Former Common Core Proponent (Teacher) Explains the True Basis of CCSS. It’s Not About Excellent Education.
The comments below are from a Facebook posting. Tweet them to Arne Duncan. Not only do “white suburban moms” hate Common Core, many teachers don’t like it either once they experience it in the classroom and professional development. Common Core proponents will tell you CCSS success depends on correct implementation, but this teacher explains why even the implementation won’t save the educational version of the Affordable Health Care Act. Hint: it’s not just the Health Care website or Common Core implementation that needs to be tweaked and/or fixed, it’s the whole concept of these two initiatives that doom healthcare and education reform to substandard results:
As a teacher I don’t feel like I can risk joining your group. But I wanted to send you my thoughts on Common Core. I went to a Common Core training last week and a few things became clear to me:
(1) It isn’t really common core. The original idea for a “common core” was proposed by scholars well versed in the great book programs. The idea was that there were pieces of literature so important that everyone should read before graduating HS. Likewise there are certain ideas so profound that everyone should be exposed to. When I became a supporter of Real Common Core years ago that’s what I supported. But what Obama is pushing as common core has nothing to do with that. There was absolutely nothing in the training related to any important ideas or essential pieces of literature. It it’s not even a real “common core.”
(2) It’s a rehash of old failed educational ideas. The education establishment is 100 percent committed to a series of ideological educational practices. When I was earning my teaching credential, everything was about “cooperative learning.” For those not familiar, cooperative learning is an educational technique that de-emphasizes individual work and skill development in favor creative group activities. Cooperative learning was the solution to every problem. Ask an educational professor what you should do about student who misbehave, the professor would tell you to do more cooperative learning. Your kids don’t know their times tables, the professor would tell you not to worry about it and do more cooperative learning. Cooperative learning was a complete and total failure, resulting in students graduating high school with marginal skills at best. It became discredited. Just as “liberalism” became discredited and got rebranded as “progressivism” …cooperative learning got rebranded as …reciprocal teaching…and most recently as “collaborative learning” within common core.
(3) It de-emphasizes content. If you teach history…you’re going to be teaching significantly less history and a hell of a lot more process. If you’re a science teacher, you’re going to have to leave out sh**loads of critical material related to your subject so you can teach the processes involved in common core. Make no mistakes…kids in common core will only be learning 25 – 50 % as much biology or chemistry as they do now.
(4) It’s all about leveling out performance levels between students. When education is about knowledge, results are unequal. Some students are harder working and some are lazier, some are smarter and some are slower. So students leave school with a huge disparity in abilities and qualifications. Common core is about leveling out the differences by reducing the opportunity for the brightest and hardest working students to excel. The Chemistry and Physics teachers I sat with in this training were horrified. One told me that “if we do this America will produce no engineers in the future.” That’s such a broad statement that it can’t possibly be true. But common core will have a diminishing effect on the quality of higher level students, the ones who become scientists, engineers and doctors.