Education Reformers Pouting and Running Away? They Better Start Running.
A mother’s metamorphosis into a Momma Bear as she fights Common Core:
Do you know what I can’t stand?! The fact that I have to be a thorn in everyone’s side around here. I gave our new school board member over 24 hours to revel in his win. I just now sent him a text asking for his email to send him information concerning Common Core. His wife is a public school teacher. I feel like I need to apologize, and I did, because just like last year when another new member was elected, I started with her the next morning. She has since deleted me as a “friend” on Facebook. I can’t stand that the powers that be are forcing me to alienate myself from a small town. I can’t stand that I have had to broaden my shoulders to take the “duck and runs” from people in the school (it has, however, made me stronger which I do appreciate). I can’t stand that my husband is catching flack because of my extremely vocal stance. My name has literally become synonymous with Common Core. I have people tagging me in articles and Private Messaging me information because they themselves don’t want to get overly involved. If it weren’t for our son getting ready to enter kindergarten, where our teachers are singing Common Core praises, I would bury my head, but I feel deep in my heart this is my calling. If I don’t do this, I WILL answer to my God and Creator. This goes against everything I have ever been. I am not confrontational, I am not brave, most of the time when I am debating anyone I am shaking ferociously, freezing, but at the same time sweating profusely.
These Momma Bears who have discovered an inner strength are putting a serious dent in the education reform plans of the elites. Did you know mothers are to blame for the testing chaos in the schools? From The Coming Chaos in Student Testing:
Here in Arizona, Governor Brewer requested $13m for a new assessment tied to the standards that the State Board adopted in 2010. The legislature appropriated $8m. What happens next? Your guess is as good as anyone’s.
It might be easy to attribute this to Common Core, but you take a look at fiercely independent but still chaotic Texas and then you realize that it’s not so simple. I highly recommend reading the Dallas Morning News series How the Texas Testing Bubble Popped. The series has three parts (I, II and III) and is well worth reading. Towards the end of part III the DMN series says:
While test opponents elsewhere are looking to Texas for clues about how to pop the testing bubble back home, it’s not a model that will be easy to replicate.
The battle over testing in Texas pulled together an incredibly broad-based and narrowly focused coalition that managed to avoid the political battles that afflict many other issues.
School superintendents started tilling the field in 2006.
What had seemed unified business support for the tests publicly fractured, giving some legislative leaders political cover to join the rebellion.
TAMSA brought in mostly white, suburban moms from high-achieving schools who were politically and geographically diverse.
Mind you that Texas had a 30 year bipartisan elite consensus on testing that gave birth to No Child Left Behind. The elite consensus got steamrolled in 2013. I had something close to a second or third row seat to the debacle. Governor Perry threatened to veto HB 5, but wound up having a signing ceremony despite the fact that the legislature had acceded to few if any of his demands. Governor Perry already had a special session called that could have addressed the topic. Texas is however a democracy, and the demos appeared to be speaking loud and clear regarding the end of course exams system. We all have times where we want the trustee model to triumph over the delegate role, but you get some of both in life.
So when you factor out the unique Texas strangeness out of the Lone Star State accountability collapse (which may have only started rather than finished btw) it looks to me that the future of testing in the United States is going to be a battle for the hearts and minds of suburban parents. The Dallas Morning News opines that what happened in Texas is unique and complicated. Perhaps so, but it may be the case that it is simple: when the Alphabet Soup crowd successfully recruit suburban parents to wreck shop on state testing systems, well it kind of reminds you of Hudson’s post-crash tactical assessment from the American film classic Aliens.
Ladner sounds a lot like Arne Duncan. These men must have an issue with women standing up for their children, particularly white suburban moms. How dare the mothers who send their children to public school and pay the taxes to their school district for this privilege have any say in how the schools operate! And what’s up with the allegation that “the Alphabet Soup crowd” recruited suburban parents to “wreck shop on state testing systems”? I know the mom who wrote about her change into a determined parent had nothing to do with being “recruited” by anyone or any organization. She just read about the FACTS about Common Core adoption/implementation. The reformers just don’t understand parents but we understand them.
The parents don’t really care they are up against the educational elite like Ladner and Chester Finn. Finn writes about parents refusing to send their children for standardized testing in The opt-out outrage:
Better tests are coming, but that doesn’t excuse “opting out” now. It’s not a legitimate form of civil disobedience. And it’s probably not legal, either. If you really find state tests odious, put your money and time where your mouth is—and stop asking taxpayers to educate your children.
The ed reformers are sounding a bit petulant. Those pesky moms….and dads…demanding a voice in the educational development/delivery of their school districts. Finn is miffed that taxpayers paying for Common Core are angry. Silly taxpayers. Read the comments from Finn’s article. They are not sympathetic to his point of view:
According to the author, apparently I get “asked” to pay over 6k in school taxes every year. (whether I use public schools or not) Thanks for the info, I’ll be sure to say “No Thank You” next year when my school taxes are due and see what they say.
I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the comments in response to Mr. Finn’s piece. Mr. Finn’s piece does not reflect the respect parents deserve nor reflect the appropriate disdain there should be whenever a central planner has a profit motive to create a solution when the previous central planner created the problem in the first place.
Mr. Finn’s cry that civil disobedience is illegitimate over something as trivial as an education test would be laughable if it weren’t such a serious revelation of philosophical imbalance and a hunger for government power.
I chuckle when reflecting on Jeb Bush recently saying illegal immigration is an “act of love” and saying it isn’t a felony.
If you want to see a true “act of love”, take a look at a parent who refuses to comply with Common Core. Keep education local and out of the hands of the central planners.
Bit, nervous, Chester? If we stop the testing, we might reach the level of Finland or Singapore. Or even Canada.
lol! Hope Checker’s performance isn’t being evaluated based on the public responses to his writings. 🙂 Actually, I hope it is.
There are an extraordinary number of Momma and Papa Bears shredding education reformers’ centralized planning forced upon the states and school districts. Parents know these reforms are not “state led” and were not voluntary. They know copyrighted standards tied to private companies is wrong which must be used to satisfy federal mandates is fascism. They don’t want or need the government to track their children “cradle to grave”.
Time to pack it up, boys, and get out of the way of the enraged public. Moms aren’t scared of you or intimidated by your dismissive language. They are willing to lose friendships and suffer ridicule from the truly misinformed via Common Core Chamber of Commerce funded talking points. Start running. The day of the elites planning education for children is over. Go find some other scheme to make your billions of dollars. These parents aren’t willing to offer their children for sale. Just look at the bear in the photo. She is on a mission to defend her cubs.