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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Stotsky's Thoughts
on Stotsky's Criteria

Professor Sandra Stotsky loves to play the tune that the Common Core State Standards were not Benchmarked against International Standards.

As shown several times on many posts, this isn't true -- and not even close to being true for that matter, as the Common Core was Benchmarked against International Standards a recorded four separate times by over 100 people, and then the Validation team (29 individuals) benchmarked them again during that process over the period of six months. Since Stotsky really didn't participate in that process I guess she couldn't have known the extent of effort which went into it -- which brings up a few interesting questions:

  • Does Stotsky reference and utilize International Standards when she is evaluating or researching Standards? 
  • Does she even ask for the opinion or advice of others in the field? 
  • Does Stotsky see anyone else's advice or opinion more valuable than her own? 
  • Does Stotsky see anyone else's advice or opinion as equal to her own?
I have discovered a document that I personally feel, will give insight into the answers to these questions. I base this on the expansiveness and wide-range of investigation the project demands. The project is  covering many different beliefs and educational methods.  Being unfamiliar with that system and the method beliefs behind it, simply coming in cold and judging it -- disregarding the methods behind it completely -- would be highly unprofessional. If you were so crass as to do that, you would, of course,  be very careful to cite sources to qualify your disagreement with their methods. So one person tasked with such a project would, without question, start calling people to help out, and begin building a team of experts -- probably with a bit of panic in their voice as well.

Performing a review of the different standards of 50 States would seem to be such a project. Obviously your first task would be to gather a team of collaboration. As a point of reference to give an idea of the kind of task you are looking at here: evaluating the Common Core was assigned to a team of 29 highly skilled people, and took over six months to complete. That is the evaluation of ONE standard. Surely no single person could be such a megalomaniac as to feel that their experience could possibly cover such a wide range of belief systems and educational viewpoints.

Stotsky, Sandra. "The State of State English Standards, 2005." Thomas B Fordham Foundation and Institute (2005).

"In 1996, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation asked me to do a detailed review of the state standards that existed at the time. Developing a review form with 34 criteria organized in five major sections, I reviewed almost all of the available state E/LA/R standards documents. The standards in 21 of the 28 states I reviewed had been tentatively judged by the AFT to be clear and specific enough to meet its “common core” criterion. My own review, however,published by Fordham in 1997, found few of these state standards capable of serving the intended purposes.

"Two years later, the number of states with approved E/LA/R standards had jumped to 49 (including the District of Columbia). At Fordham’s invitation, I under took a second round of reviews in 1999, using the same criteria. Published in January 2000, the completed report highlighted areas of strength and weakness in these 49 sets of standards and compared the changes since 1997 on 11 criteria. To my knowledge, there has been no detailed review of state standards for English language arts and reading since then."
*please to ignore the misspelling of the great and powerful English god - mine you may point out and ridicule at your pleasure, but not to make pointed humor at the Stotsky

This document covering all 50 states is written solely by Sandra Stotsky with no mention of anyone else helping in any fashion at all. There are zero citations. There are zero references. There are no validations of criteria. Her methods are not cited as being based on any other method at all, by anyone else. They are totally original work. It is enough, Stotsky believes, that Stotsky wrote the criteria, and the methods, therefore, are all unquestionably correct.

What she does have are Footnotes... which are publications she refers to in her "asides", little areas she is giving thoughts about. Of these seven Footnotes, (yes, only seven of her aside-commentary refer to other publications) she references herself twice, her company twice and the three that are left do not have anything to do with the development of standards, or the evaluation of standards.

AND -- I would laugh at this point but I'm too shaken up by the pure audacity of what I'm reading, which I would describe as bordering on psychosis except that she laughed and waved as the border flew by --

These footnotes and asides are not, in anyway, part of the massive study - they are part of a section she puts in at the end as sort of a hint that another study should be done on the Criteria for Hiring New Teachers for each State -- which, of course, Only Stotsky is capable or qualified to do. So, not only is she qualified to judge the Methodology and Educational Values of Every state in the Union, she understands the needs of every state so clearly, that she can evaluate their teachers as well.

So, Answer? -- No. (This answer covers all questions proposed) In fact, Stotsky deems no person or institution up to par except herself. The only time she brings up the standards created by others, is to ridicule them and demonstrate how they do not measure up to... Stotsky. Only Stotsky knows how to teach English. Only Stotsky can review with any accuracy at all, the Standards for teaching English.

All Hail Stotsky! 

Stotsky doesn't object to a National Common Core of Education Standards -- What she objects to is the fact that you didn't hire Stotsky to create it -- which she could have done over the weekend, and shown you how far advanced they were on Monday morning that the idea of benchmarking them against international losers was ridiculous.