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25 March 2014 @ 10:09 am
There's a flag on the field  
As I drank my morning smoothie and scanned my calendar and to-do list, MSNBC played on in the background. I caught the words CCSS and immediately turned up the volume. What now, I thought. I already know there is a decided bias toward the Common Core given the interviews and commentaries I have seen. Chris Hayes spent the better part of an interview with Diane Ravitch playing clips of Michelle Rhee. The smoothie began to curdle in my stomach.

Interestingly enough, though the segment on the Daily Rundown began with CCSS, it veered toward a discussion of colleges and online classes and brain drain. Somehow or another, there was then a brief interview with a politician about offering online classes internationally and concern that folks getting college educations here were returning to their own countries (the brain drain part, evidently).

If this is confusing to me, how might it appear to someone outside of education? It is bad enough that CCSS gets little scrutiny (close reading, anyone?) from most journalists. This piece was piling on. Is there not a penalty for doing this? Obfuscation is salubrious was a phrase one of my high school classmates was fond of using. But I do not find at all healthy all this jumble of issues and topics and programs. It seems to be there is a better phrase: strange bedfellows.

We are getting kids "college ready" via the CCSS, but we are questioning practices at the college level at the same time. Teacher education programs are under fire now. Some colleges of education have been informed they will be working with TFA without any sort of discussion. Placing TFA training within a COE sends out very harmful messages. The first is that somehow a 5 week training program is sufficient for folks to become classroom teachers. The other is just as harmful IMHO: tying TFA to a COE lends an air of respectability to TFA and, then, to alternative certification programs. Finally, there is the message that any sort of alt cert comes close to a carefully crafted program within the COE. The research is clear, but it is being ignored once again by those outside of the classroom, outside of the COE, outside of education in general.

Rather than throw in the towel, though I am throwing a flag, assessing journalists a massive penalty, and ejecting non-educators from the game for piling on. Please leave the field. Take your ball and go home.
 
 
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