Monday, July 30, 2012
Instead of worrying about applying the standards, we should be resisting them. To do this, we have to work together.
The Common Core Standards is a tsunami that will destroy all of us unless it is stopped. It is going to cost billions, bleeding money from where it is badly needed and it will soon impose what can only be described as an astonishing amount of testing. All this is happening under false pretenses. There is no evidence that our schools require these harsh measures, and plenty of evidence that they will not improve student achievement. There is plenty of evidence that the Common Core will further enrich the .01%, those whose only concern is profit:
Let me repeat: This will destroy all of us.
Professional groups, with the exception of NABE, have not opposed the standards. They have only been concerned about making sure their group is included, and that the standards and tests are right for their students. School librarians want to make sure the standards include information skills. Bilingual educators want to be sure that tests will be administered in the students’ first language. ESL specialists want to be sure that the standards and tests are sensitive to the needs of the English learner, etc etc.
All of these kinds of objections assume that the Common Core is a good idea. It isn’t. Instead of worrying about applying the standards, we should be resisting them. To do this, we have to work together.
The Common Core train has left the station, but it hasn’t arrived at its destination.
Colleagues, please please please inform yourselves. The case against the standards is overwhelming and backed up by a great deal of evidence. It has been presented by well-respected and honored members of the profession. The leaders of the standards movement have simply ignored this counterevidence, but I hope you won’t.
If you do nothing else, get on Susan Ohanian’s mailing list.: susanohanian.org Ohanian’s blog is the center of gravity of the resistance.
Read Diane Ravtich’s blog (dianeravtich.net).
Read David Berliner’s analyses. Start with http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/23/your-homework-berliner-on-education-and-inequality/
Follow Alfie Kohn on twitter and check out his website: alfiekohn.org
Follow Paul Thomas on twitter.
Follow Sudan Dufresne1 (@GetUpStandUP2) on twitter. She retweets nearly all tweets of interest and helps you get to the central issues quickly.
Here are my recent efforts:
The New York Times Sunday dialog: http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=305
I presented the arguments against the common core in a letter, critics and supporters responded, and then I responded.
How much testing?
Posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/25/stephen-krashen-how-much-testing/ AND
Posted on The Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss’ Washington Post blog: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/
I presented evidence that we soon will have more testing than ever seen on planet Earth.
And an older attempt:
The National Standards Discussion: A Weapon of Mass Distraction. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/08/national-standards-discussion-weapon-of.html
We are invited to comment on the details of the standards but not whether we need standards in the first place. Some excerpts from my short paper:
Those who accept the invitation to discuss the content of the standards will have the impression they have a seat at the table. In reality, invitations to discuss the standards are a means of control, diverting attention from the real issues.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum … That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate" (N. Chomsky, The Common Good, p. 42, 2002).
The Common Core: The wants of the selfish few are outweighing the needs, desires, hopes, dreams and even the lives of the many. (modified from Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan, and Robert J. Sawyer 2012. Triggers, p 285 Ace: New York).