"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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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Speaks Out Against Common Core

A teacher speaks out against Common Core:
One goal for all is not likely to be an equitable system. We should push back against the Common Core imposition with teacher professional development, socio-culturally responsive curricula, and project-, performance-, and portfolio-based assessments work at the most local level.

Like many teachers right now, I have a Common Core app on my iPad. Reading through the newly refined learning standards for K-12 students, I am concerned about my IEPs, especially the ELLs who are perhaps also ADD and receive pull-out services, or others whose paras might not be familiar with strand 1.RFS.4, which says that a first grader needs to be able to “read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension” and are only worrying about keeping him from bouncing off the wall when I’m trying to DRA half the class and Tungsten the rest and all the other kids are perfectly silent doing their SSR. I am not at all concerned about my Proficients -- nobody is -- but come next May when MAP rolls around, how will I ever get my Basics and Below Basics where they’ll need to be if I want to avoid getting pic’d? I had a walk-through last week and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t doing any DOK.

Actually, I’m just pretending that’s me so you can hear how it sounds when teachers talk in these DDTs (Data Driven Times). Teachers will laugh or cry. The rest of you will have no clue, but oh well. Pop into your neighborhood public school for a cheat sheet.

The truth is, I do keep the Common Core on my iPad, because one of the many things I do in schools is try to develop the professional aptitude of teachers and teachers need to deal with Common Core. I read last week that many of my fellow Show-Me’s, citizens and state representatives alike, are all riled up about the Standards, which are rolling out next year across the country. They feel our state education officials have not been transparent. They sense that the standards (kind of like background checks for gun-buyers and sort of like universal access to health care) indicate a frightening penetration into the heartland of a creeping Stalinist federal government.

On the other side are the educators worried about Common Core for altogether different reasons. Having an idea of where you’re trying to “get kids” may be fine, these people say, but since all learning emerges out of a highly individual and dynamic interaction between a specific person and her teachers, peers and cultural and social setting, one-goal-for-all may not be an-equitable-system-for-all.

Read more here from Common Coredom in the stlbeacon.com.  She ends her commentary with this thought:

So here we are: the Show-Me states’ rights folks and the Show-Me human rights folks are actually sorta bedfellows when it comes to local control of schooling. Instead of ragging on Common Core right now, we should be working together to push out of Missouri the carpetbagging Big Businesses squeezing our state’s hard-earned tax dollars out of schools: Out with the people who have brought us to this jargon-larded education dystopia. Down with Big Curriculum, Big Testing and Big Data.

I submit that one of the reasons we do need to rag on CCSS right now is because the standards framework IS the vehicle to allow the big curriculum, big testing and big data to occur.  Take away the common core and the big threes present in the mandates (common curriculum, common testing and common data) disappear.  Push Common Core out of Missouri and many of the corporate educational vendors will disappear.   They will take their carpetbags and go home.



  1. I have been following the debate and the big fight right now seems to be between standards and curriculum. The Common core boneheads keep saying they just offer standards and local schools get to pick curriculum.

    Well, if you have big corporate vendors who have spent the past twenty years buying up all of the Math curriculums on the market and making them progressive, then the powers that be really do not have to worry which one is picked, as they all suck.

    Here is my recent Blog Post on what they did to Saxon Math:


  2. Thank you for your assessment and the time to put it to print. What I witnessed at the roll out last Thursday was and embarrassment to all of the residents of Missouri and your use of the term 'carpetbagger' could be more appropriate. Keep the perceptions and information coming.


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