professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Reverend Al Sharpton remarked in an interview that we cannot allow our vanity to get in the way of our sanity. Love that idea. I sometimes worry that I fall into that trap of vanity before sanity when I am critical of CCSS and other inanities in education. My mentor Dick Abrahamson once asked me to think about why I was accepting an invitation to present or to join a committee. Think about whether you are doing this for YOU and your career or whether you are doing it for someone else, he said. Good advice. I try to follow it.

I wish some of our leaders would consider these same sentiments. Arne Duncan and David Coleman seem to let vanity step in often these days. They label anyone who dares question CCSS as somehow self-centered, as silly, as unintelligent, as too concerned about looking smart and not concerned enough about being smart and making smart decisions. The NCTQ is attacking high education because it understands that there is some power they cannot simply grab. Instead, they will use the underhanded attack: point out how much reform is needed. Their fixes? They want to dictate the texts we can use, the objectives for our course. They want to utilize MOOCs even though the research is still mixed in terms of the results of these classes (which were not intended to take the place of coursework).

Over and over again, sanity seems to lose when it comes to education. What wins is hyperbole, fear-mongering, and bullying tactics. So, today I presented and or chaired some sessions that are about sanity: censorship, historical fiction, and books and reading. I did a video interview for Stenhouse about a practical application of my books to the classroom. And later I head to a dinner with the lovely Victoria Stapleton and Holly Black. THIS keeps me sane.
Tags: insanity, sanity
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