Teacher Asks: ‘How Bad Is It Going to Get?’
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This teacher discovers no one has the answers to her Common Core questions. From How Bad Is It Going to Get?:
And even worse – despite the fact that the our poor state has yet to generate the “proof points” that these organizations so desire, competency-based (another name for proficiency-based) education has already been written into the Senate version of the ESEA rewrite!
This fall, I watched both the presidential debates of both parties, hoping that at least one candidate would say something – anything? – to give me hope that soon things would begin to change … but I heard nothing.
And so now I ask, can anyone tell me how bad this is going to get?
The Senate is just following the blueprint of ‘let’s sign it to find out what’s in it’ when the Affordable Care Act was passed. When you circumvent legislative process in one arena and allow an oligarchic structure to exist in a constitutional republic in name only, it shouldn’t be shocking when other federal agencies follow the same path. When policy is enacted not based on research, evidence and facts, but rather, is enacted on political promises and crony capitalistic favors, you get health care that is cost prohibitive for the people it was allegedly designed to cover and education reform that cripples children’s development and bankrupts districts/states. How bad is it going to get?
Just when you don’t think it can get any worse, it does. The nation’s unelected superintendent speaks again with his edict for the rest of us. From Bill Gates’ most recent conference to gin up support from educators and ed reformers:
….There’s one other pivotal step in the movement for strong feedback and improvement systems, and that is the adoption of high, consistent academic standards throughout the country. Today 42 states and the District of Columbia are using the Common Core State Standards.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the Common Core, the attacks have drowned out the facts—and the fact is, the standards are starting to work for students and teachers.
If we want to achieve excellence, we have to define excellence. And you can’t define it based on politics or individual preferences. You have to define excellence by anchoring it in something real—like getting a good job, or getting a higher ed degree that means something in the workplace. That’s what these standards do: They ensure that students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need to get a good job or succeed in college.
If students leave high school without that, their next stop is probably a dead-end job or a course in remedial math. And that’s just inexcusable. Every kid in America deserves high standards.
I believe much of the difficulty with the Common Core standards came because the advocates—and I include our foundation in this category—didn’t do enough to explain them early and clearly. Once states adopted the standards, parents needed to hear from principals and teachers and superintendents about the reason for the changes, how they would help their kids, and how things would be bumpy for a number of years as teachers adjusted to the new standards. But I also understand why this step was missed. Principals and teachers and their supporters were busy working urgently to figure out how to make the standards real in classrooms.
The Gates Foundation didn’t ‘have to explain them early and clearly’ because they were adopted by governors in search of Federal money before they were even written. Gates didn’t think that anyone had to explain the standards foisted on them via a circumvention of the state legislatures beholden to pay for them. There was/is no research that showed that these standards would ‘help (taxpayers’) kids’. You bet things have been ‘bumpy for a number of years’ in districts/states and it’s not because teachers are having to ‘adjust’ to the new standards. Haven’t we been told that the standards didn’t tell teachers how to teach? What’s the ‘adjustment’ then?
Who do you believe? A teacher in the classroom frustrated with a centralized version of education or Bill Gates who stands to reap financial rewards from CCSSI? And just *why* are we defined in our state educational policy by *his* definition of what is excellent?
How bad is it going to get? What’s your prediction?