professornana (professornana) wrote,

PR you cannot pay for (or can you?)

Imagine my surprise when I read this New York Times editorial on Sunday:

Phrases such as this: "most important educational reform" and "heavily researched" and "bipartisan" and "internationally benchmarked" mean one of two things to me. First, it is possible that someone associated with CCSS wrote this. The only other explanation possible is that the author of this piece has never read anything in the actual CCSS documents. References are made to reasoning skills and the fact that they will be introduced at an earlier age than ever before. And then there is the assertion that the new tests association with CCSS will be strong as opposed to the weak ones we have now. Here is another pearl:

"The standards are flexible so that states and localities can implement them in varying ways. But the whole point of the exercise is to replace the mediocre patchwork of learning standards that put American children at a distinct disadvantage when compared with their peers abroad. "

Well, thank heavens that CCSS came along and saved us from mediocrity (yes, that is sarcasm, folks).

Yesterday, I wrote about hope (vision). I suspect the NYT's vision is a tad cloudy what with all those stars in their eyes from the gleaming savior of education that is CCSS. It is a shame that they used such glowing terms to describe CCSS without a shred of evidence to back those terms up. Let me propose a different hope (vision).

I hope that teachers are given the flexibility that the NYT asserts is there. I hope that these do not become THE curriculum or the sole focus of the work of the classroom. I hope that there are multiple revisions that will be made in this document. I hope that we stop comparing American kids to those in other countries since our educational system is different from others (check out teacher pay in Finland for instance). I hope that our system remains free and open to all (exit charter schools and lotteries, please). And I fervently hope that teachers, actual classroom teachers, will become the new architects.

Finally, I hope the NYT issues some sort of explanation for the "editorial" that was nothing more than a puff PR piece for CCSS.
Tags: ccss, nyt
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