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09 January 2013

Comments

Gregory

A tortured cut and paste above is fixed below:

"It was two years after we moved our son to MSM that the state resumed standardized testing, and the STAR/SAT9 exam showed half the kid's in my son's cohort in the bottom quartile in both math and language."

Gregory

"The mission of Grass Valley Charter School (GVCS) is to inspire students to achieve high standards, create quality work, and embrace lifelong learning and service through Expeditionary Learning."

"Expeditionary Learning" didn't ring any alarm bells when I first read through the GVCS web pages, but it does seem that it's an issue of the "same [stuff], different decade." From the wiki:

"Expeditionary Learning Schools are models of comprehensive school reform based on the educational ideas of German educator Kurt Hahn... They are exemplified by project-based learning expeditions, where students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics, in groups and in their community, with assessment coming through cumulative products, public presentations, and portfolios."

This is a doubling down on the same old constructivist vision that brought whole language and the project based Mathland, with a new wrapper. So we have two different charters in Nevada County following the teachings of two different Germans, Steiner and Hahn.

More on Hahn:
"Hahn's educational philosophy was based on respect for adolescents, whom he believed to possess an innate decency and moral sense, but who were, he believed, corrupted by society as they aged. He believed that education could prevent this corruption, if students were given opportunities for personal leadership and to see the results of their own actions."

And another tidbit:
"Worsley records his impressions of Hahn's penetrating character analysis, and his energy and commitment in the cause of human development, but as time went on he became critical of Hahn's "despotic, overpowering personality":
"He revealed himself as having a fierce temper, a strong hand with the cane, and a temperament which hated being crossed. Especially damaging to my very English view, was his dislike of being defeated at any game. Hahn was an avid tennis player. But was it an easily forgiveable weakness that his opponents had to be chosen for being his inferiors or else, if their form was unknown, instructed not to let themselves win?"


So yet another German who made up a new sort of schooling based on his vision.

George, I will work up a post and see about taking up your kind offer. BTW I did look over the TechTest Jr pages and I'm not surprised Seven Hills and Magnolia dominated it. If I might be so bold to suggest you ask TechTest Sr. participants what Elementary/Middle School they attended; I think that's worth keeping track of.

George Rebane

Gregory 451pm - Good thoughts. Would like your take (and others with opinions) on the news that has now gone national on "80% of California minorities failing algebra" to which the state is responding by dropping algebra altogether and substituting "Common Core Mathematics" curriculum from K on up. I think you have studied this new approach extensively.
http://www.scoe.net/castandards/agenda/2010/math_ccs_recommendations.pdf

Look forward to your piece.

Gregory

George, CommonCore isn't about dumbing down the curriculums in California because of some groups doing worse than others, it's a nationalizing of the curriculum.

It isn't as fuzzy as the whole math and language frameworks California had in the early 90's but it's a step back from the clear and straightforward content standards that took the fuzzy content down and we were only beginning to crawl out of that hole.


Take a look at the kids at the GVSD; just taking the STAR results for white kids who are not disadvantaged, only about 20% district wide (Lyman Gilmore and the Charter) are being promoted out of the 8th grade Proficient or better in Algebra, and eyeballing the same group at Magnolia, they're doing more like 43%, about the same as the Nevada City schools.

At Yuba River, only 29% of the white kids who aren't disadvantaged even took Algebra, too few to report results. I'd bet they had about the results of Lyman Gilmore, or worse.

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