Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Debacle Of The Common Core Reforms

A commenter on a LoHud article about how the Regents/Common Core exams are causing agita for students, parents and teachers wrote the following indictment of the reform agenda as a whole:

This Common Core reform has been an absolute joke from the start. They cannot get anything right.
They roll out new exams before supplying curriculum guidance ... and then blare that the results are a testimony to their flawed premise for this nation-wide debacle. Nice try, no cigar.

Anyone can engineer failure. And it seems no one's better than the classroom allergic theorists that have bundled this so-called reform together ... and then touted it as the lost Holy Grail of education. This is an educational fiasco devised by idle musers, crafted by disconnected theorists, financed by drooling corporate interests, and swallowed by cash-strapped state legislatures who made a pact with the Devil.

There is almost nothing of merit in this movement. The curriculum authors have been revealed as disconnected practitioners who have slender understanding of what actually takes place in learning at various stages of development. To call most curriculum designs as age-inappropriate is mild. The data collection is intrusive with real potential harm for young learners as they grow through their school experiences. Worst is the "teach to the test" practices that have accompanied the Common Core testing mania ... at the expense of genuine classroom learning that is best adjusted by local teachers who know and value their students best.

I want desperately to unearth something of real merit in this movement, but it's a sort of torturing exercise. Yes, reform should be an on-going effort. But the very best reforms are those made by individual districts for the community population they know best. A coast-to-coast prescription is nonsense. How can anyone prescribe identical remedies for educating a child in NYC and one in Greenwich, Connecticut and another in Lawrence, Kansas? Homogeneity is hardly an American reality. I thought we prided ourselves on our rich history of individual achievement that accompanied our commitment to community. Goose-stepping is not what built this nation's greatness.

What local schools need most is local control ... and defined, reliable community and state support. Local boards of education know their communities as no one else ... and they know their faculties as no one else. They should be the ones prescribing suitable curriculum and instruction reforms that touch their student population with purpose. 

Common Core is a federal fraud that suggests that learning can be bottled and canned and sold a a sort of product that has nation-wide need and appeal. Let's not even consider the fright of an educational movement under the control of a central government. Scary stuff.

Stop this dreadful educational farce before it inflicts educational madness on generations to come. Return control to local boards ... and let communities do what they have done successfully since this nation began ... educate their children.

Goose-stepping is not what built this nation's greatness...

And yet, Arne Duncan would have us all goose-stepping to the tune of the Gates/Broad/Walmart/Bloomberg reforms...