Guide The Politics of Education and Technology: Conflicts, Controversies, and Connections

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Conflicts, Controversies, and Connections

Shaping Learners by Remaking the Curriculum of the Future. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser.


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Publishing With Us. Book Authors Journal Authors. Digital Education and Learning Free Preview. Buy eBook. Buy Hardcover. Some have even argued that Common Core is a scheme intended to increase the profits of large companies such as Pearson and Microsoft. Still others see the initiative as part of an even larger conspiracy to dismantle public schools and privatize education.

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In this view, public schools will struggle to meet the higher standards—and not receive the resources with which to do so—and this will open the door to the expansion of charter schools, private-school voucher programs, and online virtual learning. These criticisms from the extremes of the political spectrum have not persuaded many states to drop Common Core, which is bolstered by a large and bipartisan group of policymakers and other elites.

The consortia-designed assessments, however, have not fared so well, because their implementation became intertwined with new, controversial teacher evaluations and school accountability measures. In order to effect change, they must be paired with aligned testing that gives reliable information on which children are making appropriate progress in school, and which are not. Standards coupled with assessments can thus provide the basis for holding students, teachers, and schools accountable for student learning in K—12 education.

In the case of Common Core, the assessments were more rigorous and established a higher bar than did most traditional state assessments. Furthermore, the new assessments emerged at a time of rapid upheaval for K—12 accountability, when school districts were introducing enhanced consequences for teachers, principals, and schools that failed to improve student achievement. School administrators, teachers, and their unions were initially quite supportive of the Common Core and its potential to improve teaching and learning.

The aligned assessments, however, became politically charged, because they were introduced simultaneously with new teacher-evaluation systems that used student-achievement data as a significant criterion. Educators contended that states were tying the employee-evaluation process to the new standards and assessments too quickly, before teachers and students had been able to put the Common Core into practice.

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Many feared that the new assessments would result in arbitrary or unfair personnel decisions. Forty-three states, D. The unions, too, continued to support the standards but opposed the consortium-designed assessments because of their link to teacher evaluations. As backlash against the assessments has swelled, even support for the Common Core standards has begun to dwindle. In , the Education Next poll showed 76 percent of teachers and 63 percent of parents supported the standards.

By , the same poll found that just 40 percent of teachers and 47 percent of parents supported them. The new assessments set forth more-challenging proficiency benchmarks for students and required substantial investments in technology as well as increased testing time. State education agencies and districts struggled to finance and manage the implementation of the new standards and assessments.

States and districts confronted massive technology failures, owing to insufficient preparation and contractors who failed to deliver the needed technology upgrades.

Social construction of technology

Parents revolted as the consortia set testing times and proficiency benchmarks that they viewed as developmentally inappropriate and, in some cases, a waste of resources. States also varied widely in how well they communicated with educators, parents, and the general public about the new tests. The Common Core standards and their aligned assessments drew many supporters from the federal and state governments, from the philanthropic community, and from reform advocates, but most members of these groups do not have a personal stake—a vested interest—in what happens in schools at the ground level.

Therefore, their support alone is not enough to sustain education reform over time. Federal and state policymakers sometimes embrace high standards and quality assessments in principle, but when they experience intense pressure from interest groups and the public, their support is likely to falter. Indeed, many former supporters of Common Core, including Republican governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, have withdrawn support of the standards in the face of political opposition from conservative interest groups, teachers unions, and swarms of parents and other voters.

Advocacy organizations such as Achieve and the Collaborative for Student Success can help build political support, but in the case of Common Core, efforts have largely focused on lobbying policymakers, not building the kind of broad-based coalitions needed to reengineer the K—12 system around high standards, quality assessments, and accountability for results. Parents and other community members were often left to learn about the standards and assessments via their social networks, where ill-informed but powerful negative interpretations of the reforms circulated through social media and were passed along by teachers, or at the dinner table.

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And the standards won few advocates among the parents and guardians who struggled to help their children navigate the new expectations with little guidance to support their efforts. Philanthropists who supported Common Core also underestimated what would be necessary to support the transition to higher standards. The company has dominated 5G, providing high-quality networks for prices estimated to be 30 percent less than those of its competitors.

It is also a leader in innovation, owning more patents [PDF] for 5G infrastructure than any of its competitors. Authorities in potential markets, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, have argued that any 5G supplier comes with certain risks, given the nature of the networks. These governments claim that they can minimize national security concerns and manage the risks of using Huawei.


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Social construction of technology

Creative Commons. The nations with the best talent will push to the farthest edges of the science and technology frontier, and the United States cannot stand still as others devote new resources to developing human capital. Transatlantic imbalances reflect Europe's demand deficit, which should be easy to solve but isn't.