"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Let's Make a Common Core Video featuring Herrings and Doves! The Sunday Education Weekly Reader 04.01.12

Welcome to the Sunday Education Weekly Reader for April Fool's Day 2012!  We're really not doing a video for Common Core standards as so many teachers have, but if we did do a video, we'd probably sing about how they are:
  • unproven
  • untested
  • underfunded
  • unconstitutional
Today is April Fool's Day and two explanations of this minor holiday are appropriate when thinking about the "reforms" trotted out by Arne Duncan.  Think of the DOEd as the agency playing sinister April fool jokes on the American public.  We have been the fools kicked hard by expensive and overreaching mandates and regulations, resulting in a centralized agency controlling all educational decisions and programs:
  • When someone has been fooled in Sweden, to disclose that it was a joke, the fooler says the rhyme "April April din dumma sill, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill" (April, April, you stupid herring, I can fool you to wherever I want") for April 1st jokes
  •  In Spain and Ibero-America, an equivalent date is December 28.  After somebody plays a joke or a prank on somebody else, the joker usually cries out, in some regions of Ibero-America: "Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar" ("You innocent little dove that let yourself be fooled")
In the spirit of April Fool's Day, and as the American taxpayers, parents, students, teachers and administrators have been reduced to herrings and doves, here is a tongue in cheek blog about the common core and the general state of education reform.

Just put this video to song and it would put to shame any video singing the praises of the ed reform mantra.  Be sure to watch the youtube video at the end.  The dialogue is PERFECT.  Do these soundbites sound like the ed reformer scripts you hear when you talk to legislators and read about in various articles on DOEd sites?


From Jay P. Greene's blog "Why I Now Support Common Core":

I don’t know how I could have been so foolish for so long.  It just struck me today that I really should support Common Core national standards.  Here are the reasons I’ve changed my mind:

1) I learned from Diane Ravitch and Sol Stern that dramatic reversals in views generate a lot of attention.  For some reason my new support for Common Core will have credibility and influence no matter how weak my reasoning for switching is.

2) If I play my cards right, there may be big money to be made with my new support for Common Core.  In addition to book royalties and lecture fees, I see a big grant from the Gates Foundation in my future.  Evil pays better than good.

3) I won’t get blacklisted by the U.S. Department of Education for opposing their favored policy positions.  Yippee! I’ll get a piece of a big evaluation whose findings they can delay or distort.

4) Standards probably don’t matter anyway, so little harm can come from supporting mediocre standards being imposed on all states.

5) Did I say imposed?  Darn, I have to get used to saying it’s voluntary.

6) Being bothered by the empty and manipulative language used to support Common Core has driven me to drink.  Switching my view on Common Core will give my liver a much needed break.


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