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04 May 2014 @ 11:52 am
Resolved  
I am finally making some headway in the backlog of URLs I have been collecting, pieces I wanted to have the chance to read and so bookmarked them for a time when I could give them the attention they warranted. I must admit that some of the posts and links were ones I skimmed and deleted. However, there have emerged some real gems. Here is one of them: http://jonathanlovell.blogspot.com/.

This post absolutely blew me away. In particular, I love the Resolution at the end of the blog:

"BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED

That the Common Core Standards, individual schools that "beat the odds," Teach for America Interns whose students outperform those of traditionally credentialed teachers, and all such examples of the need to "reform" the American system of public education, be understood for what they are:

Seductive distractions from the overriding issue we must face as a nation if "fixing" public schools is be anything more than an irresponsible instance of political posturing--the shameful growth in income disparity between our poorest and wealthiest citizens."


I have been reading the book CROW (http://www.amazon.com/Crow-Barbara-Wright/dp/0375873678/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1398877268&sr=8-1) by Barbara Wright with my ears this week during my commute to and from the office. Set in North Carolina, the narrator is a young boy named Moses whose mother was born into slavery and whose grandmother was a slave. Moses observes without real rancor the differences between the houses of the white residents and those of the Black residents. He knows the difference between those who have money and those who struggle to make ends meet.

What does this have to do with the blog post? I am not altogether sure since there is not a neat fit. What there is, though, is some sort of resonance that moves back and forth in time. Perhaps it has to do with "so much unfairness of things." It lines up with the passionate letter written to President Obama: http://www.amazon.com/Crow-Barbara-Wright/dp/0375873678/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1398877268&sr=8-1.

More than anything, I think, it points to the complexity of the situation. We have standards for education written without much input from educators. We have tests to measure progress toward these untested standards with cut scores determined in an almost willy-nilly nature. We have op-ed pieces criticizing any critic of CCSS as not caring enough about kids. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" comes to mind:

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Half a league on, anyone?
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