Monday, August 24, 2015

Texas STAAR Test Problems

Texas STAAR Test Problems

    A trickle of Texas parents opting out of STAAR tests | | Dallas ...
    The Dallas Morning News
    Mar 26, 2014 - For older kids, they face the five End Of Course/STAAR tests: Englisn I ..... @differentperspective........ok, since that was too hard , just name one.

    Texas officials upset over low STAAR scores; won't admit ...
    Aug 28, 2014 - Low standardized test scores have nothing to do with our children or ... The new STAAR test is intentionally too hard, and designed to be a little ...

    Testing is good, but STAAR may not be |
    Austin American‑Statesman
    Jun 20, 2012 - It's hard to draw firm conclusions from one round of testing, but the results had many asking whether the test was too hard or whether schools ...

    Lege Takes up STAAR Testing, Another Year Older and Not ...
    The Texas Observer
    Aug 27, 2014 - When the new STAAR test was first unveiled, the plan was that to ... and not enough students are passing it, maybe because the test is too hard.

    State expert refutes claims STAAR test is too hard - KXII
    Dec 10, 2012 - AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An expert is denying that Texas made its latest standardized test too difficult, saying such exams have always gotten ...

    Some parents say they're being "bullied" after STAAR opt-out
    Apr 24, 2015 - ... some parents in the 'opt-out' movement say the letter pushes too hard. ... They didn't send their kids to school this week while STAAR testing ...

    Expert says Texas standardized test STAAR isn't too hard ...
    El Paso Times
    Dec 10, 2012 - AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A state expert denied Texas made its latest standardized test too difficult, saying Monday that such exams have always ...

    What have your kids told you about the STAAR test?
    State expert refutes claims STAAR test is too hard. AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ... Darren Dupre Why do they keep re-inventing these tests? It was TAAS when I was in ...

    State Expert Refutes Claims STAAR Test... - CBS7 News ...
    State Expert Refutes Claims STAAR Test is Too Hard

    STAAR Math Tests Won't Count | KTRH
    Apr 10, 2015 - They are just too hard for some students. ... Some of the problems on this year's sixth grade math STAAR tests were taught in seventh grade last ...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Failure Factories": How a Florida School District Wrecked Schools for Black Students

"Failure Factories": How a Florida School District Wrecked Schools for Black Students
RealNews (leftwing) video

Does segregation or integration really make much difference? Is it fair to declare schools a failure just because black students get lower test scores than rich white kids? Why are test scores valid to show that schools are a failure but they are not valid for college admissions because they are biased?
Published on Aug 18, 2015

Tampa Bay Times investigative reporter Michael LaForgia discusses how after re-segregation, wealthy and majority-white Pinellas County became the worst place for Black students to attend public school in Florida

Muhammad The Just 3 days ago


tarossi400 1 day ago

+Muhammad The Just I'm just a guy who realizes people like you are all talk and no action. You make wild demands on others with the knowledge you'll never receive what you asked for in order to hide your lack of abilities and/or ambition.


That's just what's being reported. We both know their are at least two sides to every story. It could be that policies were changed for any number of reasons. I don't believe policies cause ignorant behavior or failing courses either way. They could. I'm not a teacher nor do I have any experience or real knowledge of such. You do, so maybe you're right. I am certainly generalizing.

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MrHoneHeke 3 days ago

This is an example of how to confuse an audience? "Resegregation"... What does that mean? Blacks had to go to black schools and whites to whites? Or just kids stayed in their own neighbourhoods which just happened to be all black?

How much funding per child was provided in other schools compared with the 5 failed schools?

What were the academic results compared with other schools?

Alexander Zapata 3 hours ago

+MrHoneHeke right.

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FreedomForceUSA 3 days ago

Band aids on the symptoms but no one seems to want to do the hard work for a cure

Reply · 1

Adam Pharmassists 3 days ago

Blacks are statistically more likely to be born without a structured family. Raising a kid who performs in school is much more dependent on reinforcement at home than what school they are at. Single mothers are at a huge disadvantage, having to work full time and some how discipline their child.

Reply · 1

bigge525 2 days ago

+Adam Pharmassists Just keep telling everyone that gravity and factual research data is a figment of our imaginations fuck-face. It's even more pathetic, I mean, entertaining. ;).

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tarossi400 3 days ago

You say schools with higher poverty rates are out performing these schools, but never say what the difference is. Since the rest of the story focuses on schools that are overwhelmingly black, are we to assume you're saying the failure is due to too many black kids? This whole story is essentially claiming that blacks are doomed to fail unless mixed with whites.

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PrimeTime 3 days ago

+tarossi400 That's not even close to what the point is here. They defunded the school when they separated the children. Take from someone like me that has actually worked to build a school. Education is expensive, and can not operate without proper funding. The school tanked afterwards. The kids "just happened to be" black.

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tarossi400 3 days ago

+PrimeTime It's not said in this story that the schools were defunded, only that promises to add more funding for counselors, therapists and the like were not met. Why would they need to add all this mental counseling? Isn't that above and beyond what the typical school gets?

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syby1112 3 days ago

all the Caucasians are backward and primitive remarks make me laugh. you have been brainwashed by the whiteys fault crowd, just like spoiled children. It's not my fault ,we never do anything wrong, we kill each other at alaming numbers because of white people. I've lived in the hood or next to it my whole life ..... there is a mindset in the hood and it starts about 7th or 8th grade, its " I'm not gonna learn and I'm gonna make damn shure nobody else does either"

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astifan1 3 days ago

allways nice to hear liberal regime ideology in play. once, long time ago, science was under relligious boot. now, science is partly under libaral boot.

Reply · 1

marty mart 3 days ago

and how old is this topic????? don't you get it keeping black children miseducated and mistreated is intentional!!

Reply · 1

Rickugg 3 days ago

It's white's fault again. I would have never guessed that.

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Kelli Hillman 3 days ago

People dont want to be biased outside their neighborhoods, it was wrong and dangerous , thats why forced bussing stopped.

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syby1112 3 days ago

easy on the caps ,your remark isn't new . your saying the same old tired excuse ,you can't get out of your own way and never will be able to

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MrEzra710 2 days ago

The interview never touched on why they didn't replace the school board. Usually they are voted in, why couldn't they be voted out? I don't get it. Also, integration isn't the answer for educating Black children. They had quoted initially there would be no more than 30% Black student population per school, ensuring they were a planned and legislated minority. 70% was still catered to the dominant race, their needs, their goals, their system of education. The 30% got the crumbs that fell from the table by virtue of them being there. This was a jacked up system all the way around and the main victims were the kids. SMH.

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anameaboveallothers 2 days ago


Reply ·

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Best and Worst Test Scores in St Louis Area

Best Test Scores in St Louis Area

passing rates by race for all state districts alphabetic

2012:  Statewide, 55 percent of students scored as either proficient or advanced in communications arts, up from 54.6 percent. The passing rate in math edged up from 54.3 percent to 55 percent.

A handful of districts in the St. Louis area were among the state's best on the exams. Lindbergh ranked third in the state in math and tops in the region, with nearly 84 percent of students landing proficient or advanced scores. Ladue, Brentwood and Kirkwood also took top honors, with more than 77 percent of their students passing math.

those school districts that have struggled under the state's accreditation rating system, which also looks at factors such as ACT scores and graduation rates. Ultimately, districts that are stripped of accreditation — currently St. Louis, Riverview Gardens and Kansas City — face state sanctions.

Lindbergh 83.9%
Brentwood 79%
Ladue 77.9%
Kirkwood 77.5%
Clayton 74.9%

English, 91.4 percent
-Math, 92.4
-Science, 90.6
-Social Studies 76.1
Racial high school enrollment 2014-15
White 75.7% African American- 13.4% Two or more races- 5.9%
Fort Zumwalt East
English, 85.8 percent
-Math, 79.8
-Science, 88.7
-Social studies, 85.7

Fort Zumwalt South
English, 88.2 percent
-Math, 82.8
-Science, 90.4
-Social studies, 79.9

Fort Zumwalt West
English, 88.8 percent
-Math, 77.3
-Science, 90
-Social Studies, 79.9

Francis Howell High
English, 88.5 percent
-Math, 78.7
-Science, 90.4
-Social studies, 88.5

-English, 87.4 percent
-Math, 87.5
-Science, 90.8
-Social studies, 87.4

-English, 93 percent
-Math, 84.5
-Science, 89
-Social studies, 82.3

Scores vs Poverty Free Lunch

Statewide scores by race (select one race at a time)
White    50.6
Black    22.9
Asian    67.6
Hispanic 36.3


this has breakdown by race for each district

Top 5  - passing - free lunch - passing by race

Clayton 75.3 16.5      W 83 B 35 A 95 H 71
Ladue 73.6 12.5        W 79 B 35 A 92 H 68
Kirkwood 72.3 17.1 W 81 B 32 A 71 H 58
Lindbergh 73.5 17.8  W 83 B 66 A  89 H 72
Brentwood 71.2 28.1 W 79 B 49 A 100 H 78

In all of the top schools, Asians are usually highest, followed by whites in 80s. Blacks are much lower from 35-66 even though research shows that education is best in desegregated environments. Hispanics generally higher than blacks from 58-78

Bottom 5

They are all predominantly black ranging from 77% to 98% black, passing 12-17%
Statewide passing rate for math is 22.9 so Fergeson at 17 isn't far below state average for blacks.
90+% minority Riverview Gardens and Normandy forced by state law to pay for students to flee "failing" or "troubled" schools to other districts and going bankrupt for remaining students who score lowest rates.

District - pass rate overall - free lunch rate - pass rate by race
Normandy 12.4 91.5 W 6 B 12 H 26 "worst performing district in state"
97% black
Riverview Gardens 12.6 94 W 12 B 12 H 25
1% white 98% black
Fergeson-Florissant 20.4 57.8 (middle class) W 41 B 17 A 42 H 25
16% white 77% black
St. Louis City 21.8 88.8  W 49 B 17 A 49 H 27
white 14% black 80% hisp 3% asian 3%

Nearly all-white Lonedell schools are just as poor / same free lunch rate as Fergeson but has much higher 58% pass rate
58.7% pass 58.1 free lunch
students:  99% White 1%  Black:
Ft Zumwalt
59.2% pass 22.1 free lunch  W 61 B 42 A 76 H 45
zillow 85% white 6% black 4% hispanic 3% asian

Jim Bell · Works at USD 501 Topeka Public School
I remember quite a few years ago when Riverview Gardens wanted to bring in more teachers that better represented the districts population. They made every single teacher re-apply for their jobs. Many teachers lost their jobs while many others seen the hand writing on the wall and didn't renew on their own. Seeing the posted scores just published, all I can say now to the administration is how is that decision working out for you? Looks like RG ranked the lowest in the entire STL area including the city. 

Riverview Gardens is committed to recruiting, hiring and retaining employees of ***various backgrounds*** and experiences to provide rewarding educational opportunities for our children. We know that every position within the district, including our facilities staff, food service, and transportation, directly relates to the educational successes of our children. Our district has one high school, two middle schools, nine elementary schools, and a nationally acclaimed early childhood center. Our community is supportive and involved in the success of our students, teachers and all staff.

District is so bad they pay other districts to educate their students; Money being paid by Normandy, Riverview Gardens to other districts not being spent helping students February 10, 2014  By Elisa Crouch, Jessica Bock ...Rose Acres has absorbed 26 transfer students and hired two staff members with money from ***failing districts*** to accommodate the new students. 2,200 transfer students have fanned out across the St. Louis region in search of a better education than they were getting in the ***troubled*** Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts. tuition payments continue to cripple the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts. Without an influx of cash, Normandy could go bankrupt this spring. Now, some superintendents in the receiving districts are questioning whether they should return part of the money to Normandy to stave off its collapse.

Kathy Wilson
If poverty was a total issue no poor child would ever score well or succeed, and we know that's not true. Education, as a priority, begins in the home. Why are Asians the minority no one wants to include in any scores or special funding? Because they beat out the white kids.

Beth Griffin · St. Louis
We already know what works - smaller class sizes, wrap-around services, longer school days, year-round school, preschool among other things. The problem is that we don't want to invest in these education improvements so that poor children have a better chance to be successful. [actually none of these things have been demonstrated to eliminate gaps]

David Best · Webster University
add parental involvement to that also...

Riverview Gardens High School

Minority enrollment is 98% of the student body (majority Black), which is more than the state average of 28%.
The school district's 52% graduation rate is lower than the MO state average of 86%.
The student population of 1294 students has declined by 34% over five years. (because of transfers to high scoring="better" districts)
The teacher population of 60 teachers has declined by 44% over five years.
80% free or reduced lunch.

Posted November 23, 2014
- a community member School is unaccredited, nobody wants to buy a home in the area, property values are down, taxes are down, revenue is down, school funding is down. Vicious circle. Clean up your act, RG!

Posted December 05, 2012
- a community member Rating only the band program. I am a professional musician working with Riverview's high school band. The newer band director is EXCELLENT and is working overtime to grow the program. A new study shows that students in band do better in all other subjects. (See for this study) Mr. Lockhart's dedication is already making a difference. The music students are respectful and eager to learn!

Posted September 20, 2012
- a student My friend and i are currently attending Riverview Gardens High school, we are both sophmores, and we (STRONGLY DISAGREE) with what other parents, teachers, and former students are saying about our school. We are working extremely hard to get our creditedition back. Every school has fights and problems, so dont try and down grade our school, because like other school, we also have very intelligent students.
Posted September 17, 2012

- a community member I graduated from Riverview in 1968, graduated from UMSL four years later and am amazed at the drastic deterioration of my old high school. I have tracked the reputation of this school in the time since I left as I now live out of state. It is unbelievable. What did you people do to that school??? It is pathetic !

Posted May 09, 2012
- a parent Unfortunatlly I don't have a lot of good things to say my daughter has been a student at the high school for three years and to be treated badly and she has been an honor roll student, on the Pom Pom team and has ran for home coming court for princess, so she not a bad student at all but to know that Ms. Bland suspended her and know that the other student confessed that it was her fault, but she decided to do nothing because she doesn't care for my child! but I will do what it takes to make sure our cries are heard so believe me their will be justice by our system in this matter! God Bless!

- a community member It appears as taxpayers in the Riverview Gardens school district we are not getting our money's worth.

Posted August 03, 2009
- a parent When my son was going to riverview high he had so many fight's i had to tranferred him to another school i don't ike the district

Posted February 14, 2009
- a parent I am a parent and my child transferred from Illinois to Missouri, we had a choice between Riverview and Hazelwood, and based up on other reviews I chose Riverview. This was an excellent choice for my child, he is excelling, the freshman principal is awesome and I love the changes that have taken place.

Posted February 04, 2009
- a student I use to attend Riverview Gardens High School my freshman and sophmore year.I now attend McCluer North High School.But when I was there the school was basically just outta control.I thought that school was a place of learning not a play to come and hangout.And thats what the kids coem to that school and do.And some of the teachers don't care.Because,they paycheck is still gonna be the same at the end of the day.I think that it really should be tooken over by the state.Because the people who have been running it.Ain't improving it.And if there is no accredidation whats the point of even coming to school becaus eyour diploma dosen't mean that much.Colleges look at if u came to an accreditted school or not.And if u didn't..You're chances of being exceptd versus a child who did go to an accredited school.You won't get pick..So thats something that should be considered.

Normandy called a "struggling" and "failing" district

White school district sends black kids back to failed schools
06/25/14 Hundreds of mostly poor minority students who used a controversial Missouri law to transfer out of failing schools will be sent back to their home districts next school year, following a tense battle...puts the academic fate of some of the state’s most needy and disadvantaged students at risk. “Children have a right and a need to have quality schools in their neighborhood.” Missouri Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that allowed students from unaccredited school districts to transfer to better schools....exodus triggered a number of unexpected consequences. The failing districts were financially responsible for paying all transfer-related expenses, including tuition and transportation costs.... nearly crippled one school district in particular, the Normandy schools, which has paid about $10.4 million to a dozen different school districts. The costs for the Normandy district, which is about 97% black and whose student body is deeply impoverished, forced the legislature to appropriate supplemental funding to keep it afloat. The board recently voted to replace the Normandy School District with a new district, the Normandy Schools Collaborative effective July changing its name, the district is now no longer unaccredited and therefore eligible under the transfer law.

St. Louis area superintendents sound the alarm on Normandy's demise

Administrators are urging action on a plan to rework how the state handles unaccredited schools. Read more

State surprises Normandy schools by control The Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to take financial control of the unaccredited Normandy School District, which is buckling which is buckling under the financial weight of Missouri’s school transfer law.... transition team to figure out how to educate Normandy’s 3,000 students and 1,000 transfer students in the likely event the north St. Louis County school system goes bankrupt this spring or summer.The amount Normandy must spend on transfer tuition is 1.5 times more than it receives in per-student state aid

Normandy School District sues state, other ... The Normandy School District sued the Missouri Board of Education and 20 area school districts Wednesday, challenging the validity of a school transfer law that has ... Normandy schools, going broke, at a crossroads: students could be dispersed
If district runs out of money this school year, state law would send its kids to other districts. challenging the validity of a school transfer law that has left the Normandy district nearly insolvent.
challenges the federal and state constitutionality of the law that has forced the unaccredited Normandy district to pay transportation and tuition expenses for about 1,000 children who left for higher-performing schools this year. The state did not provide funding for the transportation costs, the lawsuit says, and therefore the transfer law is an unfunded mandate in violation of Missouri’s Hancock Amendment. The Normandy school system has spent about $8 million so far this year on transfer tuition and transportation expenses, an outflow for which officials hadn’t budgeted.

transfer law.Passed in 1993, allows children living in districts that aren’t accredited by the state to enroll in higher-performing schools at their home district’s expense. Breitenfeld and other St. Louis parents sued Clayton schools after the St. Louis district lost accreditation in 2007. The parents had been paying tuition for their children to attend Clayton schools, and asked the district to send the bills to St. Louis in accordance with the transfer law.

McNichols resigns as Normandy superintendent -... WN Jan 22, 2015 · NORMANDY • Normandy schools Superintendent Ty McNichols has abruptly resigned, throwing into question the leadership of the state’s lowest performing district...

Map of St. Louis by race


Eric Fischer was inspired by Bill Rankin’s Chicago map of racial and ethnic divides which took the recent Census data and dotted a city map with colored dots equaling groups of the same race…so he did the same thing for other cities. Not sure if this really counts as being “inspired”. “Thought that it was cool so I did the exact same thing.” might be closer.
Below is Fischer’s map of St. Louis. Each dot is 25 people. Red is white, blue is black, green is asian, orange is hispanic and gray is “other”/white guys that wear their hat sideways.
Ok…we crappily overlaid a Google map on this image for a little clarity.
Note Fergeson and Normandy in NW blue corner at edge of white neighborhoods
No surprises here, but it is interesting that South City is far and away the most diverse area in the region. It’s like a real city right there in the middle of this other city which is right next to the two other segregated areas. How lovely!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Common Core Roots In Outcomes Based and Mastery Learning

Common Core Roots In Outcomes Based and Mastery Learning

All of these slogans are bogus:

  • All Students Can Achieve
  • All Students Will Be College And Career Ready
  • End Social Promotion
  • Vary time
  • Replace Seat Time With A Meaningful Diploma
  • All But The Truly Disabled Will Achieve At World Class Level
  • Demand Higher Standards
  • World Class Standards

Roots of Common Core and the push for "higher standards" can be found in Chicago's experiment in the 1970s with Professor Benjamin Bloom's Mastery Learning (ML), which is essentially the same as OBE. ML was a colossal failure and was abandoned in disgrace in 1982. The test scores proved to be appallingly low and the illiteracy rate became a national scandal. Bloom argues (without any supporting proof or data) that aside from the 5% who have disabilities, and 5% who are truly talented, the other 90% can learn all knowledge to the same level of proficiency, any difference in aptitude is simply a different rate of learning (which is obviously silly and misguided) Traditional grade assignment is based ON AGE,  NOT ABILITY. It is a lost cause to say that "seat time" and "social promotion" must be replaced by measured performance, or that such a change will eliminate differences in academic ability between individuals or groups. It might be better to eliminate holding back students to grade level because of ability level than to eliminate social promotion.


  • Education Week:  October 9, 1985 Chicago Mastery Learning Reading:'A Program With Three Left Feet' By Kenneth S. Goodman The Chicago Board of Education's recent decision to drop Chicago Mastery Learning Reading as a required program may have appeared to be a political move, not one based on the merits of the program. That is an unfortunate impression, because cmlr is indeed a very bad program... I can, however, explicate some of the particular faults of the Chicago program.... more than any other factor, brought down the program was that it was imposed on teachers: Every teacher at every level from kindergarten through grade 8 was required to use cmlr methods for all pupils in a rigid and unvarying way. The program perverted the principle that "every child can learn" into the idea that "every child can learn in exactly the same way." The only thing teachers were permitted to vary for individual children was the amount of extra drill they received.  Pupils who passed were not permitted to go on to the next unit until the rest of the class was retaught and retested...had to mark time. pupils who did not score at least 80 percent on 80 percent of the tests (no justification was given for these absolute criteria) were not promoted to the next grade. [Same idea as no diploma for students who do not pass Common Core passing score]  materials reflect poor writing and careless editing. In addition, some of the content and pictures have been criticized as being racist or insensitive to children with problems...  That this program was spawned in an urban school district with large minority populations suggests a tendency to believe that minority children cannot achieve unless they are regimented and dehumanized--that they are incapable of learning language in the way other people learn. I hope that minority parents and leaders recognize this attitude as a form of racism.
  • ERIC: Chicago Mastery Reading: A Case Against a Skills-Based Reading Curriculum. Schmidt, George N. Learning, v11 n4 p36-37,39-40 Nov 1982 A city-wide elementary school reading program that emphasizes mastery learning and continuous progress in Chicago, Continuous Progress--Mastery Learning, is blamed for the declining reading test scores of high school students there. The program's origins and evolution are described along with a new program, Chicago Mastery Learning Reading, which was developed in response to problems cited in the previous program. (PP)
  • Benjamin Bloom coined the term "Learning for Mastery" and then later "Mastery Learning" in 1968 and 1971 to describe an educational method in which each student stays with a certain unit of learning material in a process of assessing and correcting until the objectives of that unit are mastered before moving on to the next unit. This remains among the most intuitive and effective teaching methods today. As nation-wide education reform focuses increasingly on setting standards and testing, there is an urgent need to bring students who have trailed behind educationally up to newly stringent standards. Mastery Learning implemented with diverse educational resources can meet this need. 
  • Phi Delta Kappan Nov., 1977 Reading in the City: The Chicago Mastery Learning Reading Program Mastery learning strategies developed by Benjamin Bloom and J.H. Block have been tested for two years in the Chicago Public Schools with "highly encouraging" results.  Yhe problem of low reading achievement in the Chicago Pubic Schools is both chronic and pervasive.. seems resistant to a variety of remedies. In an effort to abate this problem, Department of Research and Evaluation of the Chicago Board of Education undertook a project in the fall of 1975 to adapt the mastery learning strategies developed by Bloom and Block to the Chicago reading curriculum. major components are: 1.  Formal specification of comprehensive set of cognitive objectives 2. Instruction 3. Frequent formative / diagnostic evaluation 4. Corrective or remedial instructional treatments 5. Criterion-referenced summative evaluation In this way almost all students master the content and are better prepared for the next unit. [it was cancelled after half of largely minority students were held back in grade because they could not meet arbitrarily minimal test scores]  Does it work? 1. 30% increase in rate of learning 2. faster pupils were not slowed 3. variance decreased 4. dependence of previous performance declined 5. teachers were enthusiastic two classrooms in each of 10 schools with pupils at appropriate reading levels... While our optimism is still cautious, it appears that mastery learning may provide a reasonable and practical approach to the unique problems of teaching reading in an urban [codeword for minority] setting.
  • Wikipedia Mastery learning  instructional strategy and educational philosophy, first formally proposed by Benjamin S. Bloom in 1968. Mastery Learning maintains that students must achieve a level of mastery (i.e. 90% on a knowledge test) in prerequisite knowledge before moving forward to learn subsequent information. If a student does not achieve mastery on the test, they are given additional support in learning and reviewing the information, then tested again. This cycle will continue until the learner accomplishes mastery, and may move on to the next stage. Mastery learning methods suggest that the focus of instruction should be the time required for different students to learn the same material and achieve the same level of mastery. The challenge becomes providing enough time and employing instructional strategies so that all students can achieve the same level of learning. Despite those mostly positive research results, interest in mastery learning strategies decreased throughout the 1980s. Many explanations were put forward to justify this decline, like alleged recalcitrance of the educational establishment to change, or the ineffective implementations of mastery learning methods, Bloom argues that there are 1 to 5 percent of students who have special talent for learning a subject and there are also around five percent of students who have special disability for learning a subject. For other 90% of students, aptitude is merely an indicator of the rate of learning. Additionally, Bloom argues that attitude for a learning task is not constant and can be changed by environmental conditions or learning experience at school or home.


Transformational Marxism

Most teachers today are trained on Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy. One of Bloom’s foundational beliefs behind his taxonomy is that “we recognize the point of view that truth and knowledge are only relative and that there are no hard and fast truths which exist for all time and all places.” Detective Phil Worts, Communist (Community) Oriented Policing,, at (June 1, 2001).

Another of Bloom’s principles is: "The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students." Berit Kjos, Reinventing the World, The Mind-Changing Dialectic Processat (quoting Benjamin Bloom, All Our Children Learning (New York: McGraw Hill,1981), at 180). What does Bloom mean by that? He means: “[A] large part of what we call 'good teaching' is the teacher's ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students' fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues." Kjos, supra (quoting David Krathwohl, Benjamin Bloom and Bertram Massia, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook II: Affective Domain, at 55 (McKay Publishers, 1956)).

What are the fixed beliefs that Bloom seeks to change? One reviewer of Bloom’s book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain, explains that Bloom’s taxonomy is a method for challenging and changing the values and beliefs that a person is imbued with by his parents, family, and religion.

Benjamin Bloom is a second generation transformational Marxist, dedicated to the destruction of the founding ideals that have made America great. Namely, accountability to a higher authority, the existence of revealed and absolute truth, and that man's heart is desperately wicked, in need of internal or external restraints. Bloom and his buddies have simply cleaned up Theodore Adorno's work The Authoritarian Personality, for public consumption in teachers colleges. Bloom's work is based on false assumptions of human nature; there is no God, no absolute truth, and man is basically good, evolving, and perfectible. Read pg. 32 where Bloom claims there is no lasting truths for all time and all places. Compare Bloom's statement with Engel's claim in Ludwig Feuerbach, "nothing is final, absolute, or sacred." In Bloom's affective domain book he blatantly acknowledges Adorno and another Frankfort School Marxist as forming his "world view". The progressive restructuring educational movement has destroyed what was great in America. Read it and weep. Protect your children.

Customer Reviews, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook 1: Cognitive Domainat (last visited February 16, 2008).

Dr. Dennis Cuddy concluded that Bloom’s philosophy of moral relativism codified in Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives has made teaching “less and less about teaching students academic knowledge, and more and more about changing their values.” Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D., Mental Health, Education and Social Control, Part 4,, at (October 7, 2004).

Mastery Learning

Bloom further developed his taxonomy into what he called “Mastery Learning,” which later became known as “Outcome Based Education.” Professor Benjamin Bloom has been called the Father of Outcome-based Education. Benjamin Bloom was not interested in educating a person so they attained knowledge, but rather with changing the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. He was a behavioralist, cut from the same mold as Skinner and Pavlov.

Bloom’s Mastery Learning was implemented in a Chicago area school district and it was a resounding failure. As explained in an article in the Eagle Forum:

The best test of an OBE-type system was Chicago's experiment in the 1970s with Professor Benjamin Bloom's Mastery Learning (ML), which is essentially the same as OBE. ML was a colossal failure and was abandoned in disgrace in 1982. The test scores proved to be appallingly low and the illiteracy rate became a national scandal. Bloom, the father of ML, is well known for his statement that "the purpose of education is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students."

What's Wrong With Outcome-Based Education?, Eagle Forum, VOL. 26, NO. 10, at (May 1993) (quoting All Our Children Learning, at 180).

Outcome Based Education

Why was the title of Bloom’s Pavlovian/Skinnerian “Mastery Learning”changed to Outcome Based Education (OBE)? “Due to the Chicago disaster in 1981 when one half of the Chicago inner city school children dropped out due to Benjamin Bloom's ten year mastery learning experiment on minorities, Spady et al changed the label to OBE [Outcome Based Education].” Charlotte Iserbyt, No American Left Alone!,, at (April 12, 2002).

What is the underlying method of OBE?

OBE is based on the unrealistic notion that every child in a group can learn to the designated level and must demonstrate mastery of a specific outcome before the group can move on. The faster learners are not allowed to progress, but are given busy work called "horizontal enrichment" or told to do "peer tutoring" to help the slower learners, who are recycled through the material until the pre-determined behavior is exhibited.

What's Wrong With Outcome-Based Education?, Eagle Forum, VOL. 26, NO. 10, at (May 1993). 

Under Bloom’s system, the entire class would have to wait for the least able student to learn a lesson before they could move on to the next lesson. Under the traditional instruction, time was static and learning was variable. Under Bloom’s system learning became static and time was variable. Bloom assumed that time was unlimited.

Bloom’s philosophy had the effect of dumbing down curriculums so that little advanced instruction was imparted to the students. If one were to apply Bloom’s Mastery Learning to basketball, the basket would have to be lowered so that all could score equally.


Under the traditional teaching paradigm, education is the acquisition of knowledge. The student is challenged to use the scope of that knowledge to formulate a reasoned conclusion as an individual. Traditional instruction cultivates and disciplines the mind.

Outcome-based education calls for a shift in that model or paradigm. The model is shifted from content to process. The student under the OBE model is called upon to demonstrate what he knows and can do against pre-established instructional objectives. Instead of core knowledge being the focal point of education, the focal point becomes some conduct that manifests an instructional objective.

If the curriculum and instruction are not moving the student to mastery of the exit outcomes as measured by assessment, then the instruction is changed. This process is repeated until the instruction aligns with the exit outcomes and produce in the student the desired conduct. Bloom stated: “What we are classifying is the intended behavior of students - the ways in which individuals are to act, think, or feel as the result of participating in some unit of instruction.” Education Reform, at (quoting Bloom, Benjamin, editor; Taxonomy of Educational Objectives; Book 1: Cognitive Domain; New York: Longman (1956)). Lynn Stutter explains:

There is a vast difference between how traditionalists and progressives view the brain. Traditionalists view the brain as an inexhaustible sponge that can soak up an infinite amount of knowledge and information – factual and nonfactual. Traditionalists believe that the capacity and capability of the brain is infinite, given mental discipline and the abilities that spring therefrom. Traditionalists believe that properly disciplined, the brain provides the path to intellectual capability. Traditionalists also believe that the brain is unique to the individual.

The progressive, on the other hand, treats the mind like a computer – take information in, process it, and output it – all on command. They deny the ability of the brain to function beyond input, process, and output mode as they believe the individual brain is not more than part of the Universal Mind, the collective mind. In other words, someone else should do your "thinking" for you, and you should simply be conditioned to a perceived environment so you act in all the "proper" ways. . . . This is all based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives and other taxonomies . . . This is one of the reasons that those who have researched education reform say that the purpose is to produce robots.

Lynn M Stuter, Teaching Children to Think, Learn USA, at (last visited on February 20, 2008).

Bloom’s Taxonomy is the foundational principle underlying OBE. One thing that becomes immediately apparent when applying Bloom’s Taxonomy is that the practitioner of his system of learning dissuade teachers from having an objective that involves knowledge or understanding. For example, we find the following instructions on the St. Edward’s University website that explains the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy in framing instructional objectives:

Since the first two levels in the taxonomy reflect literal-level thinking, questions classified as Knowledge or Comprehension should be avoided. (emphasis added)

Bloom's Taxonomy, Developing Higher-Order Questions, St. Edward’s University, at (last visited on February 19, 2008) (citing Eanes, Dr. Robin, Content Area Literacy: Teaching for Today and Tomorrow, Chapter 5, 1997, Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN# 0-8273-5954-3).

Robert F. Mager

Robert F. Mager has written an authoritative book on writing instructional objectives that builds upon Bloom’s Taxonomy. Mager considers an objective that describes knowledge or understanding as being “fuzzy,” and therefore such an objective is to be avoided. Mager explains: “Until you say what you mean by ‘knowing’ in terms of what students ought to be able to DO, you have said very little at all.” Robert F. Mager, Preparing Instructional Objectives, 2nd Ed., at 21 (emphasis in original). Mager lists examples of preferred objectives, all of which involve action. For example he lists the following suggested objectives: to write, to recite, to identify, to sort, to solve, to construct, to build, to compare, to contrast, to smile.” Id. at 20.

Why would Mager limit instructional objectives to actions? Because he is an experimental psychologist. As is Bloom, Mager is a behavioralist, who sees man only in terms of what he manifests behaviorally. His sees the world in terms of response-stimuli. In his view, a person is a manifestation of conditioned behavior. It is not important what someone knows or understands, but only what he does. There is no compromise with Mager. Mager is emphatic that “[a]n objective always says what a learner is expected to be able to do.”Id. at 21 (emphasis in original). According to Mager, all instructional objectives require the learner to do something.

An objective will communicate your intent to the degree you describe what the learner will be DOING when demonstrating achievement of the objective, the important conditions of the doing, and the criterion by which the achievement will be judged.

Id. at 87 (emphasis in original).

Mager’s book is viewed by many as an authoritative text on instructional objectives. In fact, his book is in such demand among teachers that in one resource library used by instructors, I found six copies of his book. However, Mager cites only three authorities in his entire book, and he is the author of every one of those authorities. It is notable that Mager is described on the back cover of his book as an “experimental psychologist,” yet he does not cite a single experiment in his book to support his theory on the effectiveness of behavioral objectives. Amazingly, Mager’s book does not even contain a bibliography! Apparently, Mager is his own authority for his theories on instructional objectives.

Eschewing Knowledge

Samuel Johnson, who is the most quoted English writer outside of Shakespeare, stated that “integrity without knowledge is weak and useless.” Johnson’s statement is based upon an ancient precept that “wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7. Mager and Bloom are adverse to that precept.

Destruction is the end of those who lack knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6. Why were his people destroyed? James Madison explains that “knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” By eschewing knowledge and understanding as instructional objectives, Mager’s and Bloom’s behavioralist system of objectives create a dumbed-down, weak, and destructive curriculum.

Under Bloom’s OBE, however, the objective is no longer knowledge, but rather the objective becomes an exhibited behavior. Because in many courses the only exhibited behavior that can be measured would be answering questions on a quiz or exam, the instructional objectives are reduced to the goal of getting correct answers to exam and quiz questions.

A depth of knowledge is no longer required. The instructor changes the teaching from teaching the substance of the material to teaching the students how to obtain the correct answer on the test. The course becomes a course on honing the test taking skills of the students. The test should not be the objective, but should simply be a way to measure understanding. Understanding should be the objective.

Mager suggested objectives list behaviors that are to be measured. The fact that is lost is that when a behavior becomes the objective, the student only needs to learn that which is sufficient to exhibit the listed behavior. Now the objective goes from acquiring understanding to displaying some change in behavior. Under the traditional educational system the student acquired understanding and then he was tested to determine if the he has the requisite understanding. Under the Bloom’s Taxonomy the cart is being put before the horse. Rather than the student being educated so that he can be competent in a variety of circumstances he is trained to respond with a correct answer to a given question.

In Bloom’s and Mager’s world, a student does not need to know why something is so, because that is irrelevant to the need to change behavior. Applying that philosophy to courses requiring knowledge, according to Bloom and Mager, it is only necessary for the student to know how to answer a question correctly. Such a system of instruction leaves the student unable to reason through the innumerable circumstances where his depth of knowledge and good judgement are needed.

Fuzzy Math

An example of the OBE system at work in our school systems today is the so-called fuzzy math that has found its way into the school systems today. The students are able to pass tests that are the instructional objectives of the course, but in the process they do not learn the necessary math skills to perform adequately at the next level in math because they do not have an adequate “understanding” of math.

One example of the fuzzy math is a program called Everyday Math (EDM). The fifth grade workbook allows the students to use calculators to solve almost two-thirds of the problems. What is the effect of that? The child can perform his lessons on the examinations and meet the instructional objectives, but he has no actual “understanding” of basic math or algorithms. That is because passing the examination is the instructional objective of the course, not attaining an understanding of math concepts. The course it taught to get the child to pass the exam, however, the child is left completely ignorant about the math concepts that underlay standard algorithms, because the standard algorithms are passed over as being inefficient. The objective is not “understanding” math, but efficiency in math. A calculator is more efficient. Andrew Isaacs, Algorithms in Everyday Math, .
The preferred Everyday Math methods (calculators) used for solving problems are crutches. The crutches are needed because the children are not taught the standard algorithms. The lack of skill in standard algorithms ends up crippling their ability to solve math problems without their crutches. The EDM crutches become cumbersome and hold children back when the they are later exposed to more advanced math problems. Their crippled minds are unable to sprint ahead in math, because they trip all over the crutches imposed upon them by EDM.

*Common Core requires mastery of college prep for all

A Common Core of Readiness April 2012 ascd Perhaps the most significant difference, however, is that the new standards were explicitly designed around the goal of ensuring college and career readiness for all students. 

The Real Failure Of Common Core Ted Dintersmith In an effort to implement the policy mandate of "all students college ready," the Common Core state standards have been designed to align with college admissions requirements. Because colleges require all applicants to take advanced math -- at least Algebra II -- this is the math standard that all students in the country will now have to meet, requiring mastery of obscure algebraic procedures that the vast majority of adults never use. In English, high school student writing will be limited to essays on the assumption that skill in writing essays is what is required for college. The ability to tell stories -- an essential tool for making one's point in the adult world -- is not in the curriculum.

Iserbyt work on the Chicago Mastery Learning and similar ML/DI programs in inner city schools:

The draft plan for the Skinnerian Chicago Mastery Learning program can be downloaded as a pdf at my son's website


"Learning and Instruction, A Chicago Inner City Schools Position Paper" presented in June of 1968 to the Chicago Board of Education, was produced by the planning staff in Chicago made up of Dr. Donald, William Farquhar, Lee Shulman, and the Chicago and Michigan State universities in collaboration. One reference used was "Soviet Preschool Education" translated by Henry Chauncey (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J.) This position paper laid out the plan to restructure Chicago's inner city schools from a traditional grading plan to an ungraded plan using Skinnerian mastery learning and continuous progress/individual education plans. Education Week carried an article in its March 6, 1985, edition entitled "Half of Chicago Students Drop Out, Study Finds: Problem Called Enormous Human Tragedy". The program was one of the first experiments with mastery learning, later referred to as Outcomes- Based Education and in the 90's and early part of the Twenty-first Century, referred to as Direct Instruction. The paper also called for extensive community involvement and emphasis on changing the values of teachers, students, and the community as a whole. This project was the most important pilot project for the restructured educational system presently being implemented in the United States and worldwide today, and is a perfect example of the use of the minority community in educational research which would in 2008 affect all teachers, students and schools in the nation. The new system satisfies the needs of the business community worldwide since it is performance based.

This was the model for mastery learning/direct instruction and community education lifelong plans under the supervision of Sophie Bloom, wife of Prof. Benjamin Bloom and Lee Shulman.  Professor Henry Chauncey is listed on the cover sheet for his research and translation of important book on Soviet Pre-School Education.  I have Soviet Preschool Education which carries an Introduction by Yuri Bronfenbrenner, born in Russia, principal researcher and creator of Head Start which introduced the Skinnerian method first in Chicago and which ultimately went into all inner city schools.  James Block, close to William Spady of OBE fame, said "I don't know of a single inner city school that has not experimented with mastery learning."

 I hope people on your list will read my article "Experimentation with Minorities", 2004, which is a pdf at   Documentation regarding federal grants, etc. to restructure toward Soviet education system  (school to work) is included in that article.  

Also of interest is the following from my book, 3D, page 311:

Laboratory (NCREL) in Oak Brook, Illinois and a strong advocate and practitioner of Skinnerian
mastery learning, wrote “The Unfolding of an International Partnership: A Story of
Russia and the U.S.” published in EFA Today (No. 2, January–March, 1993). Excerpts follow
which illustrate the extent of controversial exchange activities due to the 1985 U.S.-Soviet and
Carnegie-Soviet agreements in education:
Well-designed exchanges often involve strong emotions, including caring, empathy, and the
excitement of discovery, and individuals may return from such exchanges not only with
cognitive paradigm shifts, but also with life-changing values and interests.
This has been the case with the NCREL involvement in Russia.
In January 1992, the Russian Ministry of Education assumed control of the former
Soviet Ministry’s responsibilities. Dr. Edward Dneprov, the new minister, initiated massive
reforms focusing on decentralization, democratization, and the demilitarization of the Russian
school system.
NCREL’s relationship with the new Russian Ministry began with an invitation to join
the Metropolis Project, a collaboration among schools in Chicago, Moscow, and Amsterdam.
The objective of the Project is to identify and develop successful models of systemic change
in an urban context. To this end, the Project involves research, training, and exchanges of
school staff in the three cities. Themes that guide these efforts are authentic learning, global
education and strategic teaching....
…Metropolis schools were being selected, and one of the highlights of the delegation’s
February tour was the signing of a Letter of Cooperation between the Russian Ministry and
the Chicago Public Schools....
Existing exchanges between the U.S. and Russia tend to focus on university students
or the teaching of foreign languages. For that reason, one of the major problems in obtaining
funding for the Metropolis Project was that it involved a new level of exchange, this time
between Russia and U.S. teachers and administrators, as well as a change in the nature of
the exchange, which would focus on school reform and school-based training.

It is a shame that all I have written since I got myself fired from the US Dept. of Ed on OBE and Mastery Learning,  U.S.-Soviet education agreements, Carnegie,  etc. has been boycotted by the neoconservative Republicans (who are all responsible for what I have written about!)... from 1985, in my little 39-page booklet"Back to Basics Reform or OBE Skinnerian International curriculum, necessary for United States Participation in a Socialist One World Govt. scheduled for the early years of the 21st Century",  "Soviets in the Classroom...America's Latest Education Fad", the 750 page deliberate dumbing down of america, and the 8-disc dvd set "Exposing the Global Road to Ruin through Education", etc.    

It is remarkable (or is it?) how those leading the anti-common core bandwagon (Heritage, Pioneer, Heartland, Freedom Works, et al) seem to be totally ignorant regarding the roots of CC.   Their history starts at the earliest in the nineteen nineties, and it's rare when they go back that far?  How many of them realize that Herbert Walberg, VP of Heartland Institute, and co-author of new book "Rewards" which recommends use of Skinnerian methods, is an internationally know behavioral psychologist and was involved in the following  NEA/leading change agents' tax-funded school choice initiative:

the Eight-Year Study,” proposed by The Project on Alternatives in Education (PAE) in 1981, was
submitted for consideration and received funding from the U.S. Department of Education and
the National Education Association. The project was conducted by leading American change
agents, including Mario D. Fantini, John Goodlad, Ralph Tyler, Ronald S. Brandt, Herbert J.
Walberg and Mary Ann Raywid. Explanatory cover sheet of the grant proposal was submitted
on “The John Dewey Society” letterhead. PAE called for publicly funded choice schools using
“effective school [outcome-based education] research” and principles of the Eight-Year Study.
These called for “inculcation of social attitudes, development of effective methods of thinking,
social sensitivity, better personal-social adjustment, acquisition of important information,
consistent philosophy of life,” etc.

Of course, these very groups have always supported the Skinner method since they know it is essential for school to work.   The Reading Excellence Act, which calls for Direct Instructcion,  was their baby.

I guess that is why they have opposed my work from the get-go (Back to Basics Reform or  OBE...)

All Americans will unfortunately reap what "they" have wrought, starting with the minorities upon whom they experimented.