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SPECIAL POST: COMMON CORE STANDARDS – ONE CRITIC’S COMPELLING LETTER
Federal Policy Week frequently provides articles on the Common Core, a governor initiated effort to “nationalize” standards. While the vast majority of states have adopted the Common Core, many desperate for the funds attached to embracing it, implementation has not gone smoothly, leading to growing opposition. Backed by the Gates Foundation, which advocates for standardized testing, teacher accountability, and unrealistic outcomes from a pedestal, Education Secretary Duncan continues to attack critics of the Common Core.
A fervent defended of the Common Core, who vigorously demeans and dismisses critics, has a new target. This time, Secretary Duncan attacked parents. Specifically, he exclaimed: “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said. “You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.” Overcoming that will require communicating to parents that competition is now global, not local, he said.
A MOM’S RESPONSE: HIGHLIGHTS (BUT I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THE ENTIRE LETTER)
One parent, Ali Gordon, dismayed by Secretary Duncan’s recent comment on “white suburban moms” crafted a beautiful and compelling letter to the Secretary explaining her concerns with the Common Core. This letter is a must read by anyone following K-12 education issues in the US. Some excerpts from the letter are below:
I’m also not opposed to high standards. I love the idea of making all children strive to be the best they can be, challenging them to imagine more for themselves, and encouraging them to work towards goals — as long as we realize that they will not all reach the same level of proficiency.
I am, however , opposed to standards, and more specifically curriculum, that are developmentally inappropriate. I am strongly opposed to the number of standardized tests students are subjected to, which have no bearing whatsoever on their education. I believe the money schools are forced to spend on the administration, and scoring of all the testing could be put to much better use, and the same goes for the amount of time spent on testing.
I’m also opposed to the 1% — Bill Gates, et al– imposing a business model mentality on public schools.
I know that each of my children have different learning styles, and I recognize that what worked very well for my oldest daughter will absolutely not work well for my youngest.
It also completely ignores the effect of poverty on achievement. No silver bullet education program will have the kind of success you are looking for nationally unless you address child poverty.
I will not let you, or Commissioner King experiment with my child’s education because Bill Gates has lots of money to throw away. He said himself it would take a decade to see if his “education stuff” works. My kids don’t have a decade to waste on your hunches or his money.