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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

timothy posted about a month ago | from the think-I-prefer-google-to-the-nea dept.

Education 113

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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113 comments

Common core changes history (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340171)

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/

Re:Common core changes history (0, Flamebait)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month ago | (#47340267)

If it doesn't mention Christianity, why are the same people complaining that battles waged by Christians are called "massacres" in the same text? You can't have it both ways. Anyway, purely from a practical point of view, I'd expect the history of Christianity to be already well known among American kids, seeing as their parents tend to be Christians, so teaching them history of Islam, of which they probably know next to nothing, probably can't hurt. Of course, I'd be wrong, given that their Christian parents are often dumb Christians, so I wonder how much "knowledge" one can get this way, but still...

Re:Common core changes history (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47340827)

You can't have it both ways.

Yes, they can. Opponents of Common Core are mostly incoherent, and their objections are mutually contradictory. They are not really opposed to Common Core, but to the whole principle of standardization and accountability. They are not trying to fix the standard, but to destroy it. So it makes sense for them to just make lots of random objections in the hope that something sticks.

My kids attend public school. I have read up on Common Core, and feel that it is far from perfect, and not very rigorous. But it is an improvement on the NCLB standards, and it is the best we are going to get for now. I would be willing to oppose CC if there was a viable better alternative, but there is not, and lots of incoherent whining isn't going to change that.

Re:Common core changes history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341441)

I wouldn't say it's an improvement over NCLB. It's just more rote memorization phrased slightly differently. In other words, nothing really changed.

My kids attend public school.

I feel sorry for them.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47341827)

Or there are a bunch of liberal shills trying to pass themselves off as conservatives, who knows.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

mariox19 (632969) | about three weeks ago | (#47342773)

I think national standards are the entire problem. We shouldn't have national standards. For one, we're a nation of some 300-plus million people distributed across 50 states, with varying geography, cultures, industries, and so forth. Why would anyone think one size should fit all? It's funny how there is so much talk about "diversity" all the time and how great it is, but heaven forbid there should be diversity in education in this country. The federal government has no business in education. But apart from all that, centralization in a country like this poses another problem. It gives a single pressure point for every kind of political or ideological fad or bent. Anyone with an axe to grind, a chip on his or her shoulder, or just a run-of-the-mill "I know better than thou" complex has but a single pressure point to grab hold of to bend the country to his or her will. Today you may like who is behind this push for a de facto national curriculum. But tomorrow you may not be. What happens then?

I'm for competition, diversity, innovation, and freedom. The Common Core is antithetical to all that.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about three weeks ago | (#47342897)

I think national standards are the entire problem. We shouldn't have national standards. For one, we're a nation of some 300-plus million people distributed across 50 states, with varying geography, cultures, industries, and so forth. Why would anyone think one size should fit all? It's funny how there is so much talk about "diversity" all the time and how great it is, but heaven forbid there should be diversity in education in this country. The federal government has no business in education. But apart from all that, centralization in a country like this poses another problem. It gives a single pressure point for every kind of political or ideological fad or bent. Anyone with an axe to grind, a chip on his or her shoulder, or just a run-of-the-mill "I know better than thou" complex has but a single pressure point to grab hold of to bend the country to his or her will. Today you may like who is behind this push for a de facto national curriculum. But tomorrow you may not be. What happens then?

I'm for competition, diversity, innovation, and freedom. The Common Core is antithetical to all that.

I'm all for that. So my schools can hold up to the 'standard' that kids exiting 6th grade should be able to add/subtract/multiply/divide numbers, and have basic English skills - and your schools, well, if your state/city/town doesn't think that's important then so be it, your kids can graduate HS thinking "smart peepul are loosers, who kares what 12% of 100 is, heck, 12/100 is what them calcoolaters are fer, if yah really needed too y'no. I have mah freedum."

We'll see who's kids do better with the real-world job competition and diversity, and who can innovate.

Re:Common core changes history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47345701)

I used to think this way, but then I realized that it's not fair for a kid in Oklahoma to learn one thing in science class and a kid in New York or Seattle to learn something else. It seems like a very basic violation of the "equal protection under law" clause of the Constitution.

The only solution seems to be central standardization of the K-12 curriculum. There can be no room for "critical" or "independent" thought at the K-12 level, because to the extent there is, it will be abused by religious dumbasses.

Re: Common core changes history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47347019)

Actually, it is the RELABELLING of critical thought that is problem. Kids should be taught the laws of logic from grades K-12. In fact, we really could just drop ALL other subjects and teach kids JUST first-order predicate logic. This will give them the MOTIVATION to learn whatever else it is they want to learn (reading, writing, additional mathematics, arts, music, etc...). Let's not forget that it was reasoning that formed the basis of the Enlightenment (aka, Age of Reason). Today, we have extremely powerful tools for reasoning, and yet most people just use them to share cat videos.

Re: Common core changes history (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about three weeks ago | (#47349309)

Probably stupid for replying to an AC, but...

You can't groom logic without a base education. K-12 is supposed to provide that base education. Public schooling is the best thing to come out of the 20th century. We shouldn't let people burn it down for their own selfish reasons.

Re:Common core changes history (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340481)

http:// patriot update.com/articles/common-core-blotting-civil-war/

I call a 'No True Scotsman' falacy on you

Re:Common core changes history (5, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a month ago | (#47340819)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (2)

efitton (144228) | about a month ago | (#47340925)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a month ago | (#47341705)

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 planned, with cooperation and input from the Obama administration. It was not conceived or initiated by States on their own. It was adopted by individual States, but at the same time they were pressured to do so in order to receive Federal and private funds.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a month ago | (#47341733)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341999)

I appreciate the effort, but you're trying to explain things rationally. Here's how the average nut job brain works. Someone says "Things are going to be different-" and then the nut job brain shuts off and goes into panic mode. It lashes out at the evil of "different" until its perceived to go away and things go back to the way "they always have been." This preserves the notion that nothing new will ever have to be learned and the exact routine the nut job is in now will forever be unchanged.

LOL! The asshole *tries* to play educator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47342151)

PopeRatzo *claims* to have been an English professor & yet can't write for shit -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47342161)

Why're you running from answering 2 simple questions, troll? http://linux.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

Re:Common core changes history (4, Informative)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47341839)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about three weeks ago | (#47342617)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

mariox19 (632969) | about three weeks ago | (#47342775)

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?

Re:Common core changes history (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about three weeks ago | (#47342921)

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 is being removed from US classes by analyzing a textbook on rhetoric.

The Challenger explosion is often discussed in business classes without analyzing the underlying engineering principles at stake (often disguised so that people won't be biased in their go / no-go decision).

Re:Common core changes history (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341381)

It is much more sinister. Until every nappy-haired slumdog is suitably trained as a computer programmer for the benefit for the corporatists there shall be no end of the perversion that is the modern education system. Hell ask most US children basic history and geography questions and you'd cry at their responses. A generation of idiots are the product of the moderm-day education system and train-for-the-corporations model of higher education at many colleges and universities. Gone are the days of aptitude, now it is all a laundry list matching game to get past human resources.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47341819)

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.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a month ago | (#47342291)

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 they are supposed to be.

Re:Common core changes history (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about three weeks ago | (#47348085)

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.

violence & carbon poisoning our core troubles? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340183)

wmd on credit 'weather' http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wmd+weather if we stop spewing into our atmosphere will the real clouds come back? will our kids know the difference, our even survive our felonious follies?

The way of Nokia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about a month ago | (#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.

moron nytimes co-opting /. mynuts won posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340207)

it's not 'free' (as in fear) there? DAVID BROOKS The Spiritual Recession http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06... [nytimes.com] they must be short of original stuff?

badass teacher association (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month ago | (#47340209)

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"

Re:badass teacher association (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47341849)

So just a subset of the NEA, AFT and the various state affiliates?

Re:badass teacher association (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about three weeks ago | (#47349337)

I think this guy runs the organization. http://troll.me?p=24778 [troll.me]

I hope not. (5, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month ago | (#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. (5, Informative)

MiKM (752717) | about a month ago | (#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. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#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.

Re: I hope not. (2)

efitton (144228) | about a month ago | (#47340771)

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 coders are going to be better served taking math and logic first. And the two tests different states are starting to use, while well intended, are an absolute disaster with little to no practicing teachers having input.

Re: I hope not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340927)

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. (3, Interesting)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month ago | (#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".

Re: I hope not. (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47341861)

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.

Re: I hope not. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about three weeks ago | (#47342691)

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 and manage support for 50 state departments of education rather than thousands of local government departments of education. A huge amount of waste in government spending in the US is driven by management being repeated again and again at local government level, when it should only occur once at state government level. That's where the focus should be, getting more management efficiency back in the system with a review of how public service is managed and taxation revenue generated for it and whether core essential services should be local government or state managed, things like schools, police and fire brigades. A single state resource distributed across the state according to need and local communities able to call upon the entire state resource in times of need. A huge reduction in management costs with either a tax saving or an increase in services.

Re: I hope not. (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about three weeks ago | (#47349353)

I'll just leave this here;
https://movetoamend.org/ [movetoamend.org]

Re:I hope not. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340673)

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. (3, Informative)

MiKM (752717) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:I hope not. (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about three weeks ago | (#47349367)

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.

Re:I hope not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340951)

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.

Re:I hope not. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month ago | (#47341339)

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.

Re:I hope not. (-1, Flamebait)

BonThomme (239873) | about a month ago | (#47340359)

"No wonder public support for Common Core is about 35%"

Considering the majority of the public believes in astrology, I'm ok with the above.

Re:I hope not. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340407)

"Under common core standards, the group can decide what the "right" answer is"

Utter leftist stupidity. You couldnt ruin kids education more with things like this.

2+2=5 wont cut it when making cars/programs/writing a check for your electric bill.

These so called educators need to be in prison for the crime they are perpetrating on the children of our county.

Re:I hope not. (1)

efitton (144228) | about a month ago | (#47340777)

Teacher here. I have no idea what you are talking about. It certainly doesn't apply to mathematics at all. In fact the standards line up 95% with the previous state standards I used.

Re:I hope not. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340871)

Good thing you're typing your responses. I doubt you'd be able to intelligibly speak them, what with Billy Gates' cock deep in your face hole and all.

Re:I hope not. (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a month ago | (#47341247)

Wow. If you can't argue intelligently, bring out the homophobic insults.

Re:I hope not. (0)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | about a month ago | (#47341547)

Actually, 2+2=5 is correct for large values of 2.

Re:I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340747)

An American journalist was in Japan with his two daughters. He had them enrolled in a Japanese school. The school, and society, is very team oriented. When asked "What is the capitol of the United States?", the team, with his two daughters, replied "Hollywood".

Re:I hope not. (1)

efitton (144228) | about a month ago | (#47340807)

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.

Re:I hope not. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month ago | (#47341291)

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 are all subjective.

Standards in question, from http://www.corestandards.org/w... [corestandards.org]
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-
led) with diverse partners on
grade 5 topics and
texts,building on others’ ideas and expressing
their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or studied required material; explicitly draw
on that preparation and other information
known about the topic to explore ideas under
discussion.
b .Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and
carry out assigned roles.
c.Pose and respond to specific questions by
making comments that contribute to the
discussion and elaborate on the remarks of
others.
d.Review the key ideas expressed and draw
conclusions in light of information and
knowledge gained from the discussions.
2.Determine the main ideas and supporting details
of a text read aloud or information presented in
diverse media and formats, including visually,
quantitatively, and orally.
2.Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or
information presented in diverse media and
formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
2.Summarize a written text read aloud or
information presented in diverse media and
formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
3.
Ask and answer questions about information from
a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and
detail.
3.
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker
provides to support particular points.
3.
Summarize the points a speaker makes and
explain how each claim is supported by reasons
and evidence

Re:I hope not. (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about three weeks ago | (#47342699)

So half of your points have to be labelled "2." and half have to be labelled "3."?
That sucks!

Re:I hope not. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about three weeks ago | (#47347713)

The copy from the oddly formatted pdf, see the link, did not copy well.

Did not bother cleaning it up.

Re:I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340953)

The problem I have is these monopolies are trying to create worker drones for their own greed. For them to deny the don't have heavy influence or bought-n-paid for support to force this in schools is a joke. It should come down to if the kids want to learn this, when they start forcing it to be a requirement or else you'll fail your grade then there's a problem.

The defunct teachers union just doesn't want to learn this or lose time on the clock because their students need to go to another class with (what I would guess) is a CS teacher. Unions are so screwed up when it comes to whats right to begin with. But I do agree Corporations shouldn't be involved in education, because they are abusing it to hand pick and or train their next batch of under paid employes while the stock holder, chair, ect reap the profits.

Corporations can use the excuse that this is the future and they want to see people succeed and learn at an early age, but that should be up to kids.

What a joke (0, Flamebait)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a month ago | (#47340247)

Any thing that makes a teacher look like the truly lazy and pathetic adult that most them are will anger them and cause a push back. I can honestly say that with over 20 years of schooling under my belt and more then 30 teachers, I honestly respected maybe 4 of them, the rest were lazy, non caring idiots who only became teachers to not give a damn and to get summers off. Of course teachers will push back against common core, any thing that exposes the true nature of the "common" teacher, that being laziness, will cause a push back.

Re:What a joke (4, Informative)

efitton (144228) | about a month ago | (#47340783)

Bite me. I came to teaching after 7 years in the private sector. I work harder now, including the summers.

Re:What a joke (-1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a month ago | (#47340875)

If you really were a qualified teacher you would noticed I didn't indite all teachers, just the "common" teacher and given my personal experience of growing up and going to school for 20 years and having 86.66667% of my teacher being total and completely failures, well I think I can draw a clear and concise conclusion about what the "common" teacher is to me. If you break the mold and really do excel and you rock the class room like a rock star at a concert then awesome, but 86% of my personal experience says it's not likely true.

Re:What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340963)

BS. Having standards is not bad. These standards are. I'm not a teacher, I'm a parent. The crap my kid brings home is almost unbelievably bad.

Re:What a joke (2)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a month ago | (#47341257)

Your kid doesn't bring home the standards. Your kid brings home crappy worksheets and crappy books. These are made by companies trying to take over education. The Common Core standards themselves are overall better than what they replaced. We need more freely shared teacher-created lessons, units, books and projects so we can ditch the for profit companies making garbage resources.

What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341655)

If you needed 20 years of 'schooling', perhaps you are the problem.
That's 8 years of hand-holding beyond high school. Grow the fuck up, and stop blaming others for the fact you're a perpetual student who lacks the self-discipline to act like an adult.

It probably took you 20 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341917)

Because you felt that nothing was down to you. Work, understanding, actually valuing the learning of stuff, they probably mean nothing to you.

Now, taking is as an obvious given that that is a popular if not prevailing attitude among students and their parents, perhaps you and your ilk are the problem. Particularly in the creation of teachers who see you coming and realise that nothing they can or want to do will have one blind bit of difference as their efforts will be rejected.

Re:It probably took you 20 years (2)

jeIlomizer (3670951) | about three weeks ago | (#47343489)

The problem is due to a system that encourages rote memorization, teaching to the test, and generally mindlessly obeying orders (zero tolerance policies, oversensitivity, etc.). It is difficult for most individuals to understand what education truly is when they've never experienced it to begin with.

NGSS is next... (1)

jpellino (202698) | about a month ago | (#47340287)

... 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.

The push for cheap labor... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340291)

... 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'.

What could possibly go wrong? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#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".

it's becomes tech the test and even cheat the test (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47340681)

it's becomes tech the test and even cheat the test like how it is in parts of asia

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

plopez (54068) | about a month ago | (#47340997)

From the OP: First we dumb down the curriculum with "no child left untested" ...

Fixed that for you. That nightmare was a gold mine for testing companies.

Why would anyone be pleased? (4, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about a month ago | (#47340319)

"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.

Re:Why would anyone be pleased? (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a month ago | (#47341967)

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 expected to do on the factory floor. That's just one example. We live with their ideas still today in our educational system.

Then, in the 1960s, we had another group of "overworked white males with no life and have absolutely no background in education" step in and redesign our math and science curricula as part of the "Space Race" to win the Cold War. Suddenly, math curricula (for example) were redesigned by math professors and science professors, with no previous experience in teaching young children, to be much more theoretical in primary and secondary school. So even if few students went on into science or other math-heavy fields, they still were treated to many years of abstract high-school math that would be completely irrelevant to their lives... while dropping or discouraging practical math education in things like finance, home "economics," business math, etc. (Some disasters, like the stuff labeled the "New Math" was eventually dropped.) 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....

im not sure it would ever work. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a month ago | (#47340355)

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.

Re:im not sure it would ever work. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about three weeks ago | (#47343865)

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.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340357)

While I see it as one of the more important things to be learning it should be left to the individual to decide. Forcing shit on kids will do nothing but build hate among those who dream of something different. Make it optional, if they want it they'll take it, I had the option to take shop, home ec "I'm Italian, like I need help with cooking.", or lab I took shop and lab. Taking both ruined my short days since I had to leave then come back 2 hours later, but trust me I wouldn't have done it if I did not enjoy it.

We bad school teachers. Bad, badasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340385)

So don't anyone try to mess with us b/c we bad.

What a great example for our kids.

Re:We bad school teachers. Bad, badasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341013)

racist.

What good is CS if you cant read (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340391)

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

Exposure (3, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:Exposure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340555)

i agree completely

how about we just go back to teaching math properly

there, that wasn't so hard

Exposure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341683)

Not saying it's you in particular, but plenty of parents with similar complaints will be the first to complain about taxes - while they're complaining about the lack of funding in schools.

Since CC defines the purpose of K-12 education as (5, Informative)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | about a month ago | (#47340525)

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 educational services, there is no reason to expect CCSS or any other standards initiative to be an effective educational reform by itself." The biggest problem facing American education and society is the growing number of children living in poverty. As was recently documented by the Southern Education Fund (and reported in the Washington Post) across the American South and West, a majority of our children are now living in poverty. The Common Core does nothing to address this problem. In fact, it is diverting scarce resources and time into more tests, more technology for the purpose of testing, and into ever more test preparation.

WTF. Common Core is a failure, unless dumbing down US society even more is the goal ... which is is for the people who are in charge.

Re:Since CC defines the purpose of K-12 education (1)

plopez (54068) | about a month ago | (#47340985)

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.

Re:Since CC defines the purpose of K-12 education (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about three weeks ago | (#47343023)

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 children to high quality private schools where they receive an education that's substantially superior to that available in many public schools. This advantage of persists right on through college and into adult life where those who were better educated in their youth have better outcomes in health, wealth, longevity and quality of life. Anyone who claims to care about poor minority children while at the same time demonizing vouchers needs to take a hard look at their priorities because their methods are at odds with their stated goals.

Common Core untested (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340757)

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."

CS Version of What Your 6th Grader Needs to Know? (1)

theodp (442580) | about a month ago | (#47340929)

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 among us can know whether the Common Core standards will end in triumph or tragedy."

Computer Science did not make Apple successful (1)

plopez (54068) | about a month ago | (#47340955)

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 lack of focus, vision, quality, and imagination is what is killing them

Much fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47340993)

Democratic elections, healthcare, gun control, education.... Name one thing that the US goverment does as well or better than most of the first wold contries.

No. Die in a fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341623)

When I was in college several millenia ago, everyone and their mother was in CS. Why?

Dotcom Bubble.

Three thirds of the people I knew went into IT merely because "money". Half of them are probably on Slashdot right now complaining about H1Bs. Because they're terrible.

Repeat after me:

- You cannot force people to be competent.
- You cannot force people to do jobs they have no interest in (hi women, minorities!)
- You can get anybody to fill a seat for enough cash.

Re:No. Die in a fire. (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about three weeks ago | (#47343719)

"You cannot force people to be competent."

Every single human being are good at something. It may be in some other fields. Underutilized workers are usually a result of incompetent managers. I once supervised/trained a ADHD student working in our IT lab that has 1.) borderline 2.0 GPA and 2.) consistently harassed by my boss because the boss accused him that he just sit on the screen and reading reddit / running full screen 3D applications (a.k.a. games) all day, and guess what.... when he graduated he landed a software consulting job for above-median wages in the geographical area.

Managing ADHD people requires a different approach to fully unlock their potential. But most managers will just write them off as "incompetent".

------

"You cannot force people to do jobs they have no interest in (hi women, minorities!)"
"You can get anybody to fill a seat for enough cash."

The above two sentences can be combined:

You can get anybody to do jobs they have no interested in provided that it pays enough cash.

Re:No. Die in a fire. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about three weeks ago | (#47343879)

"You cannot force people to do jobs they have no interest in"

Really? Most people, given the choice (e.g. won the lottery) would not do what their day job is. While you can't force people to do jobs you can provide a strong incentive with money. This is why desirable jobs tend to be badly paid (e.g. working with animals---many people want to do it and would do it for fun) and non desirable jobs are well paid.

Functional education without reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47341723)

I'm not a student or parent, but what I've seen from Common Core is that it's like the 21st century version of the 19th century school. The 19th century school was designed to break people to work in factories with regimentation and strict supervision. The 21st century school is designed to churn out functionally educated people who have no ability to reflect or think critically. The whole CC thing seems to emphasize being able to read and write functional documents (contracts, government documents, corporate paperwork, etc) but completely ignores the creative, imaginative, reflective, wondering side of people. It's like today's robber barons want functionally skilled people who are nothing but drones capable of completing tasks, but never reflecting upon their condition.

No wonder they want all books wrapped in DRM - they probably want to push a big red delete button and get rid of any philosophical or reflective work in human history so people won't accidentally read one of them.

Re:Functional education without reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47343521)

And 20th century education is just like 19th century education.

The sick joke is this (1)

zkiwi34 (974563) | about a month ago | (#47341949)

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.

Interference (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about a month ago | (#47342221)

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 certain to occur. If a teacher were to give a lesson that included that the US could never have survived without various forms of slavery in the past it would not be calmly considered as information but be taken more as a call to arms by several groups. Then a teacher could point out that the Americas were a sudden opening of a huge group of natural resources and that the ability of the people had little to do with the initial wealth of the nation. And it is not just the history class that could be seen as alienating youth from their heritage. Simply by stating that Carl Marx was the creator of progressive income tax so that to a degree the US is Marxist in nature would shock the heck out of many people. So how does a teacher teach? If the kids read Romeo and Juliet there is a line that says Juliet would have dome better if she had learned to fall back a bit. That line means she should have had sex with more people. Parents get upset if they are bright enough to know Shakespeare's language. And one of Joseph Conrad's classic novels can no longer be mentioned as the title contains the N word. The word niggardly is kept out of classrooms as many black folks think it has something to do with race. We need to insulate teachers from the public, the politicians and the corporations as well.

Dumbing down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47347341)

Dumbing down of merica.

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