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27 February 2014 @ 11:57 am
When will they ever get it right?  
Another headline about the CCSS, this time asserting: Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/nyregion/new-york-early-champion-of-common-core-standards-joins-critics.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0&referrer=). It seems as though each time a new piece is published, the actual events and timelines get buried. Here, the article begins by asserting that education leaders "appluaded" the creation of CCSS. Not quite. Education leaders were not part of the creation of the CCSS. Some were asked for feedback, feedback that was totally ignored by the artchitects of CCSS. But wait, there is more. Next, we get the common, "these are rigorous standards" refrain. They replace standards that were, well, not rigorous at all, I imagine. If we are going to talk rigor here, show me the standards that were below par. I do believe the chief complaint was that the tests (and the waivers) were not rigorous enough. Did we suddenly adopt standards that were never before present? Hardly.

But, let's proceed. The author asserts that all previous complaints about CCSS came from the right. Nope, wrong again. There have been challenges to CCSS from folks all along the spectrum from left to right. I hardly self-identify as "right," for instance. What this piece is about, really, is the fact that there is mounting concern in NY over the tests that ahve accompanied the new standards. And there is good cause for consternation since the passing rate on the new tests is less than 33%. So, there is a call for a moratorium on testing. Right nwo, there is no push back about the adoption of the CCSS, just the tests.

Then this piece goes on to fling all manner of "facts" at the reader including some quotes about engagement, about good curriculum (from E D Hirsch?) and concerns about CCSS not taking development of kids into consideration particularly in the younger grades. In short, this article lacks a real focus, a cogent organizational structure, and a logical progression of ideas (including transitions). Bottom line: this would not pass muster under the CCSS. I suspect deadlines and word counts and such are partly to blame. However, I am growing really weary of the slap dash approaches to the narrative. From my point of view, it smacks of the sort of dismissive attitude I see in far too many pieces of writing about education. This topic is too important, folks. Maybe we need to take carge of the narrative ourselves? Tell the story or stories of experiences from our own classrooms? Take the initiative and make sure the mistakes are pointed out, the facts stated, the stories accurate?
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