Coming up: activism aplenty
As a new school year begins today (for some in our area, including my fiance’s daughter) I think it’s time to ask a lot of hard questions, particularly if you’ve done the research. Not only would it benefit those who happen to attend to hear the questions, but just how they are answered by the public education monopoly at this upcoming forum. (Ours will be in Easton next Tuesday, but others are around the state.)
Obviously it can be a day full of activism for some, as the Exempt America rally is the same day in Washington.
Still, those who want to participate in both should be able to make the timing work out.
I’ll admit I’m not as attuned to Common Core as I probably should be because we all can’t be experts on everything. But I know a number of people – particularly those with school-aged children – fret about what’s being imparted into those young skulls full of mush, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say. And it doesn’t matter which school your child attends, as the state says it applies to ALL schools. (We will see.)
But in the little bit of reading I’ve done on it from various stakeholders, it sounds like we’re trying to conform to a global standard in reading, English, and mathematics, “in order to be prepared for success in college and the workplace.” Presumably to me that’s in order, making the assumption that a college degree is essential for success but forgetting the market dictates the number and types of jobs needed; it’s not based on the number of people with particular in vogue and politically correct college degrees. If I need an engineer I’m not hiring someone with a Womyn’s Studies degree no matter how much academic expertise she has in that field.
Another intriguing piece of the puzzle came from the NEA, which is among the largest teacher’s unions. Of course, they are all for Common Core, saying that it “has the potential to provide teachers with far more manageable curriculum goals.” Manageable for who? The teacher? It sounds to me like they’re shooting for the minimum amount of effort here.
On the other hand, opponents also bring up some interesting facts. Did you know Common Core is licensed? It seems to me that sort of takes away the freedom of local institutions to come up with their own interpretations which work best. But the real goal, of which Common Core is a part, seems to be in a report which came out earlier this year called For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence, which bemoans, among other things:
Our education system is a diffuse amalgamation of 100,000 public schools of varying types operated by countless state and local school boards in 15,000 school districts and 50 states, subject to state and local political shifts and economic volatility.
Hint: that’s called “local control.” Nearly all of their so-called “solutions” involve more federal involvement in our daily lives – Common Core addresses a portion of the second bullet point regarding teachers, principals, and curricula.
Moreover, one would think that the idea would be to emulate the outcomes where we find the most success, but unfortunately those tend to be worked out at the local level in places which aren’t as politically correct or controllable, such as Christian schools or homeschooling. Talk about school choice to this group and you might bring on a collective heart attack.
So perhaps the best question to ask is how Common Core will emulate these successes we see on a daily basis outside the public school environment. I’ll bet they can’t come up with a compelling answer.