Mercedes Schneider Explains the Current Desperation of the Common Core
Mercedes Schneider writes one of the best edu-blogs I’ve read. In her most recent post, she dissects the desperation of the “mammoth corporate reform machine”, as opponents are finally having their voices heard.
Coincidentally, The Today Show has put forth a survey on Facebook, to find out how many Americans support or oppose the high-stakes tests that are infesting and infecting our public schools today. They will “tackle the debate” on air tomorrow.
I don’t think it will be much of a debate – most recent numbers indicate over 6,000 are against & 40 are pro testing. Be sure to cast your own vote. https://www.facebook.com/questions/10152328881051350/?qa_ref=pp
In the meantime, read on…
It seems that the protests of the American citizen against the so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has become proverbial grains of sand in the works of the mammoth corporate reform machine.
Die-hard supporters of CCSS are becoming desperate, and such is showing in their words and actions.
Consider Jeb Bush’s declaration, “In Asia today, they don’t care about children’s self esteem….”
This hard-nosed attitude is supposed to appeal to the American public and advance CCSS?
Jeb is definitely pushing CCSS whether America likes it or not– but he is becoming sloppy in his rhetoric.
He is not alone in his desperate, Save CCSS efforts.
Founder and director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Caroline Roemer-Shirley (sister to our state board of education president) wrote this op/ed for the Baton Rouge Advocate on March 24, 2014.
Not surprisingly, she is pro-CCSS.
Notice the authoritarian desperation in her closing statement:
It’s critically important that all of us — parents, educators, community leaders and businessmen — oppose efforts to derail the Common Core State Standards.
Good public education is the key to success for our children and we must help them get there by all means available. A quality education is one of childhood’s most basic civil rights. Our goal must be to get our children into the top tiers nationally. That means pushing aside anything or anyone standing in the way of their success. [Emphasis added.]
Roemer-Shirley equates CCSS with “a quality education.”
The same day at Roemer-Shirley’s op/ed, education historian Diane Ravitch posted a marvelous piece that unequivocally demonstrates CCSS as not even qualifying as standards given its secretive, controlled, stakeholder-absent creation and declared rigidity:
In the United States, the principles of standard-setting have been clearly spelled out by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). …
[CCSS] were written in a manner that violates the nationally and international recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no legitimacy.
Setting national academic standards is not something done in stealth by a small group of people, funded by one source, and imposed by the lure of a federal grant in a time of austerity.
There is a recognized protocol for writing standards, and the Common Core standards failed to comply with that protocol. [Emphasis added and some text order reversed.]
Monday, March 24, 2014, also gave us blogger Peter Greene’s fine post on the purpose of CCSS to tag student data down to the very classroom assignment.
Roemer-Shirley does not care for protocol that honors the democratic process, and she does not care about the invasive, science-fiction nature of CCSS data tagging. Instead, she is willing to “push aside anyone standing in the way of their (let’s be real, folks– she doesn’t mean students’) success.”
The creepy-desperate CCSS push does not stop there. On March 18, 2014, both national union presidents met with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO– one of the two CCSS copyright holders), with in attendance all desiring to save CCSS.
It seems that AFT members can expect their national president to cling to CCSS no matter what her constituency thinks:
Weingarten added that she expects that many of her members would call for outright opposition to the standards during the AFT’s summer convention, even though both the AFT and NEA support the standards and Weingarten said she wouldn’t back away from the common core. [Emphasis added.]
If the AFT membership opposes CCSS “outright,” how is it, then, that “AFT supports the standards”?
Does a declared, “official” position outrank the desires of AFT’s own membership?
NEA (not the membership, mind you) is right there with AFT in its protection of CCSS:
During the same discussion, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel… said the union remained squarely behind the standards themselves….
What is one to do in order to ensure CCSS support? Why, one must promote a positive CCSS message in the media:
… (South Dakota) Education Secretary Melody Schopp expressed concern that enough wasn’t being done to push more positive common-core stories to the public: “The media’s not hearing that.” [Emphasis added.]
All of this “pushing” so-called reform “to the public.”
Genuine standards are not “pushed.” Genuine standards are elicited.
Nevertheless, in our current, for-profit reform era, it’s all about the spin. No organization knows that better than Stand for Children (SFC). (I debated SFC Louisiana twice on CCSS– see this link and this link.)
The question is, how far will SFC go in its CCSS-desperation spin?
Well beyond the ethical, it seems.
In their efforts to “push” a positive CCSS message, SFC Oklahoma decided “positive” need not necessarily be honest:
…Some names on a petition, from a group hoping to keep Common Core, were faked. The group, Stand for Children Oklahoma, presented a petition to legislators in early March with 7,000 signatures, but many people whose names are on the list said they didn’t sign it.
Sherri Crawford is one of those. She’s adamantly against Common Core. …
When asked if she signed it, she responded, “No, absolutely not.”
Sherri found out her name was on the petition after a group of moms, who oppose common core, got a hold of it and started checking the names. They said they found not only several obviously fake names, like Barrack Obama, but more than a thousand they have personally verified didn’t sign it. [Emphasis added.]
Yes, my fellow lovers of the democratic process, we have indeed become grains of sand in the greasy wheels of the pro-CCSS engine.
The very idea makes me smile.