professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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Going Beyond the Text

Teresa Bunner pointed us to an article in THE WASHINGTON POST yesterday about one principal's change of heart when it comes to the CCSS: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/03/04/principal-i-was-naive-about-common-core/

A couple of observations come to mind. First, I am thrilled to see folks coming forward and pointing out that the Emperor is indeed naked. That the new boss is the same as the old boss. How is that for mixing metaphors: fairy tales and The Who? I am grateful that there is talk about $$$ and how that plays into CCSS and "reform" as well. Do you sense a BUT coming? You should. But where were these voices when everyone was signing on to CCSS as if it were the salvation, the cure-all for all the ills (psychosomatic though they were and are), the way to get kids ready for career and college (as if that were not already happening, right architects of this plan who are graduates of the schools as they already existed?).

But now go beyond the article itself and read through all of the comments. Here you will see the crux of the problems with CCSS. Some applaud the author of the article and others take her to task. Some reject CCSS as a "reform" and see it more as a money maker. Some think the education system in broken and that other countries are better at it than we are. Some criticize teachers; other criticize the educational leaders. It is truly representative of the "debate" and the real reason why we are in this current morass when it comes to education.

There is a passage in the Printz winner from 2013, IN DARKNESS by Nick Lake.

"We are in the darkness. We are always in the darkness...There are always people who want to help, but they are too far away, and we are too silent" (p. 326). As I read these words, my skin prickled with goosebumps. We ARE in the dark: as educators, we were not afforded a seat at the table as the standards were being written. Our leaders were too far away, waiting for what they hoped would be a proferred seat at the table eventually. And we have been too silent for too long. SPEAKLOUDLY was a campaigjn a few years ago to confront the censors, to speak up for intellectual freedom and the right to read and write. I think we need to co-opt SpeakLoudly as the motto for a new campaign. When we see something that does not make sense (standards that are not developmentally appropriate or artificial ways of measuring text, or making young students use computers for testing), we need to SpeakLoudly. I still ahve some of the buttons from the first campaign. Maybe it is time to wear them again? SpeakLoudly!
Tags: ccss, speakloudly
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