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19 November 2013 @ 11:11 am
Dis-coarse  
Secretary Duncan is up to the bullying once more. This time, he criticized white, suburban moms (and perhaps in addition to being a sexist remark, this is also more than a tad racist as well?). There are already wonderful responses to Duncan's remarks out there. Here is one from Valerie Strauss from The Washington Post (someone who seems to understand getting facts right before writing): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/16/arne-duncan-white-surburban-moms-upset-that-common-core-shows-their-kids-arent-brilliant/.

The reason, he states bluntly, that some are opposed to CCSS is that the need for reforms indicates that these kids are not as bright as their mothers perceive them to be and that the schools they carefully selected for their kids are not good, either. How could he even think this would resonate with parents? I know how my kid's schools are doing. That info does not come from test scores or rankings. It comes from looking at the work being asked of my kids. Building a replica of the Great Wall of China in an AP history class after all the state testing has ended, lets me know more about the teacher and the school than any data points could ever do. Seeing a library leveled according to AR and exiles tells me more about the school than any other statistic could.

One of the responses that made many of us stand and cheer comes from author Anne Ursu in this blog post: http://anneursu.tumblr.com/post/67270465236/silly-moms-and-their-silly-opinions-are-silly. Ursu gets down to the bottom line: "To have the Secretary of Education reduce and deride the concerns of parents who happen to be female is appalling. To have him imply that only white moms are so invested in their children’s education is deeply problematic. To have him take the voices of all of the educators and parents and scholars who have raised concerns about Common Core and silence them by using “moms” as a straw man, to have him take the word “mom” and use it as something to devalue and sneer at for political gain and to is disturbing at every level. I would say that a person who would use women in this way does not belong in the job."

I agree. These bully tactics, though, seem to be part of the political scene these days. Reasoned discourse has become DIS-COARSE.
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