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Monday, March 16, 2015

Businessforcore.org: A Word from Our Sponsors

If you ever feel like testing your limits, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's site, businessforcore.org.   You can find videos created to sell the Core and its test.  

In "An Academic Checkup," you find fallacious arguments in support of the Core.  The video begins with Tommy, a fourth grader who loves basketball. 

After the initial shot of Tommy with his basketball, one suspects he ran into foul trouble.  He loses his basketball.  My guess is he failed his tests and must sacrifice physical education for Academic Intervention Services. 

The video establishes a scenario in which the doctor has detected a problem with Tommy's heart.  When Tommy's Mom panics, Doctor Wilson calms her by saying, "No, I'd hate to put Tommy through that stress.  We'll just check back in a few years."  

We are expected to draw from this scenario an analogy that kids need both annual physical and academic high-quality tests based on high standards.  So, forget about the little girl being crushed beneath tests in the image provided from the same video.

We must overcome our worries about the number and pressure of the tests.  After all, these are tests that measure "deep understanding of the types of problems encountered in the real world."  I found the claim somewhat humorous. 

Mr. Talking Pineapple (vintage Core, 2013) and Mr. Sasquatch (2014)

According to the video, "problems are caused when we ignore information that can help find solutions."  Of course, the Core and its tests never do that.  They prepare kids for the jobs of tomorrow.  You might have a hard time guessing what these jobs will be given the nature of some test questions.  And, by the way, will the jobs of tomorrow offer annual testing?

If you fell for the analogy that we need annual academic testing in the same way we need annual physical testing, then, you place blind faith in people who use nonsense to prop up supposedly higher-order standards of critical thinking.  

Let us conclude by considering the "doctor" presented in the video and run with that analogy.  Dr. Wilson is an impostor.  He is using faulty medical equipment to measure your child.  Dr. Wilson charges exorbitant fees.  Dr. Wilson isn't so much concerned about the health of your child as the bill you pay.  Dr. Wilson has a cure for your child which is worse than the ailment itself.  Dr. Wilson will drain your pocketbook and possibly kill your child if you let him.  

Will you get a heart attack, attempting the climb?  Will you slip and fall to your death?  Will the apple roll down and kill you first?  Or, will you make it to the top and find that there is no room?

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