Close Reading Assignment: Common Core Proponents are “Misinformed” & “Status Quo Lovers”
If we put the focus on the great work being done to implement Common Core in classrooms across the U.S., instead of debating abstract political rhetoric, we will give our students the opportunities they deserve.
Neal McCluskey points out the fact that the pro-Common Core proponents make claims that they can’t back up with research and data. The Bloomberg article is an example of public relations nonsense and should probably be used as a close reading in a Common Core lesson. Obviously no research is intended by the proponents to be done by the reader, because if any research is actually done, there would be none to found to support their claims. And just what is “abstract political rhetoric”? Is the rhetoric centered on the fact the adoption circumvented state legislatures and the voters and does not follow the rule of law?
The authors of this puff piece are Democratic Governor Jack Markell of Delaware and former Republican Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Isn’t oligarchy bipartisanship a swell deal? Perdue is a money hungry governor willing to sell his state’s sovereignty to private organizations, and in fact, tells Secretary Arne Duncan in a CSpan February 2010 speech about Race to the Top:
While you may not have spent any money yet, we’ve been chasing that $4 Billion lure purty good.
He adds that with Governor Doyle, he plans “to get a share of it”. He says education is intimately involved in economic development and future prosperity of the state and the nation and he thinks they are focusing on exactly the right thing. He was vocally critical of NCLB at times although he recognized it called the accountability issue into question. To the “shame of the nation” they had never called the accountability question.
He applauds the “high standards” the “high expectations” and rewarding excellence. He thinks states have seen their students as “Lake Woebegone” and being above average but applauds the data portion. He likes keeping score, expecting more and thinks this will change course for those who want help.
The flexibility issue is important and he thinks this will allow governors that flexibility. He remembered his excitement last year when Duncan laid out his vision and he has done exactly what he said he would. He thanks him for what he is doing and he thinks he will change the prosperity of the nation by these high expectations.
Watch the 2:00 video clip. You can see for yourself how Sonny Perdue had no problem with the Federal government “giving” money to the state of Georgia to tell them how to evaluate students, track them with data. In fact, he was absolutely giddy at the thought of more Federal dollars rolling into Georgia. He apparently believes the State Department of Education is too inept to establish its own accountability measures for Georgia students. Georgia must be dependent on the Federal Government to tell it what to do in education in exchange for funds that won’t cover the cost of the mandates the same Federal Government slaps on Georgia for taking the money. I remember watching this clip early on (2010) in the RTTT process and thinking that this man is nothing but a money hungry politician willing to strike a deal with just about anyone.
A governor who doesn’t understand the role of the state in setting educational development/delivery and the fact that the Federal Government is not directed to set that development/delivery is stunning. I wouldn’t put much stock in anything he or Markell write about Common Core. They are willing to sell their states’ sovereignty for unfunded mandates on unproven theory to private corporations. As the article states at the end
Of course you are going to see these two men try to save a sinking ship of standards for which they co-chaired. They didn’t answer any questions in this public relations piece and instead, cast those who raise valid questions as “misinformed” and “status quo lovers”. They never discuss exactly why critics are misinformed and love the status quo. Schools spend an enormous amount of money on bullying programs and here we have education reformers practicing that bullying art of attacking and running. This is the only defense they have in a straw man argument. It’s rather insulting, isn’t it? But when you are a choice architect making educational decisions for those befuddled taxpayers who are too stupid (misinformed) and love their schools (status quo lovers), what else can you expect? What they conveniently forgot is that they are/were elected representatives, not choice architects who needed to nudge us into educational reform controlled by private organizations funded by Federal dollars.