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24 March 2014 @ 08:02 am
A blurring  
Last week I drove to campus one morning in a light fog. I passed a familiar exit and could barely make out the tall neon sign that marked the gas station there. On a normal morning, I would have been able to read the sign even in the darkness. But the fog blurred colors and letters so that they glowed but were relatively indistinct. And so it is, IMHO, with CCSS.

The arguments that are made on behalf of the CCSS remind me of the effect fog has on signs. There is a blurring of the facts that is almost plausible. That is how CCSS gets buy-in. Words and phrases such as "better", "more rigorous," "high expectations," and "accountability" are all commendable. However, the fog comes from the underlying assumption being made that we did not have standards or that they were too easy or that we did not expect kids to do well or we did not hold anyone truly accountable. It is rather insidious; arguments are contructed so as to make anyone who questions the CCSS seem to somehow have low expectations for kids and curriculum and instruction.

I drove through the fog with little hesitation. I know these roads on the way to my office quite well after 25 years. But I have been in similar foggy situations on roads that were unfamiliar and discovered that navigation was not quite as easy. And so I think about those new to the profession who are being marched into the CCSS fog. I wonder if they are frightened? If they feel at all helpless? If they are having difficulty navigating? I worry that they are desperate and how that affects their navigation?

The fog caught up with me later in the morning. I glanced out my window (as I was writing this blog entry) and noticed that my sight was once more blurred. Interestingly enough, though, because I am on the top floor of my building, I could see more. I was somehow above the worst of the fog. Only things in the distance were blurred. And so it is with CCSS and my concerns. I am trying hard to remain slightly elevated in my rhetoric (and not always succeeding, I know). I try hard not to point fingers at one publisher or PD provider or colleague as they push CCSS. But I do worry about the future, those distant objects I cannot see. I worry that we will not stop CCSS in time to spare a generation of learners from dropping out, opting out, tuning out.

Maybe my task is to turn on those fog lamps and shine some light?
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Tony KeeferTonyKeefer on March 24th, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
Teri,
Thanks for this post. The analogy between the uneasiness of driving in the fog and my unease with the CCSS was perfect. I will share it often. Keep being a beacon for others.
Tony