Friday, June 15, 2012

my opinion of the common crap standards? do they really want to know?

Recently, my school district sent out a survey to teachers asking for input on the Common Crap Core National $tate $tandard$. The district has hand-picked a Common Core $tate $tandard$ Implementation Steering Committee to represent teachers and allow for transparency. Sadly, what my district tends to do is only select teachers who will passively, yet enthusiastically, suck down whatever Kool-Aid the district puts before them. If one is an advocate for doing what's best for kids as opposed to corporations, well, don't sit around waiting for a call to join a committee. And let me be clear: its not that my district evil, its just that they think they don't have a choice, so they cowardly roll over and accept the truly bad ideas being shoved down from on high. Then the dominoes continue to fall as administrators push these bad ideas on teachers who are then expected to push them onto our students. This circle-of-educational-life truly sucks. No Hakuna Matatas from me. I'm seeing problems everywhere and it doesn't look like they're going to be going away any time soon.

So, though I doubt it will garner anything more than an eye roll and maybe an Oh, she's the developmental one... followed by yet another eye roll, here's my response to the survey:

Common Core $tate $tandards $urvey

1.  What are you particularly excited about regarding the transition to CC$$?
·    Is this a trick question? (I really wanted to say Are you fucking kidding me? but I'm trying to be somewhat professional.)
·    And BTW - Most teachers don’t even know what the CC$ are or how they will impact our students and our profession.

2.  What obstacles or issues do you foresee?
·      Continued de-professionalization of teaching
·      Teacher burnout from over a decade of top down mandates that have yet to close the achievement gap.
·      Continued student burnout. 
·      Increased stress experienced by children, teachers and school districts due to increased high-stakes testing.
·      Continued mislabeling of children as failures because they are not developmentally ready to master the standards.
·      A further narrowing of the curriculum

3.  What essential questions do you have regarding the $tandard$ or the transition?

·      Why are only TK and K having to implement the CC$ in the 2012-13 school year? (Though I'd vote for NO one implementing them next year, or any year, for that matter!)

·      Implementing the CC$ will be co$tly (follow the money): more profe$$ional development; more high-$take te$t$; more technology; new textbook$, etc. How can there be adequate funding for implementing all aspects of the CC$ when we are experiencing continued budgetary crises?

·      The CC$ will require substantially more high-$take$ te$ting (Stephen Krashen predicts that testing will increase 20 fold.)
o   More high-stakes testing = less teaching. 
o   More high-stakes testing = more teaching to the test.
o   How are we going to protect our students from such abuse?

·      The CC$ were NOT developed by classroom teachers or child development experts. We will still be in a ‘one size fits all’, test-centric environment, expecting ALL children to learn and master standards at the same pace.  How will this benefit our children?

·      Will our curricula become even more narrowed? (Hint: Yes)

·      Will our curricula become even MORE test focused? (Hint: Yes)

·      And, yes, are the CC$ developmentally appropriate at any grade level? (They aren’t at my grade level and they go against best practices based on rigorous, peer-reviewed research.)

·      The CC$ diminishes the importance of fiction and personal narrative writing.  Coleman, a leading idiot author and smarmy architect of the CC$, expressed his view of personal narrative quite succinctly: “[A]s you grow up in this world you realize people really don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think.”
Coleman is not an educator. Bill Gates, who bank rolled the CC$, is not an educator. Are we comfortable implementing standards that were determined by non-educators?

·      Have we learned nothing from the failure of NCLB? Basing everything on one test score is lunacy. The most important things cannot be measured. Creativity in American students is declining. Duncan, Gates and Obama would never submit their own children to these mandates. Why are they submitting ours?

·      Will the CC$ eventually be challenged in the courts as a violation of federal law that prohibits the federal government from imposing a national curriculum on our nation’s schools?

·      How will implementing the CC$ close the achievement gap? Please be specific and cite peer-reviewed research to support your argument.

Interesting links addressing the CC$:

NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress:
What Can We Learn from this Policy Failure?