in the suburbs can afford to send their chi

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        Vouchers have turned into a blatant corporate cash grab. The private school system does not have the capacity for a huge influx of students so charter schools are setup and either run by clueless parent groups who are underfunded and end up folding unexpectedly, or they are run by corporate groups whose only interest is that fat voucher cash. Schools are a community resource. The problems we need to fix are community problems. I don't think that strong central oversite is a bad thing, communities need to co
        • Vouchers have turned into a blatant corporate cash grab.

          Would you say that the supermarket or the gas station or any other businesses that provide goods and services to millions every day are a "blatant cash grab"? Of course not. The very notion is absurd. Money is simply the medium of exchange in any advanced economy, nothing more and nothing less. Are the various tutoring centers or cram schools or other businesses that supply the education market a "blatant cash grab" or could it be that the people paying for those services, frequently out of their own pocket

          • by pnutjam (523990)
            Education is not like gas. I can stop at the station by my house if I forget to fill up after work. You do damage to a kid if you constantly pull them out of one school and put them into another.
            There are community barriers, if your kid goes to a school across town he won't have opportunities to socialize after school and will miss out on alot (voice of experience).
            There are social barriers, kids make friends and uprooting them can be difficult. This inertia can allow bad schools to hold onto kids, it's
            • Education is not like gas

              It's a commodity service and in no way exempt from the laws of economics. Your attempts to carve out an exception for education as "too important to be handled by the market" amounts to little more than lame excuses for wasteful allocation of resources to the current broken system. Education is ripe for disruption and like health care is in desperate need of it to make progress. The teachers and others who stand in the way of this process are, to use a phrase loved by the left, standing on the wrong side of

              • by pnutjam (523990)
                Most of my point was that as a consumer it takes time to get educated and it takes time for a market response. You don't have much time for a child's education. You fail to address that, but keep cheering for your side.
                • You don't have much time for a child's education.

                  You speak as if the children in our public schools aren't already the unwitting subjects of failed experiments by teachers, administrators and others pushing the fad of the month in education. Remember the "New Math"? Yeah, that worked out well for us. Your argument might hold water if our kids were already receiving an outstanding education in our public schools but you know what? They're not. Our tax dollars are paying for Cadillac and we're getting Yugo. It's time to hit the reset button on education and

  • Common Core untested (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I had heard that there was controversy surrounding Common Core. So I began to investigate how CC performed during testing. What I discovered is that it was completely untested. "It was designed by experts so no testing was required."

  • Ever thumb through the series of books like "What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know" [amazon.com] by now-retired E. D. Hirsch, Jr. to see if your kids were missing anything "big"? With schools in NYC and Chicago rolling out K-12 CS programs starting next Fall, has anyone seen a grade-by-grade proposed syllabus or checklist along these lines showing what's going to be covered at each grade level?. BTW, Hirsch unsurprisingly supports giving Common Core the old college try [dianeravitch.net], although he conceded, "Not even most prescient amon

  • Most of what they do is a commodity; open source software, electronics from Asia, undergrad programmers, etc. (ok maybe I am a bit overboard about programmers). What makes them successful is a focus on design, fit and finish, usability, and re-arranging existing components in new and innovative ways; e.g. taking a cell phone, a UI, wireless, a UI and creating the smart phone. This is mostly creative and artistic. A focus on CS will not save American innovation. MS actually has some smart people, but the lac

  • Even if CS for everyone was a laudable goal, all these initiatives are aimed at going off to college, and in case the universe has changed in the last 24 hours people will get a rude shock when they find the universities care less about what you did in CS at K12, especially if you want to CS or CS/EE.

    Vast amounts of cash thrown at a solution to a problem that doesn't care. Epic American knowhow baby.

  • Education is in a bind. In order to educate properly young people must deal with facts. Facts are often stress inducing and belief challenging. And it really doesn't matter much which nation we are in. For example American history and American heroes are glorified in traditional schools. Yet a fair description of the US could well point to a corrupt, violent and almost psychotic nation. Some topics are really off limits as violent reactions from the communities or ethnic groups would be almost certai

Information is the inverse of entropy.

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