A few days ago I wrote about the many challenges facing new teachers and considered whether, if I were a new teacher today, I’d be able to work under a similar system of strictures. My answer was about as wishy-washy as they come: Yes, but I’d probably hate it.
I lay most of this tension at the feet of the Common Core State Standards, which have been foisted on the public and their schools as the salvation for the broken education system. Never mind that the myth of the broken education system, like the recent fiscal cliff debacle, was created by the very people who have the most to benefit from it. And never mind that the standards themselves were largely created by non-teachers. And never mind that the standards constrain possibility rather than expand it. And never mind that the standards are the foundation for the most extensive series of high-stakes tests the world has ever seen. Never mind all of this, because now, fallacy or not, teachers are stuck with them and they’re doing the best job they can with a truly lousy situation.
The Common Core proponents, meanwhile, continue to hammer away at their supposed quality and rigor, brushing aside criticism with a frankly awe-inspiring combination of hubris and denial. “It’s all about the kids,” they say, because we all know how much kids love standardized tests.
I’ve often considered putting together a list of all the pro-Common Core myths with an eye to debunking each of them. Fortunately for my lazy arse, Kris Nielsen has done a much better job with it than I ever could. On his blog he’s currently writing a three-part series about the Common Core disaster, and his just-posted second part is (or should be, at least) the gold standard in Common Core criticism. If you’re a teacher – or interested in public education – read it, save it, and drag it out whenever someone tries to tell you the Common Core is going to save us all. In fact, the truth is that it heralds the end of public education as we know it.
Phantogram – Eyelid Movies (2010)