"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

Search This Blog

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Stop Common Core Argument: There is no one "common" path or yellow brick road to educational excellence.

CCSS proponents would have you to believe the standards will create an educational utopia and nudge us to a better place.  Let's look at the facts.  They may lead to a wizard who promises a lot but in reality, it's just rhetoric.

Follow the educational reform yellow brick road!  We now have standards that will make our kids college and career ready!  STEM jobs will surface because our students will now know science and math!   Common Core will enable students to be ready for 21st century jobs!  Don't worry that the proponents don't list exactly what those 21st jobs are.  No, no, listen to the CCSS proponents and education will morph from black and white film technology into technicolor.

Common sense would tell you if a salesperson tells you about a product and how fantastic it is, but has no proof of what he/she is selling is an actual item (such as a list of 21st century jobs), you wouldn't pay for that product.  It would be similar to giving money to a shyster who insists he/she has a product that will work but can't show you the product he/she promises will produce the effects promised. 

It's the same for the CCSS claims.  They are not researched based and cannot be backed up by data.  For a program that relies on "data driven" results, CCSS proponents don't have any of those "data driven" research facts to back up their theories.  CCSS is nothing but a massive stimulus program tied up with fancy language (rigorous, college/career ready, 21st century, global workforce, etc) to bamboozle taxpayers and legislators to buy into an educational program that appears to help students be successful.

It's nothing but a shell game.  From Forbes and Dear High School Graduate: Everything You've Been Told Is False:

When I graduated from Omaha Creighton Prep High School back in 1977, my fellow grads and I entered a benign, forgiving, if U.S.-hegemonic, economic order where one could find paid work — albeit of a blue collar variety — just by completing high school. A world where even a C student was guaranteed some kind of white-collar employment just by earning a college degree; any kind of degree, with any kind of major, from a wide variety of public or private institutions.

High School Graduates of the Class of 2013, those days are over. Not only are there not a plethora of decent-paying jobs just waiting for you upon graduation, there are structural changes afoot in the U.S. economy making your human labor “incidental.”

...No doubt you’ve been told that more — and better targeted — skill sets are the expensive answer to your job predicament. At least that’s what the increasingly desperate education industry  – and their lax-loan lackeys in the Obama Department of Education – want you to believe. Unfortunately, as authors Kenneth Gray and Edwin Herr note, only 21% of all jobs in the U.S. require a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, according to economist and professor Peter Morici, “more than half of recent graduates are working” in an occupation “that does not require a college education.”

...Moreover, even if you pursue a degree in a field that requires a college diploma, the fast-evolving global marketplace may still determine in a few years time that those “in-demand” skills you studied so hard to accrue are suddenly superfluous. Economists call this commoditization. And just as it happened with website designers and A & R hacks in the early 2000s, and lawyers and journalists in the late 2000s, commoditization could quickly transform today’s in-vogue STEM fields too. Especially when one considers that for every two U.S. students that graduate with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degrees, only one is deployed in a STEM job.
Read more here.

From a reader and a response from the author:

Business_Owner 2 days ago
Auto repair, plumbing repair, electrical repair, air conditioning repair, heating system repair, home repair, roofing repair …. There are probably others but everyone should get the point. There are a LOT of jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay good money.

My business is a repair business. I primarily sharpen and repair beauty, barber and groomer tools along with sewing and upholstr scissors. I also sharpen knives, axes, hatchets, lawn mower blades, shovels, manual hedge trimers, loppers, most anything with a smooth edge. Add to this list some veterinary tools and livestock clipper blades.
I am also a hair stylist specializing in razor hair cuts for men.

At either of my “businesses” I regularly make 20$ an hour.

I have no college degree and I didn’t play sports in High School. I was too busy with a lawn care, attic and basement cleaning service.
James Marshall Crotty, Contributor 2 days ago
Amen. We are not all destined to be, nor happy being, software developers, robotics engineers, or whatever STEM field du jour is being pushed these days. We need to steer each young person down a path that makes sense for each of them. Fulfillment in work can happen through so many different fields, most of which do not require a four-year college degree. Thank you.

So, the questions are: why are we cheerleading Common Core standards to make everyone common when commonality is what we should be avoiding?  Why are we preparing students for jobs when the CCSS folks don't even know what those jobs are?  If only 21% of jobs require a bachelor's degree, why are we pushing students into college?

Those are the questions to ask in your school board meetings, to your superintendents, your legislators and in social media postings.  Why won't CCSS proponents deal with the facts instead of theories?  Do you believe this is about education or something else? But "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain".  Just as the Wizard of Oz had to step up to the plate and explain his proclamations, it's time for the CCSS group to do the same.  It's too bad this isn't a movie and we can walk away from this suspension of reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter