Caution: Despite the title, this article is completely (well, mostly) biased and subjective. I do not claim to be an expert on the subject, or to have more than a passing knowledge of the meat and potatoes of Common Core. If you actually want some well researched (though still probably biased) information on Common Core, check out this really well done video by Julie Borowski. /EndExcusesForPlayingAnAwesomeVideo
Okay, now that the “disclaimer” /educational parts of the article are out of the way, let’s get on with the rest of the article!
Common Core confuses me. It’s an issue where the far left and most of the right seem to agree, garnering hate from the likes of teachers and (some) Teacher’s Unions on the liberal side, as well as from pretty much all conservatives not named Bush, Huckabee, or Christie. However, while many on both sides agree that Common Core is bad, the reasoning behind that decision varies greatly.
On the Teachers side of things, the main concerns I’ve found are that Common Core is just another way for corporations to make bank off of education (which seems fairly true) and that the presumed increase in standards is so huge, it would effectively be unattainable for the vast majority of students. And when the students fail… well, it’s not so good for the teachers.
That’s where the Unions get involved. Well a few of them at least.
Yes, while NEA has fallen under the thrall of Arne Duncan, splinter groups like BAT the “Badass Teachers Union” as well as other local and statewide unions have refused to toe the leftist line.
Heck, even Jabba-The-H- er… Karen Lewis isn’t keen on the thing.
Ick. Weird alliances are weird.
As far as the conservative outcry is concerned, I think you can safely break it up into two categories: The “Low Information Torch & Pitchfork Brigade”, and the “Whoa, this thing is really destructive, time for me to get my torch & pitchfork!” crew. In the case of the former, I feel like a lot of their motivation comes from seeing a few out-of-context-ish videos flying around the net which make it seem as though Common Core encourages teachers to actively allow kids to believe that “3*4=11″ or that “2+2=5″. In actuality, the point of those videos is to emphasize the importance of having a student explain HOW they arrived at their particular result, something I wish the Common Core folks would do as far as their “expanding the role of the federal government in education” idea goes.
Anyway, this example should allay those particular fears:
I don’t know how one can get “They’re going to teach them that 3*4=11!!!” from that video. I mean, it’s directly addressed right after the offending sentence was made, albeit through an incredulous question from a teacher in the audience.
Regardless, just as I am willing to accept Karen Lewis’ aid, I’m totally fine with aid from the outrage caucus…. But that’s not where I’m coming from. While I am not an “Expert” on Common Core, the stuff I’ve read on the subject is pretty frightening. From data mining of student’s personal details, all of which will go on a new and scarier PERMANENT RECORD (Including any and all dysfunctions, fights, bullying, etc. What you do as a kid will follow you forever.) to forcing schools that are currently doing well to upend their current systems to conform to the new government standard, the effects of letting the choking tendrils of federal government venture even further into our education system are substantial.
But then again, so is ALL big government intrusion. And that’s really what has me upset about Common Core.
At the end of the day, you have yet another layer of big government bureaucracy getting in between us and the education of our future, which is terrifying.
These are the guys who screwed up something as simple as building a functioning website, I don’t want to think about how many ways they will screw up the complex task of educating our kids.
SIDE NOTE: Be sure to check out my interview with an anonymous South Jersey teacher on Common Core below!