Monday, October 13, 2014

Stop Common Core (and replace it with what?)


What utter dreck.

10. Your child is unique? Yeah, no two snowflakes are exactly alike, but they are all basically the same. After 30 years of teaching, I think I can lay this ego-driven, touchy-feely garbage to rest. Your child is special to you but he isn't different enough from the rest of the crowd to warrant special teaching.

9. Yup, CCSS was created by special interests. No, it's not perfect. No, I don't endorse all of it and I probably won't hold my breath and teach every part of it. I'm a math teacher. I have the intelligence to modify it when necessary. It is, however, better than that mess of garbage that it replaced.

8. I really don't want the legislature voting on math standards. They have zero experience in education. I don't want them to ask my opinion on the intricacies of healthcare for the same reason.

7. Does it matter that this is false? Does it matter that districts are spending that money on testing regardless?

6. The CCSS do not collect information.

5. The lack of attention for gifted learners is not the fault of the CCSS. And your child isn't gifted.

4. Again, not by CCSS. And again, this is false in many states. Mine for instance wrote definitively that test scores have not, are not and will not be used to rate teachers because it is inappropriate and wrong to do so.

3. Yup, this is the only thing you got right. We are not forcing them to read as much of the classics. Instead the English teachers are using SOME different works, such as essays and non-fiction. Unfortunately for your rather uninformed little screed, Shakespeare and Edith Hamilton Mythology are still very much in evidence.

2. No one changed who was in control. School Boards are still the only controlling bodies. Homeschoolers are not in any way, shape or form, under the control of any CCSS.

1. You have the power to stop common core but in #2 you didn't have any power? Come on, at least be consistent in your paranoid ramblings. The last people who should be exercising control over their kids schooling are people who can't even make a coherent argument.  Fortunately for me and my job, deluded paranoiacs like you are keeping me employed -- although usually I don't get your kid until after you've messed up his education and nearly ruined his chances at living a good and successful life.

But don't let me stop you. The Internet is free to use.


  1. Well put.

    Also, regarding #3, the use of nonfiction in English literature classes, where it was primarily used in the first place, will not be reduced at all. The non-fiction requirement is simply a reflection of the fact that students will be doing a large amount of reading in their other 5 classes, like science, social studies, etc., in which we certainly do not want them reading fiction.

  2. It isn't the curriculum itself I have a great problem with, and it bothers me when people post rants like that person did. It's the top-down structure I feel is wrong, though we have been moving toward that for a long time. This is just one more step in that direction. I am not in favor of federally mandated standards in education because I believe local control is diminished. I disagree about school boards being the only controlling bodies. Nominally they are, but in practice they may not be.That's because school boards (at least the ones around here) have ceded much of their authority to school administrators and the state. Most states want federal funding, so they comply with the federal guidelines. I go to our school board meetings, and from what I have seen it functions primarily to maintain buildings and approve new hires. Curriculum decisions (which are, of course, constrained by state requirements) are, for the most part, deferred to the superintendent or curriculum developer. That transfer of responsibility makes it difficult to interact with the school on academic issues.

    It is true that home schoolers are not compelled to follow CCSS, but the GED, which many home schoolers use in lieu of a diploma, has been reworked to meet those standards. College admission requires a high school diploma or some equivalent; if the graduation requirements change, alternative documentation will follow suit.

    Finally, I've had the experience of working with a "different" and "gifted" kid. He was not well treated in the public school system, and it could have ended very unhappily if it had not been for outside intervention. (And, no, I am not talking about one of my own kids.)

  3. "Replace it with what?" You need a standard to teach Algebra? And it is ok that it is a lousy standard because the other was worse? Looks like a Stockholm Syndrome buy-in on the factorythink that learning should be driven by tight engineering specs and frequent quality control checks. Ewwww, as the kids would say. How about replacing it with an Algebra book and a teacher who loves math? Too easy?

  4. California's math standards were much higher than the Common Core standards. No, not a large majority "met" them, but no one will meet high standards if the standards are low.

    I can't speak to California's pre-Core English standards.