What I love about McDonald's is its predictability: the fries will taste just as delish in Montgomery, Texas, as they do in any other town. It is about quality control, uniformity, rules of being a franchise owner, etc. My Dad would notice anything out of place or off routine when we would go to McDonald's later in life (he owned 3 of the chain stores before his retirement and knew the business inside and out). But this same level of uniformity, while welcome in the fast food industry, is chilling when it comes to education. It is the tuff of A BRICK IN THE WALL and dystopic novels. Classrooms are not restaurant chains. Kids are not bags of frozen potatoes. In a nutshell, I think, this is my problem with CCSS: this notion that the products can be uniform.
And what really drove that home was a lovely half hour I spent this morning with Katherine Sokolowski (@katsok) in her living room summer book camp. Kids were sitting on the floor or sprawled on sofas and chairs. I talked to them about books. I would mention a title and see one kid squirm with glee or another hold up the very book I was talking about or see a very serious reader taking copious notes of the titles. What they had in common was that they loved reading. But they had different tastes in books, and Katherine was doing everything in her power to make sure they found those just right books (I was their 4th guest this week that included some educators and authors).
This is what Katherine and the myriad of other wonderful teachers I am happy to count among my PLN know: McDonald's is fine for fries. Schools need to be much more. They need to nourish body, soul, heart, and mind. That takes time.