Thursday, March 12, 2015

Common Core Notes

The political opposition to Common Core is reaching critical mass. The PBS headlines a few days ago tell the story.  When children become mobilized to protest and parents urge them to "opt out" of the testing, the writing is on the wall. This most recent effort to pull American academic standards up is a lost cause.  A piece in Britain's Guardian says it all -- Anti-Intellectualism is Taking Over the US. 
The rise in academic book bannings and firings is compounded by the US's growing disregard for scholarship itself
Political correctness really works! Sorry, conservatives, but science just said soTexas school bans seven 'obscene' books in banned books week
My Facebook status as 2014 came to an end was this...
Common Core R.I.P.

NPR aired an end of the year piece including, among other developments, the demise of Common Core. After all the bi-partisan work, including governors as well as educational experts, the program seems to be on the way to the dumpster.

Too bad. My ideas about education are as off the wall as my politics, so I never expected any understanding of Mortimer Adler or Erik Erikson, but when I first looked at Common Core and compared it with the rest of he civilized world, then compared it with the dukes mixture of approaches to learning that litter the American educational landscape, I was (and still am) encouraged to think America might be on the way to national improvement. American public education is a global embarrassment and most Americans are blind to that reality.

But like so many other advances, ratcheting up our educational standards will wait for another day. Dedicated, organized opposition to Common Core will see to that. Many of our post-secondary schools are among the world's best. It's no accident that families from all over the world send college students to study in America. But the only foreigners with kids in primary and elementary school are those trapped here who can't afford to send them to private schools.

Meantime, the trend to private and charter schools, and home schooling will continue to skim the cream from the public education crop, leaving behind a student population from which the most promising peers (role models) have been removed, along with many of the best teachers and administrators. And we wonder what's wrong with public education...

I could drone on, but what's the use? I don't expect to see much change during the remaining years of my life. Part of the problem with Commonn Core was the name itself. Thanks to an already dumbed-down population most people don't even understand the meaning of the world "common."
It has two implications. Most people hear the word "common" and think "vulgar...ordinary...pedestrian." But the word also has a less subjective meaning. Common, in the case of Common Core, simply means "universal." It's too bad the program wasn't called Raising the Bar or some other sports-like phrase. Americans are more excited about improving their bodies than their minds. Too many people misunderstood "Common Core" to have it's worst possible interpretation.

Nine grades of meaning are listed for the word "common."  

1 comment:

  1. One of my Twitter messages linking this post received a response.
    John Ballard ‏@Hootsbudy
    American public education is a global embarrassment and most Americans are blind to that reality.
    Diane Al-Habieli ‏@al_habieli
    my children got a better education in United Arab Emirates than I see in US here. They did not go to government school but still

    Post Office unreliable. I fail to get mail all too often. Higher ed's use of Adjunct professors who are overworked &overextended

    seems to also be leading to poor teaching. They come to class ill/partially prepared and I hear stories that perhaps they need

    certain equipment of username/password to teach the class the the institution not providing in timely manner and teaching suffers